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Paradisus Punta Cana

When you enter Paradisus Punta Cana Resort through its serene tropical entrance, you immediately feel a sense of calm as you wander through the natural foliage and fish ponds towards the canopied beds in the common area. The resort has a very Zen like feeling in its initial impression, but the entrance eventually opens to a very lush tropical setting.

Only a short 30 minute cab ride from the airport, Paradisus Punta Cana has countless options to fit the needs of any honeymoon, wedding, family reunion, or corporate retreat. The property boasts 896 rooms in various styles, twelve restaurants, seven different pools, and an expansive white sand beach. The Reserve section of the property offers visitors more privacy than other areas. Containing only 132 rooms, The Reserve has private pools for adults and children. It also has restaurants that are exclusive to travelers who opt to stay there. It is the perfect way to enjoy the entire resort, but still be able to retreat back to a quieter area for relaxing.

The resort also offers a lot in the way of nightlife. The resort has nine different bars, nightly entertainment, and a casino.

Activities abound at Paradisus Punta Cana! The resort offers water sports including snorkeling, diving (for certified divers), windsurfing, kayaking, and a catamaran for sailing. If fun on land is more your speed, the resort has four tennis courts, three paddle ball courts, a rock climbing wall, batting cages, and volleyball courts. Horseback riding and golf (at Cocotal Golf) are available for additional charges as well.

After so much fun in the sun, you may find yourself needing to relax from your vacation. There’s no better way to do so than to relax at the resorts Yhi Spa. They offer a long list of services as well as a fitness center for use anytime. There’s also a kids “mini spa” where they can get pampered as well.

Paradisus Punta Cana has something for everyone and every occasion. It is perfect for large groups of people with varying needs and travel expectations. The resort is beautiful, and the staff is attentive to the needs of the guests. The Shady Umbrella would love to help you find your place in the shade, so contact us with any of your travel needs.

Happy Travels,

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Zoetry Aqua

Zoetry Aqua in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic offers the perfect balance of seclusion and luxury at their 51 room thatched roof resort. I have found in the past that there are usually compromises made when selecting a resort…we found none when it came to Zoetry. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, the rooms are lovely, and the staff as attentive as you will find. At Zoetry Agua you will find pools woven throughout the grounds and along the pathway to the beach offering it’s guests the opportunity to find the perfect spot to relax. The property is large enough, and the rooms few enough that you can let mind relax in your own private oasis. 

The focus of Zoetry seems to be health and spa, but if that’s not your thing there is still plenty to take in and enjoy.  The resort offers a full service spa, three restaurants, a coffee shop, and several bars. Activities like scuba, cigar rolling, kayaking, horseback riding and yoga are also offered outdoors and on the beach.

Zoetry is perfect for couples looking for luxurious quiet, honeymooners that want to loose themselves in eachother, and it provides an intimate setting for destination weddings.  

The rooms at Zoetry are very peaceful and lavish. They have a very therapeutic feel because of the hardwoods and stone flooring, comfortable bedding, and open layouts. Modern conveniences abound also such as air conditioning, free wifi, and satellite tv should you need it.

The resort is located about an hour outside of the Punta Cana airport by taxi, but there is also a helicopter transport option if you want to make a “baller”esque entrance into paradise.

The food at Zoetry is all very well prepared. There are several different restaurants to choose from as well as room service in the morning and late night. The resort has dishes prepared for the health conscious and for those who didn’t go on vacation to start dieting. All the food is made to order, except on Friday nights there is a expansive buffet at the beach bbq. The grilled spiny lobster is a treat, so don’t hesitate to go a little nuts.

Two peacocks named Paco and Pica roam the grounds at their leisure and can often be seen outside of your room or while dining. You may end up with a visitor from time to time.

Zoetry off
ers destination wedding packages for the couple who wants to get away with their family and friends for their special day. There is an outdoor pavilion for services and private restaurants available for memorable receptions. Susana, Zoetry’s wedding coordinator, takes the utmost care in providing a beautiful outcome to your day. 

Zoetry is the perfect fit for many travelers ideal vacation…The Shady Umbrella would love to help you find your place in the shade.

Happy Travels,


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All-Inclusive vs. Pay As You Go

    A lot of people seem to struggle with whether to go all-inclusive when they go on vacation.  I am no different, so I am not going to tell you which one you need to pick.  Instead, let’s list reasons to choose both.  That way you can decide what kind of trip you want to go on…


Need a little quality time with your special someone?  All-inclusive trips allow you to focus on nothing but each other.  I wouldn’t recommend anything different for a honeymoon.  Waking up in each others arms and not having to focus on any details of the day is wonderful.  Many resorts cater to couples…

No Unexpected Costs

Once you pay your total balance you are done.  All of your food and alcohol have been taken care of.  Most resorts even include activities like snorkeling, sailing, biking, shuttle buses, and glass bottom boat rides in the bill.  You may have to pay for some spa treatments out of pocket, but that’s about it.

Decisions? ummm, yeah…not for me…
Sure, there are some things that will require your attention, real hard hitting questions like, “Would you like another (insert drink of choice here)?” or “Would you prefer your meal brought down to the beach?”  Nothing life altering though….

Big Appetites
Are you a foodie or a big eater?  Like variety?  You can eat at as many places as you want within the confines of your resort.  If you like what you had, but are still hungry then order it again.  Most resorts offer many different styles of food and dining atmospheres.  You are not limited to a buffet line every night. 

Travel with Less Cash
If you have already paid the bulk of your trip expenses, then you don’t have to have a fat wallet with you everyday.  Just pack some local currency for souvenirs and a debit/credit card and hop on the plane.

Big Family
If you have a larger family or children of varying ages an all-inclusive family resort may be for you also.  Most resorts offer many activities with experienced guides.  Staffed security guards ensure safety within the properties also.  You will feel better about letting the kids go do different things if they are limited to the confines of the resort. 

Pro Tip: Many All-Inclusives are offering huge discounts right now, take advantage while the deals last!

Pay As You Go

Are you an Explorer?
If you like getting out and exploring then pay as you go is for you.  You choose your destinations and set the itinerary. 

No Limitations
You can stay in a different town every night if you choose.  Check out the countryside and local eateries at your leisure.  If you don’t like the hotel or resort you’re at, then go to another one…

Lower Initial Costs
You may end up spending more than all-inclusive, you may end up spending less.  It’s up to you and your budget. 

Check Out the Local Hot Spots
Get out there and do what the locals do.  White sand and blue water are at every tropical destination on the globe.  Local flavor and culture are what changes from country to country.  Go be a part of it!

Hate Touristy Spots?
Braid your hair pretty lady? I was asked that 1,267 times in the Bahamas…At first it was charming, by the fifth time in three steps onto the beach they might as well have been telemarketers, except you can’t just let the phone ring until they hang up…I know they are just trying to earn a living, but wow.  Go find your secluded, private spot with just the people that you want to see there.

Be More Spontaneous
There is nothing to keep you at the resort like prepaid meals and activities.  You will be free to take off on an unscheduled excursion.  

    When choosing between all-inclusive and pay as you go, it really depends on what kind of experience you want to have. If you are leaning towards all-inclusive, I would recommend couples seeking romance to consider Sandals or Couples resorts.  Families should check out Beaches or Breezes.  While pleasure seeking singles may want to bare it all at Hedonism or party until dawn at Club Med.   I hope this has helped you make your decision.  We are happy to help you with your arrangements whatever route you choose. 

Happy Travels!

Kristin and Jason

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