A beach vacation tops many lists as the ultimate place to unplug and relax. I’ve got all the details for the Ocean Blue and Sand for your next trip.
Why Stay at All-Inclusive
Recently I woke up, grabbed my passport and hopped a plane headed for the Caribbean. I needed a place faraway that would drown out a house of jabbering. And a white-curtained cabana while listening to the waves crash against a beach of sugar white sand would do the trick.
The idea of not thinking for a week sounded divine. Even better, soothing my soul with a glass of champagne that never seemed half-empty.
The moment I landed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, my resort, Ocean Blue and Sand by H10 Hotels, took care of me. As an independently-minded Mom of three, I forgot how nice it is to be indulged. It’s been so long since I had someone catering to my pleasure, namely a butler.
The Ocean Blue and Sand All Inclusive Resort
About 12 miles from the Punta Cana International Airport on the western edge of the Dominican Republic, I entered the private lobby for Privilege-level guests at the Ocean Blue and Sand All-Inclusive Resort. I sat down in the plush seating as the concierge offered me a hot towel and a glass of champagne.
My flight might have been economy but my resort was first-class. Moments later, my butler arrived to drive me to my suite, one of 708 suites. I felt like I had arrived at Fantasy Island when I stepped into the golf cart.
This mom forgot about laundry, lunches and that pesky school project. It was fine, my kids wouldn’t starve because their dad is a chef.
My Privilege Suite at Ocean Blue and Sand
My butler showed me around my Privilege-level junior suite in building 10, the closest building to the beach. From my balcony, I enjoyed a view of the turquoise-blue ocean for my wicker chair with a matching ottoman. The perfect place to witness a spectacular sunrise as I began my day with in-room coffee topped off with little Dominican Rum from the mini-bar.
My large suite offered lots of seating. And I found a small white leather settee with a pull-out bed and a cocktail table. The upholstered chair with a matching ottoman and reading lamp called me to read a book.
The credenza offered functionality with an area for working with task lighting, electrical outlets and a pair of USB outlets along with a mounted 32-inch flat screen TV. Below the credenza top, I found the beverage station with a mini bar stocked with single-serve liquor bottles and an in-room coffee and tea service. I delighted in the deluxe ice bucket with glassware and ceramic mugs.
My suite included numerous electrical outlets and included air-conditioning and a ceiling fan. The closet offered an in-room safe that fit my large laptop along with my camera and purse. I found more drawers along with an iron and a golf umbrella.
The bathroom featured a whirlpool tub and separate glass-enclosed shower with rain shower head and hand-held wand. And the vanity featured two separate vessel sinks on top of a travertine counter. Also find extensive use of travertine throughout the suite. During my stay, I enjoyed deluxe toiletries and several bottles of water.
Where to eat Ocean Blue and Sand
With nine different restaurants, I ate a different cuisine every night. And each offered wait service and an extensive menu offering regional specialties. For the guests staying in the Privilege-level rooms, 24-hour room service is available.
Most of the restaurants centrally located near the main lobby, including the extensive buffet, El Carey and Tortuga. The Villa Marina is located beachside and offers traditional breakfast options with an ocean view for Privilege-Level guests.
I ate at the main buffet (El Carey and Tortuga) for lunch and several breakfasts. With plenty of seating and waiters offering water service and coffee in the morning, the buffet exceeded by expectations for breakfast and lunch.
The buffet offered numerous options with a rotating 14-day menu of international favorites. I found a pasta station, a couple of grill stations with traditional burgers or seafood and beef, a salad bar, a cheese and cold cuts station, several daily soups, along with several Caribbean specialties and Mexican favorites.
With a fresh juice bar I enjoyed the ready-made mimosas and make-your-own Bloody Marys. The extensive dessert station with ice cream sundaes can not be passed up and stocked with yogurt and platters of fresh topical fruit. The Dominican Republic pineapple is the juiciest and sweetest around since it’s tree ripened.
During my stay, I stopped at Mike’s Coffee every afternoon where I enjoyed a Caribbean coffee with espresso, cinnamon, chocolate and rum. After a night of dancing, I stopped at the Over Time Sports Bar for the local beer, Presidente, and some late night French fries.
Restaurants at Ocean Blue and Sand
Each evening I sampled a different restaurant. The Italian restaurant, I Mascherati di Vencia, I found traditional Italian appetizers and pasta dishes. Looking for a lighter option, I ordered seafood options, like their salmon. For a special treat, the Sambuca is toasted tableside to accompany traditional tiramisu.
At Sensai, I took a seat at the table facing the chef who entertained the diners while cooking up traditional Japanese favorites. I started sushi and sake, then dined on fried rice with a chicken and beef stir fry. Sensai offers two seatings of 56 diners each.
Bluemoon, an adults-only restaurant with a dress code, offers French-inspired selections for a fine dining experience with specialities like terrines and ratatouille. I enjoyed a carved lobster with its elegant plating.
To enjoy the specialties of the Caribbean, I dined at the Villa Marina. I started with ceviche featuring a Caribbean twist along with a seafood stew. All the restaurants serve delectable desserts with at least one chocolate choice that pairs well with coffee or an after dinner drink.
Despacio – the Spa at Ocean Blue and Sand
During my stay at Ocean Blue and Sand, I enjoyed an afternoon at the spa located on the premises. As I walked through the doorway, the scent of lemongrass lifted my travel-weary spirit.
The welcoming staff escorted me to my lounger and handed me a glass of infused ice water as they placed a warm, lavender-scented pillow around my neck to soothe my soul.
After breathing deeply and letting my muscles relax, my therapist escorted me to a private room. I found a large therapy room outfitted with a dressed massage table, a therapy tub, and a small shower. During my visit, I enjoyed a thorough massage and a facial.
Spa patrons can use the outdoor pool and I found an outdoor area for treatments. The Despacio offers hair dressers, nail technicians, fish pedicures, a sauna and separate dressing rooms.
Entertainment at Ocean Blue and Sand
Though I found my suite lovely, I didn’t spend much time in it. Instead I enjoyed the private beach for the Privilege-level guests that boasts white-draped sun loungers with waiter service and upgraded towels.
I found plenty of beach loungers for the non Privilege-level guests though no sun shades. The beach at the Ocean Blue and Sand includes a beach volleyball court, a climbing wall and gazebo. The diving center, Dive It! Scuba and Fun, is a PADI diving center that offers certification and snorkeling excursions. I found two bars in the beach area.
The Ocean Blue and Sand features two large outdoor pools, one with one swim-up bar and a spa. The pools dominate the central area between opposing building that flank the edge of the resort property. I found lots of loungers and the pool area hosts gatherings during the day and features an additional walk-up bar.
The area has a shallow kids pool area but lacks a themed waterscape.
The open-air lobby bar features live music most nights that belts out popular dancing hits with lots of seating. Or enjoy a quiet cocktail in the piano bar located behind glass doors nearby.
Ocean Blue and Sand features a casino and a disco. I watched a 70s-themed show one evening that packed top hits. After the performers finished the show, they stopped by the lobby bar and entertained guests.
Ocean Blue and Sand with Kids
With daily activities like crafts and special snacks, kids have a delightful clubhouse just for guests 4 to 12. They will stay entertained during the morning, have lunch with their parents and return for the afternoon. (Club hours are 9:45 a.m. to noon, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Activities include bowling, swimming (in pool only), tennis and arts and crafts. Snacks include ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy.
For the older kids, I found a teen club above the bowling alley. Equipped with six gaming stations, air hockey, Foosball and pool tables just for the teens, it’s the place for teens. The bowling alley below features six full-sized lanes.
Adventures Outside the Ocean Blue and Sand
The Dominican Republic offers surfing opportunities, cultural heritage experiences, lessons in their culinary history and the chance to feed monkeys. I enjoyed a full-day excursion with Bavaro Runners where I did all that.
Note: The Ocean Blue and Sand encountered significant beach erosion due to storms. The property worked to rehabilitate the beachfront but it remains damaged.
Travel Tips for the Dominican Republic
Know Before You Go:
- The buildings don’t have elevators but my butler hauled up my bags. Families with smaller kids and babies might want a ground-level room.
This trip was provided for review purposes. The opinions are my own.