The 3 best resorts in Punta Cana for a destination wedding
Having spent time travelling around the Caribbean and Punta Cana over the years for destination weddings as well as for personal family vacations I’ve had the time to compare and contrast several resorts. My wife and I even chose to get married in Punta Cana ourselves years ago. One of my favourite features are the beaches – they’re large and the sand is juuust right. None of this thin-layer of sand stuff and certainly none of the coarse, rocky types.
I get asked which resorts I like best by brides all the time so I thought it was about time I put my thoughts down in a post. I’ve included an older, more traditional style resort… a themed resort… and a more modern style resort all set along the same insanely beautiful Bavaro Beach. Here goes…
MAJESTIC COLONIAL RESORT
I have the Majestic first on my list for the simple reason that they know how to do a destination wedding! This is where my wife and I also tied the knot many years ago. You may think this adds a little bias and you may be right, however I’ve also shot many weddings at the Majestic since then so I have a strong feel for how weddings work there from both sides of the coin.
The Majestic Colonial Punta Cana has very lush gardens and oodles of palm trees throughout the grounds – when you close your eyes and dream of ‘tropical’ views, this is what you get at the Majestic. The grounds are fairly average in size so getting around doesn’t take forever and it’s never difficult to find a bar :) Size is an often unforeseen issue when couples are planning their wedding day timeline schedule.
The wedding coordinators have their wedding process down to a science. They’ll walk you through the different stages or preparation and meet with you when you arrive to pick out the various details for your day ie. cake, flowers etc.
The Good: It’s a beautiful, tropical resort with lush gardens and mature palms. The beach is amazing with a great view of the sunrise and sunset. It also has multiple ceremony location options including the beach as well as garden.
The Bad: The rooms are dated since the resort has been around for awhile. That said, they are in the process of renovating as I write this.
HARD ROCK PUNTA CANA
I’ll be honest, I avoided weddings at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for a while and I decided against even visiting for a long time. My thoughts at the time were something like “naw it’ll be too commercially American-ized and far less tropical”. The idea of it just didn’t appeal to me. But then one of my couples changed their original wedding resort and moved their wedding to the Hard Rock. After my first day there I was sold, the place was beautiful. Yes, it’s commercialized no question however I was blown away with the food, entertainment and cool-factor of this resort. It was commercialized however there was plenty of gardens, palm trees and it’s tropical-iness was beautiful.
The scale of the grounds is a big factor when thinking about getting married here. Getting around on foot takes some time so your wedding schedule should take that into consideration. They offer daily golf cart rentals which I highly recommend you take advantage of for you and your bridal party. It may sound trivial but it’s the #1 piece of advice I’d give you for weddings specific to the Hard Rock.
The Good: The food, the restaurants, the beach and the grounds in general are beautiful. It’s a large resort with countless pools and bars. And as a rock ‘n roller the theme ain’t half bad either. It also has multiple ceremony location options.
The Bad: It’s huge. Like huge, huge.
ROYALTON PUNTA CANA
As you may have picked up on with my previous two resort summaries – I’m big on the tropical vibe a resort gives off. Mature grounds, lush gardens and palm trees scream Caribbean vacation and that’s what we’re talking about here right? Well, this is where the Royalton takes a turn in my mind. Since it’s a newer resort the grounds aren’t as mature so the gardens are growing and with the exception of the beach area (pictured above) the palm trees are few and far between. I think if I was writing this a few years ago the Royalton would not have made my list as a result.
But what the Royalton does have is a modern set up – the rooms are great and the architecture is very unique. Add to that a little more time with the gardens and palm trees which they planted years ago I can easily put the Royalton Punta Cana in my top 3 destination wedding resorts in the area.
The Good: Great beach area and it’s a newer resort so the rooms and facilities are more modern. The Royalton also has multiple ceremony locations including the beach as well as garden area.
The Bad: Since it’s a newer resort, the gardens and palm trees are fewer and less mature. Which isn’t necessarily a negative for guests, however as a photographer these details are significant.
I’m always looking for tips on new resorts to check out anywhere in the Caribbean or overseas… if you have a favourite please reach out and let me know all about it!