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Dominican Rep - Hols Advice

Anybody been?

Tips/Advice/Warnings greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Comments

  • Make sure you stay on the Caribbean side of the island not the Atlantic
  • Sand fleas are a bastard, don't venture out of the resort
  • We did the atlantic side. It's okay, but windy, and the sea was quite lively at times. The carribbean side is probably better.

    July was too hot and sticky. I'm told high season is the winter months.
  • edited February 2016
    Went to Punta Cana last May and didn't like it at all. Full of gobby, loud septics getting pissed on the AI cocktails. This was a Secrets adult resort and the pool area was more like a war zone in the afternoon. As said above, the hygiene standards are poor. I have guts of steel and they beat me...
    The locals are all on the make and not shy about it either. It put me off ever going back to the Caribbean. Plenty of other places I can relax and enjoy.

    Oh, and have a close look at Trip Advisor reviews. They have a culture of asking guests if they enjoyed themselves and the sitting them down with an ipad and walking them through a 5* review. Just ignore all the reviewers with a single review and you'll get a more realistic score.
  • Don't let the Dominican republic turn you off the Caribbean. It is the cheap option.
  • Have been to the Dominican 3 times, twice in Punta Cana. I would strongly recommend this area especially Bavaro. Best hotel I stayed in was the Iberostar Bavaro. Reasonably priced for the caribbean, friendly people, can have rain showers during rainy season July-November, but never bothered me as it is still warm. Last time went with Thomson on their Dreamliner, very comfortable plane and best individual seat entertainment I have ever had. Sorry for Stone's reviews above, nothing like my experiences
  • Bavaro is nice
  • Dominican Republic isn't an island.
  • looking at going next year around may time, good time to go??, also want somewhere all inclusive that has a reasonable amount to do i'm alright lazing around but after a day or so i get bored, so anywhere with golf course/ casino is a plus. had a look online the hard rock looks impressive but looks v big and don't know whether that's a good thing. any advice or recomendations would be welcomed, cheers
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  • DR is ok if you are looking for relatively cheap all inclusive. Beaches are nothing special but if you are just looking to lounge by the pool and drink tropical drinks then it will work. As with the AI destinations (Mexico/Jamaica) there are a ton of resorts - some good and some bad. There are much better Caribbean islands like St. John, Turks, grand cayman if you are looking for fantastic beaches, clear ocean etc but these are more expensive and not all inclusive
  • Palarsehater - not much to do in DR. Some water sports and couple of decent excursions. Much more to do on the riviera maya in mexico if you are looking all inclusive.
  • Best place I've ever been to, loved it. Stayed at Catalonia Bavaro, last August. Very French/Spanish heavy though, usually when I go away there's loads of English but I'd say there were 2 other English groups, max.

    The weather is something I've never experienced before, the heat is unbelievable.

    Go to coco bongo, the most surreal experience you'll go through, absolute quality
  • cheers chaps
  • Going This Saturday to Dom Rep resort called Puerto plata ---so will let you know ... also been to Mexico someone mentioned riviera maya ( great ) add to that Playacar -Wonderful beach food and weather --
  • jdsd42 said:

    Going This Saturday to Dom Rep resort called Puerto plata ---so will let you know ... also been to Mexico someone mentioned riviera maya ( great ) add to that Playacar -Wonderful beach food and weather --

    Hope you enjoy, went to Puerto Plata the first time I went to Dom Rep and was told to go to Punta Cana next time as it is better, after doing so, TWICE, I have to agree. Still enjoyed Puerto Plata so hopefully you will have a good time
  • I quite liked it. Relatively cheap for the Caribbean with not a whole lot to do but if you're happy lounging in the sun it's a good destination. If you're looking at DR it might be worth checking out Mexico (Riviera Mayo just outside of Cancun). Dare I say it similar, but with much more to do outside of the resort.

    If you do go to DR order a visa from their embassy before you leave. Watching a plane full of people caught without and joining a massive queue whilst we walked straight through was incredibly satisfying.



  • Blimey some real negative views of Dom Rep....we went in 1991 to Sosua and really had a great time....maybe it's gone down hill since then....was a while ago.
  • ross1 said:

    jdsd42 said:

    Going This Saturday to Dom Rep resort called Puerto plata ---so will let you know ... also been to Mexico someone mentioned riviera maya ( great ) add to that Playacar -Wonderful beach food and weather --

    Hope you enjoy, went to Puerto Plata the first time I went to Dom Rep and was told to go to Punta Cana next time as it is better, after doing so, TWICE, I have to agree. Still enjoyed Puerto Plata so hopefully you will have a good time
    Sosua down the road from Puerto Plata was fine, got the impression that Puerto Plata was a tad purpose built. Don't think Punta Cana existed when we were there though the sister in law enjoyed it a couple of years ago.
  • jdsd42 said:

    Going This Saturday to Dom Rep resort called Puerto plata ---so will let you know ... also been to Mexico someone mentioned riviera maya ( great ) add to that Playacar -Wonderful beach food and weather --

    We went there about ten years ago. I hope you have you have a better time than we did. I will never go back but there were plenty of people there enjoying themselves so it was probably more me .
    All inclusive and drink as much as you can with hot humid weather holidays are not for me.
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  • +1 for Riviera Maya over Cancun if Mexico is an option.

    We done two weeks out there in May 2015, had the first week in the Moon Palace at Cancun and the second at the Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen. We really wasn't a fan of being stuck in a huge resort like the Moon Palace. Plenty to do but it felt like we were captive as it was like a 15 min drive just to get to the reception from the front gate.

    The Playacar was infinitely better. Smaller, more friendly staff, excellent service. The food was good, not brilliant but more than edible. The only thing with Mexico is that the hotels seems to cater for the American's more than any other. Fried food, food laden with salt and sugar, even the lager tastes like its got 4 spoonfuls of sugar in it. Lovely hotel though , stunning beach, loads to do locally. The best thing was that the centre of Playa del Carmen is literally a 5 min walk from the front door of the hotel. The freedom to come and go as we pleased was great. Plenty of designer shops in PdC to cater for the ladies to keep them occupied. You name it, it was there. Some great options for excursions, get the ferry over to Cozumel to see the turtles, can go swimming with dolphins just down the coast, Chicken Pizza (Chichen Itza) is well worth a trip on the coach but bare in mind it is bloody hot there being inland.
  • Went once to Puerta Plata. Didnt like it at all. Tried again in different resort couple of years later...and we won't be going back to the DR.

    Others swear by it though and I'm a right fussy git with a low tolerance threshold for resorts full of loud, drunken, tattooed, Northern yobs and their offensive missus'. I'd say definitely go 5* if you can afford it to filter out at least some of the chavvy Mancs.
  • JohnBoyUK said:

    +1 for Riviera Maya over Cancun if Mexico is an option.

    We done two weeks out there in May 2015, had the first week in the Moon Palace at Cancun and the second at the Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen. We really wasn't a fan of being stuck in a huge resort like the Moon Palace. Plenty to do but it felt like we were captive as it was like a 15 min drive just to get to the reception from the front gate.

    The Playacar was infinitely better. Smaller, more friendly staff, excellent service. The food was good, not brilliant but more than edible. The only thing with Mexico is that the hotels seems to cater for the American's more than any other. Fried food, food laden with salt and sugar, even the lager tastes like its got 4 spoonfuls of sugar in it. Lovely hotel though , stunning beach, loads to do locally. The best thing was that the centre of Playa del Carmen is literally a 5 min walk from the front door of the hotel. The freedom to come and go as we pleased was great. Plenty of designer shops in PdC to cater for the ladies to keep them occupied. You name it, it was there. Some great options for excursions, get the ferry over to Cozumel to see the turtles, can go swimming with dolphins just down the coast, Chicken Pizza (Chichen Itza) is well worth a trip on the coach but bare in mind it is bloody hot there being inland.

    Stayed in Playa Del Carman for 5/6 nights (as part of a wider trip around Mexico) enjoyed it, small hotel opposite the beach, just around the corner from the bus station.
  • Went Sosua - wasnt greatest to be honest.
    Not much going on outside the hotel compared to other holidays.

    maybe Puerto Cana is better.

    Mexico / Cancun much better in my opinion.
  • I quite liked it. Relatively cheap for the Caribbean with not a whole lot to do but if you're happy lounging in the sun it's a good destination. If you're looking at DR it might be worth checking out Mexico (Riviera Mayo just outside of Cancun). Dare I say it similar, but with much more to do outside of the resort.

    If you do go to DR order a visa from their embassy before you leave. Watching a plane full of people caught without and joining a massive queue whilst we walked straight through was incredibly satisfying.



    Hahahah yes, we did this and smugly wandered through
  • I did a two week backpack trip around the Dom Rep several years ago. We did spend a couple of nights in an all-inclusive but this was well outside the major tourist areas and eating breakfast near Sosua one morning we were joined by an English couple who were glad to get out of their all-inclusive resort. They give you this crap that it's dangerous to venture outside; absolute BS!

    Santa Domingo is worth a visit if you're staying anywhere near there. We were fortunate to be there during the annual merengue festival, their equivalent of Carnival. Most all-inclusivers wouldn't have had a clue it was going on.

    For many, Dom Rep is the Caribbean all-inclusive on the cheap but get away from the resorts and you'll find a much more authentic travel experience.
  • MrOneLung said:

    Went Sosua - wasnt greatest to be honest.
    Not much going on outside the hotel compared to other holidays.

    maybe Puerto Cana is better.

    Mexico / Cancun much better in my opinion.

    Had loads of restaurants and bars back in the early 90's....but this was destroyed by the 'all inclusive' packages that became popular from around 2000 onwards...destroyed many small local businesses.
  • I did Mexico the year after DR. We were in the same sort of resort we were in DR but there was loads more to see and do. I'd prefer to be somewhere you can walk around freely, but I had a good time. Mrs Shabby likes crossing the Atlantic, I like somwhere with a bit of history. Mexico was quite a good mix, Dominican Republic wasn't so much.
  • Take in a baseball match or two if possible. Amazing events. Local minibus taxis full of friendly locals will get you to and from the games.
    Toros!
  • What's the point? If you're going to go AI and just stay on the resort all the time and get pissed go to Spain or somewhere else 'local'! You may as well be anywhere.
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