The Meliá resorts are an international brand and one of the world’s leading leisure hotel companies operating more than 380 hotels throughout 40 countries.”

By Maha Chaudhry

As I basked under the luminous sun and watched the vibrant royal and aqua-blue shores glisten with sparkle, I thought to myself, I am exactly where I need to be right here, right now. 

That’s the feeling you get when you visit the beautiful Meliá Punta Cana Resorts in the Dominican Republic, and I had the pleasure of staying at two of the stunning hotels within the complex, beginning with Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, followed by Falcon’s Resorts. I also visited the all-inclusive wellness resort – Meliá Punta Cana Beach Wellness-Inclusive Resort. Here, I had the pleasure of exploring the serene property and stepping into pure spa bliss which left me feeling absolutely rejuvenated, not to mention, smelling like fresh Dominican cacao (more on this later). 

The Meliá resorts are an international brand and one of the world’s leading leisure hotel companies operating more than 380 hotels throughout 40 countries. In Punta Cana, their complex comprises of five hotels that can all be found within the same premises and traveled to one another by a motor cart system operated by the resort. The stunning architecture of the resorts is brought to you by Alvaro Sans from Arquitectura Hotelera.

Paradisus Palma Real Golf
& Spa Resort

Arriving at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort felt like I had just stepped into a tropical paradise, and in my head Madonna’s La Isla Bonita was playing simultaneously. I was greeted by friendly smiles and a passionfruit infused concoction that was delightfully refreshing on a particularly warm day.

My stay would be in the Reserve section of the resort which meant an exclusive adults-only premium experience that includes access to VIP areas across the resort, private pools and private beaches. The check-in is separate for this area and you receive a personal concierge service during your stay. If you opt for a more family-friendly experience at the resort, you might select to upgrade with the Nikté selection, which would also offer you luxury comfort in the newly renovated rooms. 

My Junior Suite Garden Room comprised of stunning views of two pools and the ocean to the right. Hues of blue and green surrounded me and I was captivated by the dreaminess of it. The room was both elegant and cozy and featured earth tones, rustic wood furnishings, and a furnished balcony with ample room. 

As tired as I was from my early morning flight, I didn’t want to waste a minute not taking advantage of the many amenities the resort had to offer, beginning with the private cabanas overlooking Bávaro Beach. 

I had access to over eleven restaurants and bars. However, my mornings would begin at the Ginger Bar, where I couldn’t get enough of the strawberry, ginger and pineapple-mint smoothies. 

Aside from the splendid dining options, a winery that allows for private wine tastings, and a Zen-style spa that offers a pinwheel selection of the four elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water, I was most impressed with the excursions offered to all guests staying at the resort, free of cost. Ours began with a catamaran cruise to another side of the Caribbean shores. Our boat journey included a breathing meditation prior to our final stop for a private beach yoga session. I can’t say that I have ever meditated on a boat before, but the stillness of the shores while absorbing the sun added a grounding touch. The yoga session was exactly what you would imagine yoga on the beach to be – relaxing, peaceful and picturesque. As I stood tree-pose, I breathed in the smell of palm freshness, I took in the oceanic views and sank my feet into the soft white sand. I was undoubtedly in my element. 

Of all the restaurants at Paradisus, my favorite dining experience was at the Mina restaurant. I sampled the Iron mushrooms, which featured a delicate charcoal roasted flavor and smoke oil with truffle, a Salmon Roulade which was enhanced with rosemary, on top of nonstop tastings of fresh cuts of sirloin, appetizers and beyond. 

All-in-all, Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort was a wonderful way to begin the trip to Punta Cana. The large resort with 596 rooms, featured everything you could need in an all-inclusive stay, including beautiful views of the garden and beach. Here are my favorite perks:

• Adult-only exclusive areas and pools

• Off-site excursions offered to all guests staying at the resort

• Beach-front access to Bávaro Beach

Falcon’s Resort by Meliá

Next on the itinerary was Falcon’s Resort by Meliá. This time, my view was different but I was just as pleased with it. I stayed in a Beyond Suite Swim-Up room which had direct access to a pool that felt both private and secluded. My terrace also included a private bath tub. I particularly enjoyed the feeling of privacy and luxury combined for a tranquil experience. 

Falcon’s is a newly opened 5-star all-inclusive resort with 432 rooms, and a result of a multi-million-dollar renovation in an effort to create a “resortainment” concept in Punta Cana. 

Guests can upgrade their stay to The Beyond Suite experience which includes a personal concierge service, exclusive upgrades, superior dining, and free multi-day entrance to the on-premise theme park, Katmandu. Whether or not guests choose to upgrade, they will still receive single day entry to the theme park.

The Falcon’s Resort is home to about nine specialty restaurants, each specializing in a different style of cuisine such as Latin, Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean. It was also the first time I tried Peruvian-Japanese style sushi at a restaurant called Machu, which I have to say was so satisfying. The vibe was on point and I especially esteemed the live entertainment. 

During the stay at the resort, guests can indulge not only at the restaurants but also by the pool. The special feature, “Bali Beds” is included for all guests staying at the hotel. It began with a silent disco, followed by refreshments and then either a hand or foot massage. I don’t know about you, but when I hear foot massage, I think, say no more. 


Recently opened in 2023, Katmandu is a world-class theme park. The theme is mostly virtual, as the experience is full of immersive rides and adventures. 

I felt it was a smaller combination of both Universal Studios and Walt Disney World® Resort in terms of the original characters and simulator rides. The theme park is open to guests of the resorts, as well as the general public. Transportation is provided to guests using the motor carts, and they run throughout the day and during operating hours of the park. 

Overall, for a more adventurous experience, Falcon’s Resort is a great choice. You can select the BeyondME™ option to level up your stay with even more personalized interactivity, and earn XP (experience points) while you are at it! But I have to say, this is what appealed to me most:

• Free admission to Katmandu for all 

  resort guests

• Superior live dining selections and   

  entertainment throughout the resort

• Swim-up private style suites

The Wellness and Spa Experience at Meliá Punta Cana Beach All-inclusive Wellness Resort

And last but not least, there was the unforgettable YHI Spa experience. It began with a motor cart ride to the resort from Falcon’s and a warm welcome on site. The adults-only Meliá Punta Cana Beach All-inclusive Wellness Resort is the epitome of serenity with ponds flowing throughout the property, beginning from the lobby. If you stay here, rest assured, you will receive a “Wellbeing 360 Experience.” The experience will be enriched with newly daily programming, revamped social areas and refreshed culinary offerings.

After exploring the gorgeous property, I headed to the spa for my very first Cacao body treatment. The Dominican Republic is notorious for growing exceptional cacao so I knew I had to try it. Even though I felt like a human-size Ferrero Rocher® in my wrap covered in chocolate from head-to-toe, I was thrilled walking out of the treatment with softer and more hydrated skin. Cacao is great for skin elasticity and it can even help eliminate cellulite! That was news to me. Next, was the sound healing bath. If you have never tried a sound bath before, Punta Cana is not a bad place to start. It was one of the best I had experienced. As the Tibetan bowls sang, the frequencies danced within us. Sound healing is one of the many activities available to guests staying at the resort. Other examples include various forms and styles of yoga classes, including pool yoga that takes place on a surf board! There’s an entire collection of activities and rituals designed to connect guests in five wellness spaces: Social, Silent, Sensory, Culinary and Personal.

My favorite feature? The beautiful spa, hands down! And because I loved it so much, I had to come back for a special Larimar Hot Stone Body Massage. Larimar, a volcanic stone, is unique to the Dominican Republic as it is found there. It is a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite. Larimar is known to have many healing properties. On a spiritual level it is known to facilitate inner wisdom and outer manifestation, targeting the third eye and crown chakras. On a physical level, it is known to help heal inflammation and even bring down fevers. As someone who gets very fascinated by these things, I couldn’t wait to get started on my massage. The massage was accompanied by some of the best smelling essential moringa oils I had ever inhaled. After each part of the body was treated with a firm touch and graced with aromatic calmness, larimar hot stones were caressed against the skin for an optimal effect. I have to say, I definitely felt a sense of calmness and walked away as a firmer believer in the many benefits of larimar. 

In a Nutshell

My stay at the Meliá Punta Cana Resorts was a delightfully unforgettable experience. What I love is that there is something for everyone and for every occasion. Whether you are celebrating a special milestone, taking a vacation, or wanting to escape to a wellness retreat, you will find yourself immersed in the many luxuries and amenities each resort has to offer. 

If you are ready to be spoiled with top notch service, beautiful views and unforgettable memories, visit: