Monday, September 29, 2014

Relaxing and Enjoying Breathless

After a few days of girl time with my daughter at the ultra-luxury, super relaxing Zoetry Punta Cana, we met up with her boyfriend Matt at Breathless Resort for a different getaway at an adult-only resort with a bit more of a partying reputation.

We had suites next door to each other with patios that had views of the beach and the turquoise water from our lounge chairs, but planned to spend plenty of time separately enjoying Punta Cana.

I ordered breakfast from room service (24 hour room service is complimentary at Breathless) so I could get a little work done before I headed out into the beautiful sunshine.

The “Breathless Breakfast” covers it all – juice, tropical fruit, eggs, cold cuts, hash browns, toast, danishes, muffins and croissants. I couldn’t possibly eat it all, but still managed to get quite full.

I met with Macerana, the manager of the Xhale Club, an area at the resort where we were staying that offers extra upgrades and amenities.

Matt and Sam met up with me as she first took us down to the beach to see the Cabanas, where you can get waiters to bring you everything from sushi to cocktails. She also told us how popular the resort was for weddings and we saw a couple of popular wedding spots.

We toured the property and saw some of the many suites available, as well as the main lobby with restaurants, lounges and stores attached. 

Also upstairs in this building is the After Dark nightclub. It’s a popular spot that doesn’t open until about 10:00 pm and we planned to check it out one night.

The resort also has eight pools, one of which was an Exhale Club Pool just outside our doors. Also among them is the Tiered Pool, known more as the party area.

It was always lively with music and cocktails flowing, volleyball in the pool and dancing on the rim

I did not get to experience the spa while at Breathless, but I did tour it and it was quite impressive.

The spa has more products than I have ever seen, including an exclusive line from Bumbalina, and products for couples to enjoy together, such as Sweet Heart strawberry body treats, edible paints, and lotions.

By the time the tour was over it had gotten quite hot and humid. I went over to the Xhale Club pool and relaxed in the quite on a lounge in the pool.

Lunch was at Spoon Restaurant for the buffet. It was quite impressive with a huge selection

I had a salad with some fresh vegetables and couscous.

I went back to the pool to read and then we all watched a beautiful wedding on the beach before I headed to my room for some rest.

After my nap, I checked out a favorite spot of mine available at all AMResorts, the Coco Café. I indulged in a mocha and a freshly baked peanut butter cookie while I checked some email.

I headed back to my room and saw how quiet the pool in front was so I stopped for some laps, knowing there would be more cookies to come.

I dressed for dinner at Silk Road, the Asian restaurant.  We arrived on time, but the reservations were a bit backed up and dinner didn’t quite go the way it was expected.

I reminded myself that this resort was still fairly new and going through growing pains, and pointed out the issues to management.

After dinner, I went down to the main stage and listened to the band for a while before the show. It didn’t take more than one cocktail to remind me how tired I was and I headed back to my room. I was more than content after a totally relaxing day at Breathless.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

From Zoetry to Breathless in Punta Cana

My daughter Sam and I woke up to the warm sunshine of the Dominican Republic at Zoetry Aqua Punta Cana.

We were told that a special breakfast was being planned for us, but we certainly didn’t dream of what it was.

Our waiter appeared and set up an amazing array of food for us, along with champagne, fruit, coffee, and juice.

I had just finished Pilates and Sam was still in the Jacuzzi while he set up. She was amazed when she came out to the balcony and saw the spread. We had a long, leisurely, delicious breakfast, consuming breads, croissants, eggs, Dominican Sausage, and potatoes.

After breakfast, we met with Yarenis Nunez, Executive Assistant to the General Manager, and toured the property.

Despite the fact that they were at full capacity, the place was quiet and the guests had plenty of room to spread out.

We talked about weddings on the property for a destination wedding series I’m working on and saw the beautiful marble gazebo they use for ceremonies, which has a window that looks out to the beach.

Sam and I had some time to chill at one of the pools before bidding farewell to the resort.  It was hard to leave the tranquility of Zoetry Punta Cana. I definitely need to plan a longer visit at one of these properties someday.

Our ride came to take us to our next stop, Breathless. This was a new concept of adult all-inclusives by AMResorts for more active adults who didn’t want to sacrifice luxury.

Sam’s boyfriend, Matt, was flying in and meeting us there to join us for the balance of the trip.

When we arrived we were brought right into the lounge of the Exhale Club at Breathless. In addition to the many amenities offered by this resort (including free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada), the Exhale Club guests had even more.

There was an additional lounge with food and drinks all day long at Exhale. There was also a pool just for guests of those rooms that was right off the beach and always had waitresses available to bring you food and drinks, and the mini-bars in the room were stocked with more amenities.

Our room wasn’t quite ready yet so when Matt arrived our VIP Host, Steve, took us to lunch was at the Strip Grill. Matt and I had the burgers and Sam enjoyed the Tuna Tartare Strip.  We finished at about the same time Steve came to take us back to the lounge.

Our rooms were next door from each other and just steps from the beach, which we could see from the lounge chairs on our ground floor patios.

The rooms were quite spacious and each had a separate living room area, where bottles of champagne awaited us. My only complaint was that the rooms were near the entrance where the housekeeping and landscaping staff would come in so it was a bit noisy at times. (We were offered a change of rooms, but really liked the beach view of these.)

We made plans to meet for dinner and I didn’t take long to put on my bathing suit and head out. I started my beach time with a Blue Hawaiian. I enjoyed it on my lounge after a walk along the equally blue water. The beach at Breathless is one of the best I've seen in Punta Cana.

We decided to have dinner at Spumante, the Italian restaurant. To be honest, it wasn’t a good choice. When you go to a new resort there are always growing pains and there were a lot in this restaurant, from the organization, to the service, to the food.

I did speak to management about the problems at Spumante and was told that they were not only aware of them, but changes were already in the works.

It had been a long day and we skipped dessert at the restaurant and went straight to our rooms.  We would have four days to explore the day and nightlife of Breathless Punta Cana and were ready to get a good night’s sleep and get started.