Traveling with your family has never been more confusing and tedious than it is now during a pandemic. With COVID-19 and the Delta variant putting our lives on hold, many of us have skipped over our traditional vacations. Families are yearning for a break from the stress of struggling to keep up with recent changes and are still searching for a safe haven to vacation with their loved ones. After an uncertain year of rules, elections and quarantine, I decided to take the leap in search of sun, good music, food and entertainment. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana exceeded all of our expectations and then some.
To prepare for our trip to the Dominican Republic this year there were many precautions added to insure travelers safety. My husband, my 5-year-old daughter Felicity and myself all needed to provide negative COVID tests to enter and exit the country. We arrived at JFK airport double-masked armed with sanitizing wipes to clean any and every surface we came in contact with. Customs went smoothly and we used hand sanitizer while limiting eating and drinking until we landed. Upon arrival at HRHPC we were greeted with champagne and noticed the separate Safe + Sound team in bright yellow shirts wiping down every visible surface. Check-in was a breeze and we were escorted to our home away from home.
The futuristic updates and renovations at the hotel took me by surprise. Our one-bedroom rock suite— which included a personal assistant, was fit for a royal family! The living room was huge and spacious with a full bar area and a large private balcony that boasted a huge Hydro Spa Tub. The bedroom design was updated with a modern touch that complimented the crisp white bedding with pillow-top mattress. The bathroom felt like a room out of a home magazine with a complete walk-in closet. The second bathroom had even more cool updates and definitely gave a ‘J-Lo Versace dress’ vibe. Everything was wrapped and marked including the television remote controls letting us know it was sanitized. We changed our clothes and went to explore the grounds and activities and see what the hotel had to offer.
Besides housing the biggest casino in the caribbean, HRHPC had every angle covered for overworked parents. Countless activities and performances throughout the day kept our little one entertained. The adults could indulge in kid-free mixology classes, a state of the art spa, golfing and even a full nightclub and more. We had plenty of memorable family time at the arcade which housed the best collection of virtual games for the entire crew. For dinner we made reservations at the beachfront restaurant Isla which became one of our favorite places to eat. We enjoyed exotic fish fresh out of the sea and the most authentic taste of Dominican Republic from mangu to maduros.
The kids club while under construction still managed to be the fun-packed activity-filled treasure parents love. From jewelry box and bracelet making to morning yoga sessions. Throughout the day the Safe + Sound crew were seen everywhere cleaning and sterilizing furniture and sanitizing all surfaces.The Market had the most changes transforming us into a whimsical forest of beauty with cuisines from around the world. Definitely not your average all-inclusive meal, the food at The Market rivaled any Michelin-starred restaurant with everything on the menu from lobster rolls to charcuterie boards. We indulged in delectable tastes from Spain, Thailand and Italy—there was something for everyone. Every table orders with their own waiter and there are no limitations on what you can order.
We woke up early to catch the kids pool alongside the oversized waterpark that was arguably Felicity’s favorite place to frolic. My husband and I sat poolside while I enjoyed a beverage and an array of poolside snacks including fish bites and nachos. That night we decided to attend the B+B Show (Beyonce + Bruno Mars) and boy were we in for a treat! Complete with an explosive fire-ladden stage show with fancy background dancers I had to squint because I thought I was sitting front row at the Grammy’s. The performers gave an all out concert that was just what we needed as a nightcap after a day at the kids waterpark.
Hands down the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, HRHPC exceeded all of our expectations. We were hesitant all year about traveling during a pandemic and finding a secure all-inclusive place to travel. All-in-all we created memories in a beautiful oasis that kept our family full of joy, happiness and most importantly kept us safe and sound.
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