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By Jessica Labaire

Last year my family and I spent our Christmas vacation at the Majestic Colonial Resort, one of the all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. Punta Cana is a fairly new resort destination on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. This picturesque area has gained popularity over the last 5 or so years as they have been building dozens of high-end all inclusive resorts. Since it is still fairly young for a Caribbean hot spot, you can find amazing prices at really high end luxury resorts. Punta Cana offers everything you would expect from a great Caribbean vacation; unbelievable beaches, perfect weather, endless watersports and a unique culture. Plus, at an all inclusive resort you don’t pay for anything. All your meals, drinks, entertainment and activities are included in your upfront price, making it a perfect option — especially for family travel –- because you never have to worry about that extra soda or afternoon snack.

Since there are not a ton of things to do in the area itself, the all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana have all been built to accommodate a full week’s vacation without ever having to leave. The Majestic Colonial, for example, has six restaurants ranging from casual beach snack bar to gourmet a la carte dining and, of course, a couple buffets as well. And since it’s an all inclusive resort, you don’t have to pay a dime at any of them.

During the day we typically spent a couple hours relaxing on the amazing beach, or some days we snorkeled or sailed. Then after lunch we would spend a couple more hours in the afternoon at the expansive pool — one if the biggest I have ever seen, complete with a swim-up pool bar and water volleyball court. My brother spent most of his time in the sports center that featured tennis courts, basketball, and a full gym. The resort even had a quaint little chapel right for our Christmas Eve Mass, or, I imagine, a beautiful destination wedding if you so chose.

At night there was plenty to do on site as well. This resort has its own casino with blackjack tables, roulette, slot machines and more. They also had a great sports bar (and thankfully we were able to watch the New England Patriot’s all way from the Dominican Republic). And later in the evening the nightclub gets into full swing. Unfortunately we were usually too tired from all the day’s activities to partake in the disco.

We were not traveling with young children, but the Majestic Colonial does have a pretty cool play area with a big castle, kid’s pool and arcade. And with all the children that were there, we barely noticed any, so it seems they keep the kids pretty busy.

Our rooms were huge and immaculately kept, with maid service a couple times a day. Something to note: Even though tipping is not necessary at most all inclusive resorts, we did leave our room staff some money on the first day, and they seemed to notice; they took very good care of us.

I have stayed at many all inclusive resorts on my Caribbean vacations. Jamaica had been my favorite vacation destination, until I stayed at the Majestic Colonialin Punta Cana. This resort is amazing — the staff was great, the food was superb, and the beaches and weather comparable to anyplace I’ve been. I feel like we got way more for our money at this all inclusive resort.

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Jessica Labaire is a merchandising manager for Orbitz.

Tagged: Caribbean, Punta Cana

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