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Dominican Republic: Puntacana Resort & Club’s Tortuga Bay Makes a Great 1st and Lasting Impression

Tortuga Bay

You’ve heard there’s one chance to make a first impression and there’s no where better to illustrate this truism than PUNTACANA Resort & Club’s Tortuga Bay boutique hotel in the Dominican Republic.

Here’s my first impression. Arrival at the airport is the old fashioned way—you disembark the plane by descending stairs onto the tarmac. Upon landing, it is warm (polite terminology for hot) and the line of passengers to get through immigration/passport control is lengthy, spilling onto the tarmac. As one of the last to disembark, I dread the impending wait when I notice an attractive young woman at the base of the stairs holding a sign with my name.

Thus my introduction to Tortuga Bay’s “VIP Whisking Service” begins…whereafter I am swept to the front of the line, through passport control, baggage claim and into a private car where I’m served an icy drink for the five-minute ride to the resort.

Bottom line: Within 20 minutes after rising from my airline seat, I am checking into my hotel home for the next several days. Is this service because I’m a journalist? No. It is because I am a guest of Tortuga Bay.

Luxe perks are not unusual for this resort. Tortuga Bay, PUNTACANA’s luxury boutique hotel, recently received the coveted AAA Five Star Diamond Award (second year running), making it the Dominican Republic’s only hotel and one of only four in the Caribbean to tout this distinction.

Here’s why:

  • Three miles of private, white-sugar-granulated sand, called the Coconut Coast.


  • Crooner Julio Iglesias and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta are resort partners.


  • Tortuga Bay villas are designed by Oscar de la Renta, as are La Cana Golf Club and Bamboo (one of the PUNTACANA’s eight eateries).


  • Tip: Should you go to Playa Blanca restaurant, which I advise for its beachside location and open-air atmosphere, order the Spicy Goat Stew, the chef’s recommendation (now mine as well).

Read more: Just Luxe



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