In May this year, I was very lucky to travel to the Dominican Republic with my husband and our friends, to celebrate our friends milestone birthday. The best and hardest part was there was no children, we travelled as two couples and had a week off from everything.
This was our first ‘proper’ holiday with no children coming with us and although you feel guilty and bad for going away to paradise while we left our daughter at home with her grandparents, we did not feel too bad as she goes away every year with my parents for a week and has weekends away with my in-laws, and she does not give us a second thought.
Our friend, whose birthday we were celebrating, had no idea we were going with them, he knew he was going away, and where he was going, but only found out we were going when they got to the airport.
Our journey began at Gatwick Airport one miserable May morning, we arrived before our friends so that we could keep the surprise going a little longer and not risk the chance of checking in at the same time. We then made our way to My Lounge, here you get to sit in comfort while helping yourself, to tea, coffee, hot chocolate, wine, beer, spirits and snacks. Our friends met us in there and we enjoyed coffee and snacks while chatting waiting for our departure.
We flew with First Choice, to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. From the minute, we landed you could see we had reached the Caribbean, the airport was not your usual concrete building, the buildings were made of wood and stone and had thatched roofs made from palm leaves, it was just beautiful. Once out of the airport we were shown which coach, to get for our transfer to our home for the next week The Grand Bahia Principe, on the coach we were handed an envelope with our room keys and all the information needed, so that once we reached where we were staying, we could just go straight to our rooms, which after the long flight was very welcome.
Once we reached the Grand Bahia Principe we were looked after, our cases were put onto a little buggy and we were delivered to our suite (all rooms are suites), where we could unpack and freshen up, before exploring and having that much needed cocktail to cool down and get us in the holiday mood even more.
The resort was huge, you had 6 pools, 1 being a family pool, 3 pools with pool bars you could swim up too, and then 3 normal pools, a lovely beach with white sand and clear blue sea water, activities daily around the pool for those who were more energetic. The food was amazing, and caters for everyone, I honestly think no one would be able to go home and say they could not eat the food, the main restaurants had themes every night, as long as a huge variety of starters, mains and desserts. The bars would serve daily cocktails as well as a long list of other cocktails, I can recommend the CocoLoco.
You had early evening entertainment in the main section, and then it would move to the main square, where you would also find a pub bar, shops, market stalls casino and nightclub.
We went along to the welcome meeting, which I would recommend everyone to do, there is so much to see and do and so many wonderful trips to choose from, and you get to try their local drink Mamajuana, I would recommend everyone tries this.
We chose to do the trip to Saona Island, I would recommend this trip to everyone, it was amazing. You start off your trip paddling to get onto your boat, you are then given drinks and snacks, before the anchor goes down and you get a chance to snorkel, I stayed on board as I really am not a sea person. Then you set sail again and they stop on a sand bank, in the middle of the sea where you can get out and hold starfish. I was brave and ventured off the boat into the middle of the sea, it was a magical experience. Once everyone was on board again, we set sail and then got to the Island, it was pure paradise, I am not a beach person but I could have honestly stayed here forever. We had lunch of barbequed lobster and chicken, salads, fresh fruit. Before having time to sunbathe, swim, paddle, before setting off back home again. It was breathtaking and something I will remember forever.
One tip I would give, is take a lot of £1 notes, to tip the staff.
Would I return to the Dominican Republic, yes I would, I now want to return with my daughter as she would love it.
Everyone is very friendly, everywhere is very clean, this is one of the best and most relaxing holidays we have been on.
Have a look at a small gallery of our photos and you will see that it is just pure paradise