This Christmas, I decided that I wouldn't stay in the snow. And with a friend decided to go anywhere south. It happens that, at one week notice, there was a real good deal to Punta Cana at this resort (1700$ for 14 days...). I checked with Lonely Planet, but the article was old, and it didn't seems that good. I hesitated, looked at the pictures provided by Nolitours and finally decided. So what if it wasn't perfect, i'm not that picky anyway and just wanted the beach witch looked absolutely beautiful.
I'm telling you, follow your instincts. It's been the perfection on earth. Sure there was still works and renovations here and there. But the way we were, no sounds bothered us. We were in the Village portion, because there are 3 parts in this resort. Ocean view (and don't pay for it, it's so far from the beach you won't see it anyway), the middle part where we were and farther a bunch of 'chalets' small houses, cute but quite a ride to the beach, there is motorized transport though, a kind of open bus. But I was more than pleased with our lot. Near the main buffet, and the pool(but not giving on it)(and I never went beside... compare with the beach, for me there is no hesitation), not far from the café and another small pizzeria. People were more than nice. Anna, in charge of the pizzeria, is so sweet. (if you have old jewellery, bring it to her, she will more than appreciate it, I'm telling you).
There's a lot of variety at the buffets, I never got tired of eating the same thing, either it was so good I didn't care or i could change.
There is many activities offered, a bit expensive, always almost 50, it goes up fast. But there is also some 1h 1h30 activities, like go to the reefs at 25-30.
There is also a market on the beach, on the right hand side. Three big rows of stands offering almost the same merchandise. Don't buy at the first one you see, go to your far right, you will find much better price. Look at what I got and what price... In Dominican Republic they have a stone called Larimar, a beautiful stone, highly price, I saw, at the Québécoise store, earring pendants at 48, bracelet at 120.
The third day, we went to see. At the first stand, good seller, he had me for a small bracelet (1/4'' wide), a pendant (1.25'') and earrings (1.25'') for 100$, which was good compare to little official stores here and there on the complex.
But I did much better on the second week, I got this marvelous bracelet (1'' wide) for 35$ and it is real stone, believe me I know stones. It took time, I really played the game, looking at it, dealing a bit (we started at 160!), retracting and going to the next stand, comparing back, showing my money holder... that's all I have. And got it. Go in the second part of the afternoon, if they will be more eager to do deal to have real money at the end of the day. And don't be fooled by they're : oh, we weren't speaking of Euros?
If you want massage and other pampering, go to your left hand side on the beach, you will find it all there. And the beauty of it all it's that you're not over bothered by sellers when you sunbath...
(I'll show you the pictures tomorrow, too tired tonight. Stay tuned!)
Update On Apr 26, 2008: Here's the pictures. The last two were taken by my friend, and shown with her permission. You can see me in the last one, first occupied table at the left. :-)