Hey guys! I’m baaack! My family and I went on vacation at the end of February/early March. It was so nice to have some time to relax and hang out with my family. We stayed at the Melia Caribe Beach Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This was our third time going to a beach resort (we’ve gone to Mexico before) and our second time in Punta Cana. Today I will be sharing my review of the resort and comparing it to the other places we stayed at. If you want to see more of the fun (and hear about our flight cancellation horror stories), then check out the vlog on my Youtube channel. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
We had decided to pick the Melia Caribe Beach Resort for a few reasons. First, it was close to the airport, only about a 15-minute drive. Second, it was close to an affordable golf course. This was a big deal for my dad and brother who ended up golfing three times during our trip. Third, it had a great beach that was within walking distance. Finally, there was *supposed* to be a two-bed option for my brother and I. I’ll get more into that in a second. We booked our stay through a travel agent and did a Westjet package that included our flight. I won’t be sharing pricing because I didn’t pay for anything – thanks Mom and Dad!
The past few times we’ve gone on family vacations, my brother and I have shared a room and my parents have their own. It allows us to sleep according to our sleep schedules. My brother and I prefer having two beds (double or queen) which is usually pretty standard and easy to get at hotels. Now when booking our package my parents had decided to upgrade to an exclusive package called The Level. This provides you with a special pool, restaurant, etc. While it does not advertise it online, according to our travel agent they did offer a two double bed option for The Level. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the resort they didn’t have any double bed options available – which granted we arrived a day late so they might have given them out already and it wasn’t guaranteed. So my brother and I ended up in The Level Suite Beach Side and had to share a king bed. My parents stayed in The Level Grand Suite.
My brother and I enjoyed our room. It was the perfect size. While I prefer not sharing a bed with my brother it was comfortable. Our room included a beach view which was pretty. It did face one of their main paths so it was noisy during the day with golf carts, bikes and people going by. But it wasn’t noisy at night. Our room was right near many of the amenities, it was a 2-minute walk to the gym, spa and pool. It was a 3-minute walk to the beach and a 5-minute walk to the breakfast buffet.
Our parents’ room was near The Level pool and restaurant as well as the lobby. They enjoyed their room because it had a separate living space. This was great for them because my dad would do work in the morning and was able to not disturb my mom. While it was close to The Level amenities and the main lobby, it took them 10 minutes to walk to the beach.
This resort is easily the biggest one we’ve stayed at. As I mentioned, it can take 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other. They do have two trollies that will take you across the resort but you do have to wait for them. We found that if you catch the trolly it’s faster than walking but if you don’t then it’s faster to walk. The trolly will stop at any point to pick you up. The staff also drive golf carts around the resort and will offer to pick you up if they have space.
The resort itself was very nice. The beach is beautiful, it’s one of the classic endless white sand beaches that you think of when you picture the Caribbean. They had plenty of grass huts to provide shade. They also had beds which were super comfy. There did offer beds at the front of the beach but you had to pay for them. It was quite busy when we went to the resort – we learned that it was Quebec’s ‘spring break’ so there were many Quebecoise people at the resort. We did have to go early to the beach to secure a good spot. They also had an inflatable course in the ocean. It cost extra but they were pretty relaxed about how long you could stay on the course. It was much harder than my brother and I anticipate it to be and got many bruises. But it was a unique amenity that not many resorts have.
The pools were quite nice as well. We didn’t often sit by them because my mom prefers the beach. The pool was nice in the late afternoon when it got windier by the beach. They also had a full waterpark that is free to use. They had three different areas for different ages/swimming abilities. The ‘big kid’ area had seven different slides! We had a blast and we knew that if we were little kids we could have easily spent a day in the waterpark.
Food is very important to my family. We made sure to check reviews about food before picking a hotel. None of the food was bad, but some meals were better than others. The breakfast buffet was pretty mediocre. They had fresh eggs but everything else was in food-warming trays. For lunch, we liked alternating between the buffet and the exclusive Level restaurant that was right on the beach. For dinner, we enjoyed the sit-down restaurants the most. We liked their Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican restaurants the most. Sometimes the food was a little bland and we found it hard to find salt and pepper shakers, so in the future we’ll pack our own packets to bring down. My favourite part of the resort was its dessert offering. I ate ice cream almost every day haha.
The drinks were also great. They could make you any drink imaginable. They used named-brand liquors but had higher shelf brands available in The Level areas. My dad wasn’t a huge fan of their house red wine but they do have bottles of other brands available for an additional cost. Our only complaint is that they served everything in paper cups. In the past, we’ve always had plastic cups. So we ended up buying reusable cups to put our drinks in. We’ll bring our own reusable cups in the future.
The staff were all very nice. Their English skills varied but we noticed it was weaker than the other time we had come to Punta Cana. My dad suspects that during COVID many of the English-speaking employees left the industry. I also think that it’s because we’re staying at Melia resort, which is owned by Spaniards so they might not focus on English speaking as much (We had previously stayed at AMResort brand hotels which are American and might focus more on English speaking skills). It wasn’t a huge issue because the staff were all friendly and always provided excellent service. Also many spoke French, which my mom, brother and I speak so we could speak in French if their English wasn’t as strong.
This is a family resort so many of the activities are focused on kids or families. We did attend their magic show on the first night but found it a little too childish for our tastes. The rest of the time in the evenings we would just hang out in the lobby and play cards. Their lobby has many tables and seating areas. The decor was beautiful and it felt very relaxing. My brother and I went to one of their evening parties but just found the vibe to be off because there was no designated ‘late night’ area. There was a big casino but we aren’t gamblers.
Overall we enjoyed our vacation and I would recommend the resort to families. I think all the amenities which nice. It was clean and the staff was very friendly. The food was good – not the best I’ve ever had but pretty good for a resort. It was on the larger side and I think we would prefer something smaller but if you like the big resort vibe then the Melia Caribe Beach Resort is a great option.
Now my family has decided that we won’t be going back to a family resort in the future – probably not until either my brother or I have kids. The Level area was originally adults-only but they changed to family access at the beginning of this year. We found that there were crying kids almost everywhere we went and that’s just not something we enjoy. My brother and I are adults (23 and 25 respectively) so we don’t need to be at the family-friendly resorts. We have been to an adults-only before and found it to be much quieter. Yes sometimes you’d get louder partygoers but they usually stayed around the bars. It’s easy to find a quiet corner away from the bars. At a family-friendly resort, it’s almost impossible to escape the kids. There wasn’t a lot of nightlife as well which my brother and I missed. We don’t want to go crazy every night but we at least want the option to party at the resort at night.
In the past, we stayed at Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa. It’s farther away from the airport but it’s a great adults-only resort. It’s a smaller resort so it feels more intimate and the staff was great. The breakfast buffet was amazing and the nightlife was incredible. My mom didn’t like the beach as much but overall my family liked the resort.
When I mention I’ve been to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, people always ask which I prefer. I would have to say it depends. I think the people and beaches are way better in the Dominican. But I think if you’re big into excursions then Mexico is much better. Mexico offers a variety of excursions whereas in the Dominican there are just boat rides and more physical activities (like hiking, ATVs, and snorkelling). The Yucatan and Quintana Roo provinces in Mexico have so much history and cultural activities that you don’t see as much in the Dominican. So I would say it’s really a personal preference when deciding which you want to go to.
I hope this post helps give you guys some more information on the Melia resort and visiting the Dominican Republic. If you have any questions about my vacation please let me know in the comments and I’d be more than happy to answer them!