As some of you may know, I started a new job last May, working for an advertising company in Philadelphia. This meant no time-off for 6 months, as it does for most new employees at most large companies. What I didn’t realize (until like October) was that I would receive my days off mid November and HAVE TO USE THEM or lose them by the end of 2015!
A TRAVELMERGENCY HAD ARISEN! By this I mean I bugged Tim for about a month straight to use some of his vacation days to go somewhere with me, while simultaneously and obsessively researching flights and trip options. And then, I
discovered remembered Groupon.
Have you ever used Groupon Getaways? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Tbh, it always seemed a bit sketch to me. But I found a deal we simply couldn’t pass up and inexpensive airline tickets we couldn’t ignore, and on December 6th we were off to the Dominican Republic!
We stayed at the all-inclusive Presidential Suites in Punta Cana – and the two of us shared 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a full kitchen and a giant living room for 6 days. Unnecessary given that we spent 99.9% of our time at the beach, but awesome nonetheless.
The resort was much smaller than any I’d ever been to – but this proved to be a pretty amazing factor as we’d met nearly everyone by our third day there, and ended up with some seriously awesome people to hang out with! We’d spend our days on the beach, reading on loungers, napping in a cabana, or playing volleyball by the water’s edge – all while being served Cervezas, champagne, and the most amazing strawberry daquiris I’ve ever had. Seriously, I had to ask multiple times if there was actually alcohol in them – they were THAT good.
The resort had a buffet restaurant (hit or miss, but satisfying regardless) that was open for all three meals and “snack” periods in between – basically just easy bar food like pizzas or nachos to enjoy on the beach. They also had two restaurants that you had to make reservations for – an Italian place that didn’t really impress us, and a ridiculously delicious Asian/sushi place that I would’ve eaten at every night if possible.
On the fourth day of our vacation, a big group of our resort pals decided to go on a party/snorkel boat excursion and we tagged along. It was inexpensive and SO much fun – snorkeling, dancing, all-you-can-drink and playing football in a natural pool with 10 other party boats!
Honestly, I still can’t believe what we paid for this trip. For the two of us to stay in an all-inclusive suite for 6 days/5 nights, our total was $577. WHAT!? Add in $450 round trip flights (for each of us), a $25 dollar airport transfer each way, and $35 for the party boat – We both easily spent under $900 for this vacation! In all honestly though, there were a few cons…
- We had to sit through a nearly 2 hour presentation where they tried to sell us a membership to their resort club. Note: NOT a timeshare… but just as annoying as those presentations! This was made bearable only by the fact that I had cold, fresh mimosas handed to me multiple times and Tim was given a glass of Johnny Walker Black when we first sat down…
- As I mentioned above, the only restaurant that was open (and available to all guests for every meal) was the buffet – and some nights it really wasn’t that great. There was always a salad bar though, and a pretty big variety of other things to try. We didn’t ever leave hungry, that’s for sure! But if you’re a foodie, you’ll be pretty disappointed. (Tip: Always order the after dinner espresso – Dominican coffee is on point!)
- There was only 1 bar! That was okay for the most part – you didn’t have to wait long given that it was a very small resort – but it did close every night around midnight! Most nights we either grabbed beer from our rooms or the corner store down the street and continued the party playing cards and dancing with our new pals : )
Overall – it was an AMAZING vacation. This was our first time traveling alone and I can’t believe how smoothly almost everything* went. I can’t wait for more adventures together – and I’ll seriously consider Groupon the next time I’m booking!
*I may have scheduled our return transfer a bit later than I should have… We may have been the last ones on the airport shuttle bus to the tarmac… Oops!
Have you ever used Groupon Getaways? Have you ever been to Punta Cana? This was my second time visiting the Dominican and I’ve loved every minute of both trips!