Yet its reputation is mixed, with some travelers concerned about issues that include cleanliness, safety, and food.
The importance of the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic has prompted resorts to try to create as enjoyable an experience for visitors as possible – with good results.
The two airports in the island’s southeastern region, Punta Cana and La Romana, are clean, safe, and tourist-friendly.
At Punta Cana International Airport, for example, passengers walk off the plane and into an open-air building with a thatched roof in which performers in native garb are singing. A matron makes sure the ladies room is clean and safe. La Romana Airport, built by the huge neighboring resort, Casa de Campo, looks brand new. It is also clean and efficient.
As for the resorts, while they vary in quality in terms of physical attractiveness and service, they are on par with other Caribbean resorts. My stomach – more sensitive than most – fared perfectly well, not only in the resort but in the one beachside restaurant I had a chance to try.
The people, for the most part, are warm and friendly, although the amount of English that is spoken varies widely. The only unsavory characters I came across, in fact, were the vendors in a few tourist-oriented shopping areas. This was a surprise, since merchants in a resort area should have learned by now that heavy-handed tactics don’t work with most foreign visitors.
As for the main reason to choose a Dominican Republic honeymoon — the beaches — they couldn’t be more beautiful. The water is warm, clear, and a lovely shade of turquoise. The sand varies from sugary white to coarser gold, but it is always comfortable for walking or lounging.
Right now, there’s a building boom going on in the Dominican Republic. Large hotel companies — some European, some Dominican — are building mega-hotels with up to 1,000 rooms. And that should make discerning honeymoon couples pay close attention to whether they will feel crowded or overwhelmed in lodgings that size.
There are also several boutique hotels springing up that offer luxury, albeit at a steep price. But for couples who can afford to splurge on a Dominican Republic honeymoon, paying extra to get the finest in service, accommodations, and amenities is well worth it.
Like most Caribbean islands, there’s not a lot to do on a Dominican Republic honeymoon. Therefore, choosing a resort that has the right ambience is important. In most cases, a couple won’t even leave the premises, so making sure the on-site restaurants, water sports, and other options are to your liking before making a choice can make the difference between a fabulous honeymoon and a disappointing experience.
Editor's note: For many years, people in parts of the Dominican Republic away from resort areas have suffered from poor sanitation and unclean water supplies. Travelers to the Dominican Republic are advised to stick to self-sufficient resorts in the southeastern region. For more information, read Water supply and sanitation in the Dominican Republic.