What an incredible and memorable multi-generational family trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!
We were so excited to head to Punta Cana to celebrate the 70th birthdays of my parents. We had all been to the Bahia Principe properties in Jamaica before and felt comfortable booking in a place that was familiar and where we knew the quality would exist. The organization and planning it took to get three families down on a week’s vacation together was staggering but we did it! We finally arrived at the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia and our mouths dropped. It was stunning, truly magical from the start, unlike any resort we have been to, even more beautiful and far more family-friendly than the Royalton Punta Cana, where we stayed two years ago. The entire Bahia Principe complex is massive, but the Fantasia had a really lovely, ‘smaller’ resort feel to it. Of course, you can explore as much as you like, or choose to stay close to your room…there are endless options here!
This majestic resort has 512 rooms in several low-rise buildings around the property. I liked that we didn’t need an elevator to get to our room. We asked for all three of our rooms to be close to each other, on the ground floor and close to the pool and we were accommodated with our request. The check in process took a bit longer than would be expected, but I know that they are working on this process as such a new resort. Once we got in the room, we were so impressed! The room and bathroom was spacious and very clean for the four of us (2 adults, 1 – 13 yr old and 1 – 9 year old) and the decor was really lovely and more upscale or “luxury” than the Bahia Principe in Jamaica. We had two double beds and a little sleeper couch that my teenage son LOVED! He made a little “room” for himself by the balcony door. This room was great for the four of us and would have been okay for 5 as well, since we had the couch (which was more like a twin bed). The bar fridge was always stocked with two bags of chips (a nice touch), pop, beer and mini liquor bottles! The staff gave us extras, if we ran through it at “happy hour”! The balcony was great to sit out and watch the pool and nighttime shows! The linens were soft and clean and we had tons of fresh clean towels daily. The cleaning service was good, but there were at least two days when we didn’t get the rooms cleaned until 5pm and we needed to get ready for dinner.
ROOM TIP: we loved being in this building close to the “Garden Circus” restaurant and the pool bars! This location was also perfect to catch the tram to the beach quickly!
We ate most dinners and many breakfasts at the ‘Larimar’ main buffet in the lobby area, but we also loved the breakfast and lunch in the “Garden Circus” restaurant by the pool and water park. The food was fabulous and catered to even our picky nephew! My boys absolutely loved the fresh fruit, pastries and chance to try international foods each night! They loved the themes in the main buffet – especially the sushi area, pasta stations and kids “buffet” section. There were several lovely a la carte restaurants as well, but we did prefer the flexible timing and casual family dining of the buffet. We did try the ‘Il Paradiso” for my parent’s celebration dinner and the food was incredible. We had pastas and pizzas and they made my parents feel very special with a cake and singing by the staff. There are several options for a la carte dining and many are at the other resorts in the major complex, so it is a nice chance to take a tram and explore the other destinations.
Be sure to grab some sushi from the pool bar around 5pm (so delish!) and eat at the water park snack bar! The staff come around the pool with french fries and nachos around noon…you have to try them! On our last day, we ate lunch at the beach restaurant. The nachos were so good! There was something for everyone!
When I originally learned that you had to take a tram to the beach, I wasn’t too sure I would spend time there at all (I do love the pool and I’m not a fan of sand everywhere!), but the tram was always on duty and it was a breeze! We went to the beach daily, even if just for a quick dip or jump in the ocean. The water was warm, relaxing and just what we needed to create more family memories. We caught the tram outside of our building (I really recommend the last building by the Circus Restaurant) and headed down to sit by the water (or have a cocktail at the beach bar!). It was busy, but we could always find some lounge chairs on the beach (chairs in the shade was challenging). We jumped some ways waves and walked on the wheelchair accessible walkways (love that!). Then we would rinse off in the nice showers and head back on the tram. It was really fun and added more adventure to our days!
Note: The tram is fabulous for seniors! My parents both have issues walking long distances and the tram made it easier for them to get around EVERYWHERE and join their grandsons at the beach!
Pool and Water Park:
Surrounded by the castle decor, we loved the pool atmosphere! We spent loads of time chilling by the pool, enjoying the pool bar cocktails and watching the kids play games with the entertainment staff! We had to reserve our 9 seats together each morning (that’s a lot of chairs) so that we could enjoy the time together in the water!
You can grab a snack from the staff who deliver some yummy treats to your lounge chairs, order a drink when you tray flag is “up” or hold your chairs and go to the close-by “Garden Circus” buffet for a quick lunch during the day!
I have to admit that our boys were a bit old for the water park area but it looked like a blast! I think kids aged 5-8 would love it and it was a huge draw for so many of the families who were there. It was clean, supervised and had tons to do for those young ones!
We don’t always choose to try something off resort, but the kids were eager to try the segway tours that were at the Punta Cana resort. We booked the lesson and tour, then hopped on the tram to get to the resort next door, to drop off the kids for an hour. It was very reasonably priced ($35 U.S) and they had a blast – be sure to load up on sunscreen! While the kids explored, my mom, sister and I had a drink at the resort and took a little tour around! It was nice to see the other locations and see how truly luxurious the Fantasia was!
I would also recommend golf to any avid golfers. It is quite expensive but the course and the views are really spectacular!
One of our favourite things to do at night was to sit in the open lounge for a drink, while the kids enjoyed the “Loft” for teens, but the stage shows were really great too! Of course, they had a Michael Jackson show that can’t be missed and the Lion King was amazing too! The live music around the upper lobby was really amazing too and the lobby bartenders are the best (just my bias of course)! Most notable was the unbelievable show around the castle at the pool. It was very much like a “Fantasia” experience you may expect at a theme park in Florida! Each night, when it got dark, the music would start and their would be a projection show on the side of the castle. It was magical, entertaining and memorable and we raced to get seats each night just to watch it again and again!
Kid’s Club and Teen Lounge:
There is something to do for kids of all ages! They have thought of everything to make it an enjoyable trip for the whole family.
The “Loft” for teens was literally the best part of the resort for our family! The boys are 13 and 9 and wanted to have independence while the “old folks” hung out by the pool, tanned and drank (let’s be honest). The kids took a “no sun break” in the hottest time of the day and went to the Teen Lounge to play video games, work out in the gym or just hang out with peers. It was fabulous! Even while we waited for a table for dinner or waited for the show to start, the kids would head to meet their “crew” at the “Loft” for teens. The staff there were amazing and so fabulous with the kids…the parents enjoyed a little “grown up” time while they were entertained! At night, it turned into a mini club and Jayden got to DJ! This was the highlight of the trip for sure!
For younger kids, the “Kid’s Club” was close to our room and great for kids a bit younger than ours. They had indoor and outdoor fun for kids of all ages, everything to make it a memorable family trip and let mom and dad have a little grown up time!
If you like to unplug, you will be fine at this resort. For me and the boys, we loved that we could get WiFi across most of the resort and even at the beach! I was offered a free upgrade to the Premium service and didn’t even try it, as the WiFi was perfect to stay connected, post a few pics on social media and text the boys throughout the resort so they could have some freedom and independence.
We would absolutely stay here again and we were thrilled to experience Bahia Principe’s newest luxury resort! It is our reco or family luxury fun in the Dominican Republic!
Here is what my son, Jayden had to say about the trip!
We will be back soon!
Disclaimer: This was NOT a media or sponsored trip, however, the Bahia Principe PR team generously gave us an upgrade to the NEW Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection from our original reservation at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana. Read my own review of this resort on TripAdvisor.