The cabanas just before they opened ..
When booking our trip to the Dominican Republic, we chose the usual .. an all-inclusive resort. While we like to explore during the day, we like to come back to a place where the food & drink are already paid for (with our credit card miles .. even better). We've done the all-inclusive in Jamaica, the Virgin Islands & Mexico and have never been disappointed. Yeah, the buffet food becomes repetitive but it's nice to start the day with a good breakfast and end the day at the pool bar with some sort of entertainment as well.
We decided that our first day would be spent relaxing at our resort, "The Tropical", and getting on "island time". I got up early the next day and claimed the last remaining cabana overlooking the beach. Typically an early riser, I really enjoyed the short walk to the cabanas ... everything was so peaceful and beautiful. There's something about the start of a new day ... folks cleaning the pools, trimming the shrubs and getting breakfast started .. it reminded me of the mornings we'd spent in the French Quarter and watching the businesses getting ready to open ... it's just so calming to me. Here's a couple of shots I took that morning ...
I threw a hat and a couple of towels on the cabana and headed to the buffet for breakfast with Ken and our family. After filling up on food, we all spent the day hanging out on the cabana. Pampered with Pina coladas, Presidente beer & food ... we were finally able to relax!
That afternoon, we ventured down the stairs and onto the beach that we had explored the evening before. To the left, the beach led to the sister resort that we also had access to .. Cofresi. This resort seemed a little newer, but we still preferred our resort's layout. Below are pics of the beach toward's the Cofresi resort ... there were little souvenir huts along the way, and we loved seeing hills! The water wasn't as gorgeous as the Virgin Islands or Mexico, but it got better as we explored the island.
Once we walked to the end, we had this view when we turned around ... beautiful!
Here we are at the Cofresi resort's pool ...
and their "Cheers" pool bar.
When walking on the beach to the right of our resort, you'll find a Wall-Mart...
and a guy selling fresh pina coladas in a coconut shell!
We really enjoyed the resort, as it served its purpose for us. Like anything, if you read some of the reviews on the internet, you'd be scared away. The rooms weren't luxurious and the beach wasn't the prettiest, but the pool & cabana areas were beautiful and the resort was conveniently located to all the sites we wanted to visit. We did consider the resorts in Punta Cana (the eastern side of the island) because of their beautiful beaches, but we learned that there was nothing but other resorts surrounding that area and it would take hours to get to anything ... not for us.
Oh, and speaking of being conveniently located to the sites ... just take the free resort shuttle to the front entrance and take the local bus (called Javilla Tours) for a buck! The sign at the resort showing the taxi fares ... outrageous! Plus, the "taxis" are pretty much beat up, old cars & vans. The buses are really nice ... like a tour bus, with a/c and music too. I'll be writing a "Frugal Fridays" post soon about all the ways we saved a ton of money on this trip!
Before we knew it, our day of pampering had come to an end. We had to get up early for our first adventure ... white-water rafting. Would some of us be hungover?!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!