All-Inclusive Resort Steps from Bávaro Beach
You could easily go an entire vacation without stepping foot outside the IFA Villas Bávaro Resort & Spa in Punta Cana. The sprawling complex feels like a small city, but with palm trees instead of street posts and swim-up bars in lieu of the onerous drive-up kind. In addition to three pools right alongside the beach, there are seven bars (you'll get unlimited drinks) and nine restaurants, which serve everything from pizza to Japanese cuisine. A supermarket, two tennis courses, and a discotheque add to the stay-here-and-relax vibe.
A paved stone path lined with swaying palms leads the way to each double deluxe ocean room. With blond-wood furnishings and a large granite-tiled bathroom, the spacious rooms are simple but stylish. In the morning, you can head down to the restaurant Colibri for breakfast, and then mosey barefoot to the beach, where complimentary kayaks and windsurfing equipment await. In the evening, reservations will land you a table at Caribe, the hotel's gourmet restaurant, before the nightly entertainment kicks off on the beach and in the dance club.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Miles of White Sand Beaches
When Christopher Columbus landed in the Dominican Republic more than five centuries ago, he described it as "a beautiful island paradise." Punta Cana—located on the island's easternmost tip—lays legitimate claim to that description. The coast stretches for more than 20 miles and is dotted with coconut palms, chaise lounges and laid-back bars. Glitzy resorts feature prominently along shoreline, but Playa El Cortecito, a short drive up the coast, harks back to earlier times. Brightly colored, thatched-roof shacks line the beach, and local fishers bring their boats to shore each afternoon with the day's catch.
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