Bachata y Coco Frío

The term “all-inclusive resort” usually unsettles me. Images of mediocre food and uncivilized masses immediately flood to mind. However, upon a recent family vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, I was delighted to find our all-inclusive hotel surpassed my expectations. Above all, I was grateful for the ability to disconnect and enjoy my family.

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The Hard Rock Hotel at Punta Cana is one of the chain’s newer investments, with a grand opening in 2011, and besides some trivial service foibles, we enjoyed an excellent time on Bavaro beach. I won’t bore you with piña coladas and lenses oily from tanning lotion, but I will mention a highlight of my trip–I was invited to teach a few yoga classes at the fitness center. It’s always a goal of mine to take yoga classes around the world, but I found it was more fulfilling still to teach in a foreign country.

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One of the hotel’s nine restaurants, a Brazilian-style grill where servers offer meat off giant swords.

 

One off-site excursion took us on a boisterous 2-hour catamaran ride to a Caribbean island called Isla Saona. Not only was the island straight out of a preset desktop screensaver, but apparently, it was featured in various scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean. As a life-long Johnny Depp worshiper, I was almost as excited to learn this fact as I was about the freshly picked coconuts sliced open for our consumption.

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