Puntacana Resort & Club is best consumed as a home owner — hotel guest is a close second. Like most sprawling resorts, there is a learning curve to the layout and options. Puntacana (one word) is the 26 square mile resort on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic in the town of Punta Cana (two words). There are several oceanfront and golf course homes in the 30,000- to 50,000 square foot range. Not just the Caribbean, but some of the finest classic and modern Mediterranean-style homes in the world dot this tropical resort.
These Dominican palaces set the standard for the luxury beach lifestyle. The homes there are like what you see in cologne and fine watch commercials — regal indeed. Most have open-air spaces, resort-style pools and outdoor kitchens large enough to entertain 500 of your closest friends. Word on the beach is that Julio Iglesias might listen to an offer of $40 million for his beachfront mansion in the Playa Serena neighborhood. There are six other neighborhoods with price-points in-between. For the budget buyer — a one bedroom condominium in Hacienda Del Mar is around $400,000.
Alas, your $40 million dollar check to Mr. Iglesias bounces, but you still want to tee it up on the PB Dye-designed La Cana course (27 holes) and Tom Fazio-designed Corales course. There are four guest options at Puntacana.
Tortuga Bay (pictured top) has one, two, three and four bedroom Oscar de la Renta-designed villas. Mr. de la Renta was an early investor and a boutique bearing his name is onsite and still open for business.
There’s also the Westin Puntacana, a Four Points by Sheraton and some homes are available for rent. A case could be made for Tortuga Bay, the Westin or a rental home as the top choice — most would agree they’re more desirable than the Four Points, which is closer to the airport and often used for travelers in transit.
Tortuga is more secluded and cozy, while the Westin has a bit more action with its pool bar, volleyball courts and cigar bar. And while the massive pool at the Westin is the hero there — Tortuga villas are closer to, and more about the beach. Westin king rooms start at around $275 — Tortuga kings $550. However, larger groups in three- or four-bedroom villas can share and offset the lodging tab which start at around $1,600 a night.
The spa, seven restaurants, nature trail with freshwater swimming-hole lagoons and its massive ecotourism experience are easily accessible from all lodging options. It will take several trips to get through the list of activities — golf, tennis, scuba diving, kiteboarding and Grupo Puntacana Foundation Volunteerism are popular.
WBGD Editor’s Recommendation:
- Buy a massive house, at least 40,000 square feet — leave nothing to the imagination and live your Puntacana life to the fullest
- Stay in the Westin or Tortuga Bay, can’t go wrong with either — Westin will most likely be more affordable
There are several golf package options for singles, couples, small groups and large groups, visit: puntacana.com