Family travel goes upscale in Dominican Republic Michele Peterson June 19, 2014 9068 With its calm waters, white sand beaches and lofty palm trees, Punta Cana is blessed with natural features perfect for kids. It’s also located in the Dominican Republic, one of the first Caribbean islands to develop the concept of all-inclusive holidays, that ideal blend of convenience and no-surprises pricing that’s proven to be so popular with families. Now, a few visionary Punta Cana resorts are giving the all-inclusive concept a makeover and are ramping up the guest experience with chic décor, premium cuisine and VIP perks. This is good news for families. Here are some highlights. Luxe dining at Melia The Level in Punta Cana Stay Earning well-deserved buzz is Melia Caribe Tropical’s new premium experience called The Level. Located on palm-fringed Bavaro Beach, Melia launched The Level Adults-Only and The Level (family-friendly) in December 2013. Designed to offer the convenience of an all-inclusive vacation with the luxury services of a boutique resort, the concept has been so successful it’s boasted a 95% occupancy rate from the start. Exclusive pool at Melia The Level Credit Michele Peterson The Level is set in an exclusive wing of the resort with VIP check-in, VIP lounge, concierge service and private swimming pools. This new privileged zone offers an upgraded stay featuring swanky One Bedroom and Master Suites with large patios, pillow menus, spa showers and mini-bars stocked with family-friendly supplies such as milk, juice and snacks guaranteed to help you make it through your holiday tantrum-free. Rooms can be connected upon request. Also expanding its luxury inventory available for families is Now Larimar Punta Cana, a few steps away on Bavaro Beach. Part of AMResorts, operating in Mexico, Jamaica, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic, they coined the term “Unlimited Luxury” to describe their all-inclusive package of twice-daily maid service, 24-hour room service and concierge attention. This summer, Now Larimar Punta Cana is adding 80 Preferred Club rooms and redesigning its Preferred Club Lounge, a private area where guests can indulge in afternoon hors d’oeuvres, dessert buffets and premium liquor. More family-style pampering can be found at The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, with its Family Concierge Private Lounge and dedicated staff available to do your bidding whether that means making dinner reservations or coordinating with the beach concierge so your loungers are ready when you are. Explorer’s Club Dreams Punta Cana Resort Spa Credit AMResorts Play When it comes to kids clubs, Dreams Resorts has built a loyal fan base with its acclaimed nature-based Explorers Club. At Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, kids can enjoy water slides and splash pads along with science-based fun such as exploring mangroves or bird watching. Parents are equipped with pagers for ease of mind. The sports-themed Core Zone for teens is open until midnight and includes nightly socials, bonfires and a rock-climbing wall. Melia Caribe Tropical Adventure Park Credit- Melia Outdoor adventure also plays a big role at Melia Caribe Tropical where an expansive adventure park with zip-lining, wall climbing and trampolines means there’s no need to leave the resort and stand in line at an outside attraction. For tiny tykes, the Flintstones-themed Bamm Bamm Club welcomes kids from 8 months to 13 years. It’s scheduled for enhancements. For The Level guests, a dedicated road train offers shuttle service to the private beach and around the resort and is particularly welcome for those with young children. Eat, Drink and More Fine-dining takes centre stage in this new crop of family-friendly luxury resorts. After playing hard all day, parents can enjoy grown-up time at the GABI Club, a sophisticated hideaway that feels more Miami South Beach than all-inclusive resort, at Melia The Level. With its illuminated lounge chairs, gauzy privacy screens and torch lights set in the sand, it’s ideal for relaxing with a post or pre-dinner cocktail while the kids snooze peacefully under the stars on a nearby Bali bed. Preferred Club Lounge Dreams Punta Cana Resort Spa Credit AMResorts Room service has also been notched up across the board. 24-hour room service is available at both Dreams and Now, with menus guaranteed to please the pickiest eater. At Melia The Level, mini-fridges complement room service making it extra easy to have snacks available on-demand. Other pleasures include spa therapy. Melia The Level’s exclusive Yhi Wellness Spa comes complete with a Thermal Circuit featuring hydrotherapy pools in a lush garden setting. Priority reservations for spa, golf, tennis and dining are also perks for The Level guests. In its spa, NOW Larimar offers treatments tailored to children and teens such as a SpaTeen Blemished Skin facial or mini-manicures. Melia The Level exclusive beach Credit Michele Peterson No matter the size of your family or whether you’re travelling with tots, teens or both, everyone can be a VIP in family-friendly Punta Cana. Travel Planner Melia The Level: www.meliacaribetropical.com Paradisus Punta Cana: www.melia.com Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa: www.dreamsresorts.com/punta-cana Now Larimar Punta Cana: www.nowresorts.com/index.php/larimar Air Transat offers year-round flights and all-inclusive hotel packages from Montreal to Punta Cana www.airtransat.ca Related
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