Out & About in Dominican Republic | Part Two: Punta Cana
Our guide to where to stay, where to play and where to experience the local culture in Punta Cana.
Where to Stay
If golf is your focus when heading down to the Dominican Republic, plan your stay at the Westin Punta Cana. Here you will have a relaxing environment, ocean views from all their rooms and access to a stunning white sand beach.
In your room, you will find their Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath collection which is exclusive only to the Punta Cana Resort. Also, they take a high interest in offering a healthy atmosphere for all guests offering healthier snack & food options, and a 100% smoke-free environment. The Westin is not an all-inclusive property but has 2 out of 3 of the best courses right on-site, so if great golf is what you are looking for, this is your place to stay!
Where to Play
Two of the top courses in the Dominican Republic are part of the Punta Cana Resort and Club. First you have La Cana, which now offers 27 fantastic holes. On the main 18 (Tortuga & Arrecife) you will find 14 holes that feature views of the Caribbean with four of the toughest holes right along the water front. The last 9 holes (Hacienda) is completely inland but will still give you an outstanding round of golf from start to finish.
La Cana Golf Course
When you are flying into Punta Cana International, make sure to look out the window because the stunning Corales Golf Course is going to be the first thing you see.
Corales has 18 phenomenal holes that will continuously put a smile on your face whether you are one under or 30 over. This course is very rewarding, yet tremendously challenging throughout the entire round. You are going to find more “waste areas” than bunkers and that clay/sand mixture can be rather tough to get out of. The fairways and greens are always in pristine condition making it one of the best course in all the Dominican Republic.
Last but not least, Punta Espada. This was my absolute favorite course in the Dominican Republic and just about made it to the top of my all-time favorite around the world.
When playing at Punta Espada it doesn’t matter if you are playing a hole along the water or completely inland, this course will leave you speechless from start to finish. Before you play, make your way out to their massive driving range, where you will find endless pyramids of range balls waiting for you. Make sure you warm up because this course will test even the best of golfers.
Heading to the first tee you will quickly realize you are not hitting from a normal tee box. You will take a sharp left turn and head straight up a steep hill to take your first tee shot from the top of a cliff. Moving on to the second hole you will find the same tee shot with a view of the Caribbean as far as your eyes can see.
With quite possibly the 3 best finishing holes I have ever played, there is no doubt Punta Espada should be on every golfer's itinerary.
Where to Eat
For a casual dining experience, take a relaxing stroll down the white sand beach to Playa Blanca. This beachfront restaurant serves a great seafood menu with a Caribbean twist that everyone in your group can enjoy. After your meal, you can sip on a refreshing drink at the bar, or find a spot on the beach to enjoy the sunshine.
The most popular place to dine at the Punta Cana Resort is La Yola. This delicious Mediterranean restaurant is situated in the marina with a deck built out over the water making the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. If you are lucky enough you might get seated at a table right next to the crystal clear blue Caribbean Sea.
La Yola, Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club
What to do away from the course
During your time at the Punta Cana Resort and Club, make sure to save a full day for the Ecological park and reserve. Start off with a Segway tour through the park and the tropical fruit tree garden. Followed by a horseback ride through the Punta Cana forests and down the Playa Serena, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in all the Dominican Republic. Finish your fun-filled day with a refreshing swim in Yauya, an absolutely stunning freshwater lagoon.
The Westin is better known for its relaxing environment and great golf courses. The best place to go for an evening drink would be the Cigar and Rum bar that is open until 11 pm, or the lobby bar open until 1am. But, if you are looking for a little more of a wild night, their staff will help you get where you need to go. Nightly transfers are available to the Hard Rock Resort which offers a full casino and night club open to outside guests.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
When traveling to the Dominican Republic, the main airport is Punta Cana International. This airport is owned by the Punta Cana Resort and Club, so if you are looking for a trip without much travel after your flights The Westin is a perfect choice. Once you have picked up your luggage, hop in a taxi and you will arrive at your hotel in just about 7 minutes and you will be on the beach relaxing before you know it.