I should begin by saying that I am IN LOVE with that place!
I first went to Club Med Punta Cana in March of this year for a short stay with a few work colleagues as a company incentive. Having never been to a sunshine destination before, I wasn't too sure what to expect, and to tell the truth, as I'm not a big fan of tanning on the beach all day long, I was afraid I'd be bored... I couldn't have been more wrong!
As soon as we arrived, I was charmed by the beauty of this tropical paradise. The property is surrounded by lush vegetation, and all of the walkways take you through beautiful gardens, which are tended to by the staff with meticulous care. It's a feast for the senses to be surrounded by all of those vividly colored exotic flowers, to hear the lovely singing of local birds, and smell the sea breeze which pleasantly cools the extremely humid climate.
The village itself is beautifully designed. I have seen some pictures of how it looked before its big renovations about 5 years ago, and let me tell you that it has received significant improvements! Everything is built to reflect a natural, local feel, but with some stylish, classical upgrades. The reception is my favorite place in the village. It is big and airy, with comfortable furniture and nice artworks. The enormous lamps make this large open space a real sight to behold when they are all lit up at night. Cielo bar, by the pool, is another of my favorite areas of the village, as much for its nice architecture as for its relaxed atmosphere and its purpose as a gathering place for different activities, all throughout the day. Céleste bar & snack bar, right by the beach, is a nice and quiet place to unwind during the day. Every night after the show, however, Céleste is at the heart of the party as the nightclub. Even though it's a family destination, you'll still find lots of enthusiastic party-goers to talk, laugh and dance with until 2:00 in the morning, G.M.s and G.O.s alike!
There are always activities going on somewhere in the village, at any time. Some are daily, some weekly, and some are random, like a beach barbecue. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or are simply looking forward to relax, you will always find some action or some quiet spot to live out your vacation dreams. I myself am not very involved in sports and group activities, but I make sure to always be around the heart of the action, because ambiance is the very essence of Club Med, and that's why I love it.
The swimming pool is HUGE, and far from boring. There is a shallow end for the kids, and a deeper end for the adults (although you can still stand up without fear of being completely submerged). The beach is long enough, and very wide. There are no parasols, but lots of palm trees provide shade if you're looking for it. The water is always warm and a beautiful, transparent turquoise. There are no dangerous sea creatures anywhere near the limits of the swimmable area, and aside from an occasional crab on the beach and a school of fish swimming by now and then, there's only you and your fellow G.M.s.
The two restaurants, Hispaniola and Samana, are both buffet-style for every meal. Each has its charm :
Samana is located in the center of the village, so it is convenient when you don't want to get too far away from the heart of the action. It has a modern design with beautiful decorations, and they transform it in spectacular ways night after night to fit the theme. ...It is the place to be on "Gala Night", with its chocolate fountain and refined foods. Oh, and it also has an ice cream dispenser, which will make every kid (and adult) happy!
Contrarily to the glamorous Samana, Hispaniola is a tribute to nature and tropical freshness. It is a huge, open restaurant built almost entirely out of wood, with lots of charming details. Is there anything better than having breakfast by the ocean? It is quite beautiful at night as well, especially if you can manage to get a table on the terrace. Since it's open to the outside, birds are free to come and go. But as long as you don't leave your plate unattended, they won't cause you any worries. If anything, they make some entertaining companions and bring the songs of nature to the inside.
The food itself is amazing! There is always enough variety so that even the most picky diners are sure to find something to fit their tastes. Quantity and quality. So go ahead and try new foods! Every day has a different theme, to ensure that you won't find the same exact foods day after day and grow bored of it. The many chefs' specialties are always a feast for both your mouth and your eyes, because they also put a lot of effort into presentation. If you are to listen to any piece of advice, let it be this one : try the white chocolate bread!
The evening shows are creative and very entertaining. Although we each have our favorites, the circus show is an absolute must-see. Club Med Punta Cana is blessed with an amazing circus team, people who operate the sports stations during the day and party late into the night, and still find the time to train and rehearse their acts to wow us with their professional grade acrobatic skills and sheer strength, often in perilous situations. I have no idea where they find the energy for this, but from the bottom of my heart, congrats to you, guys, and keep going! Club Med's rendition of "The Wizard of Oz" is also very creative, and will definitely entertain young, old, and everyone in-between alike.
A Club Med vacation is all-inclusive. They offer a great range of known cocktails, and even some of their own invention. I particularly like the "Club Med Dream". They also have a "no tipping" policy, so although it may feel a bit strange at first to get up from your table and just leave, or to order a drink at the bar and walk away with it, it's actually very convenient and will make you save on stress, time and money.
And of course, it is impossible to mention Club Med without speaking of the G.O.s. Those dedicated, highly motivated employees who will always do everything in their power to ensure that you have the best possible vacation of your life. The "no tipping" policy especially reinforces the relationship between G.M.s and G.O.s, in a way that couldn't be possible in other hotels. G.O.s are nice, sociable and helpful simply because...they just are! That makes all the difference in the world between them, and employees of other hotels who will often help you without being asked in hope of getting a bigger tip. When you stay at Club Med, you live in community with other G.M.s, and also with the G.O.s. The latter may often come sit and eat with you, if you'll let them, and there, you may just have met a new friend! My advice to all future G.M.s is to open your little private bubble, and let the place and the people get to you.
I fell in love with the place back in March, and had the time of my life. ...I was literally pulled out of my shell there, and learned to enjoy myself like never before, so that place has a special meaning for me. I wanted to go back as soon as possible, so I took a week of vacation early in June and returned there with my best friend. I wanted to share that amazing destination with a person that I love, and to make some great memories together. Even though the village was now familiar to me, I was still charmed as much as the first time when we (finally!) arrived, and I was happy that it wowed my friend as well. It was his first Club Med experience, and I was able to guide him into enjoying it to the fullest.
As far as the rooms go, I've only ever stayed in Club Family Rooms, and found them quite nice. The décor is simple and fresh, a combination of modern and tropical. The beds are really comfortable. Heck, I sleep better over there than I do at home! Every room has a balcony, which is very convenient to dry towels and bathing suits, and also lets you enjoy the outdoors while you're getting ready for a great day or a glamorous evening. The water temperature in the shower can't be controlled. I would describe it as "medium cool". It feels wonderfully refreshing when you're coming in from the humidity outside, and sure helps you wake up when you've just slept a whole night with the air conditioning on! The closet is big and each room has an ironing kit. It may sound silly, but personally I'm a big fan of the wood-imitation tiling in the bathroom. It's just lovely and again brings that natural feel.
Going to the same place twice in such a short time, I was curious to make comparisons. Any changes I've noticed in June, in the way the village operates, were actually an improvement from how things were back in March. Early June was low season compared to the big Spring Break rush of March, and the village was only at 50% capacity. I must say that, altogether, things were a little quieter, but also more relaxed. We still had a wonderful time. It might be good to note, though, that during low season, the two restaurants open at alternate times, instead of being open at the same time for every meal. This is understandable, and either restaurant was easily able to provide enough room and food for everybody. There were G.O.s that I already knew from my last visit, and many new faces as well. It was nice to meet old and new friends. The G.O.s have an amazing memory, because some to whom I had never even spoken remembered seeing me around a few months earlier! The CDV (Chef du Village / manager) of Club Med Punta Cana was the same during both of my stays. Barq is very friendly and welcoming. During the day you'll see him touring the village, greeting G.M.s and making sure that everything runs smoothly. In the evening, he hosts the show and, often, the post-show dances as well, giving his 100% to make sure that everybody is having a great time. He may be the only CDV I know, but in my book, he's the best. The same thing goes for the village. I've adopted Club Med Punta Cana and feel right at home there. I have no doubt that other Club Med villages must be quite interesting as well, but as long as I've got G.O. friends to go back to and am not tired of the place, I will continue going to this Dominican paradise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Dominican Republic in this all-inclusive family resort, designed over a long white-sand beach, considered to be the finest in the world. Travel to Club Med Punta Cana with your family and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this resort which flourishes beside a lagoon surrounded by magnificent grove of coconut palms. Fun moments filled with memories await your kids at Club Med world-famous children's clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers from morning to evening, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. This newly redesigned resort has something for everyone, with amenities such as: Baby Club Med™*, a new Spa* with private pool access, exclusive private Oceanfront Family Suites, new dedicated programs for Mini Club Med™ including Le Petit Tennis(R), circus school and Baby Gym(R), Passworld for teens, and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Club Med
- Club Med Dominican Republic