Getting settled at our all-inclusive resort in Puerto Plata

This is a guest post by Susan Frederickson
Part of a series

My previous blog post covered how we decided on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for our vacation destination and the journey there. I left off with our arrival at the Bluebay Villas Doradas.

Upon arrival, we were very pleased with the first impression of our resort. The lobby was just as it appeared on the website. Open air and modern with a lounge area and bar.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 7.13.28 PM.pngPhoto: The lobby of our resort

There were three pools, including one with a swim up bar, and the beach was right behind the resort with a dining area. The resort itself was smaller than most all inclusives which gave it a nice, quaint feeling.

Our room was also pretty nice and clean with a lovely bathroom and shower. The smallest of the three pools, was right outside of our room. That was really convenient to have it there because it was quiet and relaxing. Most people were at the other two pools since they were larger and closer to the amenities. We ended up spending quite a bit of time at the smaller pool since it was so nice and close. There was also a spa right by our room. Neither Matt nor myself are big spa people so we didn’t utilize it during our stay but it seemed to be popular and it was good to have the option.

unnamedPhoto: (Top) Our bedroom at Bluebay Villas Doradas. (Bottom) The smaller pool that was right outside of our room.

By the time we arrived and  got all settled into our room, it was mid afternoon and we were both hungry after a long day of travel. We were told we would have snacks provided and that the refrigerator would be stocked with soda and beer the first day but unfortunately they forgot to stock ours. So we changed and ventured out to find food and refreshments. As soon as we started walking back  toward the main lobby, we were immediately greeted by a staff member who was eager to give us an official tour.

We were hoping to eat at one of the three restaurants advertised. Unfortunately that did not happen the first day though because we learned that there is actually only one restaurant open each night. They rotate the three different menus. Also you had to make reservations very early in order to get a spot. That night, the seafood restaurant was featured but it was booked full by the time we arrived. The other option was a buffet but since we got there just between meal times that was not open yet either. Fortunately the staff lady showed us to the snack bar which was right by the beach.

The selection wasn’t great but I didn’t have super high expectations from what I’d heard about the food at all inclusives. I had salad, fried chicken, and a piece of sketchy looking pizza (at least I think it was pizza). That was enough to fill us up until the buffet opened for dinner. Once we had some food in our stomachs we settled into some beach chairs do a little R&R by the beach. The beach was gorgeous and I could not get over how clear and blue the water was!

IMG_5207Photo: Gorgeous view from the beach of the clear blue water

The only downside of the beach was that it was public which meant literally every five to ten minutes one of the locals would come over to try and sell us something and man, they were relentless! I was a bit surprised at how aggressive they were and how many different things they had to sell. Everything from bracelets, to windchimes, to t-shirts, to hair braiding, massages, manicures, etc. And saying no just once was not enough. They continued coming back multiple times and trying to pursue us to change our mind.

I admittedly was bothered by this a lot more than Matt. He’s great with people and did a good job of politely declining but still making conversation so we weren’t perceived as being rude. The poverty of the country was really eye opening to me and although it was irritating to constantly be approached while trying to relax, I had to remind myself that they were just trying to make a living. And they were all very friendly. One man even gave me a free ankle bracelet which I brought back for Matt’s daughter, Madeline.

13260177_10206056742530058_7879149215395775725_n.jpgPhoto: Matt and I at the beach.

After a few hours at the beach we went back to the hotel room to change for dinner. The buffet was definitely better than the snack bar. They had a large variety of food: Pasta, fresh fruit, chicken, soup, salad, potatoes, sandwiches, a wide selection of dessert, etc. It was pretty good overall. The only issue was the bread table had ants crawling on it. That grossed me out a bit 😦 Oh and the wine literally tasted like water mixed with grape juice. We quickly learned that it was worthwhile to purchase one of the branded bottles than drink the wine included in the all inclusive cost.

After dinner we were pretty exhausted from traveling and a long day. We went back to our hotel room to get some shut eye and recharge for Day 2.

Stay tuned to hear about Day 2 in my next blog post.

 

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