Maudie wanted to get away with her toddler for some pre-Christmas sunshine, and at 5-months pregnant, she just wanted it to be easy and relaxing. With her husband suggesting ideas from boutique hotels in Barbados to self-driving around Sri Lanka, Maudie turned to Scott Dunn’s Oceans and Islands product manager for a family-oriented recommendation and was blown away by her stay at Eden Roc in the Dominican Republic….
We haven’t stopped talking about this vacation. What stood it apart from other family vacations is that it was just so easy. Not in a boring way, but in a completely idyllic way. Cue the direct flight from the UK and a short 15-minute transfer to Capa Cana (and there’s a very decent airport lounge for when you’re returning home)…traveling to Eden Roc really couldn’t be easier and the hotel itself did not disappoint.
Then there was our room, we stayed in the family suite which had two bedrooms (one a bunk room), two bathrooms and its own private pool. All suites in the main resort come with a golf buggy, which was great fun, and an incredibly practical (not to mention lazy) way to meander around the Capa Cana peninsula. I’d recommend Eden Roc above other Caribbean options for the dining, the wonderful staff and the tranquil set up of the Cap Cana peninsula. There’s also just a good balance of just enough stuff to do on a lazy beach vacation.
We love good food, so much so that food can make or break a vacation, and the hotel offers great dining. Eden Roc’s Asian-Peruvian Restaurant rivalled any high-end London experience in terms of flavor and flair, and the ocean-front Palapa made for relaxed family dining from grilled lobster to pasta dishes. All the restaurants had good, and reasonably priced, children’s menus as well.
The staff are also utterly amazing and could not do enough. Our beach days were made even better by super friendly beach team who were so chatty and attentive, bringing Tiggy cold beach ‘cocktails’ and beach toys to play with. Even the breakfast servers went above and beyond, bringing her a surprise of balloons to add additional delight on top of breakfast cupcakes. Then there are Eden Roc’s two kids clubs, the main one was surrounded by a lagoon with lots of fun toys from electric cars to play kitchens. The ladies here full of energy and fun.
There is a simple set-up at the beach club with a trampoline and slide – fun for pre-dinner play or for dropping your kids in the afternoon for a bit of a respite from the sunshine (4-years +). The lagoon style swimming pool at the beach was great and there’s even a shallow paddling pool area for kids. We were staying over American Thanksgiving weekend and there were lots of guests, yet the pool and beach remained uncrowded. Its good to know that while the ocean is warm and inviting, it is wavy rather than crystal clear and lagoon-like, making it suitable for swimming and boogie boarding.
One of the highlights of our stay was discovering Los Establos, the local stable which is just a short 10-minute buggy ride away. This great discovery will win over any animal-loving family thanks to its beautiful horses and ponies, and high-end polo fields. Tiggy had her first pony ride here, encouraged by wonderful Uruguayan horsewoman Maria. If I hadn’t been pregnant, I’d have booked in for some very reasonably priced polo lessons – I will just have to go next time! Guests at Eden Roc can simply go to the stables and pet the horses then head to the lovely family-friendly restaurant for lunch or dinner. We loved the simple food, home-made ice-creams and a change of scene.
There’s also the nearby Scape Park, where you can try your hand at cenote swimming and zip-lining. I suggest you spend the full day here to make the most of the entry cost – if only Tiggy had been older, this would have been on our list! Instead, we made quite a few visits to the stables.
Some Final points
Some final pointers that you might want to know: there isn’t really alot to do outside of Cap Cana. There is a local marina which is just a taxi ride away but honestly the hotel’s restaurants are so good that I would only go there to jump on a boat. There are children’s water parks (the tacky ones which they love) but after quite a bit of research, we realised you cannot gain access unless you’re staying there. However, there is one called Aqua Park that’s not connected to a hotel and it looked great for kids aged 8-years and up.
One final tip, take out your cash at the airport on arrival (or ask your driver to stop at a nearby ATM), as there are no cashpoints in Capa Cana itself, and you probably won’t leave the peninsula!