Cheltenham
The Cheltonian > Articles

Dominican Republic

Dreaming Dreams Of The Dominican Republic - Dreams La Romana crack

The Dominican Republic, discovered by Christopher Columbus, is a quintessential Caribbean island, golden beaches, clear blue seas, palm trees wistfully swinging in the cool coastal breeze. Picture postcard paradise!

A nine hour flight from Manchester to Punta Cana was followed by an hour transfer to La Romana. The Dreams resort is an all-inclusive destination at the higher end of the market and was packaged up for us by Travelbag (www.travelbag.co.uk).

Walking into the gorgeous lobby we were greeted with a glass of champagne, our luggage was taken care of, and we were shown to our room when we were ready. Nothing is too much trouble. 24 hour room service, branded spirits from the numerous bars and a dozen restaurants to choose from within the resort.

The World Café offers dining from around the world and is open 24 hours. Others, such as the Italian and the French restaurants open on alternate evenings and offer fine dining and have a strict dress code.

The Dominican Republic offers a plethora of activities and excursions from good old fashioned shopping to some of the best scuba-diving in the Caribbean. The capital city, Santa Domingo, is about two hours away and is a beautiful city with a rich heritage and boasting numerous museums, one of which includes Columbus’ home.

For the more adventurous, you may want to try your hand at ‘rage carting’ and ‘quad biking’ across the rugged landscape. But be warned, you’re likely to return to the resort covered from head to toe in mud and soaked to the skin. Hilarious fun!

The scuba-diving is remarkable. There are two significant wrecks just off the coast, one of which, the Atlantic Princess, is directly in front of the resort and is in shallow enough water for the novice diver to access. There is a PADI dive school on site, Gri-Gri Divers, who can teach you the basics in one of the many pools and then take you out on your first open water dive. Again, an experience you will never forget as you venture into a truly amazing world beneath the surface.

Lionfish, stingrays, groupers, barracuda, moray eels and seahorses are just a few examples of what you can expect to see within seconds of submerging. The coastal waters off the resort are teaming with life.

We also experienced the sheer delight of swimming with dolphins. A magical experience that will be etched in our memories for life.

Saona Island is a national park and a day-long excursion that has to be embarked upon. The catamaran ride to the island lasts about an hour and includes a stop midway that allows you to swim on one of the sand bars in crystal clear waters. The island itself is exquisite. White sand, palm trees, it is quite simply paradise preserved.

A small note of caution though, use factor 70 as a minimum when visiting Saona Island. The sunshine in the Dominican Republic is fabulous. It’s also very intense and you will burn very quickly, especially when out in it all day and exposed to both the sun and sea.

For those of you that would rather simply stay at the resort itself there is plenty to do. The swimming pools are very large, the beach is beautiful and numerous activities are available on-site, including, sailing, surfing, archery, tennis, video games and such like.

Entertainment is on tap. The evenings are particularly catered for with a vast variety of acts coming in each evening. There is also a casino, the numerous restaurants and, of course, the many bars and the constant flow of alcohol!

The only problem? Coming home!