All-Inclusive Beachfront Hotel with Nightly Live Music
Playa Dorada is a gated resort community located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Though many cities in this region—such as Puerto Plata, located 10 minutes west—are known for their Victorian homes and colonial monuments, Playa Dorada offers a more contemporary scene with two casinos, a designer golf course, and an open-air shopping center. The Celuisma Playa Dorada is a lively, all-inclusive hotel located within the complex. It has an onsite disco, offers unlimited drinks, and hosts live music every night. A handful of complimentary sporting activities provide entertainment during the day.
The hotel sits on the golden sands of its namesake beach, which stretches for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Lounge chairs are included with the package, but they're claimed early, so get there in the morning to snag one under a shady palapa. The hotel rents out watersports equipment such as kayaks and scuba-diving gear for a small fee, but most complimentary activities take place away from the reefs and waves. Guests can play tennis for an hour per day, take quick horseback rides, or cruise around town on bicycles. You'll find plenty of entertainment in the pool, too, and at the adjacent bar, where the drinks start flowing early on.
The all-inclusive package covers all meals at the hotel's restaurant buffet and four à la carte spots. Tex-Mex specialties abound at Juanito's Mexican Restaurant, a two-story eatery decorated with colorful flags and fringed fabrics. On the beach, Kokomo's plays up the island vibe with grilled meats and tropical cocktails. At the end of the day, head back to your superior guest room, where a private balcony ushers in ocean breezes.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: Waterfalls, Beaches, and Centuries-Old Historical Sites
Situated on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is best known for its sun-kissed beaches. But the province has several breathtaking geographical features inland as well. Damajagua is a natural water park of sorts—it features 27 waterfalls flowing from limestone rock formations. Tour guides lead groups through the falls, and you can swim and occasionally slide down the natural water slides.
You can get an aerial view of Puerto Plata and the Caribbean Sea on a teleférico, or cable car. One of them climbs 2,565 feet to the apex of Mount Isabel de Torres, which is crowned with blooming botanical gardens and a replica of Rio de Janeiro's massive Christ the Redeemer statue. It's also worth it to take a scenic drive to Parque Histórico La Isabela, where you'll find the remains of a church as well as ruins of a colonial village where Columbus routinely woke his neighbors by blasting the Santa Maria's foghorn.
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