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Dominican Republic Archives - Air Canada Vacations

24 Apr

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The Best of Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic

April 24, 2017 | By |

Punta Cana boasts long white-sand beaches, excellent water sports and diving, and a warm, lively atmosphere. In Samana, discover serene beaches, spectacular views and awe-inspiring natural beauty—the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun and exploring charming villages. La Romana is a golf lover’s dream, and offers easy access to cultural hotspots like Santo Domingo and Boca Chica. Eco-adventures abound in Puerto Plata, with beautiful beaches and great cycling, hiking and jungle excursions.

The resorts:

Punta Cana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection
This brand-new fantasy-themed resort offers fun for the whole family with a waterpark, kids’ club and teens’ club featuring fitness facilities and a spa. Guests will love the vast selection of dining options and great activities for everyone, including magical, relaxing environment for couples, parents and single travellers.

Samana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection
With complimentary WiFi, delectable gourmet cuisine, and luxurious service and amenities, the boutique-style Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection is a dream come true. What’s more, the resort’s We Wellness program offers an exclusive personalized wellness plan, with relaxing body treatments and more.

La Romana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection
Luxurious and cosmopolitan, this beachfront resort is a paradise for guests ages 18 and over, with complimentary WiFi and the Don Pablo Collection’s incredible services, amenities and special personalized touches. What’s more, receive a 50% golf discount at the Playa Nueva Romana Golf Club facing the hotel.

Puerto Plata

Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Get an authentic Dominican Republic experience with Grand Bahia Principe San Juan. This beachfront resort is ideal for a family getaway, with lots of land and water sports, great entertainment and complimentary WiFi in the lobby.

28 Oct

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A Touch of the Unforgettable

October 28, 2016 | By |

Add some unforgettable to your vacation with these must-do activities.

Catalina & Altos de Chavon

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Cruise Chavon River aboard a Mississippi paddleboat before setting sail on a catamaran for some fun in the sun on beautiful Catalina Island. Your last stop is Altos de Chavon, an artist village modeled after a 16th-century Mediterranean town.

 

Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano is the most active and iconic volcano in all of Costa Rica. Take a zipline adventure tour through the surrounding rainforest for an unforgettable experience of the canopy, views of the lakes and the mountain itself.

 

Chichen Itza and Mayan Heritage

Cancun/Riviera Maya, Mexico

Chichen Itza was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. This Mayan temple is magnificent and the full site includes the famous ball court and a magical cenote. A journey here is a journey into the rich heritage of the Mayan world.

 

Off-Road Adventures

Aruba

Aruba has some spectacular, rugged landscapes dotted by windswept divi-divi trees. Follow your guide as you drive your own ATV to natural wonders like the Black Stone Beach and the Conchi, a natural pool. A great experience if you crave a little adrenaline.

25 Jul

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Nicole at the Spa

July 25, 2016 | By |

Nicole Simeone Volk manages all the IBEROSTAR spas in the Dominican Republic. She has devoted her life to creating the perfect spa experience and takes us into her world of healing hands and soothing spirits at Spa Sensations.

What is your personal spa philosophy?

I want to create a balance between body and mind for better wellbeing in everyday life.

What do you hope guests will take away from their experience?

An outstanding memory of their treatment at Spa Sensations which will help them to continue treatments at home and to come visit us again on their next vacation.

Are there signature treatments at each Grand Collection resort?

Every destination is different and although our Grand Collection brand is very consistent in quality and service, our guests do have local preferences. At IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, the Mayan Sensation Massage includes the use of ancestral, ocarina music and volcanic stones. The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Sugar Scrub is the one to try at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall. And at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro, the most popular is the Caribbean Ritual, a milk bath, body exfoliation, massage and honey mask.

Do you have a favourite treatment?

I love the Voyage to the East. It’s a deep massage inspired by ancient Indian principles for healing the body.

What’s the most appealing feature of the new Spa Sensations at IBEROSTAR Bávaro Complex?

The new pool area. I especially like to go from the Roman Bath at 28ºC to the Cold Well at 15ºC. It feels wonderful.

Do you have a recommendation for a first-time spa guest?

Try everything in one, the complete experience. The Spa Sensation Signature Massage offers a head massage, body massage and reflexology on the feet.

 

25 Jul

By

Star Resorts

July 25, 2016 | By |

From gourmet dining, personalized butler service and spectacular suites complete with pillow menu and free rounds of golf, everything here is created to spoil and pamper like never before.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica

This adults-only, 5-star, Jamaican paradise is all about never-ending service and endless luxuries. The Colonial-style architecture offers a stunning atmosphere designed for maximum comfort and pleasure.

  • AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort
  • Intimate boutique hotel flare
  • Just 20 minutes from Montego Bay airport
  • Many oceanview rooms thanks to the resort’s unique u-shaped design

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Located on the stunning Bávaro Beach just 30 minutes from the Punta Cana airport, you’ll find this exclusive resort filled with every pleasure imaginable.

  • World-class, two-storey, oceanfront spa
  • Sweeping, on-site golf course designed by P.B. Dye
  • Greco-Roman-inspired architecture for timeless grace and style
  • Access to all 3 IBEROSTAR sister properties and their amenities, located in the Bávaro Beach Complex

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso
Riviera Maya, Mexico

No expense was spared in creating this all-inclusive, all-suites playground reserved exclusively for adults. Stunning architecture, three unique pools, and worlds of flavours await those fortunate enough to find themselves here.

  • AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort
  • 18-hole golf course on site designed by P.B. Dye
  • Elegant and engaging Neo-Renaissance-style architecture
  • Secluded villas ideally designed for honeymooners

25 Jul

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The Grand Collection

July 25, 2016 | By |

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts delivers an unsurpassed vacation experience with their exclusive Grand Collection.

Escape completely to a world of refined gourmet dining, exquisite suites, luxurious spa treatments and championship golf. Indulge in impeccable service surrounded by graceful architecture and luxurious state-of-the-art facilities.

It’s all waiting for you at these exceptional adults-only resorts on the best beaches in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. And with non-stop flights aboard Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge, your getaway starts the minute you’re onboard.

22 Jan

By

Vacation like a Rock Star

January 22, 2016 | By |

Take your vacation to the next level at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. Discover incredible activities created to give you the best tropical experience ever.

Championship Golf

Experience one of two Hard Rock golf courses in the world. Take a swing at Hard Rock Golf Club™ at Cana Bay and play 18 holes of championship golf designed by Nicklaus Golf. The course winds through the tropical Dominican landscape with challenges and surprises for players of every skill level.

Music Lab

Live it large with this all-encompassing music experience with three unique classes. Jam Band gets you rehearsing and performing a live show on stage to a packed house. Spin Session turns you into a DJ for a day, while RockTube lets you star in your own music video that you can share online.

 Little Big Club™

With endless themed activities, this is the ultimate playground for kids of all ages. Starring the beloved characters Thomas the Tank EngineTM, BarneyTM, Bob the BuilderTM and Angelina BallerinaTM, your little rock stars will love interactive dance videos, a dress-up area, sing-alongs, talent shows and lots more.

Casino

The hottest casino in the Dominican Republic. Discover 45,000 square feet of the best play with 40 unique tables and more than 450 slots. Try your luck in the Poker Room, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and Baccarat. For bigger thrills head to the Salon Privet VIP for high-stakes and top-shelf service.

Rhythm & Motion Spa Treatment

This is a traditional Swedish massage with the volume turned all the way up. Your massage is synchronized with a perfectly curated playlist. Synchronicity rocks on with hits from yesterday and today. Face the Music facial brings in the benefits of sound vibration to rejuvenate and hydrate. And Wrap the Remix is the ultimate healing experience with a massage and facial.

Rock Royalty Level

It’s good to be a rock star. It’s even better to be Rock Royalty. Dial up the VIP on your vacation with your own personal assistant, upgraded Rock Spa® amenities in your room, exclusive Rock Royalty level areas, discounted or complimentary tickets for concerts and much more. Live out your rock star dreams.

22 Jan

By

Gary Ream talks Woodward Punta Cana

January 22, 2016 | By |

Gary Ream, the president of Camp Woodward, is very excited to bring his unique action sports experience to your All-Inclusive vacation with the all-new Woodward Punta Cana at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.

What is Camp Woodward?

We’re the world leader in lifestyle and action sports, like skateboarding, BMX, parkour and snowboarding. We offer the ultimate experience and the most innovative facilities, mixed with a fun, creative freedom.

Why is Woodward a good fit for a Hard Rock vacation?

Both brands are all about providing a unique and fun experience for everyone by tapping into the desire for authenticity and adventure.

What can we expect at the Woodward Punta Cana?

In Punta Cana by mid/late 2016, you’ll get a skatepark, dryland snowboarding and skiing, trampolines and foam pits. There will also be a parkour course and a DJ booth. And we’ll offer group sessions, kid/parent combo sessions, and private sessions so you can get the experience you want.

What ages are welcome?

Tweens, teens and adults, which makes it perfect for families looking to keep everyone happy. But it’s also great as an event for a wedding or a group. You can pretty much guarantee that your guests won’t be expecting this.

 Will you incorporate your famous digital media camp?

Absolutely. Digital media is part of kids and their culture. Woodward Punta Cana will have a full digital media centre for movie creation. They can film themselves, and learn how to share their experience.

What got you into action sports?

I’ve always had a love of sports and a desire to see kids grow. Action sports offer the freedom to be active, innovative and artistic, which makes me happy to offer a place where all of that comes together.

Why is Woodward so successful?

I think it’s our passion. We understand kids, we listen to them and make it fun.

22 Jan

By

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

January 22, 2016 | By |

Rock on completely at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. This is a family vacation of endless activities and rock star fantasies come to life. Play on at the Nicklaus-designed championship golf course, take a gamble at the biggest casino in the Dominican Republic, and relax on the beautiful beach. Little Big Club™ will keep your rock-star-in-the-making happy all day long. And the all-new, high-energy Woodward Punta Cana brings the thrill of action sports to your family vacation.

This isn’t your everyday vacation. This is a vacation the Hard Rock way and it’s pretty great.

Enjoy!

11 Sep

By

Quiz: What vacation type are you?

September 11, 2015 | By |

When planning a beach holiday, there’s one more box to tick off besides destination, hotel and location: vacation type. Don’t know what that is? No worries, we’re here to explain and help you find yours. Take this short quiz and you’ll be one step closer to finding the palm tree- and piña colada-filled vacation that’s right for you.

When on vacation, what does your perfect day look like?

  1. I like to get an early start and go snorkeling as a family, followed by an afternoon of golf while the kids enjoy fun activities.
  2. Quiet and soothing – I want to be pampered from head to toe. First up, a hot steam bath to relax and then a heavenly massage by the sea.
  3. It doesn’t matter what time I wake up because I’ll be ordering room service. I’ll probably head to the pool at some point and order a mojito from my lounge chair. If only I could live like this everyday…
  4. I’ll play tennis in the morning, soak up the sun in the afternoon, and enjoy a private hot tub at sunset.

How do you feel about kids?

  1. Love ‘em, of course! Vacations are all about creating lifelong family memories.
  2. Kids are great, but this trip is really about recharging my batteries.
  3. As long as they’re happy, I’m happy. Bonus if I don’t have to lift a single finger. I won’t say no to some alone time with my honey either.
  4. No, thanks! I want a holiday geared towards 18+.

It’s been 7 nights in paradise, your bags are packed and it’s almost time to leave for the airport. How do you feel?

  1. Wonderful! The week went by quickly because I was having fun with my family and I can’t wait until the next adventure together.
  2. Content, recharged and ready to take on any challenges at home.
  3. Amazing – I slept in because I had a late checkout and managed to squeeze in one last massage while my bags were packed for me.
  4. Sentimental and romantic. The trip celebrated my relationship with my partner and our bond is stronger than ever.

Now that you’ve finished our quiz, tally up your answers to find out which vacation type best reflects your needs:

Answer 1  >>  1 point

Answer 2  >>  2 points

Answer 3  >>  3 points

Answer 4  >>  4 points

So, what is your idea of the perfect vacation?

3-5 points >> Family Vacation

Allegro Papagayo Resort Family Vacation

Allegro Papagayo Resort

The happiness of your family is a priority and a vacation without your kids is unimaginable. To ensure everyone has a great time, be sure to check out our Play hotels (family-friendly resorts where kids stay and eat free) such as the Allegro Papagayo in Liberia, Costa Rica. Surrounded by beaches, rainforests and active volcanoes, this resort is the epicenter of adventure. From kayaking to nature excursions, there’s plenty to keep the kids active and entertained.

If you prefer to head to a Caribbean island, we recommend the Be Live Collection Marien in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. With a supervised kids club, take some time for yourself and head to the spa or play a round at the nearby Playa Dorada golf course.

No matter which hotel you choose, keep in mind that our Play hotels also come with exclusive flight perks: pre-boarding privileges, free seat selection and a $10 meal voucher for every family member. Your family vacation truly starts at the airport.

6-8 points >> Spa Vacation

Melia Resorts Cuba Spa Vacation

Melia Resorts Cuba

Where are the best indulgences found? Only at our collection of Spa hotels, of course.

Our top pick is the Melia Buenavista All-Inclusive Royal Service & Spa in Santa Clara, Cuba. Designed with total privacy in mind, this adults-only resort is an oasis for rejuvenation. Choose from a range of body treatments and massages at its full-service spa and we promise you’ll leave feeling invigorated.

If you want to spoil yourself and you’re travelling with children, we suggest the neighbouring Melia Las Dunas. This popular hotel provides the perfect balance as it’s tailored for families seeking activity and adults looking to relax. The supervised kids clubs arrange activities according to age, which gives you the chance to retreat to Spa Aguas Claras for a Japanese Shiatsu massage. The kids will be so busy, you’ll even have time for that much-needed pedicure.

9-11 points >> Luxury Vacation

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso Luxury Vacation

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso

You want the royal treatment and nothing less. That’s what vacations means, after all. For an unforgettable luxurious holiday, you will definitely want to stay at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso. Located directly on the beach in Playa Paraiso, in the heart of Riviera Maya, this adults-only, dream paradise has 5 shiny stars attached to its name – and for good reason. At check-in, enjoy a warm welcome with champagne and a minibar stocked with your favourites. By mid-afternoon, lounge poolside and accept a cold beverage from your butler. For dinner, choose between 2 buffets and 4 à la carte restaurants, or perhaps make use of the 24-hour room service. Come bedtime, select the right pillow for your tired head from the elite pillow menu. Rest now because tomorrow will be busy – there’s a Par 72, 18-hole golf course on site, a casino and spa in the massive Complex Shopping Centre, and numerous sports to try.

For similar vacation ideas, discover our complete list of Luxury hotels.

12 points >> Adults-Only Vacation

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection Adults Only

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection

You want serenity, intimate moments and above all, a kid-free holiday. Whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or traveling just because, Adults-only hotels are right up your alley. The Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection in La Romana, Dominican Republic, for instance, caters to couples and guests aged 18+. With no less than 8 bars on its premises, local area tours (a visit to Catalina Island is a must!) and nightly entertainment, this resort provides the ideal setting to unwind and let loose. For something different, try merengue, bachata and salsa classes. For something more sensual, try the spa’s aromatic relaxation treatment. Deep breath in and exhale, it doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Curious about what other vacation types exist? Check out our complete list of vacation types to find your dream holiday.

 

02 Apr

By

Top 10 Resorts to Check Out This Summer

April 2, 2015 | By |

Trying to find the newest, hottest resorts to stay at this summer? Search no more, as we have shortlisted the top 10 resorts to check out this summer in Mexico and the Caribbean. These include some brand new and recently renovated properties, as well as properties that have been newly added to the Air Canada Vacations lineup. From villa accommodations to boutique hotels, these are 10 resorts you definitely want to check out.  

1) Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria (Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba)

Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria

Snack La Caleta

The beach at Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria is an absolute pièce de résistance, with its pure white sand and turquoise water. If you want to maximize your intake of ocean views, make sure to dine at the Mediterranean Aire de Mar Restaurant, or stop by Snack La Caleta, a poolside snack bar that also overlooks the Caribbean Sea. A variety of activities are on offer at this resort, including non-motorized water sports, 2 tennis courts, a kids club and a yacht club.

2) Beach House Turks and Caicos (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Beach House Turks and Caicos

The 21-suite Beach House Turks and Caicos is a boutique hotel with an intimate setting. As a guest, you are entitled to dedicated lounge spaces on stunning Grace Bay Beach. Ranging from 1,150 to 1,580 square feet, guest suites feature a kitchenette, as well as a balcony or terrace with a day bed. The on-site Beach House Restaurant is a popular dining spot in Providenciales and showcases a creative Caribbean and contemporary menu. For additional dining options, you can take a shuttle to the hotel’s 2 sister properties, Alexandra Resort and Blue Haven Resort.

3) Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta (Riviera Nayarit/Nuevo Vallarta)

Bel Air Collection Nuevo Vallarta

Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta has your wellbeing in mind. Its Asian-style spa is perfect for some R&R: in addition to various spa treatments, it offers daily yoga and meditation, as well as a special low-calorie diet program for the health-conscious. Its infinity pool overlooking the beach does nothing but inspire relaxation, and a variety of special services like tea time and a nightly turn-down service with petits fours adds to the serene experience offered by this resort.

4) ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas (Willemstad, Curaçao)

ACOYA Lakefront Villa

Lakefront villa

Lush lodging is the name of the game at ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas. Deluxe rooms feature a private patio surrounded by a tropical garden. Suites range from 2 to 4 bedrooms and are appointed with a large private balcony, fully equipped kitchen, living room and dining area. Featuring a garden, pool or lake view, villas come fully furnished and offer the ultimate private sanctuary. On-site amenities include a swimming pool, a spa and fine dining at Restaurant Seasons.

5) Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Spa

The new, adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is the epitome of luxury. Stylishly decorated, each guest room features handcrafted furniture, a furnished terrace, designer toiletries and plush bathrobes. Dining is a regal affair as well with access to 3 exclusive restaurants, as well as 6 restaurants that are shared with its sister property, Hyatt Ziva. When you want to go for a swim, you can choose from a total of 14 pools, including 9 swim-up pools and 5 whirlpools, and when you’re in the mood for relaxation, indulge in a service at the oceanfront spa.

6) Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Lobby

It’s amazing that Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta can provide an oasis so close to bustling downtown Puerto Vallarta. The hotel lobby itself is like a mini sanctuary, housed in an enormous palapa and adorned with a calming, rushing waterfall. The resort is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and it offers a beautiful private beach on the Bahía de Banderas, the second largest bay in the Pacific Ocean.

7) Be Live Collection Canoa (La Romana, Dominican Republic)

Be Live Collection Canoa La Romana

Be Live Collection Canoa offers a convenient location in La Romana, right on Bayahibe Beach. It also facilitates day trips to neighbouring Del Este National Park, where you can explore over 400 caverns (some of which contain ancient pictographs), a variety of flora and fauna and Saona Island. The resort’s amenities cater to all ages: a lagoon-shaped pool, multiple dining options, a spa, fitness centre and kids club make it perfect for either a couple’s getaway or family vacation.

8) Point Grace (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Point Grace Beach

Featuring a remote location on the point of 19-km Grace Bay Beach, the 28-suite Point Grace offers a quiet, peaceful setting. Appointed with British Colonial architecture, this boutique hotel offers guest suites that are over 1,000 square feet in size, and that include a kitchen, terrace and upscale bathroom. It is also home to 2 Caribbean restaurants, as well as the oceanfront Thalasso Spa which incorporates the properties of sea mud and sea water into its treatments.

9) Meliá Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco, Cuba)

Melia Jardines del Rey

Opened in January 2015, the Meliá Jardines del Rey is a beautifully styled hotel that blends contemporary décor with a design that emulates a sugar cane plantation. It is home to 9 restaurants, 6 bars and a sweet corner called Macao, which offers a variety of ice cream and snacks. There is a boulevard that extends from the lobby to the beach, and guest rooms are located in 3-storey bungalows.

10) Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

akumal-bay-beach

Though Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort is now sporting a brand new look after a recent renovation, it has preserved what is at its core: a laidback, beachy vibe and unspoilt natural surroundings. Rooms are now ultra-sleek junior suites with outdoor hot tubs, but have retained their main focal point: an amazing view of Akumal Bay. The resort also offers pop-up beach bars and access to a world-class snorkelling site that is home to sea turtles and a beautiful coral reef.

 

Looking for more resorts like these? If you did not get a chance this past season, you may still wish to look at our Top 10 Resorts To Check Out: Winter Edition, or consult our full listing of properties in the Caribbean & Mexico.