You may have eaten at a Hard Rock Café, but have you stayed at one of the Hard Rock Hotel properties? There are several of them ranging from Cancun to Las Vegas. The one I visited with my family is in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, a 2016 World Travel Award Winner. This is an exceptionally well-run and well-managed resort “all inclusive” , with an almost endless supply of pools (there are 11, all with varying themes), with very good food and, more importantly, a never-ending stream of activities that mean there’s never a dull moment. Our room offered the suite life with a large balcony and a hot tub in the middle of the room. Bathrooms were large and well laid out.
With the dozen pools, you are sure to find one that is to your liking. For the younger kids, there was the family pool with water slides. For the very young, a wading pool next to it. There was a pool that played loud rock music, and another playing Mexican music. My wife and I hung out at the all adults pool called Eden.
One of the most active pools was directed at the teens and young adults. They always had some rock music blaring and were doing the typical games and prizes you might find at other resorts. The picture at the head of this blog was taken from that pool, the largest one on the property.
There are 9 restaurants at the property, so you can have dinner with a different menu each night. Some of the restaurants included Italian, Caribbean, Brazilian, Steakhouse, Mexican, and Tepanyaki. You are bound to find more than one that that you love. The food was good and varied, but we were surprised that there was no traditional Hard Rock Cafe on the property.
Many all inclusive resorts are not really ALL inclusive. This one does include alcohol beverages. When you arrive, they place a colored wristband on you that indicates the tourist status and also whether old enough to drink alcohol. Then your kids can go to any bar and get served if they are old enough. There are beverages in the room refrigerator, including beer. And there is a drink station in each room that pours vodka, gin, and rum. All this is at no extra charge. Resort guest VIP’s get a wristband that allows them in to one exclusive pool and restaurant that the other guests cannot use.
This property is huge. There are many different locations of pools, restaurants, activities and the long distances can mean a time consuming walk. If you prefer not to walk, there are shuttles that will take you from area to area.
They have a big concert arena location and bring in major rock acts from time to time. We did not have a concert while we were there, but all of the Hard Rock resorts bring in famous rock acts from time to time.
As in other locations, this resort houses a great rock and roll museum. The collection rotates so you never know what you are going to see when you are there. In the lobby of the resort, there was a Lincoln limo used by Madonna and adorned in silver tiles. This was the centerpiece of the collection there with attire and musical instruments from top rock musicians.
The resort offers promotions to draw in tourists. One of the most common is the “Resort Credit” promotion. The resort credit can seem to be substantial. For our visit of one week, the resort credit was $1800. However the credit can not be used in the Casino, for external tours, or for most of the shops at the resort. Rather, the credit must be used for Spa, water sports, Hard Rock Store, etc. These prices are often marked up substantially. And in using the credit, you had to pay a 20% service fee. So for a 50 minute massage, priced at $160, you had to pay $32. Now this does not mean that the credits are worthless, but that their true value is less than the amount you are getting for credit. So don’t consider the price of the trip as being the amount you paid, less the credit they give you. Many other all inclusives have the resort credit promotion, and most run similar to the one at this property, so get and read the fine print before you make your final decision.
Our family had a wonderful time at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. I do highly recommend this property to families. The Hard Rock Punta Cana was damaged during Hurricane Maria in September 2017, but the property was able to recover fully for their guests within weeks.
Traveling to Punta Cana from Minnesota. Delta and Sun Country have a five hour non stop from Minneapolis. American and United connect through their hubs. There is a short 30 minute ride from the airport to the Hard Rock Resort.