The pristine white-sand beaches and rich culture of the Dominican Republic draw more tourists to the island than any other Caribbean destination. Naturally, this paradise also attracts its share of the rich and famous looking for low-key relaxation, including Robert De Niro, Richard Gere, and Michael Douglas, and even the likes of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, presumably when the latter is not watching his viral cover of Robin Thicke.
Despite its celeb playground status, getaways to the Dominican Republic are surprisingly affordable. So plan your tropical vacation and relax, knowing that your bikini body won't be scrutinized in next week's tabloids. Start by booking your airfare and checking out a United Airlines roundtrip flight to the Caribbean (from $314.40, a low by $4; expires July 31).
Or opt for a 5-night flight and hotel package for two at the all-inclusive Grand Bahia Principe La Romana (from $987.14, a low by $267; expires July 30). Your flight departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and touches down in the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo where the nearby all-inclusive resort is set on a tranquil, secluded beach. Here you can kick back and enjoy some poolside cocktails, or get some exercise and opt for the swim-up bar. Dine at one of six Grand Bahia Principe restaurants, or opt for a buffet at Orquedea. Remember, there are no paparazzi lurking under the palms, so go ahead and eat!
Though this resort has everything you might need, the adventurer may want to head out and explore the town's its art galleries, golf courses, and Altos de Chavón, a re-creation of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. Kendall and Kylie Jenner were recently spotted in La Romana, and baseball star and DR native Sammy Sosa is said to live nearby.
Puerto Plata is also said to be a celebrity haven where you just might rub elbows with the rich and famous. Of course, this destination is too chic to name names, so you'll just have to find out and experience luxury firsthand with a 4-night stay for two at the all-inclusive Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa (from $152, a low by $258; expires July 29). This Editor's Choice deal breaks down to a mere $19 per person per night, and includes a stay in a Superior Room. That $19 couldn't even get you a yearlong subscription to US Weekly or People! Here you'll want to enjoy the resort's dine-around program, with fooding and nightlife access to its sister hotels, the Residence Suites, Crown Suites, and Cofresi Palm. After you've got your energy level up, why not hit the local jogging trail or take an introductory scuba lesson? For those who must take a two-hour leisure nap before going swimming, the resort's Bali beds are the perfect place to spread and relax.
Since the 1970s, Punta Cana has become a hot resort area for tourists and paradise-seekers. It's also home to Spanish singer/lothario Julio Iglesias, ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov, and fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, who was born in the Dominican Republic. You also may also see the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cheryl Burke, and Shakira sunning themselves in the picturesque district. Treat yourself to an almost-week-long slice of heaven with a 6-night stay for two at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana (from $1,200, a low by at least $27; expires July 31) which comes bundled with a $1,000 resort credit. Sure you could try and spend that grand at the hotel's bars, but you may also want to try your luck at the private casino or visit a Pacha nightclub and cash in on the VIP treatment.
Speaking of VIPs, you can get the full-on rock star treatment at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, where an all-inclusive 3-night stay (from $1,281, a low by at least $374) lands you in a Caribbean Suite, with your personal Jacuzzi tub and a private balcony with a view. But your baller experience doesn't stop there, as you'll also bag a whopping $1,500 resort credit for extras, such as tours, golf and spa treatments. The hotel draws performers like Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, and U2, so keep an eye out for big-name stars who are just kicking back.
A 3-night stay at the nearby, all-inclusive IFA Villas Bávaro Resort & Spa (from $299, a low by $81; expires July 29) also includes free airport transportation, so you can slip into vacation mode as soon as you've boarded your flight to this Punta Cana seaside destination. Upon arrival you'll find lots of space in your deluxe room, though your 3-day stay may be best spent renting complimentary kayaks and windsurfing equipment. Or sipping umbrella cocktails at any of the seven bars. Up to you!
If watersports aren't your scene, and you're a better golfer than surfer, head to the AlSol Luxury Village, adjacent to the Punta Espada Golf Club, which is home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature course named by Golfweek as one of the Caribbean's best. Your 3-night stay (from $329, a low by $49; expires August 1) offers just enough time for a few rounds of golf and getting in some downtime on the resort's secluded beach.
We're ready to relax and receive the celeb treatment at these luxurious, inclusive Dominican Republic resorts. But if you're looking to jet set to another destination, be sure to have a look at our weekly roundup of the top travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
Dominican Republic Travel Deals:
- United Airlines roundtrip flights (from $314.40, a low by $4; expires July 31)
- 5-night flight and hotel package with a stay at the all-inclusive Gran Bahia Principe La Romana (from $987.14, a low by $267; expires July 30)
- 4-night stay at the all-inclusive Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa (from $152, a low by $258; expires July 29)
- 6-night stay at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana (from $1,200, a low by at least $27; expires July 31)
- 3-night stay at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana (from $1,281, a low by at least $374)
- 3-night stay at the all-inclusive IFA Villas Bávaro Resort & Spa (from $299, a low by $81; expires July 29)
- 3-night stay at the AlSol Luxury Village (from $329, a low by $49; expires August 1)
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Some of our prices may be based on mandatory double occupancy.