Learn how a resort in the Dominican Republic got one travel writer to truly disconnect and relax.
I’m not good at relaxing.
In fact, I never have been. That’s why I couldn’t quite believe where the time had gone when I left the spa at the Finest Punta Cana. I was so relaxed, I had spent more than three hours without even realizing it.
That’s the resort’s goal, of course, to lull you into a state of complete bliss — with hydrotherapy rituals, aromatherapy massages, and indulgence at every turn. But rarely does it actually work for me.
The all-inclusive resort opened in late 2021 as one of the newest properties in The Excellence Collection, welcoming both families and adults to the shores of the Dominican Republic. The hotel practically functions as three properties in one with both kid-friendly areas (including an impressive kids’ club complete with a mini water park) and adults-only pools and restaurants.
It was my first-ever stay at an all-inclusive hotel, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But within moments of arriving, I was snacking on complimentary Oreos from the minibar, looking out at the pool and the ocean beyond, and deciding which restaurant to try first.
I was staying in the hotel’s adults-only side, the Excellence Club, which included its own check-in area, exclusive club-only restaurants, and a pool that tended to be quieter than the kid-friendly one on the other side.
On my first day there, I walked the length of the property in the way you’d explore a city if you had too little time. I checked out each pool, each food truck, and each beach palapa. I mapped out a plan in my head. By the second day, I had