All-inclusive was definitely the way to go! We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort. It was a very nice place. The biggest decisions we had to make each day were where to eat our meals and if we were going to hang out by the pool or by the ocean. Our room was close to the ocean, to one of the pools and to a couple of the restaurants, so we didn’t have to venture too far.
This made it easy to accommodate Hudson’s morning and afternoon naps, which we went back to our room for. He is too nosy and too high energy to sleep in his stroller when there is any sort of activity going on around him. Thankfully our room was on the ground floor and had a nice patio area facing east where Kurtis and I could sit to read and relax while the boy snoozed.
Punta Cana is one hour ahead of Toronto, which definitely worked in our favour. Hudson’s usual bedtime at home was 7:00PM, which was 8:00PM in Punta Cana. Most of the restaurants didn’t open for dinner until 6:30PM, however this worked out pretty well with the time difference. We had initially considered trying Mexico, but the time difference was actually one of the main considerations for selecting the Dominican Republic. We had never really worried about time zone changes but with an infant it is definitely something to consider.
The resort was very family-friendly, which again was something we had never paid attention to before. The staff were really great at giving Hudson lots of attention, which he loved. He got really good at waving and by the end of the week he seemed to understand what “hola” meant. There were also a couple of really great pools for little ones that had an area with a very gradual sloping bottom. We could easily walk in and out with Hudson and even sit him on the bottom and let him play and splash around.
The beach also had a long gradual slope into the water which allowed us to hold Hudson’s hands and let him walk into the waves. The beach area (and the whole resort) was kept very clean so we didn’t have to worry about Hudson crawling around and playing in the sand. The sand was probably his favourite thing about the trip. He loved trying to pick it up in his hands, smashing the little sand castles we would make, pushing it around on the lounge chairs and just generally getting himself covered in it! Surprisingly though, he actually didn’t try to eat it!
All around it was a really great trip. We are not typically drawn to all-inclusive type vacations, but it was the perfect thing for our family to just chill and spend a full week of quality time together.