Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana – a cool pool review!

If you haven’t already guessed I LOVE POOLS!  Not only do I love helping pool owners with maintenance, but I also LOVE visiting cool pools everywhere I go!  

In this blog post we are switching gears from pool maintenance to also sharing with you about some cool pools. Starting with the coolest pool I’ve ever visited at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, an all inclusive Resort.

Before we get to the pool part, I felt it was only fair to also share our entire experience, along with some helpful tips to help you have a great stay!

In February 2013 my husband Jason earned a trip for two to the Hard Rock Punta Cana through his employer at the time.  What a blessing!  So proud of him.

We checked our bags bright and early from CVG (Cincinnati International Airport) Our flights left Cincinnati at 8:30 am with a layover in Atlanta.

Off we go!

Flying into Punta Cana

Jason at the Punta Cana airport

We arrived in Punta Cana in the late afternoon.  The airport is small but easy to get around.  When it came time to get our bags,  we waited……and waited…….and waited.  They never showed up.

Unfortunately for us, they were lost in Atlanta.  Thank goodness I had packed our bathing suites in our carry on.  But all of our clothes sunscreen, shampoo, and my makeup was in our luggage.  More on that later.

Tip #1- Pack extra clothes, bathing suites, sunscreen, etc in your carry on!  

The drive from the airport to the resort was about 30 minutes.  The company arranged a bus for our group of about 30. The resort is very impressive and HUGE!

Photography by http://puntacanaphotographer.com

Tip #2 Be prepared to walk a lot or take the tram. 

We stayed in one of the suites with a tropical garden view which was very nice.  The beach was a bit far but if you don’t mind walking, this won’t be a problem!   The beach was a good 20 minute walk from our room.

Remember how our luggage was lost?  Day 2, it still had not arrived, but I did have my bathing suit.  Jason went golfing with his co-workers so I had the morning all to myself.

I arrived at the 1st pool at the resort.  The Isla pool.

It was very quiet and I was enjoying it so much but I didn’t have any sunscreen.  I found a small gift shop.  I grabbed some sunscreen and a pair of flip flops.  The cashier told me the total which was over $60 – I thought, how much are those flip flops! They were only about $20, the sunscreen was $40!!! That goes back to the carry on – make sure you pack sunscreen approved for carry on. Sunscreen is 3x’s if not more in Punta Cana than in the states.

According to the TSA sunscreen is allowed in a carry on in 3.4oz containers or less so pack that just in case!

After I forked over (gulp) $40 bucks for sunscreen I made my way back to the Isla pool but found it to be more crowded, and noticed everyone wearing bracelets.  Turns out this is a members only pool.  Good to know!

I found there are many members only areas around the resort.  This was not a problem but good to know and something to look for.  The members wear a bracelet that gives them special access to the resort.  There are members only pools, food and other special treatment.

Onto the second pool I visited. This was on the far east side of the resort and had more of a party feel with a lot of bars and felt like more of a party crowd.  I do not know the name of this pool and it is not named on the website.

By the end of our 2nd day our luggage arrived (YAY!) and we were learning our way around!  There are a total of 13 pools, 9 restaurants, nightclubs, shops and a casino.  It is all inclusive so it is amazing to be able to go anywhere in the resort to eat and to be able to order room service anytime! Tips are allowed and are welcome.  The staff works very hard at the resort! Our favorite restaurant was ZEN –  Best hibachi I have ever had hands down!  

Tip#3 Be prepared to tip

There is everything from a Brazilian steak house, Italian, Caribbean, Latin, and Asian cuisine.  There is buffet and market style restaurants and ice cream!  We didn’t get a chance to try everything but hopefully one day we can go back and have a little bit more time to enjoy all the things!

I saved the best for last.  My favorite pool at the resort was the eclipse pool.  Eclipse is the largest pool at the resort.  To me the bigger the pool the better and eclipse did not disappoint in terms of size!  I also really liked that the eclipse pool was never crowded.  I could swim laps.  In fact, we saw a young swimmer training in the pool while we were there.  It’s big,  beautiful and perfect and became my favorite place!  Looking back I only wish I could have chatted with a pool maintenance technician.  Inquiring minds would love to know how many gallons these pools add up to and how much chlorine they use.  All the pools are chlorinated.  In fact, we didn’t find many salt water pool in Punta Cana at all…..at least the last time I checked.

Eclipse Pool – photo credit http://puntacanaphotographer.com

There are a total of 13 pools so we only visited a few of them. That’s how big it is! There are 3 members only pools,3 kids pool, one with a water slide. It is important to note that the Eden pool is European style which means tops are optional and is adults only.

The company that we were with also gave us credits to use at the Rock Spa.  It was hands down amazing!  I got a hydrotherapy session that truly made me feel like royalty.  After the hydrotherapy I got a massage.  It was so relaxing.  I wish Jason and I could have gone back together.  I could have definitely spent more time in the spa.  You can get spa credits upon booking but this is one area of the resort that does have a price list and is an additional cost.

The beaches.  The beach is sooo pretty.  White sand with an almost pink tint.  But a bit of caution the rip current is extremely rough. The life guards were great but the surf will beat you up!  We saw so many young and old attempt it only to come back to shore.

Tip #4 Be very careful when going into the ocean.

The resort does offer full staff on the beach. I enjoyed mimosas a couple of days lounging beachside.  There are a few vendors selling cigars, jewelry and apparel.

Beach at Hard Rock Photography by http://puntacanaphotographer.com

We had a great time at Hard Rock Punta Cana!  The Dominican people have an amazing spirit. Hard working, happy and very gracious…..just beautiful people. So happy and grateful to have had this experience.

Where is your favorite cool pool?

June 11, 2018

  • Good to know about being able to bring sunscreen in your carry-on, I didn’t know they would allow it! Bummer about your luggage and the $40 price tag of the sunscreen. I probably would have found a big umbrella instead. LOL We hope to visit DR by sailing there on our 44′ sailboat. But that is a few years off since we are in California and have to go through the Panama Canal first. lol —-Marie

    • I wish I had known about the sunscreen in advance!
      Your sailing travels sound amazing! I sailed out of San Diego aboard the USS Rushmore during my Navy Days. Spent 6 months at sea. It’s beautiful out there. Happy Sailing ~ Nichole

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