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The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo
In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resorts–one of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.
After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.
Except now, RIU is.
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Starwood Hotels continues their global expansion by opening the 124-room Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana on September 28th, the first US-based, internationally-branded hotel to open in the Dominican Republic.
This is the newest addition to the Puntacana Village, which is designed to be a tranquil community with all the services and amenities of an urban area. The village includes a mix of both residential and commercial real estate, an international school, a retail and dining galleria, churches, financial institutions, medical centers, gyms, and, now, a Four Points by Sheraton. The hotel hopes to attract both business and leisure travelers with its low rates (starting at $96 a night) and location.
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Another day, another hotel called Eden Roc. We're not kidding. But this plush new, all-suites property in the Cap Cana area of the Dominican Republic is a lot fancier than its U.S. namesake, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
Time will tell if it can become as legendary as its French namesake, Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc (a celeb and Lagerfeld fave).
What we can tell you is that Eden Roc at Cap Cana brings a new level of luxury to the area (and gets you far, far away from the party-happy scene in Punta Cana so beloved by reality TV stars).
The first 12 suites opened amid lush landscaping earlier this month, although the rest of the suites (some of them bigger than your house) and the resort's restaurants will be unveiled in October, as a more official grand opening. Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of the candy-colored exteriors peeking through palm trees and can attest to the generous size of even the entry-level suites.
Back in April of 2010, we posited that hotels producing their own honey was becoming a trend; in fact we offered three hotels already doing their own beekeeping and honeymaking, then added a fourth: the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
This week, the LA Times finally catches on and notes that now Montage Deer Valley, Carmel Valley Ranch and more Fairmont Hotels join the sweet list. Well, we've got yet more to add and it benefits from the addition of some celebrity names wrapped up in the beekeeping spree: Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta.
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Hotel Indigo San Diego
It's hard to believe that Memorial Day is next weekend. If it snuck up on you and you haven't made any holiday plans, don't worry, it's not too late for a getaway. There are still some hotel deals to be had.
Travelzoo is offering a bunch of Memorial weekend hotel rooms at slashed prices. Here are a couple of the highlights:
If you love men who love banana hammocks and speedos, you'll want to head to the Barceló Punta Cana Resort. The Dominican Republic hotel will be full of hard-bodied, tan men when it hosts the finale of this year's Mr. Universe pageant.
You will be able to see the ripped guys flexing their muscles and strutting on the catwalk at the all-inclusive hotel from May 10 to 14. Given that the Barceló Punta Cana sits on the water, you may also be able to "accidentally" run into a few of the muscular contestants at the beach.
Are you champing at the bit to get down to the Dominican Republic and party like a rock star on the beach? Well, you'll be able to in a few weeks, if the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana is to be believed. The massive complex of 121 acres, boasting more swimming pools than you can count on two hands and almost as many theme clubs and lounges, soft opens to guests on November 1, with it's official grand opening coming next spring.
It's an all-inclusive resort, of course, even though it's the first all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel. There'll be photobooths and live performances all over the place, just be sure to budget for some extra playing in the "Vegas-style casino," which will have 457 slots and 40 tables.
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You know how it is when you check into a hotel and you're so tired, so desperate to just have a private place to lay down and relax? You do a quick little look around the room and the bathroom, and perhaps there's a couple cute little flowers placed on the freshly folded towels, but you never expect flowers to also be floating in the toilet, do you?
This is something we encountered for the first time ever last week, at the Puntacana Resort in the Dominican Republic. We lifted up the toilet lid and saw something in the toilet bowl, but happily they were only the little pink flowers you see pictured above. A cute gesture...or is it?
Have you ever been greeted by flowers in the hotel room's toilet? What hotel had them? Perhaps it's just an island thing, but we're curious to see just how widespread this practice is, and if it grosses out anyone else. Let us know in the comments!
Full Disclosure: We were in the DR thanks to Jetblue and the Dominican Republic Board of Tourism. But rest assured that we worked more than swam, and all views expressed here are our own.
HotelChatter Reviews / Dominican Republic Hotels / Fashion Hotels / Punta Cana Hotels / Oscar de la Renta / Caribbean Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Now that we've already taken you inside of the exclusive, Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, it's about time to show you around the grounds, since this hotel has access to almost every bit of the PUNTACANA complex, aside from the residences where Oscar de la Renta, Julio Iglesias and Mikhail Baryshnikov live.
Bamboo Restaurant: Tortuga Bay is not an all-inclusive resort, as they like giving you the freedom to go and eat at local restaurants, but what is included is a continental breakfast buffet in the de la Renta-designed Bamboo Restaurant. It also serves lunch, dinner and drinks poolside, if you don't desire to leave the hotel.
Ojos Indigenas Ecological Park: Hop in the golf cart that comes with your room to drive 5 minutes down the beach to this 1,500-acre protected ecological park, where there is a hiking trail and eleven natural freshwater pools (some of which you can swim). It's completely free, and you can see more pictures and details on it here.
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There's a reason that the Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay hotel in Punta Cana, Dominica Republic has a perfect five-star rating on TripAdvisor, and that reason is some of the most excellent hotel service that can be had anywhere. From picking you up from your flight right on the tarmac, as if you had arrived by private plane, to getting you tee times at one of the world's most exclusive golf courses, Tortuga can easily go beyond your greatest expectations.
We go inside of it, after the jump
Perhaps Beyoncé travels with a supply of throws.
We’re getting slightly
jealous bored of these celeb-filled hotel launch parties at the moment, but we also like our lodgings to come with a little sprinkling of stardust. Luckily, Beyoncé has helped us out this week with the bash she threw at the weekend in honour of Jay Z’s 40th birthday.
She flew 50 of his mates (including Diddy, Oprah, Kate Hudson and A-Rod, Kanye and Amber Rose and Alicia Keys) out on private jets to the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic.
The theme was old-style gangster. There were two dance floors. There were fireworks. There was Alicia duetting with the birthday boy. There were even synchronized swimmers.
We haven't quite reached our 40th birthday yet, but when we do, a bit of a renovation will probably be just what we need. That was the same thought the Puntacana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic had. They're celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and have been having some major refurbishments done, which are due to be all tidied up by the end of this week.
The Puntacana Hotel has spruced up all of its 186 rooms. There are now flat screen TVs throughout, new paint and bedding, and it's looking nice and fresh.
Refurbished doesn't mean more expensive: they've still got some good deals going. If you book online at their website, you can pay from $96 for the "new" rooms including breakfast. There seem to be plenty of rooms available at the $96 rate, right through until December 18.