The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club
What We Love
- The variety of excursions, watersports, and resort activities
- Don Queco Cigar & Rum Bar’s impeccable Dominican cigars and cocktails
- The gorgeous Playa Blanca location, its shoreline living up to the name
What To Know
- Guests have access to North America's only Six Senses Spa
- Hit the links at the 45-hole golf course
- Spacious guestrooms start at 409 square feet
- There are two restaurants and three bars on-site
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Acclaim like a Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award has helped to make The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club a leading luxury community in the Dominican Republic, as well as in the Caribbean at large. A World Travel Awards nomination, meanwhile, is one of several features that sets this esteemed resort apart. Upon the already-brilliant beachfront location and resort-wide Dominican dining offered by the larger property, this stay heaps its own comforts, just as you might expect.
Westin is, after all, the company that trademarked the Heavenly Bed and the Heavenly Bath, both of which appear in your room. But here, the magic really happens outside your abode – say, when your feet hit the property’s sandy shores. In addition to having access to 45 holes of golf and North America’s only Six Senses Spa, you can easily swing by the hotel’s own Brassa Grill & Bar for seafood and breathtaking sea views.
The Puntacana Resort & Club guest rooms are just what you’d expect from a Westin hotel, featuring Heavenly Beds®, marble Heavenly Baths® and other heavenly details, like balconies and ocean views. Showcasing sleek style, plush furnishings and neutral palettes with pops of tropical color, these accommodations are your own sugar-sweet slice of paradise (the Caribbean views from your balcony don’t hurt either).Traditional rooms range from 409 to 463 square feet and hold either one king or two queen beds, or you can make the most of your Caribbean location and opt for a roomier Premium Ocean View room, with a double sink in its bathroom and separate walk-in closets. Both feature ocean views.
With two restaurants and three bars, the hotel promises you’ll never have to venture far to satisfy your cravings. Anani serves contemporary breakfast, lunch and dinner, Brassa Grill & Bar offers casual dishes beachside, and chic Don Queco Cigar & Rum Bar gives you just what it says, making it the first in Punta Cana with this specialty. The Kite Bar and Lobby Bar are also on hand to hydrate you with fine spirits and fruity cocktails.Also available on the property are AAA Three and Four Diamond Award-winning restaurants La Yola and Bamboo, serving fresh meals of locally sourced ingredients in elegant settings.
The first spa of its kind in the Dominican Republic, only the second in the Caribbean with a AAA Five Diamond Award, a Leading Spa, according to The Leading Hotels of the World, and North America’s only outpost of the Six Senses worldwide chain, Six Senses Spa at PUNTACANA Resort & Club melds seamlessly with the relaxing atmosphere of the larger tropical property. Its Asian-inspired interior reflects the spa’s holistic focus, which includes acupressure, shiatsu, yoga and meditation.From the Bamboo Massage and CH Oxygen Facial to the Asia Wellness and Sensory Spa Journey, the menu integrates scientific and traditional therapeutic elements. And its wellness activities – including yoga and Aerial Fitness® – let you take your longer-term wellness into your own hands.
With tons of restaurants, shops, fairways designed by professional golfers and outdoor-adventure options, Punta Cana is rich in Dominican tradition, culture and leisure. Zip-lining, dancing to Dominican music, exploring the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park or browsing local shops and boutiques are just a few popular pastimes among the vacationing crowd. The beaches also help make this tropical getaway a popular one, with white sands and brilliant waters – just what you need for lounging around and soaking up the sun.
How to Get There
We stayed at the Westin over Ski Week in mid February. Note that the Westin Puntacana is not an All-Inclusive. I think they will sell you a modified AI package... but we took advantage of eating lunch and dinner at various locations around the resort, and in the Village. (See below for my warning regarding their "breakfast package".)
The location of the Westin is great! I think it took 10 minutes by taxi from the airport. And because the owners of Puntacana Resort also own the airport (yes, they really do!) no planes fly over the resort. So, it's close to the airport... but very quiet. As a matter of fact, if you are looking for nightlife and parties... stay somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely not a retirement destination. But the Westin is far south of the long strip of hotels at Bavaro and other beaches. And being small and out-of-the-way, they just don't have enough guests to justify multiple bars with pumping music til 3am.
We had a great room with an amazing view. They tell you that all rooms have a view of the ocean, but the reality is that only the first and last three room numbers on each floor have true ocean views (room numbers 100, 101, 102; 200, 201, 202 etc.).
The resort was sold out the entire week we were there. But since they only have 200 rooms, it never felt as if half of humanity was trying to take your beach chair away the moment you got up. A few guests would take part in that annoying "reservation system" of throwing a towel and an old book on a chair at 6 am-- then show up at 12 noon. But even with those entitled few, we always found a few chairs and an umbrella. We had to wait for breakfast a few mornings. But never too long.
The beer was cool-- but never ice cold. The mixed drinks were tasty; but nothing special. Half the days they ran out of straws. Drinking a Mudslide, Pina Colada, or a Daiquiri without a straw is a bit messy. And, even though they displayed long pours of rum/vodka/gin, I have a feeling they were using watered down bottles. Either that or my tolerance for 3 or 4 mixed drinks has really gone up! Beach service is almost non-existent. I usually just walked up to the pool bar and ordered my drinks. (Usually next to 4 or 5 waiters hanging out with the guests instead of serving people at the pool or beach.)
The beach was great 95% of the time. Yes, it's really that white powdery sand; and the water is mostly the Caribbean Blue you expect. There are only minimal waves; and it's basically 2' - 4' deep for hundreds of yards out to sea. There is a current; but, you can still walk out pretty far. All in all, it was a very nice beach. You can walk the beach for nearly a mile to the right-- all the way past La Cana. And to the left probably 500 yards to Playa Blanca. Next to that is Club Med and they have a 75-year old security guard who tells you to go away if you put a toe onto their property. The seaweed definitely exists. Most is the "underwater grass" that is growing in patches just off the sandy beach. Only once did we see massive amounts of that other seaweed that seems to be taking over the Caribbean. But the Westin does an excellent job of cleaning up the beach. Several times per day, there will be a machine (or guys with rakes) cleaning up any seaweed that washes up.
The pool was fine-- definitely good for kids. The hot tub is more of a "warm tub". Both are open 24 hours/day. But if we're gonna fly thousands of miles to an island with a beach surrounded by warm, tropical-blue ocean, why would you spend all day at the pool? You could do that in any land-locked state!
All of the food was very good. As opposed to a large, All-Inclusive trying to serve thousands of people all day long, the Westin (and all of the properties at the Puntacana Resort and Club) really focused on the quality of their food-- and only during certain hours. Even the breakfast buffet had nice selections that changed a little each day. The servers were always very nice-- everyone spoke at least a little English. But it always helps if you at least TRY to speak the language.
I really don't know the reputation of Dominican Republic water; so I assumed it is like any water in developing countries-- don't drink it. Don't forget that this is the same physical island as Haiti. So, we always drank only bottled water. The Westin gives free bottles of water if you ask. Housekeeping always left a few every day in the room. I have no idea if the ice in our drinks was filtered or not; but it probably was. Either way, none of our family got sick.
We visited in mid-February and it was mid 80's in the daytime; but it plunged to 78 at night! There was always (yes always) a breeze or outright wind. But honestly, the wind made for absolutely 0 bugs; and it kept you cool when out in the sun. Every night we slept with the sliders wide open to the amazing breeze.
Everyone has their hand out looking for a tip! Even though every single thing that you buy includes a 10% service charge plus 28% tax, everyone wants a little extra. Even to the point where one of the waiters at Playa Blanca watched me write in an extra $15 tip. He stopped me and said, "cross that out and just give me cash please." The guys at Monkey World let you take pictures, but then ask you to slip them $5 for the privilege. The shuttle drivers ask for a little extra. So on... and so on. Very annoying to add nearly 40% to everything you buy, then be asked for even more.
Service is definitely on "Island Time". In 7 days at the beach, I can't recall a single day where we received a beach drink within 20 minutes of ordering. Sometimes they just never came back at all-- really!. We usually added a little extra tip (beyond the 10% + 28%) hoping it would help the next time we ordered. It never did! If you are at the pool or beach and really want a drink, just go to the bar and get one yourself (and yes, you still need to pay an extra 38%!)
The pool/beach runs out of towels by 2 or 3:00pm. Sometimes they get more later... sometimes not.
I heard from several guests that their reservation was supposed to include the buffet breakfast. But that they later learned it was not actually included. One was a family with 3 little kids. At $25 each, they found out that they owed $125 for breakfast every day! Those kids probably ate nothing more than 2 pancakes and a piece of bacon.... ouch! So, even if you "know" that your reservation includes breakfast, you'll definitely want to confirm that when you check in.
Aside from my gripes about annoyances, overall, we had a very nice stay at the Westin. We always felt safe. The food was good. Staff were friendly. The beach was great.
The Westin property is now one of our favorite beach destination properties that we have visited. From the front desk experience with Scarlet to the great work by Ronald at the pool bar and restaurant....it was incredible. We have been to A LOT of beach destinations that are all Marriott, Westin, etc and this is the best one we have been to for a few reasons. Even at full capacity this week of Spring Break....it never seemed crowded.....ever. The property is impeccable, the service is top notch and the food never disappointed. We were on the 4th floor with two beds and our 14 and 16 year old. They agreed that it was the best time that have had at any property (other than the Ritz Carlton in St Thomas). We compare against Grand Cayman Marriott, the JW Marriott, Ritz and Casa Magna in Cancun, the Marriott in Cabo San Lucas, and on and on.
The beach is so incredibly serene and there was NEVER a problem with seaweed as others have mentioned. The water was crystal clear and there were no pounding waves at all. It felt almost like a pool with all of the break about 500 yards out from the property. Finding an umbrella on the beach or pool was not a problem...even at full capacity.
We talked with families from Minnesota, Colorado, Canada, South Carolina and many other states...and they all agreed that the Westin in Punta Cana was an incredible surprise. The other thing that makes this so special is that it is less than 10 minutes from the airport and that it is in a private reserve with numerous shops and restaurants all brought to you by a free shuttle.
The private reserve that the shuttle takes you to is less than a 2 mile walk through the "wilderness trail" and it has numerous blue holes that you can swim in. There is no need at all to go to Scape Park to deal with crowds when you have them in your hotels back yard.
As you can see by the review.....it was a great 8 days spent at the Westin in Punta Cana and I cant say enough positives about this place.
Jandir is amazing!!! What a treat to be welcomed by this amazingly helpful front desk staff member. I have never been so welcomed at a hotel in my 30 plus years in the airline industry!
The hotel is magnificent and sits on the beach about 10 minutes from the airport. My room is large and has a commanding view of the ocean and beach. The moon is shining and the ambience is unbelievable. This is the perfect place for honeymooners and I definitely recommend you to come here and bask in the superior service. If nothing else goes right tomorrow it will be fine because Jandir made us feel very special.
We just returned from a stay here. There were a few things that were different than expected. 1) The property has no convenience store, snack shop, or coffee bar to buy overpriced snacks, sunblock, bandaids, etc. We took a taxi or shuttle into the village to a great grocery store and stocked up. 2) They have a currency exchange/bank in what would be a good spot for a snack shop but when you check in to the hotel they make you sign and acknowledge that the property has a strict "no cash" policy. 3) The food in the restaurant is very good and reasonable - approx. $20 for a 10 oz filet 4) The restaurant had a wine list of several red wines but the only one in stock - Beringer house wine 5) Towels and washcloths are very scarce - we were there 4 days and never got clean towels after our room was serviced - we had to call each day and sometimes multiple times - baffling. When they did bring towels after calling - they only brought 2 for 4 people. 6) Towels at the pool were sometimes not available until afternoon - the excuse was they were late coming back from the laundry service. 7) The sea weed was not a big issue 8) They had a shoe shine machine outside our room in the hallway - I would expect that at a business hotel, not a resort
This could be a much better property than it is currently being run. There were several things that just seemed "off" at this property. I am surprised someone from Marriott corporate doesn't come down and figure this out how to run this hotel better.
Checked in 3/1/19 for our first visit to Punta Cana. So happy we chose the Westin v a large all-inclusive. We were here a week before Spring Break, so it was very relaxing before the crowds came to the island. The hotel was just as expected for a Westin - heavenly room and all the amenities. Love the open air lobby. Pool area is beautiful but we spent most of our time on the soft sandy beach. The walk of the beach end to end is very nice, and even gives you a peak at the golf course. Staff was very friendly and helpful. I had read in reviews that there were problems with language barrier. Our experience was all the staff were learning or were proficient in English, and they were friendly! We had fun and smiles with many of the staff when we tried to learn Spanish and they would teach us. So no language issues - embrace the country you are visiting! We had intentions to try restaurants off-property, but only went outside of Westin once as the food was very good on property and at the Playa Blanco Beach restaurant. Breakfast buffet was excellent - highly recommend.getting the daily buffet in reservation package.
We went to the Ecological Preserve for an afternoon - just thought it would be a nice walk, but it was much more than that! The water in the lagoons was as clear as glass. Definitely wear a suit and dip in the lagoons! And be sure to go to the beach at the site of the old Punta Cana resort. It is beautiful.
The shuttle to the village ran on-time and was very convenient.