It felt as if I was transported from London and plopped in the middle of a tropical screensaver. Millennials, you know the one I’m talking about, the one on your family’s home computer, the one that was (and maybe still is) Microsoft Window’s default backdrop for years. The Dominican Republic is the real life version of that screensaver – a perfect island paradise with turquoise water, white sandy beaches and a lush palm fringed landscape, providing the perfect escape from reality.
After our long haul flight and a short half an hour drive, we were welcomed by smiling faces, refreshing cocktails and live music to our new home away from home for the next week, the TRS Turquesa. Located on it’s own private section of Bávaro Beach, which is one of the longest, most continuous white sand beaches in the Caribbean, and surrounded by coral reefs sits TRS Turquesa which is a sprawling, 5-star, all-inclusive resort that has created a world of it’s own.
The hotel is located on the eastern shore of the nation in Punta Cana, which is nicknamed the Coconut Coast due to its abundance of palm trees and luscious tropical vegetation which makes for the most alluring and picturesque surroundings.
After mornings spent tucking into personalised, made-to-order omelettes and fruit platters beachside, guests can enjoy the hotel’s world-class spa facilities and treatments. The spa, The Zentropia, is the perfect place to unwind and relax with its complete wellness experience equipped with top of the line facilities, a juice bar and exclusive and personalised services. It’s a must, especially for someone coming to the Caribbean to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
We couldn’t envision how a country could become more beautiful until we arrived by catamaran to Saona Island. Do you remember the island that Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean was marooned on with no ship? Well, this is the Isla Saona, a small tropical island off the coast of the Dominican Republic’s southeast coast, where we were lucky enough to spend the day. The idyllic island is known for its breathtaking reefs and stunning coastal lagoons. The island should not be given a miss if you are visiting Punta Cana or the surrounding areas.
If venturing off the resort isn’t in your cards for the trip, you’re in luck. There is plenty to do at any given hour from beach yoga and paddle boarding to bachata dancing, there’s an activity schedule that differs day to day. More of a foodie? The resort boasts international cuisine with 14 different restaurants and a whopping 24 bars, you’ll never have to wait for a drink!
As one of four all-inclusive properties owned by Palladium Hotel Group, the TRS Turquesa is an adult-only oasis and the most exclusive of the resorts on the complex. As a mother of two children under 5, I welcomed the idea of not having any kids around for a week, but if you’re looking to travel with the family and need somewhere kid-friendly to stay, the other three resorts in the complex have you covered boasting over 2,000 rooms and a massive kids club, there’s something for everyone.
VIP treatment is the norm at TRS, so, if you’re not with children I highly recommend booking the TRS resort as guests of TRS can use the facilities of any of the other resorts on the grounds, but their facilities are off limits to guests occupying any of the Palladium’s other hotels. In addition, everyone staying at the TRS Turquesa division of the Grand Palladium is equipped with their own personal butler available via WhatsApp and nothing is too big of an ask.
The surroundings are astounding but the most magical part of the resort is the staff. It’s as if they live everyday according to the Bob Marley song ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy.’ Everyone we encountered on our trip was magnetic, full of life and passionate. The Dominican people are said to be some of the friendliest people on the planet and their zest for life became contagious.
My biggest take away from the trip was that everyone should be more Dominican, with smiles on our faces, making every moment count, twerking and singing, living life the Caribbean way. I’ve already booked my next trip with my family back to the country, but this time to explore the natural, unspoilt beauty of Las Terrenas on the country’s northeast coast. Hasta Luego, Republica Dominicana!
Avenida Francia s/n, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic