The Dominican Republic’s luxury MICE destination takes this multi-million-dollar trend to new heights.
Punta Cana lies where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, stretching along 30 miles of white sand coastline dotted with swaying palm trees and ultra-luxury resorts, marinas, golf courses, restaurants, and developments. This is leisure central, a haven for elite meetings and events, and the destination of choice for the pursuit of wellness as defined by the Global Wellness Institute, i.e., “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” So much so that its uber exclusive enclave of Cap Cana was chosen as the host for the first official Global Wellness Day in 2019, and again in 2020 with a completely digital format due to the pandemic.
Stellar spas are the norm rather the exception at Punta Cana, but we would be remiss if we didn’t start off by mentioning the world-renowned Six Senses Spa, located in the Punta Cana Resort & Club. The only one of its kind in the Americas, the Six Senses is the ultimate purveyor of pampering, combining high-tech with high touch to deliver personalized service.
Tucked away in Cap Cana, the cliff-top Sanctuary All-Inclusive Adult Resort is in a world of its own and welcomes groups large and small to meet in unique venues including the Castle. (Note: Wellness permeates their walls. Pre-pandemic, attendees could reset their senses between meetings at special tables offering aromatherapy, a detail that will no doubt return in some fashion in this New Normal.) The resort’s world-class Sanctuary Spa lives up to its name with a hydrotherapy circuit and extensive menu of cutting-edge treatments.
Completely immersive wellness experiences, though, are a specialty at two of Punta Cana’s getaways. Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana is literally billed as a wellness oasis and is located on the lush coast of Uvero Alto. Their all-inclusive Endless Privileges address what they call the seven dimensions of total wellness: emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, social, and environmental health. With only 96 rooms, it lends itself to VIP takeovers for biosafe “bubble” events.
The sprawling 478-room, adults-only Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort on Bavaro Beach, meanwhile, recently added “Wellness Inclusive” to its name—and it’s truly comprehensive. The resort’s Wellbeing 360 Experience permeates every inch of its 5 designated spaces: social, silent, sensorial, culinary, and personal. There are even 24 Wellness Suites by Stay Well on the exclusive beachside The Level section, with amenities that include air purifiers, circadian rhythm lights, Vitamin-C infused showers, and more. The resort’s crowning glory is the YHI Spa, an architectural beauty that uses locally sourced products. (Note: Specially trained Wellness Ambassadors are on-hand to help guests better connect with all the experiences.)
New and Notable
Big news on the resort front: The very first Live Aqua property outside of Mexico for Posadas just opened in February of this year! With 347 suites and 10,000+ ft² of indoor meeting space plus outdoor settings, the adults-only Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana on Uvero Alto beach is part of the exclusive La Colección group and, like its counterparts in Mexico, offers groups their signature sensorial experiences from start to finish. (Note: Posadas’ Travel With Confidence program is in place, offering guests coverage from check-in to check-out.)
Newly opened in November, the all-inclusive Radisson Blu Punta Cana has the size and facilities—163 rooms including spacious condo-style suites with kitchen and laundry—that make it a natural for “bubble”-style takeovers for incentive group getaways with the family. An on-site spa is available to pamper body and soul with treatments and wraps, while activities like yoga, guided meditation, CrossFit, and dance lessons cater to more of the attendees’ wellness needs.
Pre-pandemic, the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) was the best-connected airport in the Caribbean and Central America, welcoming nearly two million passengers per year. Meetings and event attendees can add on stays in this beach destination following city events in Santo Domingo by traveling just two and a half hours via the modern Autopista del Coral.
Many hotels offer free or specially priced COVID-19 testing, but please contact each individual property for information on their particular protocols regarding groups, etc.