Last week I asked: What is a no-stress kind of beach vacation?
An all-inclusive resort.
It had been years since we stayed at an all-inclusive resort and we had forgotten what a stress-free vacation it can be.
We recently spent a week at Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach near La Romana in the Dominican Republic.
We picked it because it was near the Santo Domingo airport.
United Airlines had a reasonable airfare to the Dominican Republic so we decided on a two-country getaway: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Because we booked everything independently we had to provide our own transportation to the resort so we hired Jesus Humberto Minevino Villegas to transport us.
He was recommended by the owners of a hotel we had booked in Santo Domingo.
At the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach we had a cabana facing the pool and beach.
The resort is comprised of two-unit stone cabanas each with a porch.
It was perfect – not necessarily fancy.
The resort is three-stars but, as another guest said, “I’d give it another half star.” And, I would agree.
One of the nice things about an all-inclusive resort is everyone can do what they want.
There were a lot of activities including beach volleyball, dance lessons, water games, yoga classes and other activities posted on the event board by the pool.
We basically enjoyed the pool but near our cabana there was a trapeze that offered classes in the morning for the youngsters and later in the day for adults.
We were impressed with how well everyone did with the help of the staff.
So, John had to try it.
The staff gave him a mini lesson on the low bar.
Basically, they instructed John on how to get his legs over the bar so he could hang by his legs.
And, much to the amazement of the watchers, who were much younger, he climbed the ladder, took off through the air, and was hanging by his legs on the second try.
However, he admitted it was more difficult than it looked and he nearly got blisters from hanging on.
The majority of the guests were from Europe and South America which we liked.
My feeling is if people only want to meet Americans then they might as well stay in America.
Most of the guests took day trips to a nearby island but also there were snorkeling and diving options.
The evening shows were fun.
I personally preferred the one that featured Dominican dances.
Dining at the resort was buffet style but, as is true of most resorts, they have fine dining by reservation.
Check on the reservation policy when checking in.
Some thoughts on deciding which all-inclusive resort to book.
Pick the best deal.
Basically a beach is a beach.
I think most people staying at an all-inclusive are not cognizant of what country they are in.
Consider a three- or four-star resort keeping in mind that the chances of booking a five-star resort for three-star prices are slim to none.
The savings can be significant and the stay can be just as enjoyable.
Off-season or low season usually means a lower price.
We stayed at the Wyndham in early November and even though the weather channel indicated clouds and rain every day while we were there it only rained a couple of times and then only for a short period of time.
The rest of the time it was sunny.
So much for the veracity of the weather channel.
Trivia Tease™: What Haitian city is noted for its handicrafts?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!