Many schools and businesses in Austin experienced their first "ice day" of 2018 today, so it was only fitting for me to finally publish this blog post recapping our fall anniversary vacation in warm, sunny Punta Cana!
Shortly after Ryan and I were married, we both agreed to start a new tradition to celebrate our anniversary. We decided that instead of giving each other a frivolous gift, every year we would go on a trip for our anniversary to get away from our daily routine and responsibilities, to spend quality time together, and to focus on each other. We agreed that it didn't matter if it was a week long, tropical vacation, or a quick staycation at a nearby hotel, so long as we were together, remembering how we fell in love, and why we chose to be married in the first place. This year, we celebrated our 4th anniversary by traveling to the Dominican Republic and staying at our very first all-inclusive resort, Sanctuary Cap Cana.
We chose to go to an all-inclusive resort this year because neither of us had experienced this before (not even for our honeymoon, but I would highly recommend it!) and it was time for another tropical vacation. For our first anniversary, we went on a seven day Caribbean cruise. For our second anniversary, we went on a snowy, ski adventure in Park City, Utah. For our third anniversary, we traveled to the east coast to New York City and to Philadelphia. We typically try to explore places neither, or one, of us have ever been to before. All of these places were firsts for me!
We found Punta Cana by searching direct flights from Austin to ensure great fares and travel itineraries, and after learning it is an all-inclusive mecca, we decided to go there! I won't get into all of the details now about the extensive research that went in to choosing our resort (I'll save that for another post), but we ultimately decided Sanctuary Cap Cana was the best choice for us because of its impressive first impression, its many high ratings and reviews, its multitude of options, and because it was adults only and ideal for couples.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic was another first for us, but it was no problem even despite the fact that we had no idea it was not one, but two hours ahead of us in the Atlantic Standard time zone. Upon arrival at our resort in Punta Cana, we knew we were in for a real treat. The Spanish style architecture, endless tropical blooms, and ocean views were so pretty. At check in, we were greeted with a glass of "Sanctuary Punch," and it was a deliciously good sign of things to come.
One of the 5 resort pools.
The view from our balcony.
Our room set in this building.
Our days were spent waking up early (for a vacation anyway), getting ready for the day, and going to breakfast outside on the terrace. Each day, there was an included breakfast buffet with freshly made to order eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, and a spread of tropical fruits, juices, cheese, and pastries. Not to mention, bottomless coffee, mimosas, and bloody marys. YUM! After breakfast, we would find a comfy spot on the beach to bask in the Dominican sunshine and ocean breeze with a tropical drink (or two) in hand. The beach at Sanctuary Cap Cana is a private section of Juanillo beach, and was just enough for us. We had perfect weather during our trip with highs in the low 80s, lows in the low 70s, and an array of blue skies. Only on one occasion did the dark clouds roll in, and we had already planned to go to the spa that afternoon. After a few hours on the beach, we would make our way over to the main pool to swim and cool off, and take advantage of the swim up bar. Some afternoons were mixed in with sand volleyball, reading, lounging under a cabana, befriending other guests, but all were relaxing.
After a full day of fun in the sun, we would head back to our room to get cleaned up for dinner at the resort. As I mentioned, a large reason we picked this resort was the many options it offered, from the room type, to the pools, but especially when it came to dining. There was a daily breakfast and lunch buffet, a snack station, four different cuisine restaurants, and Sanctuary town which included five other food and beverage varieties, even a taco truck! All of which was included. We quickly found our favorites for dinner which were the sushi, the brick oven pizza, and the steakhouse. If you visit, you must try the lava cake at the steakhouse, but be sure to bring your appetite or make friends to share it with!
The Castle pool, and views from the castle pool.
One of many beautiful sunsets.
All of our anniversary trips have been so fun, so memorable, and so special in many ways, but this trip just might have topped them all. Sanctuary Cap Cana provided such a wonderful experience, and all of my research paid off! We were truly able to relax, have fun, refresh, and even indulge a little. I would highly recommend a tropical, all-inclusive resort for your next vacation, especially at Sanctuary Cap Cana.
Seafood paella from the seafood restaurant on the water.
Public access to Playa Juanillo.
The final sunset at Sanctuary.
If you have any questions about our experience here, would like more details, or would like to learn more about the process in which I selected this resort, please tell me in the comments!
Little bitty love,
Shop my resort wear below: