OKC Travel Agent
Lia Vincent


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Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana on Spring Break

Is it a good idea? What is it like over Spring Break?

See our latest: All Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels 101 Guide!

This is a common question we get from clients. Keep in mind Spring Break is wide spread. We were in Punta Cana March 7 – 10 which was Spring Break for University of Georgia, amongst other Universities across the country. I mention University of Georgia because word on the street was, there was a group of over 600 at the hotel for the week.

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly.

The resort is huge. There’s so much to do from the expected beach and variety of pool selection to also the largest casino in the Dominican Republic, activities like VR, laser tag, bowling, arcade, and more. There’s also a ton of onsite shopping from tourist trinkets to trendy beachwear. I loved that there’s so much to do. The Spring Breakers were not bored. Even at night there was a huge outdoor disco set up with either a DJ mixing music at night or a live band and more. One night in the Moon Lounge they even held a Silent Disco where each guest wore headphones and chose their one genre of music. So fun. It’s really impressive how Hard Rock spends the money to keep everyone entertained. The casino has a ton of slot machines and table games. There were a lot of Blackjack tables were are my favorite and the tables start at $15 minimum. Something I want to note is the casino is available for outside guests to come in and gamble. Drinks are not included unless you are playing and there’s a champagne bar and restaurant that is not part of the all inclusive plan.

There are 12 pools. You could pick what style you want from extreme Spring Break party pool or a quiet adults only pool in the gardens called Eden or if you are traveling with kids you can venture down to the kid’s pool with some smaller slides and even a lazy river complete with tubes. One tip I have is spend the money on a cabana. I rented one for our pool day. It was $100 and came with a dedicated waitstaff to makes sure we were taken care of with drinks. She brought us a cooler of ice filled with Pepsis and bottled water. She took drink orders and we didn’t have to wait in the long line at the bar. You can reserve this upon arrival in the lobby. We loved seeing Ramon who is the star pool waiter at the main pool. He’s so talented bringing you drinks he can balance on his head while riding a bicycle. I told him I saw him on TikTok and he smiled and gave me a big hug. The main pool is where you are going to find the DJ mixing music, live dancers in the afternoon and a great snack bar. If you prefer quiet – I would recommend Eden pool. If you prefer something more in the middle then just do one of the pools next to the main. This is a great thing about Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana. You can pick your mood each day.

Since I also take pride in being a “tell it like it is” travel advisor I also want to tell you the not so great parts. It’s crowded. At night if you enjoy a laid back bar for cocktails, don’t go during Spring Break. I know clients that this would be the end of the world to not be able to do. The young adult crowd really took over every bar. It was 4 and 5 people deep at every single one especially when it got to be later than 10PM. I kept saying it reminded me of Vegas. If you were out late, some of the bars even ran out of alcohol. I’ve never experienced this at a resort before. I was surprised. I kind of wonder if it was a true run out or a que to go to bed. Ha!

Another issue when you travel during peak times like Spring Break is it was also harder to get dinner reservations. You had to make a reservation even at the buffet for dinner time if you didn’t want to have to wait. There’s a place in the lobby that does all the reservations for the restaurants. Other feedback I had was it did also get kind of loud in the hallways at night. I can sleep through a marching band so it didn’t bother me one bit. I know some are light sleepers. I love to use the box fan YouTube to play if I need some white noise which would work just fine there with included free wifi. We also did see quite the scene with some drunk young adults but it wasn’t more than I would expect with the age occupancy like that. I have always seen how Hard Rock takes young people’s safety seriously. They will not hesitate to cut someone off. When you check in they also only issue the adult bracelets to over 18 years of age with a valid Passport.

To turn this around, let’s talk more about the food. We at the Mexican restaurant “Los Gallos” for dinner the first night. I had the cactus salad and it was so good. I ordered it to try something new which is the glory of staying at an all inclusive. It was pickled cactus and a huge slice of fresh avocado. I really enjoyed it. We also had some great flautas and fresh churros for dessert. The second night we ate at the steakhouse Torro. This is one of the most popular restaurants. I do live in Oklahoma so I don’t go into this like I’m expecting a prime steak. I’m all about setting expectations correctly. The steaks are thinner but they had good flavor. The atmosphere was great and the service was really good.

I will say the last night we ended up at “The Market” which is the buffet. I would say calling it “the buffet” doesn’t do it justice. It’s more like cooking stations around the world. I said “I feel like I’m at the Wynn in Las Vegas” because the décor is so cool. I ate a teriyaki chicken rice bowl and it was so yummy. I wish I had it earlier in the trip so I could have had it twice. I have been to this hotel multiple times and the food was just so/so. They have stepped up their game. Every meal I had I really enjoyed. I even had room service for breakfast on the last morning. It arrived within 30 minutes and the eggs were cooked correctly (I like over easy eggs) and everything was hot and fresh.

I think a highlight for me as a travel agent was seeing the room renovations they are completed at the hotel. I was in a Caribbean suite which is the back half of the hotel. I prefer the Caribbean Suite side as opposed to being in a Caribbean Sand in the front part of the hotel by the beach. A lot of people are always confused when I say this because typical hotel mode would be trying to get as close to the ocean as possible BUT there’s so much off the main lobby. I would rather walk to the pool/beach in my flip flops during the day and have a easy walk to the casino/restaurants when I’m dressed up at night. If you really don’t like to walk did you know they also rent golf carts? It’s a fun option and you can do it day by day that you know you’re going to use it. Anyway! The hotel renovations are perfect. They removed the big square tub from the middle of the room and put a jacuzzi tub on the balcony. They toned down the colors and added where you would normally step down and be at the jacuzzi is now a sitting area with a sleeper sofa. This is going to open up so many more sleeping options. Another amazing option is in some of the renovated islander junior suites are 2 King size beds and a sleeper sofa. It’s perfect for families traveling with 3 kids that need the extra room. The 2 King Islander sleeps up to 5 if 1 is a child. These also have the option to connect to a Rock Star 1 Bedroom Suite if you’re traveling with a group. The bedding combinations make this hotel such a great choice for groups with different needs.

Did I answer your questions about Spring Break? Keep in mind Spring Break runs from the 2nd week of March through April in most cases. It’s a busy hotel but with a lot to do to keep everyone entertained. If the increased young adult groups would be a turn off but you still want to go when kid’s are out of school, I would say this would be a great one for Christmas Break when it’s heavier on the family travel or summer if you are looking for a lower price point.

Traveling to celebrate a milestone? Ask us about their great group program called, “Rock Your Milestone” where you can get a private event complimentary. We have had this work out for graduation groups or big birthdays. It’s a great option.

We look forward to helping you plan Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana.

See our latest: All Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels 101 Guide!

Lia Vincent

OWNER of Vincent Vacations

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I have been in the travel industry since 2002. I manage our store front travel agencies and locations for All Inclusive Weddings - Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Vincent Magical Vacations - Disney, Vincent Events - Groups & Corporate Incentive Trips, & Vincent Vacations!I also manage our large group of independent travel agents, who work from home.  I LOVE helping couples with their Destinatio...  Read More >>>

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