A wedding destination that will leave you “Breathless”

As told by Marissa Every.

Choosing the perfect location for your destination wedding is far from simple. With over hundreds of locations and resorts to choose from, how can you be sure you are making the right choice?

Allow me to help.

In a recent visit to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, one particular resort that I visited stood apart from all the rest. Situated amidst the jungle and the ocean on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, Breathless Punta Cana offers a luxurious, modern, and picturesque location for anyone’s big day.

Photo Credit: Breathless Punta Cana

Photo Credit: Breathless Punta Cana

A brand new adults-only resort with a modern feel and a recent opening in early November, Breathless is the perfect place to host your destination wedding. Lively yet relaxing, it is the happy medium for everyone attending.

Choose from their many different ceremony locations, including on the beach with your feet in the sand or a rooftop gazebo with the vast sea flowing behind you. Following your ceremony, host a cocktail hour or private reception at one of their eight beautiful gourmet dining venues.

Allow your guests to feel at ease as the resort offers many daily activities for them to enjoy:

-        World class spa

-        Snorkeling and kayaking

-        8 different swimming pools

-        Indoor nightly theatre

-        Beach parties and other nightly entertainment

-        On site casino

Photo Credit: Breathless Punta Cana

Photo Credit: Breathless Punta Cana

Breathless is the perfect resort for meeting all of your wedding needs! Tie the knot here and leave everyone at your wedding feeling “breathless”!

Start planning today! Contact our Destination Weddings department by filling out our online form .

Breathless Punta Cana Opening Event – Photo Blog

Check out exclusive photos from Breathless Punta Cana opening celebration! Keep an eye out for the President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina, Kourtney Kardashian, Scott Disick and DJ Rhiannon. Looks like it was a great party!

 

SuperSale!!

Apple Vacations SuperSale starts today! It’s our (and should be your) favorite time of year if you are planning an Apple Vacation!  Excuse the sales pitch for a moment, but this is really one of our biggest sales of the year!

Book during Apple Vacations’ SuperSale and you can save up to 40% on your next Apple Vacation to Mexico & the Caribbean.

Apple Vacations has sharpened our rates and is featuring some great deals including … save up to 40% at Dreams Palm Beach in Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic . Or, look for an Apple Vacation to Cancun, Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta… there are big savings in so many destinations. Click here to see all of Apple Vacations SuperSale deals.

White sandy beaches, blue turquoise waters, tropical beverages and palm trees as far as the eye can see… will all be calling your name this winter. So stop dreaming about it and start planning!  Log on to applevacations.com or call your travel agent today to pick out your next Apple Vacation! Hurry, the best dates and hotels will sell out quickly.

 

 

RIU PALACE BAVARO – A Beachgoer’s Paradise

Rob, one of our very own Marketing team just got back from vacation at Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana. It sounded so great, we asked him to blog all about it for us.

We were greeted upon arrival at Riu Palace Bavaro with high-fives and tropical drinks. Check-in was quick, which was great because we couldn’t wait to get to the beach. Great start to the vacation!

Our room was very modern with great amenities: comfortable king size bed, flat screen tv, in-room Jacuzzi, rain shower (the best!), mini-bar with wall mounted liquor dispenser for rum/vodka/gin/scotch. From the balcony there was a striking view of the resort with the Caribbean Sea on the horizon. We got into a habit of ordering room service for snacks and having a few drinks on the balcony after the sun went down before we’d head out for dinner.

The Beach…Oh man… what a beach! I’ve often visited resorts where the beach was very small, or a little rocky for my taste, but this beach is huge with fine sand. Instead of having palapas for shade, there are towering palm trees that provide ample shade if you want to lounge all day without worrying too much about the sun. On our 3rd day at the resort, we fell asleep under the palms and didn’t leave the beach until the sun went down. It was as close as you can get to a perfect beach day. The Caribbean Sea was quite warm and we would swim or float around for an hour each day. It was peaceful.

The Pools … We spent a lot of our time at the “Taino” pool sitting in the whirlpool or laying on the water loungers. We never had to get up early to reserve a chair and there was always space at the swim-up bar to get a drink. The pool was surrounded by about a dozen canopy beds where you could take a mid-day nap while enjoying the breeze and Caribbean music.  In resort, a lot of times the pool is too noisy and crowded for me; this was serene and perfect.

The Coffee-Shop … We’re city dwellers accustomed to having several café’s within a few blocks walk at all times. It’s a bit of an essential part of my weekend morning routine. It was exciting that Riu Palace Bavaro had their own coffee shop “Cappuccino” where they had a menu of coffee drinks and delicious little pastries. I recommend the macchiato with a couple shots of Irish whiskey.

The Restaurants … Riu Palace Bavaro has 5 restaurants to choose from. We ate breakfast each morning at their international buffet “The Montecristo.” We particularly enjoyed the fresh fruits, breads/meats/cheeses, and the omelet making station. One evening we also enjoyed dinner there with some champagne and Caribbean musicians performing table-side. We made reservations our 3rd night for the a la carte fusion restaurant “Krystal” where we were greeted with champagne and given a tableside bucket with libations. The meal was served in 4 courses. We had for openers: Beet Gazpacho, Peanut Brittle, Ahi Tuna; Appetizers: Dome of Salmon, Summer Vegetable Rolls, Beef Carpaccio; Main course: Red Snapper, Grilled Shrimp with Vegetables; Dessert: Apple Pie a la mode, Chocolate Truffles with a Raspberry Meringue Macaroon. I’d definitely recommend eating there.

The Casino… We were given $40 in coupons to gamble at the casino in the Riu Palace Macao, but it seemed we used up all of our luck on the beautiful beach weather.

The Bars … Our favorite bar at the resort was “The Daiquiri” (Lobby Bar) where we would spend most evenings drinking dirty martini’s made by Elise. We tried many of the specialty drinks including blanc & mint martinis, mumbumbas (Caribbean mudslide), caprinhas, mojitos and of course piña coladas. The “Taino” swim-up bar served us well at the pool and the beach. I recommend having a gin & tonic on the beach as it keeps you feeling much better than the sugary drinks.

THANKS Rob for a great review! I know I will add Riu Palace Bavaro on my list of places to stay in Punta Cana.

Punta Cana & La Romana – Closer than you think!

 

Amstar dmc greeting us upon arrival in Punta Cana

Recently, I was able to enjoy firsthand the Dominican Republic’s stunning new Coral Highway (a.k.a the Autopista Del Coral) via Amstar DMC.  The highly anticipated Coral Highway just opened this past summer and more importantly connects the famous resorts of eco-rich La Romana to the lux beaches and resorts in Punta Cana.

It’s sort of random, because to me highways = traffic, but in the Dominican Republic, this four-lane highway brings the country so much closer together, culturally & economically.

Travel Tip: One of the best features of the new highway is that it cuts the drive from Punta Cana International Airport to La Romana down to about 40 minutes. This alone crushes the previous 2 hour drive and gives travelers more options when choosing a destination or airport in the Dominican Republic. I myself chose the Punta Cana airport and a La Romana resort … stay tuned for my next blog about Dreams La Romana.

 

Autopista del Coral

 

Coral Highway Facts:

  • The “Autopista Del Coral” highway has 3 bridges, which cross over the Chavón, Santa Clara and Duey rivers.
  • The highway begins just outside of La Romana, after the main entrance to Casa de Campo, but before the La Romana – Casa de Campo airport and ends at the Punta Cana International Airport.
  • Exits on and off of the new highway are located at La Romana, the La Romana – Casa de Campo airport, the entrance to Bayahibe – Dominicus, near to Higuey and at the Punta Cana International Airport.
  • 2 tolls along the road; the first at KM 18, just after Bayahibe and the second at KM 58, close to the Punta Cana International airport.
  • The “Autopista Del Coral” highway will have 4 lanes of traffic and is designed for cars travelling at a maximum speed of 110km/h or 70 mph.

 

My case in point – Getting from Punta Cana to La Romana Has Never Been Easier!

For more information about transfers while you’re in the Dominican Republic check out AmstarDMC

Don’t miss our End of Year Sale!

Are you thinking – it’s almost 2013, the ball is almost ready to drop in Times Square, cold weather is on the way, and you still haven’t booked the Apple Vacation you have been dreaming about? Well there is no time like the present. Apple Vacations End of Year Sale has tempting vacation choices you will not want to pass up!

 

Apple Vacations – Riu Palace Bavaro Swim Up Bar

Apple Vacations End of Year Sale features prices up to 40% off at select resorts, and many resorts, even though they are not 40% off, still have some amazing rates!

To get the best pricing, look to early January departures and April (post Easter) departures as well.  Weekday departures are also typically less than a Saturday or Sunday.  End Of Year Sale rates are available nationwide, but the best rates can always be found on Apple Vacations charters or “value flights”. To see if we have a charter from a city near you click here.

 

Apple Vacations – Dreams Punta Cana

RIU Hotels and Resorts in Mexico, The Caribbean and Costa Rica and Dreams Resorts & Spas in Mexico and The Caribbean have some of the best offers for Apple Vacations’ End Of Year Sale. To see all the great End of Year Sale packages click here or call your local travel agent to book. When that first big chill hits this winter, you’ll be happy that you did!

 

 

 

 

Check out this cool video of our End of Year Sale!

 

 

 

Nuptials at NOW Larimar Punta Cana

as told by Dani Laverty, Destination Wedding Specialist 

Couple: Kari and Neale

Wedding date: November 7, 2012

 

When the Kari’s mother, Christina (Chris), initially contacted me in March 2012 to assist her with planning her daughter’s destination wedding in Punta Cana, little did I know it would mark the beginning of a wonderful journey of not only planning the travel details for the wedding party of 16, but also what feels like a lifelong friendship.

Kari and Neale had already decided on the resort to host their special day by the time Chris reached out to me to begin the travel planning process.   I reached out to Now Larimar’s wedding coordinator, Cristina, in order to verify the resort’s availability.  Although there were a few minor hiccups when securing the ceremony date with the Punta Cana judge, as he is a very busy man with quite the jam-packed schedule, once the date and time was set, it was smooth sailing from there on out.

Over the 8 months of planning, the mother of the bride and I formed somewhat of a bond as we discussed travel and wedding-related details leading up to the big event.  From the purchase of Kari’s gorgeous wedding gown to the pre-wedding celebration party at home, Chris always kept me in the loop and shared wonderful pictures and stories that made me feel truly involved and connected to my bride and groom.  Fast forward a few months and it was time for Kari, Neale, and their closest family and friends to pack their bags and jet off to Paradise!  I anxiously awaited their return home mid-November so I could hear all about their trip.

Upon their return to reality, Chris shared all of the fabulous tales of their journey and described how the wedding and entire trip was nothing less than perfect.  Kari and Chris adored their wedding coordinator, Francina, who seemed to make everything happen just the way Kari and Neale requested without hesitation.  They met with Francina on Monday, two days before the ceremony, to confirm all of the final details of their ceremony and reception.  Francina arranged a rehearsal dinner the evening before the ceremony at “Capers,” Now Larimar’s delightful Italian restaurant, complete with personalized menus for the entire wedding group.  The wedding day came along with the sunshine, as every destination wedding couple hopes for.  Their quaint and simple ceremony was held on Now Larimar’s white sand beach, overlooking the rolling waves of the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea.  Following the “I do’s,” the festivities continued with a seated lovely reception dinner on Now Larimar’s Quiet Pool Deck.  Although it was a warm evening, the group kept their cool by standing with their feet in shallow end of the pool.  A highlight of the reception was when the groom’s brother, Neale, caught the bouquet!

Along with any wedding, especially one planned in another country, there are sure to be a few glitches and delays along the way.  But, even though the beautiful bride happened to spill her mimosa on her dress just hours before the ceremony, there were no “bridezilla” moments; the crises was averted, the gown was salvaged (and looked flawless), and everyone got a good laugh!  The wedding photographer even complimented Kari and Chris for not having a bridal “meltdown” in the midst of the debacle.  Chris commented that the photographer the resort provided was “outstandingly talented, climbed all over the sand and everything else in sight, was very personable and very professional,” and that she would highly recommend his services for any destination wedding in Punta Cana.

Working with wonderful brides, grooms, and their families, like Kari and Chris, is what makes my job so fun. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I experience when, after months and months of planning, I have  the opportunity to hear all about the beautiful details of the destination wedding, learn about the wonderful memories made, and see the gorgeous pictures when my brides and grooms return home.

 

Christine, Mother of the Bride’s, comments:

Describe the experience with your destination wedding specialist:

“Dani was like a gift from heaven. We felt so overwhelmed until we met her.  We feel like have made a friend for life!”

What was the most memorable moment of your destination wedding?

“Seeing all the relaxed smiles on my families’ faces as my son walked my daughter down the aisle” .