In February, I brought 4 couples on a 5 day stay at the Westin Puntacana in the Dominican Republic. I worked to arrange the trip with the group department for a golf package. We were originally supposed to stay at Tortuga Bay (Oscar de la Renta’s boutique hotel that is a leading hotel of the world), but there was a mix up in our reservation and we had no choice but to stay at the Westin. Needless to say, I had very low expectations going into the trip with the original confusion in hotel. After my 5 day stay, I can’t wait to go back.
#1- if you are an experienced traveler going to the Caribbean, you know that service is going to be slow. (Bring a book and take a deep breath.)
#2- the staff is excellent. I am always shocked, arriving to Spanish speaking tourist friendly destinations, with the amount of English widely spoken. We have far less English spoken in Miami, Florida. Many people reviewed the service was bad. However, I was shocked with how rude some guests were with the staff. Speaking slow and loudly doesn’t generally get your point across any better. Again, I was impressed with the English spoken by the help.
#3- I had a room on the 4th floor and my wifi was variable, but mostly worked whenever I needed it. Guests complained about the wi-fi on some of the reviews.
Upon arrival to PUJ, they greeted us with the VIP airport service. This is a must! They whiz you through security and customs to be on your way quickly. We were able to play 9 holes after arriving with enough daylight to spare. Check-in, was a little slow, but again you’re in the Caribbean what do you expect.
The rooms were amazing. There is a defined entry way where it is convenient to keep golf club travel bags. To the left of the entry is a closet that I would like to re-create in my home. I believe it was built to make travelers feel so comfortable they wouldn’t want to go home. They even thought of the small details- such as a full length mirror in the closet and the safe, actually built into the wooden closet. (This always makes me feel comfortable with leaving my valuables locked up.) On the other side of the entry way is the large bedroom and bathroom. My two favorite parts of a Westin- the heavenly bed and the blackout shades!
As for the food, we had a Golf Package that included unlimited food and drink anywhere on property and boy was it worth it. Our group had a wonderful time. We ate and drank until we were blue in the face. The Brassa Grill had a fanstastic dinner arranged for our reservation. They gave us the option of family style, which would give us multiple appetizers and main entrees to try. It turned out to be fantastic. Playa Blanca was a nice dinner option, but opt to walk rather than take the shuttle- it is only 5 minutes, but bring your phone flashlight to watch for the ropes on the beach. Our favorite lunch was at the La Cana clubhouse, sitting next to the pool and overlooking the beach. My favorite was the shrimp egg rolls. The last night of our trip we went to Bamboo, the restaurant at Tortuga Bay. It is a romantic, gourmet option.
The golf is spectacular in Punta Cana. Corales might be in the best shape of any course I’ve ever played. (Disclosure- I’m a golf professional) And Punta Espada is breath taking. My only issue with golf in Punta Cana- I’m too intrigued to take pictures that I sometimes forget to take time with my golf shots.
If you’ve never been to the Dominican Republic for golf- I would highly suggest staying at the Westin or Tortuga Bay and playing Corales, La Cana and going to Cap Cana for Punta Espada. What a trip! Can’t wait to return! Thank you exceeding all of our expectations.