Dreaming of the Dominican Republic
Last weekend was a wonderful five days of warmth and relaxation. As promised, here’s a recap of our trip to the Dominican Republic.
Before I get into our resort, a quick story about how we decided on the Majestic Colonial.
When we originally booked this trip, we were on an Airbnb kick. We had had such success in San Fran and Austin that we decided we wanted to do it EVERYWHERE. This is good in some places, such as the U.S. and even Europe, but unless you’re a seasoned traveler to islands where there’s a language barrier and things like water are dubious to drink, it may not be the best choice.
We started doing more research and found that most tourists in the DR stay at all-inclusive resorts, where the safety concerns are minimized, meals are a no-brainer, and you don’t have to worry about exchanging currency. After some discussion and closer examination of where we had elected to stay and its distance to the beach and food options, we made a last minute decision to switch to a resort. Although we had saved a lot of money on the Airbnb, by the time we would have eaten out every day (it wasn’t equipped with a kitchen), we probably would have spent about the same as if we stayed in a resort.
We made the change three days before our flight and immediately felt better about our decision. We found a deal at the Majestic Colonial, which was also highly rated on several travel sites. I found out afterwards that several people I know had also stayed there, which was another thing that made me feel better about it. I give credit to Neil for first bringing up his concerns and insisting on them even after I tried to be some kind of worldly explorer and tell him everything would be fine and we would just “figure it out.” HA.
Moral: do your research. We weren’t able to get our money back for the Airbnb since it was such short notice and took it as a learning experience.
We spent five days at the Majestic Colonial. For about an extra $100, you could upgrade to the “Colonial Club,” which allowed you several extras such as an adults only beach, two private swimming pools, an exclusive lounge with snacks all day, and other smaller benefits.
There were three floors of rooms with an open-air corridor down the middle.
Our room was great. As expected in a tropical climate, it was pretty humid, but the air conditioning helped minimize it. We had a tub, but the drain wouldn’t stay down and I hate baths, so it really worked out for the best. 🙂
The bed was very comfortable and they even gave us robes and slippers. The slippers are now at home with me because I loved them. I’m going to say that was ok to do.
We also had a couch where I read when I was trying to hide from the sun.
Our balcony overlooked one of the two private pools that also came with shaded cabanas and a swim up bar if you didn’t want to leave the water.
A quick sidenote on drinking: Both of us don’t drink. If you do, an all-inclusive resort is an especially great deal because all of the alcohol is included. Our room was stocked with champagne and four medium-sized liquor bottles upon our arrival that I shoved into a corner when I arrived (ha).
If you’re someone who has issued with alcohol or is in early recovery, these types of resorts may not be for you. We were constantly asked what we wanted to drink and there were tables full of drinks that we had to walk by on several occasions. It’s not something that I tend to crave anymore, but I still made sure to be careful by keeping it away from me and avoiding areas where it was prevalent.
Neil loved the shade. He is completely opposite from me. I don’t understand this life.
The resort itself was beautiful. It was very well maintained and really amazing to just wander around in. I love bright colors and this did not disappoint.
There was an adorable church where they held mass on Saturdays.
Or functioned as a photo backdrop.
I couldn’t write this post without talking about the food.
The Majestic Colonial has six restaurants, all of which you can eat at under the all-inclusive umbrella. We tried two of them — one Dominican and their steakhouse — but spent most of our time at the buffet.
There was a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there were a ton of options to choose from. When researching the resort, we saw a lot of mixed reviews about the food. It was very black and white and not a lot of middle ground opinions.
My verdict on the food was that it was fine. It wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t the best food I had ever had, but that’s to be expected at an all-inclusive. There were many, many options and my advice is just to be creative with it. One day I made a sandwich with ingredients from several different parts of the buffet and it was great. If we had been there for longer, it may have gotten repetitive, but I think we were there for the perfect amount of time to not be bored or dissatisfied with it.
For the most part, when we go on vacation (especially to a beach) we aren’t big on excursions. This one was no exception. We brought books and swimsuits and that’s it.
The beach was beautiful. It didn’t rain at all while we were there (minus a one minute shower) and the temperatures were in the 80s. The area on the beach was SUPER windy, but it counteracted the heat from the sun and helped keep everything cool. The sand was also heavy enough that it didn’t blow around from all the wind. Magic.
I did handstands.
Neil looked into the distance and pondered the meaning of life.
A MONKEY CRAWLED ON ME. I didn’t get a picture with it because I would have had to pay, but I pestered this man until he let me take one picture of his monkey (I took three).
Some other highlights of the resort that I didn’t capture were:
- nightly live music
- nightly shows in an outdoor theater. The first night we saw part of a circus show that was really cool
- many gift shops
- an impressive fitness center that I didn’t use because I rarely exercise on vacation
- a sports bar where we would have watched the Packers game except there were 126574657 people in it
We arrived on Friday evening and left Tuesday afternoon and it the perfect amount of time. I think our Mexico vacation was a day too short and our honeymoon felt slightly too long, so this was just right.
I would definitely recommend this resort if you are looking to take a trip. There are actually three under the Majestic brand — the Colonial (oldest), the Elegance (middle), and the Majestic (opened Dec 2016). From what I’ve read, the Colonial and Elegance are the top two and the Majestic is still working out some kinks since it’s still newly opened.
Our flight back was painless (although long for me at almost five hours), and we returned rested and refreshed.
We had the best time and are looking forward to some of our other trips that we have coming up this year. Stay tuned for more recaps!
- Have you every been to the DR? How was your experience?
- What’s the best place you’ve ever visited?