Important Things to Ask When Checking Into a Punta Cana All-Inclusive Resort
Things to Ask When Checking
Into a Punta Cana All-Inclusive Resort
Seasoned travelers with more than a few all-inclusive stays under their belt know that quality can vary from resort to resort. Take Punta Cana, a gorgeous stretch of prime beaches and plenty of all-inclusive properties. While many of the resorts here have similar concepts and designs, differences tend to sneak up that may not be communicated during the booking process. And the bigger the resort, the harder it may be to snag a staff member to chat with, especially with substantial lines at the front desk. That’s why the check-in process is the best opportunity to get things straight.
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1. Do we need to make reservations for the restaurants (and is there a dress code?)
Nothing is more frustrating than being told you can’t get a table at an all-inclusive resort’s restaurant because you don’t have a reservation. Many high-end resorts, which features nine gourmet restaurants, don’t require dinner reservations, but not all operate the same way. Some resorts not only make reservations mandatory, but demand a strict morning time for bookings. Oh! And remember, ask if there’s a dress code, too.
2. What’s the entertainment schedule?
Getting a schedule of the resort’s nightlife and entertainment options when checking in isn’t always a guarantee. If this is a key part of your experience, ask the front desk for a rundown of what’s happening that week. It also doesn’t hurt to ask their opinion on what the best shows are.
3. Which water sports and day trips are included?
Most mid-range tropical all-inclusive resorts will include non-motorized water sports (think kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and snorkeling) with the rate. Some, however, still charge an obnoxious fee or require strict time limits to an hour per day, or worse, per week.
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4. What’s the tipping policy?
Not only is this a key area of difference between cultures, it’s also an area of variance between resorts. Some all-inclusives automatically add a 10 percent (or more) service charge with the rate, so ask the front desk while checking in. Unfortunately, many of the folks who work at these resorts are paid a very low wage and depend on tips for income.
5. Are minibar items and room service free?
It’s worth asking. At the very least, many rooms have free bottled water. Some even offer full minibar access with free soda, beer, and snacks; coffeemakers are also provided.
6. Is there an upgrade option?
Depending on the resort, availability, and time of year, an upgrade can be obtained for a nominal fee. Find out from the front desk what the options and benefits are of moving up.
Punta Cana, the crown jewel of Caribbean beach destinations, does not disappoint. A seemingly endless list of resorts offers all-inclusive luxury alongside affordable options to suit any type of traveler, with hotels ranging from family-friendly to opulent.