Lively Adults-Only Seaside Resort Near Prestigious Golf Course
Resting beside a glittering aquamarine bay, BlueBay Villas Doradas is an all-inclusive, picturesque resort tucked between verdant clusters of tropical trees. Nearby, the challenging par 72 Playa Dorada Golf Course, designed by master course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., situates putters between palm-studded bays and turquoise waters. BlueBay Villas Doradas caters to club swingers by assisting with a tee-time reservation at the resort's front desk as well as providing players a golf-cart shuttle to the seaside course.
After a day on the links, the air-conditioned, earth-toned standard plus double room cossets overnighters in one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. A minibar refreshes thirsty visitors with a one-time welcome pack of soda, water, and beers. Travelers can surf through cable- satellite channels on the room's television set, and, for an extra free, store their valuables on a rented golf rack or in an electronic safe.
As an all-inclusive resort, BlueBay Villas Doradas sates its boarders with a quartet of eateries serving cuisine ranging from the international buffet at Las Grazas Restaurant to à la carte steaks at El Dorado Restaurant. A pair of alfresco bars, including a swim-up drinkery, flank the resort's two expansive outdoor pools. Back inside, a team of aestheticians pampers guests with massages and facials in the full-service spa, and hairstylists sculpt stylish coifs in the beauty salon. A steady throb of Caribbean drums entices passersby to partake in a merengue dance lesson, and health hunters can hit the resort's gym or square off against like-minded vacationers on the volleyball or tennis courts. A multifarious hotbed of entertainment, BlueBay also packs three casinos into its compound.
Puerto Plata: Adventure and History Amid a Bustling Beach Scene
The sparkling sands and cerulean waters of nearby Playa Dorada proffer a panoply of seaside activities, such as windsurfing, sailing, diving, and water-skiing. History buffs undaunted by the two-hour drive can ditch the surf in favor of Parque Histórico La Isabela, the site of Christopher Columbus' first settlement in the New World. Visitors can hike around the remains of a church as well as the village ruins where Columbus routinely woke his neighbors by blasting the Santa Maria's foghorn.
For an aerial view of Puerto Plata, a teleferico, or cable car, whisks passengers up 2,565 feet to the apex of Mount Isabela de Torres, a towering mountain crowned with blooming botanical gardens and an open-armed statue replicating Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer. The mountaintop affords sweeping panoramic views of the bay's glinting water and lush greenery. For a high-octane excursion, guests can take a tour of Rio Damajagua's charcos, a series of 27 cascading, crystal-clear waterfalls etched out of limestone. With tour guides as chaperones, adventurers work their way up and back through the falls, scrambling, jumping, swimming, and racing mermaids down the sleek cascades.