Punta Cana
Enjoying the beautiful and warm water in Punta Cana

I just returned from my first trip to the Dominican Republic, mainly to check out the new InterContinental Santo Domingo. It’s a very cool and stylish hotel, in the city’s Piatini neighborhood. There are several high-end malls nearby and it’s only a few miles from the city’s historic Zona Colonial.

Club lounge in Santo Domingo
The amazing views of Santo Domingo from the Club InterContinental lounge


Getting there took a while, but all my flights on American Airlines left and arrived on time and with only carry-on bags, we had no trouble making the LAX-DFW-MIA-SDQ itinerary. The hotel picked us up at Santo Domingo airport and we arrived late Sunday evening. We spent the next five days just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful suite we had, the great food and the very cool swimming pool.

Real InterContinental Santo Domingo
Suite 1501 had a huge bedroom with two walls of windows overlooking Santo Domingo
Fortaleza Ozama in Santo Domingo
Fortaleza Ozama, the first permanent military installation in the Americas.


InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu

In Santo Domingo we spent a lot of time exploring the hotel, eating at the restaurants there, enjoying the cool infinity pool and getting massaged in the spa. We had a huge suite, 1501, and it made it hard to leave the room. The hotel set up a half-day walking tour of the city and it was quite fascinating to learn about the city and country’s rich history. One day we did a beach day trip to Juan Dolio, a resort area about an hour and a half outside the city.

Columbus statue in Santo Domingo
Pointing with Columbus during our city tour

Fortaleza Ozama
I climbed to the top of the fort


SantoDomingo Cathedral
The first cathedral in the Americas
InterContinental Santo Domingo
Clearly I did not explore the InterContinental’s gym

After all that fun in Santo Domingo, it was time for a Dominican beach resort experience. We called an Uber and headed out for the two and a half hour drive to Punta Cana. As it was a busy holiday weekend, it was difficult to find a room and we ended up using hotels.com to book a one-night stay at the Vista Sol Punta Cana.


Vista Sol Punta Cana
The view from our patio in Punta Cana


The all-inclusive resort was mainly filled with Russian and German guests. We were upgraded to room 9107 in the VIP Gold area, but were never quite clear on what that VIP Gold status meant or got us. The room was considered a junior suite and was fine for one night. We only had one meal, a buffet dinner, and it was OK. The next day we took a shuttle from the hotel to Punta Cana airport for our long journey hope. This again was three flights on American (PUC-CLT-DFW-LAX) and again, all three left on time, landed on time and allowed us to make all our connections with no problem. Professional service, certainly not as friendly and warm as what I find when I fly business class, but prompt and no problems.

Punta Cana beach
Punta Cana beach view