The selection of all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana can be overwhelming. There are over 45 properties and more than 80 all-inclusive resorts in this part of the Dominican Republic. So how to choose the right one when planning a vacation in Punta Cana? One could think that each all-inclusive resort is similar, but there are major differences to take care of. While it is difficult to find those differences just from the property description, it pays off to have people who know the resorts in the Dominican Republic personally. That’s why I have crafted a guideline of personal recommendations from dozens of resort stays on how to find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
- Preamble – what is the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana?
- 1) Know your budget!
- Best budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
- Best medium-budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
- Best high-end all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
- 2) Pick the right resort depending on your travel companions
- When traveling as a couple
- When traveling as a family
- When traveling and looking to party
- When traveling to Punta Cana as a single
- 3) What kind of beach you are looking for?
- 4) Large resorts with tropical gardens or smaller properties with direct beach access?
- The smallest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (size of the property)
- The largest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (size of the property)
- 5) Recent openings: do you want Punta Canas’ latest all-inclusive resorts?
- 6) Rooms: what type of suite do you want?
- 7) Food: buffet or à-la-carte? Reservations or not? Gourmet or a casual eater?
- Best Punta Cana resorts for vegan and vegetarian travelers
- Punta Cana resorts with the best à-la-carte restaurants
- Punta Cana Resorts with the best restaurant location
- 8) Is alcohol important for you?
- 9) Entertainment & Sports: where to have the most fun
- 10) Location: do you want to immerse yourself into local life?
- 11) Reviews: choose the visitors’ favorites!
- 12) Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts with the best spa
- 13) Not finding the right options? Alternatives to Punta Cana
After you have found the perfect all-inclusive resort for you, make sure to continue reading with “12 expert tips on how to save money when booking an all-inclusive vacation“!
Looking for a list of the best resorts? Check out the following articles:
– best Punta Cana Resorts with a water park
– best affordable all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
– cheapest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
– best all-inclusive family resorts in Punta Cana
– best party resorts in Punta Cana
– best swim-up rooms in Punta Cana
– the best resorts in Bayahibe
Completely UPDATED June 2021
Completely UPDATED October 2022
Preamble – what is the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana?
There is a reason why this article about the best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana is one of the most popular here on Punta Cana Travel Blog – because there is no clear answer to that. Each hotel has its advantages, which is why different resorts cater to different groups of travelers. For example, what might be the best resort in Punta Cana for families might be worse for couples and the best all-inclusive in Punta Cana for party people is probably not very suitable for young kids.
This is why it is important to know the differences among all the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana – and that’s what this article is for. Among the approximately 80 Punta Cana resorts, we’ve visited at least 50-60 over the last year, hence we have a pretty good overview of what is the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana for you – depending on what you expect.
For this reason, we have divided the question of the best place to stay in Punta Cana into a lot of categories, hence you should be able to find a suitable place for you. Among the categories are the best resorts for families, party people, adults, and honeymooners as well as the hotels with the best beaches, best rooms, best entertainment, best service and the best location. We’ll also have a look at where you can get the best food in Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts.
Punta Cana resort reviews
Before we start with a detailed analysis of how you can find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, it is also important to mention that Punta Cana resort reviews can help you get a better impression of each hotel. Thanks to our many recent visits, we have been able to get a better impression of so many resorts in Punta Cana and have put our experiences into some of the most extensive and comprehensive Punta Cana all-inclusive reviews you will find on the internet. All of these visits have been after Covid-19 hit our world, hence you can regard them as pretty recent appraisals.
So far, the following resort reviews of Punta Canas’ and Bayahibes’ all-inclusive resorts have been published:
If the information published in the following article about the best Punta Cana resorts are not enough for you, you still can use one of the all-inclusive resort reviews mentioned above for additional information. Furthermore, there are several articles according to specific themes (see graphics below) which can help you find the best all-inclusive in Punta Cana:
Map of Punta Cana Resorts
In case you want to know where all of the Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts are located, you have two options to check out a proper map:
– a Punta Cana resort map designed by Punta Cana Travel Blog with all the exact locations of the hotels
– a standard map where I have selected exclusively the all-inclusive resorts*, the overview won’t get interfered by other hotels. This map shows live availability. For the map, click on the link* and then on “show on map”.
But now let’s start with the 13 ways which help you to find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
1) Know your budget!
When people are asking about hotel recommendations in Punta Cana during my personal travel coaching, I am always asking for their budget first as this gives the first hint on where to look. If someone got attracted by a cheap all-inclusive promotion offer, you don’t have to recommend high-end all-inclusive resorts and if someone is looking for the best possible option and the most luxurious hotel, I won’t recommend them a budget accommodation.
Likewise, if people are thinking that the Dominican Republic is a super cheap holiday destination and they can splurge for just a few bucks they might be right compared to other countries, but you still have to pay your share if you’d like to expect exceptional quality.
Speaking in numbers, you can get an all-inclusive holiday in Punta Cana for as cheap as 60 USD per person per night – including all meals, drinks, entertainment and all the offers from the resort. Taxes and fees are included as well. That’s an amazing bargain compared to if you just would book an ordinary hotel and go dining at a decent restaurant plus have a drink at the bar.
And while you have to lower your sights when booking the cheapest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (check here how it is easy to save during your all-inclusive vacation), you can have a worry-free holiday as the quality in nearly all hotels is pretty good, especially the price-value ratio. That’s my experience from over 40 hotel visits in Punta Cana.
Nevertheless, it can be worth spending a few extra bucks on your resort, especially if you are planning a stay for a week or more – to prevent getting bored from your hotel. You will notice the higher price in terms of food, drinks and room quality.
All-Inclusive holidays in Punta Cana are already starting at 60 USD per person per night. However, it might be worth to spend a few extra bucks to enjoy significantly better services and quality.
In the low season, the cheapest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana start from 60 US-Dollars per person per night, in the high season from around 80 US-Dollars. For better resorts with higher quality, you should plan with around 80 US-Dollars per person per night in low season and at least 100 US-Dollars in high season. High-end hotels in Punta Cana with an all-inclusive meal plan start at 150 USD per person per night in low season and 200 USD per person per night in high season. Prices during Christmas and New Year’s Eve might easily be doubled for some all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
The low season usually runs from May to the pre-Christmas period, the high season from January to the end of April. If you’d like to read more information on the seasons in Punta Cana, check out this article.
Best budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
When looking for affordable all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, some of Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites are:
Please note that this is only a selection of the best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana if you’re on a budget. I could mention dozens of them here and you will find many more affordable options further down in this article.
If you are interested in further cheap all-inclusive resorts of 100 USD per person and under, continue reading here. There is also a list of the best affordable all-inclusive resorts here, which is currently led by Serenade Punta Cana, Grand Sirenis Punta Cana and Bahía Principe Grand Aquamarine – you’ll find all those Punta Cana resorts mentioned further below in other categories.
It might also be worth checking if a holiday package to Punta Cana (flight + hotel booked together) is cheaper. If you already have chosen your favorite resort you can check with the following link for some of the best package prices from your departure airport.
Best medium-budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
If you’d like to enjoy a higher quality during your Punta Cana vacation and are ready to spend a few dollars more, the following medium-budget all-inclusive resorts are some of the best Punta Cana has to offer. No high-end luxury, no cheap crap, but in general a very attractive price-value ratio is characterizing these resorts.
Best high-end all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
If you’d like to splurge, some of the best luxury all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are:
2) Pick the right resort depending on your travel companions
While most all-inclusive resorts cater to many different crowds and can’t be narrowed down to a certain target group, some resorts have found their specific niche. Obviously, as a spring-breaker you would not pick a family resort, a gourmet foodie would not want to visit the cheapest hotels with average restaurants and families with kids are not allowed to book an adults-only resort. Therefore, it’s important to know the specific characteristics of the hotels to make sure you book the right all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
When traveling as a couple
When visiting the Dominican Republic on a romantic getaway, you probably have the biggest choice of all-inclusive resorts, as most properties have their certain amenities for couples, such as honeymoon suites, romantic dinners and adulty-only zones. Furthermore, couples are the most predominant form of travelers in Punta Cana, so you can be sure to find like-minded people in every resort.
However, if you’d like to dig a bit deeper and get a more couple-oriented atmosphere in your hotel, you might opt to pick an adults-only all-inclusive resort. There are plenty of them in Punta Cana, which only allow access for travelers of 18 years and older. This guarantees you the right setting as a couple and the one or other additional romantic experience.
Best adults-only all-inclusive resorts for couples with a decent price level in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
Best high-end adults-only all-inclusive resorts for couples in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
If you are looking for a high-end adults-only resort, Punta Cana has several great options so that it might be hard to decide. You can check one of the following hotels to see if it suits your budget and your comfort level.
Do you need further help in picking the right resort? Contact me and we can speak about your preferences and which hotel might be most suitable for you.
When traveling as a family
Families are the second-biggest traveler group in Punta Cana. That’s not surprising, considering the conditions in the Dominican Republic which might appear like a land of milk and honey, especially for kids. Large pools, free use of waterparks, finest sand to play and to build sandcastles, entertainment and activities with other children, food and drinks around the clock and so much more – there are only a few reasons why families should not spend their Caribbean holiday in an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
While nearly all resorts offer the features mentioned in the last section, there are some which are particularly suitable for families, especially thanks to its large waterparks (Grand Sirenis Punta Cana, the Riu Palace hotels, Hyatt Ziva, Dreams Onyx and Royalton Splash/Punta Cana do have the largest waterparks in the entire Punta Cana area), spacious family suites and special kids entertainment, hence it pays off to take care of these specific amenities when booking your family vacation in Punta Cana.
Best family all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
Please note that this is only a selection of amazing Punta Cana family resorts. Other options for family hotels in Punta Cana include the very affordable Tropical Princess Deluxe, the high-end resort Finest Punta Cana, the newly designed Princess Family Club, the elegant Paradisus Grand Cana* or Hyatt Ziva*, one of the best resorts in Punta Cana.
If you’d like further ideas on where to stay with your family, you can check out this post about the best all-inclusive resorts with a water park in Punta Cana. It is always great fun for the kids if they can splash around in several pools and rapid slides.
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When traveling and looking to party
If you are coming to Punta Cana to party, some all-inclusive resorts get you more than covered. Alcohol included, pool and beach always within walking distance, unlimited food (most resorts have food available 24 hours) and activities and parties every day and night – you won’t get bored during your vacation in Punta Cana. It doesn’t matter if you travel as a group of party animals, if you are hopping over to the Dominican Republic for spring break or if you are a couple who want to connect with like-minded travelers – Punta Cana offers perfect conditions for everyone. And if you would like to venture out of your all-inclusive resort, the party continues at Booze Cruises, Coco Bongo or Imagine Disco.
Important: for the most massive parties in Punta Cana, make sure to check out the Riu Party events, which are happening 4 times a week.
Best party all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
For further hotels in Punta Cana with a party focus, make sure to check out the list of the best party resorts in Punta Cana.
When traveling to Punta Cana as a single
In my opinion, there are no specific all-inclusive resorts for singles in Punta Cana. However, single travelers can find something in nearly every hotel in the Dominican Republic.
If you are traveling alone and are a party-avid traveler, you can check out the recommendations mentioned in the section above, as those would be perfect for you. If you want to connect with like-minded people but without having too much booze, you can check some of the resorts catering for a general crowd, such as Dreams Royal Beach, Riu Palace Punta Cana or Iberostar Punta Cana. Thanks to the activities and open-minded people as well as other single travelers, you will have plenty of options to socialize in every all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Best all-inclusive resorts for single travelers in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
3) What kind of beach you are looking for?
The good news ahead: all all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic are located right at the beach or have beach access through their sister resorts. Furthermore, when coming from the US or cold Europe, all beaches in Punta Cana are pretty, beautiful and will satisfy your daily need for Vitamin Sea. They are some of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic.
However, there are still differences when it comes to the beach. For me, one of the best stretches is located in the main Bavaro area, as it is the widest part, palm-fringed and you can walk along the beach without interruption for more than 10 miles. Furthermore, there is some public access, so even if you are staying outside of an all-inclusive resort, you can easily reach Bavaro Beach. Hotels such as Dreams Royal Beach, Secrets Royal Beach, Paradisus Palma Real and Melia Caribe Beach are located along Playa Bavaro.
For other people, Playa Juanillo or Playa Blanca in the southern area of Punta Cana – Cap Cana – might be the best beaches in Punta Cana, as they are the whitest beaches with very calm and turquoise water. Sanctuary Cap Cana, Secrets Cap Cana and both Hyatt Hotels, Zilara and Ziva, are located here.
Another type of beach is Macao, which is popular among locals and very suitable for surfing. There is just one resort at this beach, Dreams Macao Beach, so if you prefer to stay away from the other all-inclusive crowds, this is your beach to go.
As you can see, the best all-inclusive resort in terms of the beach depends on you when finding the right all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. While you can’t go wrong with any beach resort, it is important to know the differences. Check out my post about the 10 best beaches in Punta Cana to get to know more about the characteristics.
All-inclusive resorts on the best beaches in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
If you want to know at which beach your specific hotel is located, you can use the following Punta Cana resort maps:
4) Large resorts with tropical gardens or smaller properties with direct beach access?
Another important point when talking about the beach is to pick the right all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in terms of the size. While some resorts have beach access in less than 2 minutes from every room, there are other super large properties where you walk around 15 minutes from your room to the beach.
The smallest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (size of the property)
The advantage of these small and compact resorts is obvious. You can walk everywhere without problems, have the pool, beach and restaurants always close and might be lucky to get an ocean breeze in your room, even you have not booked an ocean view suite. However, most of these resorts can’t compete with the Caribbean charm of other resorts, as most rooms are located in bigger buildings and there is not as much space for tropical vegetation. Luckily, there are (still) no high-rise resorts in Punta Cana up to now.
The largest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana (size of the property)
When booking a large all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana with a huge property, it might be surprising for people when they get to know that their room is 15 minutes walking away from the beach. While this indeed might be frustrating, there are other advantages of these types of resorts: they are usually set in a beautiful tropical garden with lots of colorful flowers, most rooms are located in very small units rather than big buildings, which gives it a more intimate atmosphere (and less noise from your neighbors) and you need some time to explore your resort thoroughly, which is perfect to prevent “cabin fever”, especially when you are not planning to leave your all-inclusive resort a lot.
And don’t worry, most of these large resorts offer shuttles and mini-train rides within the hotel for free, so you don’t have to walk if you don’t want to.
5) Recent openings: do you want Punta Canas’ latest all-inclusive resorts?
Punta Cana is always reinventing itself as new all-inclusive resorts are opening every year. If you are not caring that much about the reviews from the last 3 years (because the resort has just recently opened its doors) and don’t mind if there are some little hiccups every now and then, the newest all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana might be the best pick for you.
Recently opened resorts in Punta Cana come with many advantages. You get the newest rooms, can enjoy contemporary designs and state-of-the-art concepts. Furthermore, all facilities are brand new and if you are lucky, you can catch a great introductory rate which is lower than what you usually pay for a comparable standard of the hotel.
If you are looking for very new resorts, but some of which are already well established, you can check out Club Med Miches*, Lopesan Costa Bavaro, Dreams Macao Beach, Hyatt Ziva* and Hyatt Zilara*, which all opened their doors more or less shortly before Covid-19 hit Punta Cana and the world. After Covid-19, Finest Punta Cana, Live Aqua*, Serenade Punta Cana and Radisson Blu Punta Cana* were some of the most recent openings.
And the list of hotel openings in Punta Cana never ends: if you always wanted to be the first guest in an all-inclusive resort, you can have a closer look at Secrets Tides, Dreams Flora*, St. Regis Cap Cana and S Beach Hotel, which are all scheduled to open in the next months and years.
Currently, the following Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts are among the newest, all opened in 2021 or 2022.
6) Rooms: what type of suite do you want?
When traveling to Punta Cana, you have tons of options when it comes to choosing your room. Some Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts offer up to 20 room categories, so it pays off to take a minute and have a look at the different options.
Among others, you have the following choices:
– do you prefer a room with a contemporary design or do you prefer a more classy style?
– is a garden or pool view enough for you or do you want to book an upgrade for a beautiful ocean view room?
– would you like to have a swim-up room with direct access to the pool?
– or are you even looking for rooms with private pools?
– it is also important to note that some all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana do have regular rooms, others do have only suites, which are bigger and feature additional amenities.
– if you are traveling as a family, connecting rooms or a 1-bedroom suite with an additional sofa bed could be the best option for you.
– many hotels and resorts in Punta Cana also offer a VIP Level, called Preferred Club, Premium, Club Level or other similar names. Those rooms are more expensive but are coming with additional amenities
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to your room in Punta Cana.
While it is difficult to name the best rooms in Punta Cana as this completely depends on your preferences, I will name three particular hotels with unique room categories as Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ top picks for this category.
7) Food: buffet or à-la-carte? Reservations or not? Gourmet or a casual eater?
For most people, the food in their hotel might be as important as the beach and the right budget. While all all-inclusive hotels in the Dominican Republic offer decent and plenty of good food, there are differences in terms of the quality you can expect. While you have some really delicious dishes and buffets in all the hotels, you would have to choose a little bit more expensive resorts to get culinary highlights with every meal.
Furthermore, the best choice of an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in terms of food depends if you prefer to eat at the buffets or in the à-la-carte restaurants, especially for dinner.
For breakfast and lunch, there are hardly any differences between the resorts – just the quality varies, which usually increases more or less proportionally to the price of the hotel. However, even at the cheapest all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, you can get a decent breakfast with bread, omelet, fruit, cheese and much more. Breakfast is served as a buffet nearly everywhere, just VIP levels in some of the hotels and a couple of high-end hotels might feature an à-la-carte breakfast and lunch.
For dinner, the differences between the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are bigger. Your best choice depends on your preferences – do you prefer to eat on a buffet or would you like to have a full à-la-carte menu?
All all-inclusive hotels offer a buffet restaurant, usually with different themed nights, such as Mexican, Dominican, Italian, etc.
Furthermore, all hotels have à-la-carte restaurants, depending on the size of the resort usually around 4 to 8. While I prefer that kind of restaurants as they offer menu-style dining compared to the typical all-inclusive buffets, you have to take care of how your hotel handles the access to those à-la-carte restaurants:
1) Free choice and no reservations required. You can visit the á-la-carte restaurants as often as you like and at the time you want (e.g. RIU Palace Punta Cana, Melia Caribe Tropical, Dreams Punta Cana, Secrets Royal Beach, RIU República, Finest Punta Cana)
2) Reservations required. You can make reservations for à-la-carte restaurants every day, but there is a certain capacity. If they are fully booked, you can only eat at the buffet restaurant. (e.g. Occidental Caribe, Vista Sol Punta Cana, Hard Rock Punta Cana (reservations not required but recommended), Paradisus Punta Cana, Grand Sirenis, Serenade Punta Cana, Lopesan Costa Bavaro, Catalonia Punta Cana, Caribe Deluxe Princess)
3) Reservations required with restrictions. You have to make reservations for your à-la-carte dinners and can only visit them a few times a week, for example a maximum of 3 per week. The remaining evenings you have to eat at the buffet restaurant (e.g. Grand Bahia Bavaro/Punta Cana, Be Live Collection Punta Cana Adults Only)
Tip: There is no transparent star rating in the Dominican Republic which is why almost every all-inclusive resort falls into the category of 5 stars. Even big tour operators often copy this classification. Therefore, it is more recommendable to pay attention to personal recommendations and unbiased reviews than to the star rating of an all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana.
Choose wisely which option you prefer. I am always a big fan of the “no-reservation policy” as this allows me to stay flexible and spontaneous, even if there might be some waiting involved when you visit in the peak dining hours between 7 and 8 pm.
Best all-inclusive resorts for foodies in Punta Cana (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
Besides the general idea, that you usually receive better food the more you’re paying for a resort (even though you might be surprised about the quality at cheap resorts considering you only pay 60-80 USD per person per day), there are some remarkable restaurants and food options you shouldn’t miss during your Punta Cana vacation.
Best Punta Cana resorts for vegan and vegetarian travelers
I have planned a separate post about the best vegetarian and vegan Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts. Until this is ready, the following options shall also be of great help if you’re looking for the best vegan food in Punta Canas’ all-inclusives.
In general, it is important to understand that you find vegan and vegetarian options in every all-inclusive in Punta Cana. Obviously, some hotels have more options, some have fewer. We are also pescatarians and mostly vegetarian travelers and therefore always have an eye for what healthy options are on the menu, particularly if it’s meat-, sugar- and fat-free.
As a general rule, you’ll always find plenty of choices at the main buffet, especially when it is a large buffet. You can count on large salad stations, plenty of cooked vegetables, bread, spreads and Dominican vegan favorites such as Mangu (mashed plantains), Moro (rice and beans) or Yucca Encebollada (Yukka with onions).
Also at the à-la-carte restaurants, there is usually always a vegetarian dish available – but not necessarily a vegan option. However, they can usually put together a plate for you – but you might need to ask and be flexible and patient.
If you’re a vegan, it definitely is recommendable to choose one of the better resorts, at least one in the mid-price range or even better a premium all-inclusive in Punta Cana. Like this, you’ll find à-la-carte restaurants with more creative menus and usually at least 1 or 2 vegan options.
Considering this, the following hotels are among the best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana for food, particularly for vegan travelers:
Punta Cana resorts with the best à-la-carte restaurants
I don’t know how many restaurants in Punta Canas’ resorts we have visited in the last few years among our dozens of hotel visits, but we shall have dined at at least 50 à-la-carte restaurants in Punta Cana, probably even more. While this category is not necessarily about the best overall food in all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, it is more about remarkable menus, unique restaurants or outstanding experiences – even though all the resorts mentioned here also offer pretty well-elaborated food options in their other restaurants.
Punta Cana Resorts with the best restaurant location
Sometimes it is all about the best location – and not only about the food in Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts. Can you imagine having lunch or dinner with a spectacular view of this turquoise ocean or with seeing the palm trees swaying in the wind? With those views, all-inclusive food tastes even better.
8) Is alcohol important for you?
All all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana always have alcohol included – so no worries about this. But the quality might vary, especially the availability of premium brands and top-shelf spirits. While you usually get no-name alcohol in the most economic hotels, better brands are served in more upscale all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. It is hard to draw a line here as the offers are varying, but when picking a resort for your vacation in the Dominican Republic, make sure they have at least a few branded spirits. A local Brugal or Barcelo rum is a must and some basic Johnny Walker whiskey, Beefeater gin and Stolichnaya or Smirnoff vodka should be included as well – but they aren’t when you book the cheapest resorts such as Presidential Suites Punta Cana or Tropical Deluxe Princess. Therefore, it’s better to spend a few bucks more to get decent drinks and save on other ends – such as those expenses mentioned here which you can easily cut down. If you are looking forward to some hand-crafted, creative and delicious cocktails with high-quality ingredients, you should book one of the upscale and high-end resorts.
But beware, even some expensive resorts might mix your cocktails with no-name alcohol (which isn’t harmful, it just doesn’t have the best quality).
Tip: When ordering a drink, always specify the brand of alcohol you want to have in it. Like this, you are preventing the hotel from using their cheapest house brand.
By the way, it doesn’t matter which resort you choose, you always have all non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks included (beer, house wine and local spirits) throughout the entire day, usually 24 hours. As long as you don’t want to buy bottled wine, premium champagne or other exclusive drinks, you don’t have to pay a single dollar for your entire stay to get your thirst satisfied.
In case you are a night owl, make sure that drinks are included in the disco as well. Some resorts close their bars at 11 pm and charge extra for drinks at the hotel’s night club.
The best drinks at Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts
Even though “you get what you pay for” with regard to the quality of alcohol, we’d love to highlight a few particular hotels which have some outstanding locations, bars or characteristics.
Over the years, the following hotels have caught our attention with the best drinks at all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana:
Best bars in Punta Canas’ resorts
During our past all-inclusive stays in Punta Cana in different hotels, there have been some bars that called our particular attention as they are different from what you can expect in similar all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.
9) Entertainment & Sports: where to have the most fun
All resorts feature daily entertainment, various activities and a fun or interactive night show every evening – such as magic shows, Michael Jackson revivals, love nights or musicals.
In these terms, Hard Rock Punta Cana is standing out for me due to their boulevard with various bars and (usually) daily live music, which is always crowded (before Covid-19 and even now as travel has resumed after Coronavirus) and where a lot of fun is going on. Also breathless is a good option as they have daily activities and parties you can’t find in most other hotels, even though it can’t compete with the massive Riu Party events, accessible from nearly all Riu hotels in Punta Cana.
If you are looking for sports options, check the watersport activities in your desired all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. In a good hotel, kayaking, Hobie-cats, surfing, paddleboarding, etc. are included. Golf courses are also widely available, the same as tennis or basketball courts. In the last years, a couple of hotels added a bowling alley to their amenities, however, most of them charge extra to use it.
Best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana for entertainment and sports (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
10) Location: do you want to immerse yourself into local life?
Another point when deciding on all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana might be the location in terms of the local life. Most resorts are located far away from everything and the only way to leave them is by rental car (check here if it’s worth to rent one in Punta Cana), taxi (prices are pretty high and Uber in Punta Cana sometimes is a bit tricky), excursion (find the best activities here) or by public transport (get to know the details of the Punta Cana public transport here).
However, there are few resorts which are right in the busy center of Bavaro, where you can walk to local colmados, food trucks, Dominican bars and other supplies of daily life. Most of them are located along the Los Corales and Cortecito stretch, where you have plenty of authentic local life just outside of your resort. Check out some further free things-to-do in Punta Cana here.
For a better overview of the location of each hotel, you can have a look at these detailed Punta Cana maps with the exact location of all the all-inclusive resorts in the area.
All-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana with the closest proximity to local life (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
– Most Popular Posts on Punta Cana Travel Blog –
If you want to know more about the location of your all-inclusive hotel, a Punta Cana resort map might come in handy. We have prepared two different ones for you, so you can check the hotel location properly:
11) Reviews: choose the visitors’ favorites!
I agree, with more than 70 all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana it sometimes might be very difficult to find a suitable choice. One option on how to find the best resort in Punta Cana could be by relying on hundred of thousands of other opinions. Each all-inclusive resort has on average around 3000 reviews on Tripadvisor and more than 1000 reviews on Booking. com, sometimes even more than 10000. Multiply this by the number of all-inclusive resorts and you get a base of more than 200.000 hotel reviews.
More than 200.000 opinions shall be sufficient to find the top-rated all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. While you can perfectly dismiss some of the “awards” published by Tripadvisor or other platforms, such as “Travellers Choice” or other fluff (usually, those are just driven by marketing and not the actual share of positive reviews), looking at the review results of the different all-inclusive resorts gives you an interesting idea on what might be the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
At booking.com, there are just 7 Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts out of more than 70 which can reach at least 9 out of 10 points, with Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and breathless Punta Cana being the leaders. Particularly breathless Punta Cana’s score is impressive, as it can’t get into the top 10 resorts on most other review platforms.
The following are the best resorts in Punta Cana according to Bookings’ reviews:
|All-Inclusive Resort on booking. com||Review Score|
|Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana||9,4/10||9,4/10|
|Breathless Punta Cana||9,3/10||below 9,0|
|Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana||9,2/10||9,4/10|
|Secrets Cap Cana||9,1/10||9,0/10|
|Iberostar Grand Bavaro||9,0/10||9,4/10|
|Live Aqua Punta Cana||9,0/10||9,2/10|
|Sanctuary Cap Cana||9,0/10||below 9,0|
Hyatt Zilara, Sanctuary, Hyatt Ziva and Iberostar Grand are the best Punta Cana resorts according to Expedia, scoring 4.7 out of 5 points. They are followed by Secrets Cap Cana and Excellence Punta with 4.6/5.
The following table shows all of the Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts which reach at least 4,5 out of 5 points with Expedia – which compares exactly to a 9,0 at Booking.com
|All-Inclusive Resort on expedia.com||Review Score|
|Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana||4,7/5||4,7/5|
|Sanctuary Cap Cana||4,7/5||4,6/5|
|Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana||4,7/5||4,6/5|
|Iberostar Grand Bavaro||4,7/5||4,7/5|
|Secrets Cap Cana||4,6/5||4,5 or below|
|Excellence Punta Cana||4,6/5||4,5 or below|
|Excellence El Carmen||4,5/5||4,5 or below|
|Margaritaville Cap Cana||4,5/5||4,5 or below|
|Live Aqua Punta Cana||4,5/5||4,5 or below|
At Tripadvisor, the best all-inclusive resort according to the hotel reviews is a little bit hard to guess as they don’t publish the individual scores and add some marketing features to their ranking. However, the only resorts that currently (as of October 2022) do have at least 4.75 out of 5 points are Hyatt Ziva, Secrets Cap Cana, Hyatt Zilara, Live Aqua, Iberostar Grand and Dreams Royal Beach.
The following list shows the best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana according to Tripadvisor – all hotels that either in October 2022 or in June 2021 had a rating of at least 4,75 out of 5.
|All-Inclusive Resort on Tripadvisor||Review Score|
|Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana||4,90/5||4,75 and over|
|Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana||4,89/5||4,75 and over|
|Secrets Cap Cana||4,83/5||4,75 and over|
|Dreams Royal Beach||4,83/5||4,75 and over|
|Live Aqua Punta Cana||4,80/5||4,75 and over|
|Iberostar Grand Bavaro||4,76/5||4,75 and over|
|Dreams Macao Beach||4,73/5||4,75 and over|
|Radisson Blu Punta Cana||4,41/5||4,75 and over|
As you can see, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva and Secrets Cap Cana are scoring top positions at all of the three big booking and review platforms, so it is pretty safe to say that these three are the top recommendations when you are looking for the best overall all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
12) Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts with the best spa
Another way how to find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana is according to the spa – especially if you love wellness, massages, hydrotherapy and facials. With very few exceptions (whala Bavaro is the only one I can think of so far) every all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana does have its spa, but the quality varies.
To be honest, I am not a spa expert. Even though I have seen dozens of spas already, I have never used one on my own. Therefore I can’t help you with my personal experiences in this case but have used Tripadvisor as a neutral help.
Therefore, the following three hotels are among the best Punta Cana resorts when it comes to the wellness area and the spa. It is important to note that all spa services are not included in your all-inclusive stay and have to be paid extra.
13) Not finding the right options? Alternatives to Punta Cana
Bayahibe: better snorkeling options
If the resorts above don’t suit your preferences, you can also check some alternative options in the surrounding tourist destinations of the Dominican Republic. One of them is Bayahibe (check out the full Bayahibe travel guide here), which is particularly recommendable if you are looking for turquoise ocean water and some better snorkeling opportunities. While Punta Cana has a fantastic reef, which protects the beaches from the Atlantic waves, the reef is too far away for snorkeling. That’s why snorkeling in Punta Cana is not always possible, as you can read here in this article. Therefore, if snorkeling during your vacation in the Dominican Republic is very important for you, you can check out this article about the best snorkeling spots in Punta Cana and beyond, including Bayahibe.
A nice side effect: as Bayahibe has a different direction of ocean currents, you’ll hardly find any seaweed here, which sometimes might be a problem in Punta Cana.
Bayahibe is less than one hour driving away from Punta Cana, so it is a perfect alternative to a Punta Cana vacation. Airport transfers from Punta Cana International Airport are readily available.
The best all-inclusive resorts in Bayahibe (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
Puerto Plata: looking for adventures, mountains and local life
If Punta Cana sounds too posh and fancy for you (which it sometimes is) and if you are looking for authentic adventures in the countryside, Puerto Plata might also be a good pick for you. While most all-inclusive resorts here can’t compete with those in Punta Cana, the surrounding definitely can. Check here how you can get from Punta Cana to Puerto Plata.
Especially the mountains right north of Puerto Plata are a highlight of the Dominican Republic. They are offering endless outdoor activity options such as canyoning, waterfall chasing, rappelling, caving, hiking or mountain biking. Furthermore, they form a dramatic backdrop and stunning scenery. Additionally, when staying in one of the all-inclusive resorts of Puerto Plata, you are much closer to the Dominican life than in Punta Cana, so you get a more authentic impression of what the Dominican Republic is about. Interested? In this article, you can find further thoughts about why Puerto Plata might be worth a consideration.
The best all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Plata (Punta Cana Travel Blogs’ favorites):
Do you need further help deciding for the right destination and the best all-inclusive resort? If so, check out my travel coaching, and I am happy to help you by analyzing your needs and proposing the best options based on your preferences. You can also continue reading my article about how to save money when booking an all-inclusive vacation or check out the best budget all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.
Or do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments what is important for YOU when deciding on an all-inclusive resort. Have you been to Punta Cana already? What’s your favorite resort in the area? I am super excited to hear from you.
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CHRISAuthor, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad
Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.
ALSO WORTH READING:
21 thoughts on “13 Insider tips on how to find the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana”
Thank you for sharing this useful information. This information very useful for us.
You are welcome! 🙂
What can you tell me about Ocean Blue and Sand, Punta Cana resort? I noticed it was not listed under any of your above mentioned all inclusives.
Ocean Blue & Sands Punta Cana is a decent hotel without that many spectacular amenities. It is pretty good in many aspects, but not leading, which is why it is not mentioned as “the best resort” for a certain type of traveler.
I hope this helps.
3 kids under 5 with 3 adults and trying to choose from the Dream Onyx, Palm, and Royal w/ upgraded package. What do you recommend?
regarding the quality, all three hotels are similar but I would probably pick Dreams Royal Beach, as it has the nicest beach and is mostly renovated. Dreams Onyx also is beautiful and the newest of all resorts + it has a huge waterpark. Dreams Palm Beach is a bit older, but has the calmest ocean (even though Dreams Royal Beach beach is also pretty calm). Dreams Royal Beach has the most centric location.
I hope this helps.
Cheers from Punta Cana
This will be our first all-inclusive stay and are confused by the options. We would really appreciate any help in narrowing down to a couple resorts that we can pick based on availability.
Medium budget (leaning towards high-end is fine)
Traveling as a family of 3 (includes a 9 year old child)
Relatively newer property is preferred
Food quality is important and vegetarian friendly is preferred
No Alcohol required
Good overall Entertainment for a 9 yr old
I was leaning towards Hyatt Ziva, Club Med and Finest. However, Grand Palladium seems to have better food options for vegetarians. Also, how is Paradisus?
Would it be very rainy between Nov 6 to 12 or should we plan for December after hurricane season ends?
Finest and Hyatt Ziva are indeed great options, Club Med is a bit older (as long as you don’t mean the Club Med Miches, which is much newer). You could also check out The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, which is undergoing renovations currently and ticks most of your boxes. Dreams Onyx is another option you can check out.
Make sure to check out this post about the best family resorts in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/best-punta-cana-all-inclusive-family-resorts/
November is a good month to travel with usually no hurricanes and not too much rain. However, you might have more stable weather in December. You can find out all the information about the weather in Punta Cana here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/the-weather-in-punta-cana/
Cheers from Punta Cana
Thank you so much for the information, Chris.
Which one do you think is better between Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Grand Cana? There are so many options for Paradisus. We prefer a beachfront resort.
Hyatt Ziva is over our budget, unfortunately.
Really appreciate your inputs. Thank you.
Paradisus Grand Cana is not beachfront, even though they have their own beach section.
In this case, The Reserve would be the better option – but only if you can get a beachfront room. Otherwise I would pick the “regular” Paradisus Palma Real as this is the closest to the beach.
Cheers from Punta Cana
Chris, thanks for all of your information. One thing I did not see was your overall #1 resort. I am traveling with my girlfriend, we are mid 30’s, love the beach, pool, nice entertainment, nice accommodations and great food. The reviews online are just so hit or miss for us since we’ve never been to Punta Cana. What is your suggestion for us on a mid-high budget? Thanks, Jarrod
the reason why I have not included an overall No. 1 is because this always depends on what you’re looking for. In general, Zoetry Agua, Hyatt Ziva/Zilara, Iberostar Grand and Excellence Punta Cana are considered to be some of the best all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.
In your case, I would especially check out Excellence Punta Cana/El Carmen, Hyatt Ziva, Secrets Cap Cana/Royal Beach and Live Aqua.
An extensive review of Secrets Royal Beach can be found here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/secrets-royal-beach-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
Cheers from Punta Cana
my husband and I will be traveling in May and I am torn between the Bahia ambar and barcelo bavaro beach. I don’t see much mention of barcelo in your reviews. do you have any advice?
Bahía Ambar probably would be my pick as it is much newer than Barcelo. However, Barcelos beach is slightly better in my opinion.
Cheers from Punta Cana
Help me Chris!
Traveling first time! I’m taking my mom so 60 and 30 age. I like to feel spoiled and catered too. Medium to lower side of the high end price range)
my want list:
Good alcoholic drinks (think fun and sweet)
These are ones I have weeded it down too:
Iberostar Grand, Serenade Punta canta, or Bahía Gran Aquamarine. Unless you have a better recommendation?? Help a girl out! Thank you!!!!
I forgot to add Lopesan Costa Bavaro!
good question. In my opinion, none of the resorts is in the “Medium to lower side of the high end price range”. Iberostar Grand is absolutely high-end (if the price fits for you, book it – it has one of the best levels of service, drinks and food) and the other ones are more like in the medium price range (and quality). Have you checked out Paradisus Palma Real, Hyatt Zilara (also high-end), the Majestic Resorts, Secrets Royal Beach (would tick all your boxes), orExcellence Punta Cana (also more high-end)?
We are traveling to Punta Cana in October. We are traveling with approximately 10+ families and with 10+ boys 17-18 years old. We want an all-inclusive resort with lots to keep our boys busy, good food, pool entertainment, good nightly shows, etc.
Thank you so much,
have you checked out my list of the best family resorts in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/best-punta-cana-all-inclusive-family-resorts/
I am sure you’ll find the right one there. For teenage boys in the age of 17-18 I would particularly recommend Hard Rock, Dreams Onyx or one of the Riu Palace hotels. Dreams Dominicus would be another interesting option.
I hope this helps.
Can you help me out
I am traveling with 2 friends and we are trying to deside between RIU Republica and Bahia Principe Luxuary Ambar. We will be there on July for 5 days
how old are you and how much do you want to party?
I’d say if you’re below 35 and want to party seriously, pick Riu Republica, otherwise Luxury Ambar is probably the better choice. You can check out this article for more information on the best party resorts in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/best-party-resorts-in-punta-cana/