May 20, 2022
Relax and enjoy luxury at the new all-inclusive resort La Romana in the Dominican Republic

In search of winter sun, I follow Christopher Columbus – to the Dominican Republic.

Since the explorer landed here in 1492 and named the paradise island Hispaniola, its eastern half has developed into the economic center of the archipelago of the Greater Antilles.

Hilton has poured millions into its new all-inclusive resort, La Romana, an hour’s drive from Punta Cana Airport

The year-round average temperatures of 26 ° C that produced sugar cane and coffee plantations also make it perfect for golf resorts and hotels.

Hilton has poured millions into its new all-inclusive resort, La Romana, an hour’s drive from Punta Cana Airport.

And it’s a feat when you’re planning a trip with a large group.
Half of the 1,000-room complex is for families, the other half is for adults only.

For example, those with kids can spend the day bombarding lifeguards with diving bombs, while couples in love can swim by the infinity pool on the other side of the resort.

In the evening, when the children are safely locked in the children’s club, the grown-ups can meet for cocktails and dinner. In the evening there are stage shows and a disco.

Neither side of the resort feels too short.

There are a number of themed restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, beach grills and pizzerias. Not to mention the mega buffet and the “premium” lounges. The latter have a selection of nibbles and a well-stocked bar of branded spirits to serve yourself.

And so to the first challenge of the all-inclusive country: restraint.

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BIND

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Once you realize that you can help yourself, it’s hard not to overeat.
It’s like a tropical version of supermarket sweep.

“Yes, I’ll have another pina colada.” “A slice of pepperoni pizza from the wood-fired oven? Why not . . . ”

Once you’ve overcome the panic of Dale Winton taking your drink away after 60 seconds, it’s time to explore the many daily activities.

There’s a Truman show atmosphere as you switch from rum tastings to cocktail classes. But the beach is the right place. A butler will give you a speed dial cell phone on arrival. He is there for everything and has found us a perfect spot with loungers under a palm tree.

Start the day with fresh towels and an ice bucket full of snacks and drinks. The rest is blurry by sunset.

The beach is breathtaking. It’s warmer than a bath at home and a living aquarium swims around your toes. The sunset turns every look into a film set.

Most evenings we ate in the grill restaurant on a terrace that was perfectly framed by the top light show in the Caribbean.

We had a family room – a double bed with a sofa bed. If you’d prefer a family suite with a separate living room for the kids and a hot tub, book early as there are only four on-site. Instagram posers will love the swim-up rooms, and all rooms have a mini terrace on the ground floor or a balcony.

New for 2021 is a water park with tube slides, a lazy river and a children’s paddling area with mini water slides.

On the sixth day, we felt we should make a symbolic effort to explore outside of the resort.
A number of excursions can be booked on site, the most popular of which are party boat tours to Catalina Island.

But with my children Sebastian, ten, and Sophia, eight in mind, we opted for a buggy ride and a morning speedboat tour.

The off-road buggies offer space for a family of four and look directly like Mad Max.

You’ll travel in convoy around a sugar cane plantation before heading down a steep valley to swim in the Chavon River.

The speedboat tour takes you up the river and along the coast, where you can drool over the mega-mansions of A-listers like Madonna and Shakira.

Then it’s back to the Hilton, where a flock of flamingos spend the day grazing and sunbathing. Just like the resort, they really enchanted us.

GO: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

COVID: Fully vaccinated individuals (final dose at least three weeks prior to arrival) do not need to be tested. Anyone aged seven or over must have a negative PCR test, which is done no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Pre-departure test before returning to the UK and PCR test on / before day 2.

TO GET/STAY THERE: 7 nights all inclusive at the 5H Hilton La Romera Resort from £ 1,165 per person (Gatwick flights and 23 kg luggage). See britishairways.com/dominicanrepublic

The fantastic water slides will keep the kids entertained for hours

The fantastic water slides will keep the kids entertained for hours

The kids will enjoy this trip as much as the adults

Delivered

The kids will enjoy this trip as much as the adults

Shakira owns a mega-villa on the coast not far from the hotel

Getty – Contributor

Shakira owns a mega-villa on the coast not far from the hotel

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