I’m currently, quite thoroughly, enjoying cabana life as I write to you. Sadly, I’m just now learning that the resort cabanas are about 1,000% more comfortable than the hotel room beds. Oh well. I really shouldn’t complain, so instead, I’ll give you a recap of our final night, morning, and thoughts on the DR …
The Riu Resort and the Palace Macao
The overall resort itself was lovely, with great service and pretty good food. We were able to check out three of the five hotel areas and pools in the resort. Each one is a little different, as one is more kid-focused, another is adults only, others are even more luxurious than where we stayed. I’ll definitely do more research about the type of resort before I book an all-inclusive in the future, particularly around the service, amenities, food, and people.
The bartenders are wonderful guys. Only one tip: ask for a double, otherwise, your drink will be pretty watered down. Oh, and Mama Juana … it’s a well-known aphrodisiac. You’ve been warned. And it now explains a lot.
I never envy these resorts when it comes to food, as it can be a pretty polarizing thing, particularly regarding what’s good v. not so good. And with literally thousands of palates to appeal to, it’s no easy job. But I’ve been to my fair share of all-inclusives, some that do amazing food, others that don’t. My review of what we ate: the Japanese restaurant was awful on all accounts, but the fusion and Italian places were decent. We never made it to the steakhouse, but heard mixed reviews about it. The main buffet had a ton of offerings, so it’s hard to not find something you’ll like. I’ve personally eaten my heart’s content of yuca, avocados, chilaquiles, crossaints, and pineapple these past few days, so as I enjoy my last few hours in the sun, I’m leaving the Dominican Republic with a full belly and even fuller and warmer soul.
A fun last night of dancing … and more dancing
After grabbing a decent dinner at the Italian resort restaurant, we walked around the massive resort to see some of the other Riu hotels. We semi-crashed a wedding and danced on the beach before heading to the resort dance club to top off the night, where Gucci was “patiently” waiting for me … along with a bunch of 18-year olds who were there for their senior trip. Gucci assured me he’s viejo (old) and not a fan of las ninas (young girls). Regardless, it was pretty funny to see their relatively virginal eyes pop wide open due the shenanigans taking place in the very much adults only night club.
One guy spotted Krystal from the other night and literally ran after her as we walked into the club. While Dominican men are nothing short of sexy, they, for the most part, venture on the aggressive side in how they approach women. They’re direct and … well, direct. While I appreciate directness, it takes confidence and a strong sense of self (and boundaries) to counter their assertiveness. Regardless, we had a fun night filled with a lot of dancing and practicing our Spanish. On a side note, I was shocked to learn that Gucci has 24 brothers and sisters and was recruited and signed to play baseball for the Yankees (he showed me his team card because I definitely wasn’t buying most of what he was telling me). If you know much about baseball, you know that some of the world’s best baseball players come out of the Dominican. His tall, muscular, broad-shouldered physical stature makes all the more sense now. 🙂
Take a week
Even despite a late night, Kristen and I woke up pretty early to catch the 6:00 a.m. sunrise, and I’m glad we did. It’s the cardinal rule of paradise: When it’s your last day there, take in every second you can to relish it, starting with the sunrise.
While I’m looking forward to being home and in my own bed, I’m not excited to leave and would love another day or two here. The Dominican Republic is really lovely, and I can now see why so many people take a full week to visit. Once you get here, you definitely want some lazy days sprinkled with some simple excursions. I wish I would have at least snuck in a trip to Santo Domingo to learn more about the history and culture. But that’s for next time, as there will definitely be a next time.