I had no idea what to expect when I heard we would be traveling to the Dominican Republic. I had never been anywhere tropical, nowhere south of San Diego, and had never been to a completely all-inclusive resort. To say that I was in for a treat is a severe understatement.
Our trip to Punta Cana was a working holiday (as John was on the clock) but having just that slice of Caribbean heaven for 4 days and 3 nights was enough to make me want to return, and constantly pine for that white sand between my toes.
The Melia Caribe Tropical is a part of the Melia group which operates hundreds of resorts around the globe. We were checked into their “Royal Service” side, which goes above and beyond the regular all-inclusive amenities. The Royal Service area has its own pool, bar, restaurant, beach, beach-side bar, and guests have a butler service. Our room service was also included as well as the welcome basket of fruit and a selection of drinks and bottles was supplied.
Our villa was amazing, the service was phenomenal, and each person we encountered at the resort went above and beyond to ensure our stay was as pleasant as possible.
We had dinner with Scarlet Garcia, a manager at the resort, and she said that they try to please every sense at Melia. We noticed the soft decorations, soothing sounds, and even strategically-placed scents in every doorway. The Gabi Club restaurant smelled of a spiced citrus while our room had cinnamon aromatherapy accents. The ashtrays were monogrammed, the towels in the bathroom were rolled up with fresh-cut flowers, and (although we didn’t take advantage of it) we had a pillow menu for our sleep each night. Even during our meal music began to play and 3 pairs of dancers glided into the restaurant for what was like a ballroom flash-mob that lasted just a few minutes before they ran off again.
“Meticulous” is the word I promised to use when describing the thought and detail that goes into the guest’s experience at the Melia Caribe. They even used CFL (compact fluorescent lights) in their outdoor and indoor lighting, and instead of blasting Air Conditioning at every corner, many lobby bars and public spaces had large fans to wave in the cooler air.
The resort’s greenspace was equally impressive, with hundreds of palm trees, ponds, creeks, foliage, flowers, and more varieties of birds that I could name on two hands.
When we took a late evening dip in the ocean (after the beach house bar had closed) a security guard brought us towels even though we were prepared to air-dry. When we ate at the lunch buffet for lunch at Gabi, our server Juan brought us a special non-buffet dessert for me and my Juan. When we chose to explore a few of the dozen restaurants on-site, we enjoyed traditional Dominican cuisine, and some of the best guacamole at the Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda (although I still can’t compare it to my mother in law’s or Keiras… but it was really close).
We were pampered beyond expectation since as I said, I had no idea what was in store. It was a treat, it was decadent, and we definitely made sure to give away plenty of tips to the hard-working individuals that made our stay so special.
I’m sure we had an extra special experience thanks to the nature of our visit, and the Royal Service bracelets on our wrists, but regardless the Dominican is one spectacular place. The people who live and work at the resort made things pleasant however it was being away with my husband and spending that time with him that made it that much better.
The air was hot and thick, the water was clear and warm, and my heart swelled so much from the beauty of this place and all the kindness around us that I shed tears when it came time to leave.
As we sit here back in Vancouver this morning, sipping some delicious shade-grown 100% Dominican coffee, we have come to a decision. John and I are officially ready to take the plunge and begin raising a baby… palm tree. Our plant Oscar didn’t make it through last winter and we’ve decided to try and grow a small palm to remind us each day that we definitely need to visit the Dominican again in the future.
Related post: You can read all of my posts from Punta Cana here & also check out John’s update from our trip over on his site.