The Hard Rock Punta Cana Review: Pretty Luxurious Getaway


Booking a vacation can sometimes be stressful. First and foremost, you need to figure out when you can get away from the busy and hectic schedule of your everyday life. Then, you need to decide where to go. Is this going to be a family vacation or a couple’s getaway? Do you enjoy waiting in line at theme parks or is floating down a lazy river more your speed? If you prefer lounging on a white sandy beach with blue waters lapping at your feet, this article is for you.

If you’re looking for a Caribbean escape and you like luxury and over-the-top amenities, the Hard Rock Punta Cana may be your next vacation destination. This all-inclusive resort offers up some serious style and leisure in the setting of that white sandy beach you’ve been dreaming about. In order to help you decide if the Hard Rock is your final destination, we’ve put together the following bits of information to help take the guesswork and the stress out of planning your next beach getaway.

hardrock

You’ve probably heard the name Hard Rock before. It grew from a novelty restaurant chain themed with rock and roll fixtures and memorabilia. The restaurant chain began in London in 1971. Eric Clapton, who was a restaurant regular, donated the first piece of memorabilia. He gave the manager an unsigned guitar and asked that it be placed over his usual table. Thus, the tradition of acquiring and displaying rock and roll artifacts in the restaurant began. Some items are donated, and others are purchased at auction. The Hard Rock collection is said to contain over 80,000 pieces. These items are affixed throughout the world in various cafes and now hotels.

In 1995, the owners of the Hard Rock decided to branch out and venture into hotel management. The first Hotel and Casino opened in Las Vegas, Nevada. It began as a hotel, casino and entertainment venue. Regular concerts take place in the venue, aptly named the Joint. The hotel has undergone two renovations since it first opened. It has changed ownership twice, as well. In 2006, all Hard Rocks west of the Mississippi were sold to Morgan’s Hotel Group. In 2007, the original owners sold all the remaining Hard Rock-branded restaurants and hotels except for those already mentioned to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As recently as April 2018, the brand exchanged hands again, this time sold to Virgin Airline’s tycoon, Richard Branson.

What Is the Hard Rock?

In January 2011, the Hard Rock Punta Cana opened. It is located on Macao Beach, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It was the first all-inclusive offering from the Hard Rock chain as of that time. The property sits on 121 acres of lush vegetation. It boasts, among other things, 13 swimming pools, a Jack Nicklaus golf course and the largest casino in the Dominican Republic, measuring in at 45,000 square feet.

What Does All-Inclusive Get You?

hardrock inclusive

The Hard Rock has 13 restaurants and 23 bars you can patronize during your visit. All meals and drinks are included in your stay. 24-hour room service is also available and included in your rate. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, this hotel is a lot like that, except it never leaves dry land.

There are concerts and a nightclub that you can also spend your time at. The hotel has an award-winning spa that will cost you extra. Like most all-inclusive resorts, there are certain caveats and restrictions. For instance, some food, such as lobster, might have a slight upcharge. Not all alcoholic beverages are limitless; usually, house wine and beer. Be sure you bring plenty of cash for tips and any items you wish to add to your bill. Remember, the casino is not free or rather, the money you need to gamble is not free. You’ll need real cash if you plan on spending any time there.

For the most part, an all-inclusive resort, such as the Hard Rock is great for being able to stay on budget. Just know what the restrictions are before you leave.

The Hard Rock Punta Cana’s Basics

Opened in
2011
Sits on
121 acres
Guest rooms
1,790
Pools
13
Restaurants
13
Bars
23
Golf course
Yes
Casino
Yes
Nightclub
1
Meeting Space
65,000 square feet
Average Guest Review

Pricing

price

The rooms at the hotel are all pretty luxurious. It’s hard to give exact prices, as they fluctuate depending on the time of the year. We can, however, give you an estimate as to what a typical stay might look like at various times of the season. We were able to calculate the resort typically charges about $225 per person per night. We used multiple scenarios throughout the year when searching for a room. We used a minimum 5-night stay in each test.

We found that for the basic room available at the time, the cost averaged out to be about $225 per person per night. If you opt for more luxurious rooms, that price will go up substantially; however, we wouldn’t blame you. While all the rooms we found were pretty amazing, some rooms even included a personal assistant. We’re not sure why you would need one while you’re on vacation, but it sounds cool anyway.

How the Hard Rock Punta Cana Compares

If you are interested in a trip to the Dominican Republic and want to see how the Hard Rock stacks up against nearby resorts, we’ve taken the time to give you a few brief facts about each resort we chose below. These resorts were all selected because they are similar to the Hard Rock in location and offerings.

Excellence Resorts Punta Cana

This all-inclusive 5-star resort is nestled about 8 miles down the beach from the Hard Rock. It fully integrates the look and feel of the Caribbean with Tiki huts as canopies by the beach and pool. It was last renovated in 2017 to give the hotel a more sleek and modern look and feel on the inside. On the outside, it’s all beachside luxury. The Excellence has nine dining options, not including an all-you-can-eat buffet and beach snack grill.

All are included in the price of the hotel. Take some time to give the zip line a try, then grab some snorkel gear and explore the water. If you’re interested in going deeper, the hotel offers scuba lessons. You can choose to kick back on the beach and watch the whales swim offshore. Be aware this resort is adults-only.

Opened in
2000, renovated in 2017
Guest rooms
462
Pools
2
Restaurants
11
Bars
3
Golf course
No
Casino
None
Nightclub
1
Meeting Space
None
Price
Average price per person per night is $175
Average Guest Review

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Dreams Resort & Spa lives up to its name. Just 8 miles down the beach from the Hard Rock, this resort offers a family-friendly all-inclusive experience. Decked out in Caribbean style and colors, you can skip the beach and take a dip in one of seven pools across the resort. If you want to enjoy a romantic evening with your spouse, let the hotel do the babysitting. They offer a great variety of childcare activities for free to keep the kids busy while you unwind and recharge on the beach or partake in a relaxing spa treatment. Test your luck in the casino or enjoy the sounds of the nightclub.

Opened in
2002, renovated in 2007
Guest rooms
620
Pools
2
Restaurants
11
Bars
3
Golf course
No
Casino
None
Nightclub
1
Meeting Space
None
Price
Average price per person per night is $175
Average Guest Review

Breathless Resort & Spa Punta Cana

The Breathless Resort & Spa takes you 13 miles down the beach from the Hard Rock. This adults-only all-inclusive resort will leave you breathless when you first step out of your car. As you walk through the property, you'll be taken by the lush greenery, the numerous pools (there are eight) and of course, the beautiful beachside view a luxury hotel such as this offers. Since you and your partner will have plenty of time to bond, why not take some paddleboard lessons or get your scuba certification while you're here? After a day of swimming and beaching, take a relaxing dip in one of the hot tubs or treat your aching muscles to a nice rub down in the spa with an expert masseuse. At the end of your trip, you won't be ready to return to the rigors and pace of your normal, everyday life.

Opened in
2013
Guest rooms
750
Pools
8
Restaurants
10
Bars
5
Golf course
No
Nightclub
1
Meeting Space
None
Price
Average price per night is $150
Average Guest Review













Pros and Cons of the Hard Rock Punta Cana

While there are a lot of elements the Hard Rock has to offer that are beyond belief, there are a few drawbacks to a resort of this size. For starters, it requires a lot of walking to get around it. The hotel is sprawled out over 121 acres. Depending on where your room is compared to where you need to be, it can take some hoofing to get there.

Another negative about the hotel is that most guest rooms don't have an ocean view. We did some digging and found that on average, the suites and more expensive rooms are ocean views. You can still get rooms on the ocean at the lower price point, but these are harder to come by.

Below, find a list of the pros and cons of the Hard Rock Punta Cana.

Pros

  • All-inclusive resort includes some alcoholic beverages (certain restrictions do apply)
  • Kid-friendly resort
  • 13 resort pools (one has a waterslide, and one is designated for adults)
  • Food has been rated pretty highly for being all-inclusive
  • 24-hour room service (included)
  • The largest casino in the Dominican Republic
  • Golf course

Cons

  • Large property means lots of walking to get around
  • Shuttle service is lacking; long waits between pickups
  • Guests complain about the noise in rooms (walls are thin)
  • Not many ocean view rooms available at affordable prices

What Guests Have to Say About the Hard Rock

Since we were not able to stay at the Hard Rock and give you a first-hand account (it's not in the budget), we went through customer feedback and reviews to get an idea of what people like and don't like about the property.

Customers loved the resort and raved about the customer service provided by every aspect of the staff. Some even named staff members who went above and beyond. Guests enjoyed the pools and entertainment offered. The negative comments made generally had to do with how large the resort is, as stated above. A few individuals didn't enjoy the food. One commented that the staff was rude. Since these last two comments were unusual, we didn't count them in our overall review.

Final Thoughts

If you get a chance to pull up a picture of the Hard Rock Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, you may get sucked in. The beauty of the hotel, inside and out, calls to you. It wants you to give up and get away. The location is perfect, with beautiful turquoise waters running up on white sandy beaches. If you do nothing else at the Hard Rock, know that you will be well cared for. The all-inclusive aspect, the family-friendly accommodations and activities make this a vacation for the whole family. Why wait in line for theme parks in the blazing Florida sun when you can take the kids to a paradise in the Caribbean?

The Hard Rock Punta Cana seems to have it all: location, friendly staff, luxurious amenities and more. The price is a little high, and if you want to gamble or use the spa, you'll need additional money, so it's not exactly all-inclusive. Taking all the good with the little bit of bad, we give this resort 4.7 stars out of 5.

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