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 stefanie@aav-travel.com

 

 

Beaches – Turks and Caicos

The Turks & Caicos Islands, a British Dependent Territory comprising 40 islands and cays, lie at the southeastern end of the Bahamas chain, 575 miles southeast of Miami and 90 miles north of the island of Hispaniola.

Arriving at Providenciales (Provo) airport is very special. Provo is the largest and most developed of the Turks & Caicos Islands. The airport is very small, no buzz but warm and welcoming smiles upon arrival. Only 12 days of rain per year make for a very dry climate and vegetation is scarce. Since most everything on the island is imported it is a very expensive place. For example a gallon of milk costs approx. US$ 8.00.

The drive to Beaches takes about 20 minutes. Along the way you will see houses and strip malls. What will strike you the most when you enter the gates to Beaches are the lush tropical gardens. The owners of Beaches have taken great care into bringing many beautiful plants to their resort so that it will truly look tropical and gorgeous.

Beaches Turks & Caicos

Beaches Turks & Caicos is split into three sections which are all very different. The Italian Village is the newest addition. The resort offers 16 restaurants, 13 bars, a wonderful waterpark catering to little ones as well as older children and adults with some great water slides and a surf simulator. As an all-inclusive resort, Beaches Turks is truly an all-rounder. It is a great place for families, destination weddings, larger family getaways… Anyone will find something to do, and no one will feel left out.

The beach is white sand with crystal clear turquoise blue water. Since the resort is large you will always find a quiet area or nook if you are not too much into action. There are 3 large pools, numerous swim-up bars and much more. At night there is Club Liquid which is available to children and adults until 10pm, and after that adult only. There are several adult only restaurants and bars, incl. karaoke bar and mock casino gaming. Smaller children will be entertained by the Sesame Street day and evening programs.

Whilst you can book Sandals resorts online I strongly recommend using a travel professional, preferably a Sandals certified specialist (such as us). There are several reasons for that.

One being that not all resorts are created equal and that there is a reason why some price higher than others. Also, not every resort is for everyone. In Beaches Turks’ case you also have the choice between three villages which ultimately are very different.

Sandals also has numerous room categories and finding the right one for you can be very confusing.

Another reason not to hesitate to use a travel professional is that Sandals offers a Best Price Guarantee, meaning that no one, not even the booking engine, can offer a different price on their product. What does that mean for you? You can get the expert advice without worrying about price. No matter where you book, it will always be the same.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, and make sure to check out our photo gallery

Certified Sandals Specialist

Gordon "Butch" Stewart and Stefanie at Beaches Turks & Caicos

Review – Sandal’s Royal Bahamian

It’s early morning and we are taking off from rainy and cool St. Louis airport. Our direct flight to Nassau takes about 2 1/2 hours after which we land at Nassau’s airport.

The airport seems understated for such a popular and booming island, not what I would have expected. Once through security we quickly find our way to the Sandals desk from where we are guided to our transfer. Sandals transfers most of their guests in minibuses however, if you are staying in one of the higher category suites, you are treated like a celebrity and taken to the resort by private Rolls Royce or Mercedes.

After a short 20 minute ride we arrive at the Sandals Royal Bahamian. A lush winding way leads towards the main entrance, which colored in light blue is strikingly beautiful.199_0006_edited-1

At Sandals Royal Bahamian 9 restaurants, several bars and “Sandals Cay” (their private island) await. It is a small resort with beautiful, friendly people. At night fire pits set the tone and you can relax in lounge chairs scattered along the shore. The private island also offers a very romantic setting with additional dining options.

Sandals Royal Bahamian is a great place if you are looking for the ease of an adult-only all-inclusive resort. A short cab ride will take you to the casinos should you need the action :-).

Those concerned about the environment will be happy to learn that this resort is Green Globe 21 certified.

Whilst you can book Sandals resorts online I strongly recommend using a travel professional, preferably a Sandals certified specialist (such as us). There are several reasons for that.

One being that not all resorts are created equal and that there is a reason why some price higher than others. Also, not every resort is for everyone.

Sandals also has numerous room categories and finding the right one for you can be very confusing.

Another reason not to hesitate to use a travel professional is that Sandals offers a Best Price Guarantee, meaning that no one, not even the booking engine, can offer a different price on their product. What does that mean for you? You can get the expert advice without worrying about price. No matter where you book, it will always be the same.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, and make sure to check out our photo gallery

Certified Sandals Specialist