If you checked out my 27th birthday trip to Cancun, then you know my love and I had the BEST time at Royalton Chic Cancun. So this year we decided to visit the sister resort at Royalton Chic Punta Cana (back in May).
This resort was a completely different experience than the Cancun location. Although beautiful upon arrival, it was primarily open concept with hardly any escape from the heat. Royalton Chic Punta Cana has 320 rooms and suites, 7 restaurants, 4 swimming pools, 5 bars, cigar lounge, a casino, royal spa, sports and fitness facilities.
The rooms here were not connected to the resort or in the same building. Instead they were separate, sitting next to and across from it. We were used to everything being in one large building and simply taking the elevator to get to different areas (including our room) at previous resorts, but this was not the case. Instead, we had to take a pathway to get to the building where our room was located (personally, I’m not a huge fan of this…especially when visiting places with hot climates). There also weren’t any elevators inside of the buildings here, so we had to take the stairs to get to our room. There were only about three floors in each building so it wasn’t terrible, but again I wasn’t a fan.
As for the room itself, it was smaller but decorated beautifully and very modern. Some areas in the room did look a bit worn, such as scratches on the table and cracks on certain areas of the floors. We were definitely missing our larger room at Royalton Chic Cancun and the ‘WOW’ factor it immediately gave. However, the room did give all of the luxury vibes, despite being a bit smaller in size.
As mentioned before, there are 7 restaurants at this resort including an international buffet, steakhouse, sushi and ceviche restaurant, Italian cuisine, Indian cuisine, poolside comfort food as well as a cafe with sweets and bakery items.
We were not a fan of the buffet at all. Every time we dined here we left disappointed and searching elsewhere to fill up. This is the only place at the resort where you can get breakfast, which was decent compared to what they served for lunch and dinner. Still, we weren’t big fans. The buffet is not 24hrs either and it does stop serving breakfast after around 11am. The buffet is also open concept so it was difficult to escape the heat and bugs.
We had the most enjoyable dining experience at Hunter’s Steakhouse and Vespa Italian Trattoria. Hunter’s Steakhouse seems to be a Royalton staple, as it was also at the Cancun resort. I always enjoy their steaks and the ambience of the restaurant.
Vespa Italian Trattoria was SO DELICIOUS! One night I tried their pizza and it exceeded expectations! I also tried their pasta another night and was in heaven. This was for sure our favorite places to eat during our stay (be sure to make reservations to avoid long wait times.
During the day, before restaurants opened for dinner, we would snack on food at the poolside bar. Their burgers were okay, but the Dominican chicken tenders were delicious! You can also get things like nachos, chicken wraps and hot dogs.
The Sports Bar is open pretty late and you can get the same food you’d get at the poolside bar here. We did not try the Indian restaurant, cafe or sushi bar.
Entertainment / nightlife
The nightlife at this resort was top tier, admittedly better than at Royalton Chic Cancun. There were themed parties such as a ‘White Party” where everyone was required to wear all white —and those who weren’t could get white designs painted on their face — and ’Neon Night’ where we were required to wear neon colors. The Dj was good and the performances were amazing! This was one of the most enjoyable experiences at the resort.
The resort also has a casino…but it was more like an adult game room. Although it had only a FEW of the games you could enjoy at an actual casino, it was so tiny. We walked in and walked right back out lol.
There was also a cigar bar with a decent selection of cigars and great customer service. Speaking of customer service, no where near what we received in Cancun. The people were nice, but not nearly as friendly as what we experienced in Mexico. We barely had to get up to get drinks or order food in Cancun, but that was not the case here in Punta Cana. The drinks however, were delish!
Aside from enjoying the beautiful views and relaxing by the pristine waters at this resort, you can also enjoy activities like painting on the beach, attending a fitness class or hitting the gym, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, tennis and basketball.
I joined in on a painting class and it was actually a lot of fun! The instructors were super talented too! I enjoyed how relaxing this experience was and loved that I was able to take my painting home with me (great souvenir). The painting class was free, but of course they appreciated tips!
The gym (and spa) were so far away from the main resort that we never went (other than venturing out to see where it was located). It was a very nice gym though. The spa was also very nice, but again, it was so far away.
The basketball court and tennis court were far away as well. When we found it, it looked deserted, understandably so since it was so far. The resort advertises this on its website, but in reality no one ventures off to this area to take advantage because it is quite the walk.
The fitness classes seemed rare and were in the middle of the pool area on a stage….which I thought was strange (because who wants to work out and sweat up a storm in front of a bunch of people enjoying themselves by the pool with unlimited drinks?).
There were also poolside activities like volleyball, dancing and foam parties.
Of course, our favorite activity was grabbing a drink, laying out on the beach, listening to the sounds of the ocean and falling asleep. The relaxation was so real!
There are many excursions you can book at the resort including catamaran cruises, visiting Monkeyland, off-road dune buggies and more.
We opted for the dune buggies because Terrance loves them and I love when we reach our final destination…the beach!
Riding the buggies through Punta Cana was a bittersweet experience. We saw so many kids on the streets with no shoes on asking for money, or trying to give us flowers they picked in exchange for money. We also saw so many animals, like horses, who were starved to the point that you could see their ribs.
Our first destination on the buggies was a natural water cave that was so beautiful! We also got a chance to try Dominican coffee, chocolates and their famous Mamajuana drink.
WARNING: You will be hassled to death by people trying to sell you any and every thing (at excursions and at the resort on days when they allow vendors) so brace yourselves.
After spending an hour or so at the natural water cave, we rode the buggies to a nearby beach (which I was so excited for). However, when we finally got to the beach the excitement was gone. The beach was bustling with people trying to sell you things, so there was no relaxing at all. There also wasn’t any beach chairs for guests to lounge in, and space was very limited at the small amount of benches that were there. The water wasn’t that clear or clean and neither was the beach. Needless to say, we were ready to head back to the resort ASAP.
THE BEST PART
The absolute best part about this vacation is that….I GOT ENGAGED!!! It was the best surprise, I was not expecting it at all when it happened and it definitely took our trip to another level because I was on cloud 9 and there wasn’t much that could knock me off. My now fiancé did an amazing job of not only surprising me, but making sure we had a photographer to capture the moment. I’m so excited and look forward to sharing our full proposal story and journey to becoming one with you guys!
What I Wore:
Here are some of the vacation outfits and swimsuits I wore while in Punta Cana: