First, I'd like to say that I'm very blessed and take a LOT of vacations to some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world. We take on average 10 vacations a year and without any hesitation I would say that the Tortuga Bay Resort at PuntaCana is the finest hotel and resort in the world.
From the time we stepped off the plane, to the time we stepped back on, the service was above reproach and absolutely first class all the way.
Let's start with the VIP Airport service.
We were met at the plane by a representative from the hotel, were put on a golf cart and sped past all the other travelers to the building. No walking the 200 yards across the tarmac for people staying at Tortuga Bay. Once inside the terminal, the line at customs was around 300 people long... but once again, not for us. We followed our person to the left and went directly to the front of the line. We were through customs and in baggage claim in less than 5 minutes from stepping off the plane. Our bags were the first to come off, and 3 bellmen grabbed the bags and we were headed to the van. Within 15 minutes of getting off the plane, we were in the van headed toward the resort. All of this I found out later is ONLY for guests of the Tortuga Bay Resort. To sum it up, we felt like celebrities.
Once at the hotel, about 5 minutes from the airport, we were met by our Villa Manager, who took us directly to our villa. We had a 2 bedroom suite, that was less than 100 feet from the beach. To say the least, it was very big, and VERY nice. The place was decorated by Oscar De La Renta and he clearly knows what he is doing. Our Villa Manager explained everything about the resort, and gave us a phone to call her at any time, day or night with anything we needed. We had our own golf cart the entire time we were there, which is nice. Very impressive.
For dinner, we ate at the Bamboo Restaurant, which was fantastic. The food was very good, and I recommend it. For breakfast each day, we had room service bring breakfast and each day they set it up on our patio terrace. Perfect breakfast each day. Could not ask for a better setting.
The beach is, in a word, fantastic. We traveled in June, which apparently is the low season, which works perfectly for me. The first day on the beach, we were the only ones on the entire beach, with the exception of the beach staff who was there instantly if you put your flag up and would bring you anything you wanted. The bluest, calmest water I've ever seen. Truly a postcard. The beach water was in my opinion better than Hawaii, The Bahamas, or anywhere else in the Caribbean. Very calm, no waves, which is completely different than other parts of the island where the water and waves are very rough. The next few days there were other people on the beach, but never more than 10 at one time. The beach is long too, so you always felt like it was more of a private beach. If we had owned the beach ourselves, it could not have been more private. Perfect.
Any time we wanted to go somewhere all we had to do was call the Villa Manager and she would arrange for the driver to take us anywhere we want. We went to the Hard Rock Casino, which was about 40 minutes away. Nice casino and we won, which made it even nicer. When we were ready to leave, we just called the Villa Manager and she sent the driver back out to pick us up. Very nice. As a note, there is also a Hard Rock Cafe, but it is not at the Hard Rock Hotel. It's in a very nice mall called the Palma Real Shopping Village, which is a great place to shop on the island.
I would recommend taking your golf cart over to the Playa Blanco restaurant on the resort as well. We had lunch there and it was really good, and the setting, once again, was fantastic.
Golf. Played Golf at the Corales Golf Club, which was a phenomenal course. I've played the best courses in the world including every course at Pebble Beach, Trump National in Los Angelese, Pelican Hill, Kapalua in Maui and all of the top courses in Cabo San Lucas. The Corales Golf Course is one of the best courses I have ever played. The entire property there is not a blade of grass out place. The greens were fast and perfect, without a brown spot on any of them Perfect fairways, perfect greens and perfect setting. A lot of the holes are directly on the water, but even the ones that are not on the water, you can still see the water at all times. Love the contrast between the perfect green grass and the bluest water. The best part, once again, it's the low season, so I was literally the only player, on the entire course. If I had owned the course, I could not have been more alone. The only exception being the caddie, who did a fantastic job of explaining the holes, and letting me know exactly where to hit the ball and how hard. Shot a 79.
From a business standpoint, the internet was fast and worked very well. I am an Internet Entrepreneur and fast wifi is a must for me, and the resort wifi was perfect.
One thing that I would highly recommend is that you take the Nature Walk to the Spring Fed Lagoons on the resort property. It says it's a nature hike, but it's really a very nice path cut through the brush, to a VERY COOL lagoon. There is a nice wood deck around the lagoon, including a jump off about 8 feet above the water. The water is so clear that you cannot tell where the water starts looking down. Very secluded and very nice, and the water is nice and cold, which is nice after the walk. The entire walk is level, takes about 10 minutes and anyone could do it with ease.
VIP Airport Service Going Back to the Airport.
The Villa Manager finds out when you arrive when your departing flight is, and arranges everything. They let you know exactly what time they will pick you up at your villa, and they were there exactly on time. Took the bags and loaded them in the van and we were off to the airport. Once at the airport, we were met again by a representative, that took us past the line at the Airline Check In, straight to the front and within a few minutes of leaving the van, we had our boarding passes in hand. We were then escorted past the long line at security to a private area that had it's own metal detector, x ray machine etc. No line at all, and we were through security in just a few minutes. A note about the airport, it is an open air airport, so in June, it's hot. But not for us. We were escorted past everyone else waiting for their flights to a Private VIP Club, that was about 3000 square feet, was air conditioned, had leather couches, TV's a bar, private bathrooms and was really nice. Once again, we were the only people in this club. Imagine that there are hundreds of people sitting in chairs in the airport, sweating and being hot, and we are sitting ALONE, in a large air conditioned, very nicely decorated club, sitting on leather chairs, watching TV and waiting for the flight. When the flight was ready to board, we were once again placed on a Golf Cart and driven directly to the plane. Everyone else walked the 200 yards to the plane. We were on the plane 10 minutes before anyone else. Once again, we felt like celebrities, which I imagine is exactly who this hotel and the VIP Airport Service was built for.
Note: The VIP Airport Service is ONLY for people staying at the Tortuga Bay Resort at PuntaCana. It doesn't cost any more, it's just part of the experience of the resort. This ALONE is an amazing service and is reason alone to stay at Tortuga Bay.
Everyone and everything that we encountered the entire time we were at the resort was very nice and first class all the way. If you are looking for a fantastic vacation experience, then I would highly recommend the Tortuga Bay resort at PuntaCana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Find yourself in the jewel of the Caribbean. The only AAA Five Diamond Awarded property of the luxury Dominican republic hotels, Tortuga Bay offers responsible luxury, impeccable service and villas with interiors designed by the world-famous Oscar de la Renta. As a Tortuga Bay guest, our friendly, professional staff has every detail taken care of from the moment you touch down at our own Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). Our VIP Service will whisk you through customs to a private car that has been awaiting your arrival. After a brief ride through the lush and vibrant Dominican scenery, your personal concierge will welcome you, check you in at your villa and provide you with your own golf cart for convenient travel throughout the resort. Located in a private enclave within the resort, this boutique hotel includes 13 luxurious beachfront Dominican Republic villas offering unrivaled luxury, privacy, security and five-star service. Guests may choose from a variety of accommodations: 1 bedroom junior suites, 2 bedroom suites, 3 or 4 bedroom villas, all situated along a private white sand beach, with every convenience within easy reach. ... more less
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