Our summer of get-to-work-on-transforming-this-new-home was put on hold to bring you fabulous-vacation-photos-and-review! (The only interior inspiration you get is this posh welcome bar – can you say Pina Colada, anyone?!! )…
Many of you loved our vacation photos posted on Facebook and had tons of questions about the details of the trip, so hopefully those are answered here…and you manage to giggle a little along the way (if not by us, then by the elusive Dominican duck – seriously, I have an issue with clusters in nature, so their faces are almost encouraging an upchuck over here)!!
(Amazingly enough, the babies look like fuzzy “American ducks”!!)
Our trip was booked through vacationexpress.com where we quickly found amazing rates on all-inclusive flight and resort deals, as well as direct flight options, a MUST with kids!
Initially we were set to head to Freeport, Bahamas, but because of the damage sustained from Hurricane Matthew (appropriately named for my ravaging Mr.!!), our resort was closed down. This was AFTER we had booked and paid our deposit.
Vacation Express could not have been more awesome, promptly informing us of the news and even offering us a discount to switch our reservation to another location.
Enter pristine Punta Cana! We like to vary our vacation destinations and since we went to Punta Cana last year, we hesitated going again…but we LOVED it soooo much AND we hadn’t taken the kids, so we went for it!
We were initially booked at Memories Grand Bahama Beach Resort, so we transferred to their sister resort of Memories Splash Punta Cana. It was everything we had hoped for – and even more!!
Not only were we greeted by a friendly staff, pristine grounds, and plentiful food (“So I can get a cheeseburger ANYTIME of the day?”)…we also had unlimited access to a full water park…
…where the fam tore it up on the wicked awesome slides, and I embarrassingly screamed like a child (and got a massive wedgie, but thankfully didn’t lose my top!!).
Memories Splash has five restaurants, including a variety buffet, Italian, Mexican, Seafood, and a pool-side grill. There was also a café serving up custom coffees, ice cream, and desserts. The food is divine and all of the restaurants are quite beautiful!
On our first day, we met a native Dominican man who actually lived in Indianapolis (which is only about two-and-a-half hours from us) for most of his childhood. He asked if we would attend a sales seminar on his behalf at the Royalton Resort and Spa. The Royalton is in front of Memories Splash (you have to walk through it to get to the beach). The sales pitch only took about an hour and occurred over our breakfast, so we didn’t feel like it was a big deal (plus we got to tour the time share condo at the Royalton – with its fancy swim-up – and we got a Hibachi dinner for free).
We loved how the Royalton and Memories, while separate resorts, have this very connected feel. We also fell in love with the cuisine at the indoor/outdoor Trattoria at the Royalton, where Memories guests can dine for free.
Each day the pools had a variety of activities to entertain
us our kids 🙂 and the pool bars had a specialty drink to try, which added to the fun! Here our kids are waiting to order…”Virgin please,” our little would say. (Um, pretty sure they know you’re not 18 – the D.R. drinking age!!).
(Pretty pool – where I actually DID find a dead bird on day #1 – but unlike the dead iguana outside our room in Mexico, this one was removed promptly!!!)
The Royalton infinity pool was another highlight, where the girls channeled their inner Jesus and “laid on the water”…and I battled a couple of Brits in a fierce game of pool volleyball (ok, the only fierceness was when I hit my OWN face with the ball!!!).
This splash-pad-style sand rinse-off area acted also as a bidet for our children…just keeping it real!!
But the best part of all is that WATER, WATER, WATER!!!
(“Um, are there any sharks out here?!!!)…not that we ever saw 😉
Seriously, look at the clarity! It’s so impressive – not my 14-year-old’s bicep (sigh, he’s becoming a man) – but how clearly you can see in to the water (please tell me you see that fish!!).
(Check out those biceps though – whoa mama!!!)
And the water temperature is like bath water!!
Until next time…
Disclaimer: I was encouraged by Vacation Express to write this review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!