Finding Paradise at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Late afternoon, I am gently floating at the edge of the perfect infinity pool, overlooking the beautiful beach of Zoetry Agua Punta Cana. All I can hear are the gentle waves of the ocean, some birds screeching and the distant chill out music. The peace and calm is incredible. Until, all of a sudden, a dark, saddled horse flies along the water’s edge. Shortly after, a rider is coming in sight, trying to catch the escaped stallion. A fleeting glimpse of excitement before everything becomes still again. But wait, there sprints the resort’s heavy set security guard towards the resort grounds. What is going on, I wonder and then I see. The dark stallion has taken a drastic turn and instead of continuing to run along the beach, decided to escape through the middle of Zoetry’s beautifully manicured grounds.

zoetry agua, pool, punta cana, honeymoon, ocean, aavexplorationsThis is the most excitement and action I got to experience during my time at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana. But then again, the people that stay here are looking for anything but excitement and action. It is an oasis of tranquility and relaxation, and it is beautifully done. Guests stay here because they want to escape the hectic world, take a holistic approach, both via organic food as well as spa indulgences.

The resort grounds are beautifully lush with swaying palmtrees and many flower bushes. Three story palapa buildings containing luxuriously spacious suites, sprawl out along meandering pools. Zoetry Agua reminds me of Tahiti. But wait, we are in the Dominican Republic, not far from all the mega resorts that call Punta Cana their home.

zoetry, agua, punta cana, aavexplorations, allinclusive, palapazoetry agua, zoetry, punta cana, swim up, all-inclusive, aavtravelEvery suite at Zoetry Agua has a wonderful outdoor area and people here like to enjoy the privacy of their rooms. Who can blame them though, they are truly gorgeous. Some are laying out reading books. Some are engaged into a loveable embrace chatting away. Some are here with friends, gathering in one of the suites’ swim-up pools.
zoetry agua, all-inclusive, penthouse suite, aavtravelzoetry agua, punta cana, beachfront suite, plunge pool, aavtravelThe world seems perfect and there is nothing to worry about. Guests at Zoetry Agua keep to themselves but are friendly when engaged. The suites are great, spacious, every comfort provided. I really enjoyed the subtle, Balinese style décor, the Bulgari amenities as well as the awesome steam wand provided. I also liked that there was a decent hair dryer. My daughters and I have an ongoing discussion about how often toilet paper is of bad quality at hotels. Well, I am glad to report that Zoetry has excellent toilet paper.
zoetry agua, punta cana, penthouse suite, dominican republic, aavtravelDespite all the beauty, arriving on a Sunday was not ideal. Much of the resort staff is off and service is very slow. During my 4 hours along the beach and pool area, I was not once offered a drink. I ran into some guests that had been there for a while and they told me that this had been the first day it happened. And they were right, come Monday beach waiter service was readily available. There was way more staff visible around the property, eagerly cleaning and taking care of all guests’ needs. Always a smile, always a friendly hola. A truly welcoming atmosphere.
zoetry agua, punta cana, beach, oceanfront, all-inclusive, aavtravelMany of the staff do not speak enough English and oftentimes have trouble answering even the most basic questions. Personally, it is something I like, as it makes you engage more with the local culture, learn some words in a different language, and use your hands and feet to communicate. It is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding.
zoetry agua, piragua restaurant, punta canaThat evening I went to dinner at Piragua. The menu looked exciting and I opted for a tuna sashimi, followed by a pumpkin cream soup. Main course was chicken on a lemongrass sauce with couscous. The sashimi was good, very thinly sliced, almost like a carpaccio. It had slightly too much soy sauce. The pumpkin cream could have been excellent, but unfortunately was lukewarm. The chicken skewers were served in a Teriyaki sauce which, since it was supposed to be lemongrass, I didn’t expect. The food tasted good with the exception of one skewer that was undercooked. The passion fruit chocolate mousse combo was excellent but lacking in presentation. All in all I would rate my food experience as good, not excellent, but still better than many other all-inclusive resorts. Breakfast was a similar experience. Some ingredients weren’t in the omelet I ordered which still tasted fine. The bacon was overcooked, the sausages good but cold. Again, I didn’t eat badly but since this is a luxury all-inclusive resort, I expected more.
zoetry agua, breakfast, egss, all-inclusive, aavtravelAll around, I had a wonderful stay at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana and would go back in a heartbeat. The property is so beautiful, the pool area absolutely stunning and the beach peaceful, secluded and well maintained. The relaxing atmosphere of the resort is hard to come by at an all-inclusive and it is wonderful not having to worry about being able to snag a palapa, or find a great chair by the pool. With only 96 rooms it feels like a privilege to stay here. I also loved that wifi was easily available and reliable throughout the property.

zoetry agua, punta cana, all-inclusive, aavtravelstefanie pichonnat aavtravelWritten by STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is a Honeymoon & Destination Weddings Specialist. She is the owner of AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. You can contact her at



Costa Rica: From San Jose to El Silencio

This is the first part of a series of blog posts covering my trip to Costa Rica, early August 2011. This was my second trip to Costa Rica within a year, visiting additional areas and properties.

After the first night spent in San Jose we left early next day to visit the Poas Volcano. The area around the volcano is famous for excellent strawberries (best I’ve ever had) and string cheese. It has a very alpine feel to it – intensely green meadows and incredibly fresh air. Once at the Poas Volcano park we had to walk up the hill to see the crater of this active stratovolcano. It is really exciting to get this close to an active, water filled crater and the information center is very informative. The walk up the hill takes about 10 minutes and is very easy, despite the high altitude.

Poas Volcano Costa Rica

From Poas Volcano we traveled around more volcanic mountain ranges to get to a unique lodge called “El Silencio”. It is nestled in the middle of mountainous rainforest and comprises 16 luxury cabins with Egyptian Cotton sheets, gas fireplaces and wonderful outside hot tubs. Each cabin has a patio area with rocking chairs boasting views of the mountain range and rainforest.

El Silencio is a retreat in every sense of the word and the name is very suitable. It is a place in tune with nature – a place to reconnect and appreciate. There is no entertainment and a typical day consists of hiking, relaxing on the terrace, reading a book, and enjoying organic meals prepared from the goods harvested from El Silencio’s gardens and green house.

There are no tvs in the cabins and wifi is only available in the bar and entertainment room in the main building. Since the hotel is so secluded you have to book the lodge including meal plans. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are selected from a seasonal a la carte menu. There is a fridge with snacks and juices in the cabin which are also included in the cost.

El Silencio Lodge & Spa

El Silencio also has a wonderful spa! The conical treatment room is probably one of the most spectacular massage areas I have ever seen. It offers an absolutely magnificient atmosphere, especially at night, when you can see the moonlight shine through.

One morning we visited El Silencio’s gardens, greenhouse, fish pond, chicken den, and went on a hike. The walk took us to 3 spectacular waterfalls. We also spent half a day zip lining about an hour away from El Silencio. Some people in our group chose to take a cultural tour to Bajas del Toro instead. They learnt to make tortillas in a locals home and planted coffee plants in a back yard.

El Silencio hiking trail with waterfall

From a vacation concierge standpoint I would recommend this area to anyone who loves seclusion, rainforests, and supports eco-friendly efforts. You will enjoy this area if you like to be close to nature, away from it all, secluded in the silence (and noises) of the rainforest. I do definitely recommend contacting a specialist to make your travel plans since it is an out of the way destination and there are ways to optimize your stay.

Posted by: Stefanie Pichonnat can be reached at 812-917-2149 or