Enrich Your Senses While Vacationing in the Dominican Republic

January 14, 2019

Sipping the strong Dominican coffee and watching the dawn crack on this easternmost tip of the island, I realized paradise is more than one’s surroundings. It’s a product, too, of the personalized service and unrivaled accommodations that literally define luxury.

After a short golf cart ride toward crashing waves, I kicked off my sandals and took a leisurely walk along the beach. Discovery was the theme of the morning as I strolled northward, aware of nothing but my footprints and undisturbed seashores looming ahead. The beauty both heightened and calmed my senses. It would become the trademark memory of my weeklong visit to Punta Cana. Returning, refreshed, to the Casa Cana residence, I received a warm and friendly greeting from Felicia—one of the caretakers. “Hola!” she beamed with a smile. I felt immediately at home.

I entered the grand entrance of the Inspirato residence, where the aroma of breakfast permeated the halls. From then on, I craved the home-cooked, handcrafted cuisine of the Dominican, the thoughtful combination of foods that are at once nutritious and mouthwatering. The influence of local cuisine was apparent, but the comforts of my American spoils remained. Everything was impeccable; everything was gratifying.

Such delicate details collectively made the difference between an ordinary vacation and my newly discovered home away from home. Rather than fantasize about owning a picturesque beach residence, I reveled at every turn in knowing that I can return. It’s a benefit of club life. Completely Inspirato. Your true welcome to Punta Cana is delivered by a friendly smile and handshake from Inspirato’s Destination Concierge upon arrival at the Puntacana Resort & Club. Within moments of entering the gate, you find yourself enjoying a glass of mint-garnished Perrier and a cornucopia of fresh fruits.

The resort is an intricate amalgamation of La Cana Golf Course, Tortuga Bay Villas and The Estates at Punta Cana. Each unique feature boasts a genuine synergy with the others, creating an ambience of perfection. Families are welcome. Couples on retreat are made to feel at home. A large group of friends can delight in time together. Inspirato’s two homes in the Puntacana Resort & Club are regal in stature and boast unparalleled luxuries. From the Agraria Lemon Verbena-scented bath products to the complimentary use of golf carts to get around the resort, fabulous amenities enhance this vacation Eden.

When the Puntacana resort was developed more than 40 years ago, the idea of environmental awareness wasn’t part of everyday vernacular. Today it is a basic tenet adhered to by all those who live, work and visit. Sustainability is gospel here. Unifying a pursuit of responsible development and environmental stewardship, the resort’s social programs assist in maintaining the area’s natural ecosystems and preserving the surrounding beauty. The PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation, PUNTACANA Foundation, and the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve are each an integral part of the larger mission of running a sustainable resort.

This recipe of programs helps Punta Cana remain a tour de force for preservation of a treasured resource. It also lends to the joy and pursuit of outdoor activities that go beyond a walk on the beach or golfing. You can try stand-up paddleboarding adventures, a Segway tour of the resort, kite surfing, snorkeling, diving, and so much more.

Perfect for families, the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve is a 1,500-acre park owned and maintained by the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation. The Reserve has a network of trails leading to 12 freshwater lagoons. Additional trails feature distinct attractions related to the natural and cultural history of the Dominican island, including an iguana habitat, petting zoo, sugarcane exhibit and a fruit tree garden.

Inspirato members who want to enjoy 18 holes of golf at La Cana will pay only the cart fee of $25, with all green fees waived. It’s just another perk of a Punta Cana vacation, 100 percent handled by Inspirato. And prepare yourself for golf nirvana—La Cana is nothing short of remarkable. To the north of the resort, the Tom Fazio-designed Corales Golf Club takes the sport to a new level. The fairways hug the shoreline and the sea spray intensifies as the ocean waters crash into rocky outcroppings.

Golfing at Corales is untainted in its pristine beauty. Each scenic hole is a tribute to the joy of the sport. It’s where golf is experienced. And you take a lead role among a flawless lineup of Mother Nature’s best works: the Caribbean Sea, the coral shoreline, the infinite natural horizon, the emerald green splendor, the sprawling turf. In its entirety, the Punta Cana vacation experience vividly illustrates the difference between a luxury travel club and the gambles of Google searching. Standing on the shores of Punta Cana, I rinse my hands in the saltwater of the Atlantic and pay homage to paradise: tranquility, timelessness and harmony. This is the point to which all things flow, best illustrated by the exacting standards of a vacation that stands alone as perfection. Presented in a manner that only Inspirato can deliver.

Pampering tropical treatments, Asian-inspired therapies and holistic sensory journeys make up the vast menu of services at the Six Senses Spa at Puntacana Resort & Club, on the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic. But it’s not just the incredible treatments at this environmentally friendly Caribbean spa that beckon visitors. The 20,000-square-foot facility pampers guests with eight indoor treatment rooms, each with its own changing area and steam room, as well as two outdoor suites with private baths set amid a fragrant herb garden. The serene setting on a pristine white-sand beach, a skilled staff, and body products made from all-natural ingredients, ensure that all who enter Six Senses Spa achieve the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation.

In fact, the name of the spa represents the state of elation that occurs only after one’s five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) have been wholly satisfied. Gifted therapists strive to heighten guests’ senses through decadent treatments, such as the full-day Six Senses Signature Package. With this extravagant series of services, you experience a Floral Foot Ritual, Volcanic Hot Stone Massage and Signature Facial, accompanied by lunch, tea and a few other tantalizing surprises, in the beach spa pavilion. This combination of enchanting experiences, enhanced by undivided attention from caring attendants, represents the ultimate indulgence for a Caribbean spa vacation. Even if you don’t spend an entire day at Six Senses Spa, there are so many other ways to sample the divine services. Consider the 90-minute Sensory Spa Journey, a full-body massage and customized facial – plus a luxurious footbath and calming scalp massage – performed by two therapists at once. If that’s not a slice of heaven on earth, I don’t know what is!

The Six Senses Spa is renowned for its therapies influenced by Asian cultures. A Vietnamese massage includes traditional cupping to relieve stress. With a Thai massage, you remain fully dressed while experiencing acupressure and guided yoga-style stretches to promote flexibility. 

Of course, since you’re in the Caribbean, it’s only appropriate to sample the Tropical Fruit Body Smoother. A blend of papaya, pineapple, watermelon and rice grains make up the main ingredients of this cleansing treatment. The naturally occurring enzymes provide gentle exfoliation, while nourishing and moisturizing skin.

Other interesting therapies include ear candling, crystal chakra balancing, reflexology, reiki and meditation. Facials and hot-stone therapies, body wraps and aromatic baths, yoga classes and Tai Chi round out the phenomenal services offered at the holistic Six Senses Spa. When you choose to unwind completely in the hands of the spa’s talented team of therapists, rest assured that you’ll leave Six Senses Spa feeling more balanced—mind cleared, body relaxed and soul renewed.