My tan has worn off and so this post is officially a long time coming. Part of me knew that when I sat down to write this, I would get sad and want to go back on vacation immediately. Yep, that’s happened.
Last month, Husband and I took our first vacation in over four years where we didn’t have a baby with us- either in person or in my stomach. We planned the trip about a year in advance because we were invited to a wedding in Cartagena, Colombia, but knew that we wanted to make a generous pit-stop in the Caribbean on our way from London. We searched and we searched and it turns out there is no easy way to go to and from London and include South America and the Caribbean in the same trip, so we finally just decided it didn’t matter how many airplanes we had to take, we were going to make this holiday happen. In our search for somewhere truly stunning and memorable in the Caribbean, we came across some great options including the Exceptional Villas properties which stood out to us as something special.
Day 1 on the beach. White sand and crystal blue water!
After doing extensive online research, I came across Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It had everything we were looking for- golf, spa, restaurants on the ocean, and an Oscar de la Renta boutique. I would later learn that the island was originally owned by pretty much just Oscar and Julio Iglesias- a random little factoid for you. Oscar even designed the interiors of the villas and the restaurant, Bamboo within the resort.
A photo-shoot in front of the Oscar store made me feel less guilty about missing fashion week.
Our journey took us through Miami, where we ended up staying at the SLS for one night (more on that later, but to be very brief, go for the food and drinks, but don’t stay there), and finally arrived in Tortuga Bay a day later. A representative from the resort met us at the plane to whisk us through passport control and customs, a perk of Tortuga Bay that comes standard with every guest.
View of our villa from my lounge chair. We had the entire bottom floor.
Upon arrival at the resort we were given our own golf cart to use on the property, which is a good thing because the place is huge. Tortuga Bay sits on on the larger Punta Cana Resort, which means you have the options of multiple restaurants, bars, golf courses, and an ecological reserve. But even though you have access to all these fab places you will feel completely secluded and well taken after at Tortuga. The resort staff kept telling us that the hotel was fully booked, but we always felt like we had the entire place to ourselves!
Margarita at La Choza.
Our villa was absolutely massive, and we had a large outdoor deck from which we could see the ocean. It was only a few short steps from the beach, which is exactly where I spent most of the afternoons, margarita in-hand.
I was on my lounge chair every morning before the sun even properly came up.
The vacation was perfection. We spent the mornings (probably only due to jetlag) in the gym, followed by a delicious breakfast (included with our villa) and then Husband would golf while I read on the beach. Our evenings were spent checking out the various restaurants within the Punta Cana resort, and even venturing into town one evening at the recommendation of the concierge, for dinner. All of the food that was suggested to us was delicious, but our favorites were the fish tacos at La Choza, and the fresh whole fish at La Yola.
A little beach stroll.
One afternoon we took a speedboat tour of the island. The captain personally called to ask what wine we’d like on boat and stocked the boat with it. The tour ended in with a giant “pool” in the middle of the Caribbean sea, where you could stand and wade, but still be smack in the middle of the ocean. It was gorgeous.
Our boat cruise around the island.
It was such an amazing vacation, and I would recommend Tortuga Bay to any of you ladies who are looking to vacation in the Dominican. I wish we could go back tomorrow!