Out & About in Dominican Republic Part Two: Punta Cana

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By Connor Smith of Golfbreaks.com

Where to Stay:

If golf is your focus when heading down to the Dominican Republic, plan your stay at the Westin Punta Cana. This relaxing environment consists of stunning ocean views from every room and access to an incredible white sand beach. Upon entering your room, you will also find their Heavenly Bed & Bath collection which is exclusive only to the Punta Cana Resort.

The resort also takes a high interest in offering a healthy atmosphere for all guests, providing healthier snack & food options, and a 100% smoke-free environment. The Westin is not an all-inclusive property but has 2 out of 3 of the best courses right on site, so if a fantastic golf getaway is what you are looking for, this is your place to stay!

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Where to Play:

Two of the top courses in the Dominican Republic are part of the Punta Cana Resort and Club. First, you have La Cana, which now offers 27 fantastic holes broken up into nine and 18 holes. On the primary 18 (Tortuga & Arrecife) you will find 14 holes that feature views of the Caribbean with four of the toughest holes right along the waterfront. The last nine holes (Hacienda) are entirely inland but will still give you an outstanding round of golf from start to finish.

When you are flying into Punta Cana International, make sure to look out the window because the stunning Corales Golf Course is going to be the first thing you see. Corales has 18 remarkable holes that will continuously put a smile on your face whether you are one under or 30 over. This course is tremendously challenging throughout the round but very rewarding. You are going to find more “waste areas” than bunkers, and that clay/sand mixture can be somewhat tricky to get out. The fairways and greens are always in pristine condition making it one of the best course in all the Dominican Republic.

punta-espadaLast but not least, Punta Espada. Punta Espada was my absolute favorite course in the Dominican Republic and just about made it to the top of my all-time favorite around the world. When playing at Punta Espada, it doesn’t matter if you are playing a hole beside the water or entirely inland, this course will leave you speechless from start to finish.

Before you play, make your way out to their massive driving range, where you will find endless pyramids of range balls waiting for you. Make sure you warm up because this course will test even the best of golfers. Heading to the first tee, you will quickly realize you are not hitting from a standard tee box. You will take a sharp left turn and head straight up a steep hill to play your first tee shot from the top of a cliff.

Moving on to the second hole you will find the same tee shot with a view of the Caribbean as far as your eyes can see. With quite possibly the three best finishing holes I have ever played, there is no doubt Punta Espada should be on every golfer’s itinerary.

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Where to Eat:

For a casual dining experience, take a relaxing stroll down the white sand beach to Playa Blanca. This beachfront restaurant serves an excellent seafood menu with a Caribbean twist that everyone in your group can enjoy. After your meal, you can sip on a refreshing drink at the bar, or find a spot on the beach to enjoy the sunshine.

The most popular place to dine at the Punta Cana Resort is La Yola. This delicious Mediterranean restaurant, situated in the marina, has a deck built out over the water making the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. If you are lucky enough, you might get seated at a table right next to the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea.

What to Do Away from the Courses:

During your time at the Punta Cana Resort and Club, make sure to save a full day for the Ecological Park and Reserve. Start off with a Segway tour through the Park and the tropical fruit tree garden. Followed that with a horseback ride through the Punta Cana forests, down the Playa Serena, which is one of the most impressive beaches in all the Dominican Republic. Finish your fun-filled day with a refreshing swim in Yauya, an utterly stunning freshwater lagoon.

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Nightlife:

The Westin is better known for their relaxing environment and excellent golf courses. The best place to go for an evening drink would be the Cigar and Rum bar that is open until 11 pm, or the lobby bar, open until 1 am. But, if you are looking for a little more of a wild night, their staff will help you get where you need to go. Nightly transfers are available to the Hard Rock Resort which offers a full casino and nightclub open to outside guests.

Local Tips:

When traveling to the Dominican Republic, the main airport is Punta Cana International. This airport is owned by the Punta Cana Resort and Club, so if you are looking for a trip without much travel after your flights The Westin is a perfect choice. Once you have picked up your luggage, hop in a taxi, and you will arrive at the hotel in just about 7 minutes. You will be on the beach relaxing before you know it.

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Republished with permission from Golfbreaks.com

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