Freelance writer Paul Felt visited SuperClubs' Breezes Punta
Cana Beach Resort, Spa & Casino in the Dominican Republic. His
fter several visits to the
Dominican Republic, including two previous stays in Punta Cana, I
was accustomed to all-inclusive resorts built as sprawling,
I also knew that getting around these resorts involved a lot of
Expecting another mega-village formula, I was surprised to find
that the 733-room Breezes Punta Cana Beach Resort, Spa & Casino
was contained in one, five-story building -- and a nice-looking one
at that, created in the spired style of an Arabian palace.
Sixty percent of the property's guest rooms overlook the water,
according to general manager Lars Geweyer.
The lobby is tall, airy and elegant, and this ambience continues
in the open-air public spaces, including an oceanview restaurant
Under the Breezes flag and new management by SuperClubs, the
former Sol de Plata Punta Cana Beach Hotel, built in April 2000, is
expanding from four to six restaurants, Geweyer said.
A Japanese and Tex-Mex restaurant on the beach are being added to
complement the buffet, beachside and Italian and French specialty
The specialty restaurants require reservations at least one day
Other enhancements to the resort include an oceanview fitness
center, a swim-up pool bar and three hot tubs.
Geweyer said he expects the resort's guest demographics to
change under SuperClubs' management -- from 10% to 12% coming from
the U.S. under the previous management of Germany-based LTI
International Hotels to 30% under SuperClubs.
Where am I?
The property's single-building layout is confusing (even my
bellman got lost). I found the interior courtyard in the guestroom
complex the key to getting around the resort.
The secret is to start from the courtyard's interior, which has
plenty of visual clues, rather than try to navigate the
labyrinthine, cryptically numbered room corridors.
What's to do
From my top-floor balcony, the view of the courtyard and pool,
sparkling in sunlight, was as enjoyable as the beach views. The
courtyard features a large, irregularly shaped pool in its center.
A casual-fare restaurant and bar are nearby.
Between the pool and the hotel is an elevated platform for daily
aerobics classes and afternoon dart tournaments.
The new swim-up pool bar, hot-tub area and indoor fitness center
opened shortly after my visit.
But the beach is the star attraction at Breezes Punta Cana, and
there's lots of it for walking and sunning.
Parasailing, circus workshops and rock-wall climbing are offered
I decided on parasailing, which I'd been told offered 10 minutes
of extreme thrills and required few skills.
Strapped into a parachute harness, off I went, higher and
higher, a contemporary Icarus, soaring over waters of unfathomable
I shouted to the boat driver below, hoping he would cut his
speed and let me drift down, but my calls of "abajo, abajo (down,
down)," dissipated into thin air.
Scratch that activity from my list of favorite things.
Breezes by night
The layout of Breezes Punta Cana enables guests to be casual by
day at the beach or pool and glamorous by night over cognac and
By night, most of the action turned to the basement-level casino
The lobby-level bar was active as well, and the nearby hallway
became a cigar lounge where guests sampled hand-rolled goods from
the cigar shop.
Another wing on the same level houses the entertainment area,
anchored by a song-and-dance amphitheater, and where guests played
billiards to the accompaniment of a musical combo.
"The hotel caters to everyone, families with and without
children, singles, couples," Geweyer said. "There is no limitation
Room key: Breezes Punta Cana Beach Resort, Spa &
Address: Playa Arena Gorda, Carretera Macao,
Bavaro Punta Cana, Higuey, Dominican Republic
Phone: (809) 476-7777
Reservations: (800) GO SUPER
General manager: Lars Geweyer
Built: April 2000
Renovated: $2 million renovation, completed in
Location: On Punta Cana's Arena Gorda Beach, 20
miles from Punta Cana International Airport.
Rates: Through April 13, from $130 per person, per
night, double, for a gardenview Royale room, to $219 per person,
per night, double, for the luxury suite Tropicale. A run of house
room is priced at $115 per person, per night, double.
Noteworthy: Excellent value in a popular
destination; quiet beach; quality dining and service; compact
layout. Convenient long-weekend getaway packages from U.S. gateways
with direct service to Punta Cana. More than 50 charter flights per
week from U.S. operating to the region this winter.
Not worthy: Compact layout also means more steps
to climb than at the village-style resorts. The appeal of on-site
activities may wear thin with longer stays. Airport transfers, $16
per person roundtrip, are not included.