After being forced to shut down about a week after its official opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the all-inclusive Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana is back.
And after a recent visit, as part of our coverage of the reopening of Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, Caribbean Journal can confirm the resort is ready to welcome guests willing to travel during the ongoing pandemic.
The bottom line is this Dominican Republic esort’s layout and spacing has created the perfect environment for travelers looking to socially distance.
And the food was phenomenal.
Here are some other highlights we found at the new family-friendly resort, as well as some opinions from some of the travel industry’s top experts.
The new Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana development, which first launched to the public on March 23 before having to shut down soon after.
“My first impression of the resort was, ‘Beautiful,’ said Lisa Otts, business manager and co-owner of 2GETAWAY Travel, a travel agency in Klein, Texas. “The architect did an amazing job in the overall design of this one.”
Located on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana is located on Playa Macao. Guests can experience theme parties, live entertainment, a nightclub, and the Dreams Spa by Pevonia.
Paul Smith, co-owner of the TravelSmiths, a travel agency in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, said the hotel is perfectly situated for weddings and honeymoons.
“There is a rooftop location right in the center of the property that overlooks the water [that] would be a great spot for weddings family gatherings, etc.,” he said. “The rooms are beautiful and spacious. This property it’s going to be something special.”
Angee Shields, a travel agent with Travel Tom in Washington, D.C. and owner of Vacations With Flair, agreed.
“Couples can choose to exchange vows on a gorgeous beach or a large rooftop terrace,” she said. “Most of our clients like the privacy that rooftop venues offer, but not many resorts offer them. The rooftop location at Dreams Macao is centrally located and available for celebration until 11 p.m.”
As far as room goes, we recommend booking a Preferred Club suite to gain access to a private lounge with top-shelf liquor and hors d’oeuvres, an adults-only private pool, a Preferred Club only restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and Preferred Club bars.
The best of these include the Preferred Club Presidential Suite Roof Top Ocean Front and the Preferred Club Presidential Suite Swim-Out Ocean Front rooms. There are only one of each of these so be sure to book a few months ahead of time to be safe.
The 1,808-square-foot Preferred Club Presidential Suite Roof Top Ocean Front room is adults-only and includes a large terrace with a whirlpool on the rooftop. Many of the features of the two rooms are the same aside from the fact that the swim-out room obviously has direct access to the pool.
There is also a 12-treatment room spa and an Explorer’s Club for kids ages 3-12. There is also the Core Zone Teens Club for guests ages 13-17.
“The children’s area is a total home run with a small waterpark for the little ones and a larger water slide area with a lazy river for the teens that is located in a separate area where they have the most beautiful two-bedroom villas,” said Otts.
For those reasons, Shields agreed that the property is not only a solid fit for honeymooners and destination weddings, but also a great vacation for adventurous families.
“As a new build, this property has been well thought out,” said Shields. “It offers some fun options not commonly seen at other resorts. The villas, water slides, zip line and lazy river are all located at the back of the resort. Families with kids will likely spend most of their time there, while the main pool area is in the front of the property overlooking the beach.”
All AMResorts hotels are now capped at 60 percent, said Luis Nunez, regional commercial director of the Dominican Republic for AMResorts.
He said when hotels come close to hitting 40 percent, management will close off the cheaper rooms and even consider raising rates to maintain the cost of operating the resorts.
As far as safety and cleanliness go, Nunez said most guests were tested at the airport via breathalyzer equipment made in Israel. If a guest gets sick at the hotel, they are brought to an isolated room, treated by a doctor and then sent to a hospital, said Nunez.
Otts told CJ she felt “extremely secure” with the hotel’s COVID-safety measures mainly because the staff was required to wear eye safety wear and masks at all times.
Guests of Dreams Macao, and all AMResorts for that matter, will be reinsured to know of AMResorts’ Cristal International Standards certification, as well as other standards it has met.
According to an AMResorts statement, “We are also working closely with Cristal International Standards to secure an even higher level of quality, safety and hygiene verification prior to re-opening resorts.
“This is the Prevention of the Spread of Infection Audit Protocol (POS), or the Cristal International Standards POSI-Check certification, one of the industry’s most advanced third-party verification standards, and is being implemented across all AMResorts branded properties specifically to address the post COVID-19 world. AMResorts is one of the first to employ the standards.”
The restaurants include the Barefoot Grill, which serves burgers and hot dogs beachside; Bordeaux, which serves French cuisine and is adults-only; the Coco Cafe, which serves coffee and pastries; El Patio, a Mexican restaurant; Himitsu, which serves Asian cuisine with teppanyaki tables; Macao Bites Food Truck, which also serves burgers and hot dogs; Oceana, which specializes in seafood; Portofino, the resort’s Italian restaurant; the Seaside Grill, which offers guests grilled meats, fish and hamburgers and the hotel’s buffet, World Cafe.
Other recent AMResorts re-openings in the Dominican Republic include Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, which underwent a $36 million renovation, Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, Dreams Dominicus La Romana, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, and Sunscape Puerto Plata.
All AMResorts branded properties in the Dominican Republic will be reopened by the end of the year.