Let me start by answering the question I had asked myself last Saturday on arrival. Will Punta Cana live up to the standards set by my 30 year memories? Unequivocally YES!
My week here was just as magical as tge one 30 years ago from secveral perspectives. The Dominican people I encountered were as warm and hospitality focused as back then. With many more resort experiences to choose from today, in many ways the destination got better over time. Infrastructure is vastly enhanced as well, remember back in the early 90s, we didn’t know what Wifi even was and we had physical film cameras with lots of places to develop the roles into prints. The Dominican Republic did adapt and is up to the task to accommodate today’s traveler demands.
Do I recommend this destination to friends and family? YES
Stunning beaches with white sand await guests and the always perfect weather (hurricane season excluded) is a big appeal for those who want to escape winter and gray weather. This area feels more authentic to me than Cancun and the Riviera Maya in terms of Caribbean experience. My recommendation is to carefully evaluate your lodging choice to match your needs. A travel advisor will help you do that as part of the consultation.
Among the properties explored this trip and based on my overall knowledge of the competitive set, my vote goes to Club Med for it’s relentless focus on eco-minded sustainable development. From its “first in town” Punta Cana village over 30 years ago to the brand new Playa Esmeralda, Club Med has engaged the local community to build a lasting positive impact. It resonates with me and many fellow travelers whom value impactful tourism over pure profit taking.
I am glad I returned to the Dominican Republic during the tail end of this pandemic. Stay tuned for more adventures as the summer approaches and borders start to open.