Going First Class at the Puntacana Resort & Club / Luxurytravelmagazin / By Janbolat Khanat / Almaty /
TRAVEL EXCLUSIVE NEWS / New York
The words “Punta Cana” seem to roll off the tongue. The translation for the Dominican Republic’s eastern most point refers to the white tips of the cane palms in the region. To make it easy in English, all you need to remember is that the name given to this dreamy Caribbean locale rhymes with nirvana.
Punta Cana may as well be the Spanish words for first class. For travelers choosing the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, located just five minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, first class is how you’re treated as soon as you step off the plane.
Prepare to be impressed when choosing the VIP Assistance package for your travel to and from Punta Cana. In an era in which air travel seems synonymous with aggravation, VIP guests need only look for an attendant holding a sign with their name on it. Then it’s just a matter of relaxing, because the good people representing Westin Puntacana Resort & Club will proceed to engage, pamper, and make you feel like royalty.
Airport to Hotel Made Easy
The speed of the process from stepping into this spotless airport, to going to the front of the customs line, to being escorted into your transportation, and ultimately arriving at the hotel, is simply amazing.
The hotel check in process feels equally flawless. In a matter of minutes, you’re unwinding in your well-appointed suite. Faster than you can say “pronto,” you’re unpacked and looking out at the resort’s signature Caribbean Sea.
A new land speed record has just been set. In golf this is called optimum pace of play. In the hospitality world, you’ve just experienced an ultra-modern welcome in which the first impression bar has been raised to new heights.
Experience the Dream
As you decompress with a well-deserved happy hour cocktail, you learn that the airport is owned by the same group as those operating the resort in which you’ve thankfully chosen to stay. In fact, the Punta Cana International Airport is privately owned, and with 7.2 million annual visitors it’s the second busiest airport in the Caribbean.
You begin to wonder how this smooth as silk hospitality process originated. Who had the vision to make traveling to paradise so seamless, so relaxing, and so “ahhhh?”
One needs to flashback to 1971 to truly appreciate how this one-two punch combining air travel and luxury accommodations came to be. That’s the year this Punta Cana hospitality dream took flight. That’s when, Frank Rainieri, a Dominican crop duster by way of Northern Italy, partnered with New York attorney Ted Kheel. That’s when the oceanfront resort acreage was acquired. That’s also when a 40-room hotel was opened near a dirt road landing strip.
Today’s Punta Cana
Fast forward to today, and guests from around the world experience Rainieri’s 50-year dream come true. In addition to the 200-room Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, guests can also choose from the boutique Tortuga Bay Hotel, the Four Points Sheraton at the nearby Puntacana Village, as well as a wide array of private homes and apartments. The resort property’s 15,000 acres is private, safe, exquisitely manicured, and offers stunning ocean views.
Rainieri’s master plan includes world class golf. The P.B. Dye-designed La Cana Golf Course opened in 2000 and consists of 27 golf holes with 14 featuring views of the Caribbean Sea. The Tom Fazio-designed Corales Golf Course opened in 2010. In 2018 and 2019, the course was home to the Corales Championship, the Dominican Republic’s first PGA tournament event. This means you play where the pros play, including the famous finishing holes dubbed The Devil’s Elbow.
Oceanfront Dining and Amazing Entrees
When it comes to authentic dining experiences, the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club offers a dazzling blend of fresh catch, Dominican, pasta, grill, and Mediterranean dishes. The resort’s dining options place a premium on island views, fresh air, and first-class service.
The Brassa Grill & Bar and the Playa Blanca beachside restaurant feature dining by the sea and an atmosphere that is just what you’d imagine when you think Caribbean chic. If you choose to step it up a notch, there is also the Three Diamond Award-winning La Yola Restaurant and the Four Diamond Bamboo Restaurant serving the freshest Mediterranean, seafood, and innovative fusion dishes.
Relax and More, More, More
The Westin Puntacana’s massive pool and beach makes the resort the perfect spot to stretch out and relax. But if you wish to explore all that the Dominican has to offer, the resort’s team can arrange a diversion for every pleasure.
Choose from the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center, horseback riding, water sports, shopping at the Puntacana Village, the Six Senses Spa, and there is even volunteering through the Grupo Puntacana Foundation. With the resort’s growing emphasis on sustainability, guests can volunteer on reforestation projects, aquaponics, and at the marine innovation center.
In November of 2019, the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club celebrates its 50-year anniversary. It’s been an amazing journey to witness the growth in tourism, the expansion of exceptional hotel accommodations, the island becoming a golf mecca, and of course, the superlative airport experience that helped make the Punta Cana hospitality story come alive.
When you return to the VIP lounge before departing for home, look at your exquisite surroundings, and reflect on your time luxuriating on the Caribbean island that rhymes with nirvana. After another smooth as silk customs process realize that for guests heading home from the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, the English words for Punta Cana may as well be first class.