Last year was my first trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I had such an amazing time, that I seized the opportunity to go again this year. This year, I stayed at a different resort, the Melia Caribe Tropical. It was less expensive (by only about $100.00), so it was a perfect chance to check out another resort and compare the two.
Here's my friend as we exited the plane. The airport had guides who led you to the appropriate part of the airport. I was scolded for holding up the line by taking a picture. Whoopsie...
I loved these palm trees; they reminded me of fans.
Here's our villa. There were 8 rooms to each villa. It looked very European to me. The resort where I stayed last year, Iberostar Bavaro, definitely had a beach-ier look to all of the buildings.
The Melia resort was HUGE. They had trams that ran every 15 minutes, to take guests to different areas of the resort. We lucked out! Our villa was located a minute walk from the beach, pool, beach buffet and fitness center/spa!
Each morning, this was my view from the beach buffet. The food wasn't amazing, but there were plenty of choices. I normally stuck to fresh fruit, then took a cup of yogurt to the beach with me. They had really exotic flavors - guava, passion fruit and other flavors I couldn't read because I didn't recognize the names in Spanish. :-)
Every day, the super tall, athletic Russians would begin a game of beach volleyball. After I went *kayaking, I asked if I could join the game. Ok, so I played volleyball in college. I can hold my own on an indoor court. However, I absolutely cannot move in the sand. So, I did A LOT of diving. I was covered, from head to toe, in sand. And I had crazy beach hair...Exhibit A:
The resort had shows each night. One night, they performed scenes from musicals: Cabaret, Dirty Dancing, West Side Story and several more that I can't remember right now. This was a scene from Cabaret:
I can't believe that I didn't take more pictures of the ginormous pool and its swim up bar. One of my favorite bartenders was Pascual (I probably butchered the spelling of his name). He would usually entice me into drinking mamajuana, though. Mamajuana is mostly, rum, red wine and honey and is supposed to have medicinal qualities. It will make you (err, me) really loopy.
Overall, I had a great time. The staff were all very nice and accomodating. With the exception of the cleaning staff, they all spoke several languages. Even with the cleaning staff, I didn't have a problem communicating my needs to them. However, the Melia wasn't as swanky as Iberostar Bavaro. I would go back to Melia and have a good time (I'm pretty easy to please), however, given a choice, I would pay the extra money for Iberostar Bavaro.
*I rented a kayak paddled around for a few minutes, then began to have a "shark freak out..." "what if the bottom of the boat looks like food to a shark...eek..."