We recently visited the Memories Splash resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Before we booked here, I was quite anxious about going to the Dominican Republic, I wondered is Punta Cana safe but I also worried about the risks of getting poorly from poor hygiene.
Is Punta Cana Safe?
If you don’t read any further let me say now we felt safe at the airport, in the resort, walking around, on the beach and getting back to the airport. Also none of us got poorly! So from our perspective we didn’t have any issues at all with the question Is Punta Cana Safe?
We mostly stayed in the resort, so perhaps we were mostly protected. We became friendly with another family and the Dad ventured out to the supermarket right outside the resort. He got approached by a lot of locals wanting him to have a look in their shops, but he said not any point were they forceful or scary even when we he left without buying anything.
He said they were friendliest people he has encountered in a very long time, which also goes for all of the staff within the resort.
Safety within the resort was top notch, there are staff everywhere so it puts your mind at rest. Even at the airport, which looks like a shack until you get inside (it looked like a 5 star hotel!).
Tips for Memories Splash
It was advised that we all had up to date Hep A vaccines before travelling.
Also, when visiting Punta Cana there was a $10 fee per person to enter the country and a $20 fee per person to exit, so please don’t get caught short. The local currency is Dominican Pesos but they much prefer US Dollars.
The only thing to be mindful of is when staying at Memories Splash, you might get approached by a member of staff asking you if you would like to visit the Royalton Hotel for a free breakfast. The Royalton is the sister hotel within the same resort that guests of Memories also have access to, some but not all bars and restaurants. The Royalton is also where you access you beach.
If you get invited for breakfast, this is a time share pitch, so if you aren’t interested then you can decline and that will be the end of it. It wasn’t forceful or pushy, we declined and that was that.
Mainly the guests at the hotel were American and Canadian. Depending on what you like, for us this made a welcome change from holidaying with Europeans. Our kids made a lot of friends with some American children and they have now made pen pal friends, old school!
The main thing to note about holidaying in Punta Can is the heat! We stayed at the beginning of April and while the average temperature was 30 degrees, this was heat we had never experienced before. Pretty much all hotel guests including us got burnt quite badly, factor 50 or higher is recommended but if you run out the on-site shop is quite expensive, it ranged from $30-$70 for a bottle of sun cream.
Where to stay within Memories Splash
We stayed in building 5 which was directly infront of the quiet pools which I would highly recommend. There were 2 main pools the quiet pool and the main pool which is where all pool activities take place. This is also where the daily all inclusive BBQ is, which is where we ate most days as it was delicious.
The actual resort itself is very clean and tidy and very well looked after. The rooms however are clean, but they could do with being updated as they do look a little tired. But given the amount of time we actually spent in the room (pretty much sleep time) this didn’t really bother us much at all.
1 thing I should mention, you have to put toilet paper in the bin rather than down the toilet, so don’t get caught out with a blocked toilet because of this. I would recommend taking scented nappy bags with you to put the paper in and then put them in the bin. The bins get emptied daily.
Food at Memories Splash
As I mentioned earlier, the resort has 2 hotels, Memories Splash and The Royalton. There is a shuttle service that runs every few minutes between the 2 hotels and the Royalton is where you access the beach.
The Royalton has bars and restaurants that are available for free (part of the inclusive) to Memories Splash guests which is an added bonus.
When it comes to food, there is a Mexican Restaurant, an Italian Restaurant, A buffet Restaurant and a Restaurant called Under The Sea. All restaurants serve delicious food, but the Under The Sea restaurant served the most amazing burgers and steaks, which quickly became a firm favourite for us. The Buffet Selections Restaurant is where you eat breakfast, it also serves lunch and dinner and we can highly recommend the freshly cooked omelettes for breakfast and freshly cooked pasta for dinner.
As part of the all inclusive as well as the restaurants and bars there is also a pool diner, a coffee shop and a teen hangout place. The pool diner is a few feet from the main pool and next door is beans coffee shop. The coffee shop is just like Costas in the UK, but everything is free including all coffees, Teas (recommend grabbing some English Tea from here as no where else on site does it), pastries, cakes and doughnuts and this is where you get the all inclusive ice creams and lollies from.
The teen hangout next door looked amazing if you are travelling with teens. Its situated upstairs and had pool tables, TVs and even a balcony area with comfy looking sofas.
The main attraction with Memories Splash is the on-site water park, which is worth its weight in gold if you are planning on going with kids. It is however extremely strict on the height restrictions, which is for everyones safety. If your child is above 120cm they can only go on the bigger slides and not allowed to use the younger Splash zone. If your child is below 120cm the can only go in the Younger Splash zone. My 3 children, my eldest was 140cm, my middle child was 120cm exactly and my youngest was under 100cm. My middle child who was 120cm wasn’t allowed to go on the bigger slides which was a shame.
All in all we had the most amazing week here and I would highly recommend this hotel to any family looking to book in the Dominican Republic. I am a very anxious person wherever I am and before we went in the build up to travelling I was very worried about this trip. But once there, I had actually never felt better, I felt so calm, relaxed (when the kids weren’t acting up), I felt the best there than I have done in years. It is a very calming and relaxing place and if you take up the offer of the free on-site kids club, you could have hours of uninterrupted time and maybe even get a chance to read a book!
Here is a video of our time at Memories Splash.