I am trying to talk to 2 Swiss women on the beach at the Breathless Resort in Punta Cana when, as if by some secret Babe Cue, they both unsnap there bikinis simultaneously and remove their tops without a care in the world, like they were laying aside a purse or minor nuisance. Suddenly I can’t remember how to speak any of my high school French, or even to move my tongue intelligibly.
That’s the difference between Breathless and Blue Bay, in a nutshell. No, it’s not the topless women. It’s Swiss vs. Canadian. They’re all here for the same reasons: sun, sand, drinks, fun, dancing, etc….they just have different budgets.
At Breathless, premium brands are included at the Wink Bar (but not at the satellite locations at the pool and beach, which cater to the rum punch and beer crowd). At Blue Bay, you get premium drinks at the Black and White Bar if you buy them.
At Breathless, you get a huge beautifully furnished luxury room (some have a swim-up pool) with a Jacuzzi tub on the open balcony. At Blue Bay you get a big room with a shower.
At Breathless, you have Americans, locals (Dominican Republic Labor Day is Monday) Swiss, and Russians in that order. At Blue Bay the Canucks prevail.
The demographics are different in other ways. There is a substantial college contingent at Breathless. Once again, I’m amazed that this fits their budget, but I guess Mom and Dad are loaded, because this place isn’t cheap.
No, in fact it’s very expensive, up to $400USD a night! Which means you could stay at Blue Bay roughly 4 times as long depending on the deal. Is it worth it?
That depends, of course, on your budget and priorities. Do you favor the huge and trendy over the small and basic? Do you require great food and drink? Do you want to have room service at 4 in the morning? Topless Swiss babes? Are you loaded? Go Breathless.
The place really is amazing. Pools are everywhere. Pools that meander from room to room, pools with waterfalls, suspended pools, pools with built in beach chairs, and of course, the all-inclusive staple, the swim-up bar pool. There are gorgeous theaters, a sports bar, and professional musicians and actors who keep everyone entertained. The staff is well trained and the grounds are immaculate.
But the beach is, of course, the draw. Punta Cana, located on the Eastern tip of the country, has much nicer beaches than Puerto Plata, and some of the best I have ever seen. They are wide, the sand is fine, and the water is clear and warm. The view up and down the coast is postcard perfect. Hundreds of coconut palms dot the horizon on golden sands. You don’t have to close your eyes to imagine paradise. It’s here.
You can even choose the wave action you want. Directly in front of the main beach the waves are about 2-3 feet and crash roughly on the shore. Step a few dozen yards right or left and you can get bathtub-like conditions. There’s even a minor reef system for snorkeling, though I haven’t checked it out.
So I should be enjoying myself, and I would be, if not for an extremely durable strain of Montezuma’s revenge that I acquired at a café’ in Santo Domingo. When I finally emerge from the throne room I will provide a more detailed report, but for now I feel like there’s a live donkey kicking inside my stomach. I will spare you more detail, because I have to go now.