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best hotels in dominican republic

Terrific Tortuga and wonderful Westin: Which Dominican Republic hotels should you stay in?

Along with stunning golf courses, the Dominican Republic is not short of outstanding hotels. NCG’s Matt Chivers was treated to three of them that took his breath away…

 

As well as being treated to the best golf courses the Dominican Republic had to offer, the gaps between playing were plugged by staying in quite stunning hotels and resorts.

On my trip to the Caribbean, I stayed at three outstanding hotels which, much like the golf courses, embraced the beauty of the country. Ocean, sand, sunshine, and an overall feeling of tranquillity reigned at the Tortuga Bay Hotel, the Westin Puntacana Resort and the Bahia Principe La Romana.

Tortuga Bay Hotel and the Westin Puntacana Resort are a stone’s throw from Puntacana airport, whereas the Bahia Principe La Romana is a little further away, but a pitching wedge from PGA Ocean’s 4, one of the nation’s most popular golf courses.

Tortuga Bay and the Westin belong to Puntacana Resort which boasts three AAA Diamond Award-winning restaurants, graced by world-class chefs and dining choices that are available 24 hours a day.

ALSO: Dye Fore and the Dog: Golf in the Dominican Republic is a dream

best hotels in dominican republic

Best hotels in the Dominican Republic

Tortuga Bay Hotel

I stayed in a villa at Tortuga Bay Hotel and without taking away from the other two complexes, which were mightily impressive, it was probably the best hotel/complex that I’ve ever seen or stayed in.

The villa I shared with one of my fellow visitors featured a large living area with two en-suite bedrooms. When you wake up from a full night’s sleep on the soft, cloud-like beds, you can peer out your window and greet the Caribbean Sea across a large garden dotted with palm trees.

One evening, I laid in the hammock that dangled on the precipice of the beach which was a 20-second walk from my bedroom. Tortuga Bay is situated in a private enclave. There are 13 villas and 30 rooms in total, which doesn’t sound like many, but the phrase ‘quality over quantity’ comes to mind.

There are one-bedroom junior suites, two-bedroom suites, or three or four-bedroom villas. Each of them is located along the beach, so every visitor is treated to a view rarely seen at any other holiday destination.

Each villa has a cart and bikes that you can drive and ride at your leisure. My colleagues and I would often transport ourselves to breakfast and evening meals both on-site and at restaurants and other hotels further down the road.

best hotels in dominican republic

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Much like how I would describe some of the golf courses, Tortuga Bay is a hotel I could only dream of staying in prior to the trip. It was pure fantasy. The freedom and relaxation I felt when stepping out on the back porch to meet the Caribbean Sea was like nothing else I’d experienced.

As well as the calmness of the resort itself, you can venture off-site to The Spa to enjoy the ultimate wellness experience located at La Cana Club. It offers treatments, holistic techniques, and yoga classes as well as a 22km self-guided bike trail.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy The Spa, not the bike trail in that heat. All in all, it was a stunning experience over four nights that provided the perfect end to our trip.

Rates: From now until December, rooms are $824 per night for one person. From the start of January 2025 through to April 12, rooms are $1,105 per night. From April 13, rooms are $2,289 per night.

Distance from the airport: 10-minute drive from Punta Cana airport

Westin Puntacana Resort

The Westin Puntacana Resort was our first stop for accommodation on the trip. From the moment you walk into the lobby with the view of the pool and the ocean beyond it straight ahead and a grand bar to the left, you know you have arrived in a special place.

The Westin is located on the Playa Blanca beach and the accommodation features 200 ocean-view rooms, restaurants, meeting and wedding facilities, the outdoor pool, a Beach Club lobby bar, a cigar bar, the Westin Family Kids Club and walking trails.

In a place of such beauty and sunshine, I ironically arrived on a day of torrential rain and wind. But this didn’t dampen my mood. The palm trees swayed outside the balcony of my room and I deliberately woke up early to see the sunrise on the Caribbean Sea, which didn’t disappoint.

best hotels in dominican republic

My room itself was sizeable, to say the least. The room was immaculate and much like Tortuga Bay and Bahia Principe, I was guaranteed a good night’s sleep with the way the room was kept and presented.

We ate at Brassa and Arena restaurants at the hotel, which provided incredible food, and a large selection of wines which were sufficiently seen to as well. Brassa sits on the beach and when dining during the day, you only need a short glance to the side to enjoy the sea view.

At the Westin, the service at the front of the hotel where the taxis lined up was exceptional. Never have I been so warmly welcomed to a hotel than when I hopped out of my airport transfer and whisked away to my room at the Westin.

Because it was during tournament week of the Corales Puntacana Championship, there were many players circulating the bar and the dining areas which was a great thrill. It is a hotel capable of hosting and pleasing every one of its visitors, and I was beyond satisfied with my stay.

Rates: From now until December, rooms can vary from $227 to $615 per night for one person. From the start of January 2025 through to June, rooms can vary from $227 to $303 per night for one person.

Distance from the airport: Seven-minute drive from Punta Cana airport

best hotels in dominican republic

Bahia Principe La Romana

La Romana is a province in the southeast of the Dominican Republic, and that is where I was when I stayed at the Bahia Principe Hotel. In La Romana, there is the Bahia Principe Grand La Romana and the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville, which is an adults-only hotel that I stayed in.

The Playa Nueva Romana beach was in full view through the palm trees from my balcony, as I was treated to another stunning location at a hugely impressive hotel.

The Bahia Principe Bouganville allows you to soak up the sun on the beach and the large pool at the centre of the complex. It is a five-star hotel that caters for visitors, golfers and families and much like Tortuga Bay and the Westin, the Bahia Principe is a hotel full of tranquillity and peace.

My room featured a spectacular traditional bed and a large bathroom which I used to relax on both nights of my stay. It was like you could zone out from the world in a room like this, in a hotel that is situated in a small city between the capital Santo Domingo and Puntacana.

There is a fine selection of restaurants at the Bahia Principe including Jasmin. There is also the huge food hall which is full of international options to cater for anyone and everyone’s tastes.

Bahia Principe is virtually on the same site as PGA Ocean’s 4, an impressive and fun coastal golf course. The service that took us to and from the golf course, as well as the general service in the hotel, was fantastic. Customer service at each hotel I stayed in was a standout feature of my trip to the Dominican Republic.

As part of the Bahia Principe Luxury all-inclusive experience, visitors are treated to unlimited dinners at the speciality restaurants, the poolside and beachside bar services, organised games and activities, international entertainment and an international selection of beverages.

The hotel complex is so vast, it is like being at Disneyland. That was my first thought when being ferried around in one of the many carts the hotel drives. It was a fun stay at a hotel that had a buzzing atmosphere.

Rates: For the Bahia Principe Bouganville La Romana, three nights for two people in June 2024 can be £466. Three nights for two people in June 2025 can be £461.

Distance from the airport: 30-minute drive from Punta Cana airport

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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