Escape to a dream-worthy destination
Excellence Punta Cana
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
To reach the Dominican Republic, you have to change planes in Miami’s International Terminal. Be prepared — this isn’t the easiest task, even for seasoned travelers. Once you arrive, the trip to Punta Cana is a little more than an hour from the airport on bumpy roads, although the expedition is well worth it when you reach your final destination — Excellence Punta Cana.
Located to the north of the easternmost tip of Punta Cana, seclusion rules supreme at Excellence’s luxurious Punta Cana resort. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with an open-air lobby, offered a refreshing hand towel and handed a fruity drink to sip on. Beaches and pools encompass the exotic landscape, as do honeymooners. Two giant pools, including swim-up bars and beautiful waterfalls, create the perfect playground for games of water volleyball. Beautiful beaches beckon guests to stroll along the ocean day and night, although exploring beyond the resort’s perimeters may yield a few surprises. (Relentless locals may push you to purchase their goods — even jumping out of trees to get your attention and a sale!)
Highlights of the evenings always include shows put on by the resort’s friendly and amusing staff. Our trip to Excellence Punta Cana included a night of entertainment by featured artist Michael Jackson. Not the real M.J. of course, but some great dancers and singers who performed many of the chart-topping hits from his early years. Any cheesiness from the shows is made up for at the seven different (and delicious) restaurants from which you may choose. Drinks are included at this all-inclusive resort, although you’ll have to pay extra for a special bottle of wine or champagne. Opt to dine on the beach for an especially romantic evening out — the breeze blowing through the open-air bars is just enough to keep the bugs away and your drinks perfectly cool.
Hotel Park City
Park City, Utah
A quaint, all-wooden resort, Hotel Park City offers 54 all-suite luxury rooms in an elegant setting. Fine dining is paired with world-class skiing, golfing at the Park City Golf Club championship course and an 8,500-square-foot spa to please any guest seeking adventure, or just pure relaxation.
Bustling with happy staffers offering up water, tea and coffee, each day at the resort greets guests with sounds from the grand lobby’s piano and breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains. In the morning, steam from the hot tub and pool rises like dew inviting you to take a dip before you head out for skiing at one of three resorts located five minutes away or hiking among lush Pine and Aspen trees. Best of all, Utah welcomes its guests with a special treat: Ski free on the day of your arrival by presenting your boarding pass.
After a day of outdoor activities, the hotel’s luxurious spa is the ultimate destination. Offering eight treatment rooms, a health club, a beauty salon, dry saunas, herbal-infused steam rooms, whirlpools and meditation rooms, the full-service Alpine Spa and Health Club channels the tranquility of its natural surroundings to provide superior spa treatments for its guests. The deep tissue sports massage works to reduce scar tissue and pain, while improving muscles by removing inhibiting toxins. Although the masseuse moved her hands so quickly against my spine that the heat was almost unbearable, the massage was without a doubt well worth it — leaving me refreshed and rejuvenated from my daily activities.
Hotel Park City’s elegant Sleigh Restaurant, overlooking the golf course and mountain scape, invites guests to dine among the warmth of a fireplace, while offering diners top-quality American Continental specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The intimate Wasatch Room may be reserved for private gatherings, hosting up to 90 people — the perfect destination for a business getaway or special event. — LMV
Excellence Punta Cana
Hotel Park City