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MJP
Jun 17, 2007

Are you looking at me Senpai?

Grimey Drawer

My wife has had a rough year or so and we're looking to take a nice relaxing vacation. We're looking at all-inclusives. I'm a huge food nerd, and seeing the restaurants that these properties have look like anything we could get - better, too - here at home (northern NJ/NY metro area). Plus neither of us are huge drinkers, so the free-flowing alcohol offerings of an all-inclusive don't resonate too much. A drink or two a day is probably the most either of us would manage.

I'm toying with the idea of expanding the search outside of all-inclusive resorts to decent quality hotels with a pool and grownups-only situation (neither of us want a vacation surrounded by kids) with maybe a good restaurant or easy access to elsewhere for meals.
Basically, we know that we're not getting an adventure travel experience and that's fine by us - primary objective is to relax in an environment where having a gastrointestinal problem and resulting low energy levels along with a balance disorder (like I said, rough year) won't mean we miss out if she's down for most of the vaycay.

Proximity via taxi or otherwise easy access to a really nice restaurant for one fancy dinner would be good, so long as it's something unique enough that's worth going to. We really love trying new foods and are adventurous eaters.

Neither of us is fluent in Spanish but both of us have taken it in high school. We can brush up enough to communicate very slowly, but we definitely get that we'd be in a Spanish-speaking country and intend to respect that.

We're toying with Punta Cana, anywhere in Puerto Rico (I'd prefer near enough to San Juan and Arecibo for the old city and the radio telescope respectively) or maybe somewhere in Mexico. We're open to the rest of the Caribbean, even Central America if the airfare doesn't suck.

We're looking to travel right after Thanksgiving, leaving Saturday November 29th, and stay for around 6 nights.

Budget is around the $2500ish range for the whole trip, plus or minus. Of course, the lower the better but we don't want to stay in a crap shack. A pool and a beach are must-haves.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

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Thesaurus
Oct 3, 2004
Professional Noun

Punta Cana is primarily big resorts, so I'm not sure what you'll find there in terms of general hotel deals (although there may be plenty, I'm not sure).

I strongly encourage you to check out the Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. The town of Las Terrenas is ridiculously nice and there are lots of affordable boutique hotels on insanely beautiful beaches, a wide array of excellent restaurants, with special emphasis on excellent French cuisine(the town has a major French expat community), large scenic waterfall, and just a wonderful area all around. Good whale watching nearby (depending on the season). Depending on your needs, you could stay in the smaller beach town of Las Galeras at the tip of the peninsula. The peninsula is largely devoid of all inclusive resorts, so it's more geared to the type of trip you describe.

Cabarete on the north coast of the DR has plenty of nice hotels, good restaurants, and lots of outdoor water sports (#1 kite surfing location in the world, they claim).

Samana has a small airport, but you'd probably find better deals to one of the other major airports (Santo Domingo, Santiago, or Puerto Plata). Cabarete is near Puerto Plata.

If you don't care about unlimited alcohol or so-so buffet style food, then definitely look outside of the all-inclusives. If you want alcohol, excellent rum is super cheap in the DR anyways.

MJP
Jun 17, 2007

Are you looking at me Senpai?

Grimey Drawer

Awesome - anything like this in Puerto Rico?

sellouts
Apr 23, 2003



If you're a food nerd be prepared to be disappointed by all inclusive resorts. It will be good but I eat far better any time I am in NYC.

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