But that part of the world has always been my dream destination. When Marcel and I got married in 2001, our plan was to become scuba diving instructors in the Caymans or another island nearby.
Practicality and other reasons helped us choose The Netherlands instead, but the dream didn’t fade. Both of us wanted to go.
What better reason than a 40th birthday? On the 1st of March, I was born four decades ago. Wow. What a thought. It used to sound so old …
Catalonia Royal bavaro
After a lot of surfing (on the net), we finally decided on the Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and booked a two-week stay. You need an underwater camera
You Need a waterproof camera!
Just before we left, Marcel made a last-minute purchase … a Pentax Optio W60 underwater digital camera. What a good decision, it kept him occupied for hours while I splashed about making waves in the clear turquoise water. Marcel enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the best underwater shots.
I was really impressed with the wide-angle and the shots we could take. So we’ll probably need to invest in yet another Tamron lens for the “big” Pentax at some stage. Sigh! Does it ever end?
Catalonia Bavaro has two parts to it, the normal family resort on the left side, and the Royal resort on the right-hand side, where no children are allowed. We don’t have kids so it was a no-brainer for us. Peace and quiet when we wanted, and a quick walk to the buzz if we missed it.
This place is really very nice. It is rather big and very spread out but the Adults Only section is to one side and offers those without kids some more peace and relaxation with a separate dining area and pool to the main resort.
Part of the chilled vibe starts with the rum-laced coffee in the morning over breakfast. All the staff are super chilled and very friendly. Then head to the beach for the day and laze around between swims drinking the watered-down beer (and a cocktail or two in between – delicious!).
There is also a guy with a wheelbarrow crammed with fresh coconuts that he will chop into a drinkable vessel for you. I can’t remember how much this cost but it was worth it!
The beach sand is perfect and there is enough shade in this section for everyone. You can take a stroll further down the beach where you will find local market traders selling souvenirs. However, they aren’t very au fait with the bargaining process so we didn’t end up making a deal.
Further on there is some litter around (understandable) and the palm trees lean out over the waves. It doesn’t really get more Caribbean than this…
The main resort
In the main resort (to which you have access) there is a large pool area (very busy compared to the adult section – but a nice change to have lunch in the outdoor restaurant.
There are also other, themed, restaurants for dinner – which you need to pay for – like, Mexican, Italian etc, as well as a ‘theatre’ with live music in the central area. We opted for dinner on the beach for two. This was very romantic under the stars and with a personal waiter and chef just for the two of us at a table on the beach. Worth it!
The room was amazing. A large bedroom with a jacuzzi and big bathroom. The view wasn’t great but it was immaculately maintained by the staff (even making a swan out of the towels every day to perch on the bed. And best of all was that it was kept cool all day long (we didn’t even ask for all this. Can recommend!
Thumbs up all the way
This was the best holiday we’ve ever had. It ticked all of our boxes. We really didn’t want to leave. As soon as we can afford it again … we’re on the next plane over. Muy Bien! Gracias.