The Dominican Republic is an easy escape!
Sometimes the journey to a destination is part of its appeal, with puddle jumpers and water taxis adding to the anticipation. But for a recent 72-hour getaway, I wanted to keep it easy. The fewer details that needed planning, the better. I set my sights on Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic for a long weekend. The direct flight from Atlanta to Punta Cana was an easy 3.5 hours, and the resort was a 15-minute car ride from the airport. No trekking required, plus loads of wellness activities at my fingertips. Perfect.
Eden Roc’s 65 all-suite accommodations are set within Cap Cana’s 30,000-acre private, gated community. My traveling companion and I delighted in our newly renovated villa outfitted with a private pool and outdoor lounge, comfortable king bed and walk-in closet. The spacious bathroom is its own haven with a double-vanity, deep Jacuzzi tub, indoor rain shower and outdoor shower space where the tropical birds chirp at you from their palm tree perches. Multi-bedroom villas and one- to two-bedroom beachfront suites overlooking the ocean and adjacent to the main infinity pool are also available.
A complimentary golf cart comes with each villa-style accommodation, and we had a blast traversing the property in it. Though we never hit any balls on Punta Espada, a pristine Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that runs through the center of the property, we carted through a few of its paths and got lost on our way home one night. And an equestrian center was a leisurely 15-minute drive away.
Between hiding from the sun under a beach hut, swimming laps in the turquoise ocean and sipping cocktails made with fresh fruit juices at the beach bar, I visited the Eden Roc Spa by Natura Bissé. The Signature Massage and a facial utilizing Natura Bissé’s energizing dry oil and nourishing skin care products made momdom and solopreneurship feel far, far away. After the treatments, I used the sauna followed by the “ice room,” a verifiable ice maker where you grab some ice and give your skin a rubdown to close your pores.
The wellness experiences are extensive and customizable through a personal wellness concierge. Daily group classes such as yoga, Pilates and HIIT are available at the gym or by the beach, and private sessions, from personal training to meditation, can be booked on demand and take place in your suite. There’s even an anti-gravity aero yoga studio and a natural medicine consultant on speed dial. My friend and I opted for an insightful tarot card reading followed by relaxing reiki, arranged on a private deck with a wave-crashing soundtrack.
What stood out throughout my stay was the service. Coming from the U.S. where we’ve been experiencing staffing shortages in the service industry, the well-staffed Eden Roc was a welcome change. Someone was always available to take an order, make a reservation or answer a question—with a smile to boot. In fact, Alberto from the concierge and Lifestyle Coordinator Astrid would proactively check in via WhatsApp to see if we needed anything and make suggestions.
In addition to the service, the food at all three restaurants is top notch. Fresh seafood abounds, and my favorite dishes included the succulent spiny lobster (caught that afternoon) at the oceanfront La Palapa; chef’s tasting nigiri course and delicate hamachi crudo at BLUE Grill + Bar, a casual Japanese-Peruvian spot overlooking the pool; and the flaky red snapper served with bok choy at fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant, Mediterraneo. BLUE also hosts the resort’s complimentary daily breakfast buffet and a la carte menu.
This trip checked off the need for a mental reset and fun with a girlfriend after a crazy year. The next time, I look forward to returning with family and taking advantage of the kid-friendly options, including the Koko Kid’s Club and a children’s concierge service that can arrange everything from a private movie night to chaperoned activities. Yes, please!
EDEN ROC CAP CANA
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.