The Dominican Republic is probably known more for its all-inclusive affordable vacation packages than for its luxury resorts. Based on my recent visit, I’d say that is about to change.
One of the properties leading the change is the repositioned PUNTACANA Resort & Club, no longer an all-inclusive but a more traditional resort offering – and yet it has remained very affordable. A luxury addition called Tortuga Bay with a few beachfront estate villas was added to the property. I was told that Oscar de la Renta designed the interiors of these villas (pictured at right), and they are exquisite! Both give you access to the newly opened Six Senses Spa.
The rooms at Tortuga Bay cost more than $600 per night and, at PUNTACANA, less than $200 per night. I was lucky enough to have the Tortuga Bay experience as well as a taste of the resort’s two gourmet restaurants. But as usual, the Six Senses Spa was the highlight. My four-handed 90-minute massage was one of the best I have ever had. There is nothing like having someone massage a fragrant Sodashi product on your face while another therapist is giving you a foot massage. And of particular interest to me was their use of very warm towels as they alternated between compression and massage.
In all honesty, it is one of the first times I have thought that it truly is possible to have a signature spa treatment that is so unusual in its choreography (and its execution) that you can actually say “That’s a Six Senses Spa Treatment.”