Recently I traveled to Punta Cana , Dominican Republic, I choose an all-inclusive resort because unlike a lot of my travels, this time I wanted to just relax and enjoy being in one place without having a schedule and 10 things to do in a day back to back to back. I choose Zoetry Agua Punta Cana for this trip and here is my report.
This resort is far away from all the hustle and bustle of Punta Cana and Bavaro beach (Its technically not even Punta Cana, it’s called Uvero Alto); private transportation is at least 45 minutes from the airport (more if your ride makes stops). Consider this when it comes to making plans off site, excursions, day trips etc., you need to account for the time spent traveling to and from.
If you want to party all day, this is not the resort for you. Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is a resort that is great if you want to relax and do a lot of nothing; other than go to the beach, the pool, the pool bar, the restaurant or the spa, there is not a lot going on there. However, I highly recommended this resort for honeymoons and for those looking to relax 100% with little distractions.
Although the resort allows children, think twice before booking them on this vacation because the kids could potentially get bored quickly since there are little to no activities for adults, let alone for children, and they still have to pay full price.
If you get bored of the beach or the pool, you can always mix it up with a visit to the gym or the spa or the salon.
This resort is only 96 rooms big and it feels secluded and very private (perfect even for a celebrity looking for privacy), on this vacation no matter the location of your room, the beach or the pool are only steps away.
There are only 4 restaurants (only 2 open for dinner) 1 is open for breakfast and one for lunch, and there is always room service. All rooms are all inclusive, including gratuities (none the less, tips are expected and appreciated by all staff).
At Zoetry you actually get your own concierge, who can help you with spa and excursion bookings, recommendations, special requests, etc.
As part of the all-inclusive, the resort offers unlimited “top shelf” spirits, and even though the resort bars were stocked with Patron, Jack Daniels, Frangelico, Absolut, Bacardi, local President Beer, etc., if you want a wine other than the house wine there is an up-charge, and don’t expect much from the bubbly, as the house bubbly is a very mediocre sparkling wine called Platino, anything else is going to cost you.
In the evenings there is entertainment at the lobby from 9:15 PM on, it changes every night, it varies from a saxophonist, to a singer, to a 1 man bartender show, most of the music during our week stay was old school, think of the 80’s and 90’s, no merengue here!, don’t expect a party at the lobby because you will be disappointed, and quite frankly, possible bored.
Our room (I traveled with a girlfriend) had 2 beds, a small table with 2 chairs, a balcony that had direct access to a pool, and our 2 own pool chairs, the room decor was nice but lacked wow factor, the bathroom had little privacy, this can be a potential issue for some people, the bathroom did not have a privacy door, the toilet was separate and had a door, the shower/bathtub did not have a door and anyone in the room could easily see you in the shower or tub ( the shower head and bathtub hardware were dirty, see picture below)
The resort offered us a 20 minute complimentary horseback riding , unfortunately, the company the resort uses for this service do not have healthy looking horses, to the contrary, the horses looked tired, thirsty, some (including mine) had open sores, they looked sad, I decided to spare “my” horse the ride and give him a 20 minute break and massage instead, once the other people came back from the ride, the horseman took out a bottle of rum and pictures that they wanted to sell the riders for $35 dollars. In addition this company did not offer riders helmets unlike other vendors we saw in the area.
As many hotels and resorts do, here you will get the time share pitch and I took it because I was offered a $100 spa credit and a half day catamaran trip that included snorkeling and an open bar, it was well worth the hour and half spent in the sales pitch even though our sales guy was not happy about not having my business, oh well….
I would recommend to Zoetry that they require this vendor to treat their horses ethically and with respect and dignity, or give the business to someone else.
Overall and despite a few shortfalls, the resort was nice and I would come back for my honeymoon or if I needed to recharge and wanted some me time and not have to deal with crowds.
I am a scuba diver so I took the opportunity to do a 2 tank dive one day and it was underwhelming, the day started by being picked up early in the morning and taking the longest trip to Bavaro Beach making more stops to pick customers than a 7 train to Queens, once there only 3 of us were diving, the rest of the people had other activities planned. Moving on to the diving, the 3 of us and the divemaster proceed to the beach and a small boat is waiting for us (small, no ladder, jumping overboard to get in the water and struggling to get back on the boat , repeat twice on heavy currents! not fun getting back on the boat!) , we head to the first diving sight and the dive master tells the boat guide where to go, we finally “get there”, but there is no diving buoy anywhere to be found, our dive master tells the boat guide “ well , it’s supposed to be around here, because ( and he signals toward shore) dive shop is over there and the dive site is supposed to be over here and a little to the right “ , yeah I think to myself , this is really looking promising!! ) so we continue to go somewhere else in search for the diving site , finally we get to the first diving site and find the diving buoy which turns out to be a lifesaver jacket (must be a Caribbean thing) , we have no dive site briefing get in the water and descend to a dive that is not very exciting, sandy bottom, lots of current, hardly any fish and coral that looked mostly tired and sick, the most exciting part of both dives was the sight of a young barracuda that was swimming weird and at a closer look we discovered that it had probably been hit with a harpoon and was struggling to survive, the dive master grabbed the barracuda and ascended to the surface with it and gave it to the boat guide to take it home for dinner , can’t get any fresher than that!. Several people recommended Catalina Island as a good diving destination, although I did not have the time to go there on this trip, I will check it out when I go back.