I spent the most amazing long weekend at BREATHLESS PUNTA CANA RESORT & SPA in January of 2020, and took so many photos on the trip that it's taken me this long to narrow them down and share them here with you! Breathless Resorts are located in the most tropical locations in the world (look them up) but the one where I spent 4 incredible days is located in the popular travel destination of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This was my 3rd time traveling to the DR, and my 2nd time in Punta Cana. I was thrilled to return and experience a different kind resort designed for active people who love wellness but also like to have a lot of fun. Breathless Resorts cater to adults only but luckily for me they're pet friend for dogs under 10 pounds.
Frida Chihualo, at this point in January, was a very new addition to my family. At 5.2 pounds, she's super easy to travel with and has all her documentation necessary and a clean bill of health. Finding out that Breathless Punta Cana Resorts & Spa would allow Frida to travel with me was sensational news. I was given a pet friendly room upon arrival, blankets and towels for her with paw print embroidery, a dog pillow and toys and even her own bed! The extent of care that went into making my dog feel welcome was shocking and so sweet. As long as you follow the rules of no pup in the pool and eating in outdoor areas, you're golden to travel here with a small pooch.
The grounds of Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa are beautiful, lush and green and encourage a lot of walking (which I really liked). There are golf-cart type cars that can scoot you around to all the different restaurants, cafeterias, spa and gym, but I personally enjoyed walking everywhere and taking advantage of the leisurely exercise. When you stay here, you'll find your room alongside a curvaceous wading pool that weaves through the property or right near the beach if you're lucky! Most people at the resort seemed to enjoy having rooms near the various pools because that's where most of the action is!
Throughout the day there are all kinds of workout classes happening near the pool, from Paddle Yoga to Zumba to Aqua Bike Fitness. During my stay there were an average of 5-7 fitness classes on the schedule per day with at least 1 yoga class on the beach every morning. My favorite was Paddle Yoga in the pool because it allowed me to get my morning stretch while working on my tan. All the SUP boards are connected in a flower-like shape to maximize balance and keep class partipants floating together.
After 4.30pm, the central pool turns into a massive party. By this time everyone has gotten their workouts in and clocked in their laying out time. The music gets loud and the pool area turns into an energetic bar scene. At first I was a bit skeptical as to whether I'd enjoy the party scene or not since I'm not a big drinker, but it was actually fun lounging near the pool at this time. There's great people watching, good music and when you have a cute dog everyone wants to talk to you :)
Even though the pool scene is really where it's AT, I'm always going to be a beach girl. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time walking the beach in both directions. To the left, when you walk away from the resort, you'll find rustic shops run by locals and even a man who has a family of chihuahua pups to greet you. Frida (my chihuahua) was so happy to be in good company! To the right of the resort, you'll get an incredible long cardio beach walk, passing a few other resorts. It's a gorgeous view so make sure to take your camera because there are a lot of photographic opportunities along this beach path.
Laying out on the Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa beach is pure relaxation! The umbrellas are literally little huts providing shade. There is a bar on the beach and a restaurant and snack shack close by in case you don't want to walk far. During my stay it was a bit windy on the beach, but we made the most of it. For the best laying out experience I'd recommend sticking to the pool. Just make sure to wake up early and reserve your desired spot with a towel and a magazine becuase the best areas are taken very quickly!
My favorite part of being on the Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa beach are the private cabanas! If you're down to commit to the beach for the entire day, definitely rent one of these. They cost $100 for a full day rental and come with fruit, drinks and waitstaff service. It's ideal for a family of 3 or more. I took these photos from our cabana. The view is epic from the top (where you can also lay out) and on a hot day, the ocean breeze feels so good!
As you can see, it's like a little casita and perfect for groups and families. If you want to get away from all the action at the pool, read a book etc, this is where you curl up!
There were so many dining options at Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa. My favorite was Carnival because it has an indoor-outdoor layout overlooking the beach. We ate here the most for breakfast and lunch. This restaurant is actually located within the Now Onyx Resort (also part of the AMResort family) that is connected to Breathless. When you stay at Breathless or Now Onyx, you are welcome to use both properties fully! It's a great perk because the resorts are very different and allow plenty of exploration. For example, don't miss the crazy water slides and "lazy river" pool at Now Onyx. Their pool scene is quite an attraction and so different than Breathless.
Even the restaurants on both resorts are different. To see what's happening at both resorts in terms of special events, dining options, bars and shows, there's a daily calendar provided so you can decide what to do and where to find it. The only parts of the resorts that are not totally accessible are the private beach and pool areas for AMResort loyalists, but if you upgrade your stay you might be able to get access. This was not something I did so I don't know too much about it...I will say, though, those areas were pretty BALLER!
The best food at Breathless and Now Onyx, in my opinion, was all the seafood! When you dine at the cafeterias, you can try anything you life at the buffets. Since Breathless is an all-inclusive, there are unlimited options and you never have to take your wallet out unless you're tipping or purchasing extra / add-ons. Whenever I travel, even if it's an all-inclusive destination, I enjoy tipping for wonderful service.
There was never a time while staying at Breathless Resort or hanging out on the Now Onyx Resort that I didn't receive friendly service. This type of thing really makes a difference. The Dominican people working in Punta Cana are vibrant and welcoming. If you travel here, I know you'll enjoy their energy and spirit...especially their dance moves!
Towards the end of my stay I spent the late afternoon in the Relax Spa by Pevonia where I experienced one of the best massages of my life and their hydrotheraphy circuit. I highly recommend doing a couples massage if you're traveling with a significant other because the room is so beautiful and the experience is well done. You can choose your oils and customize the exact kind of massage your body needs. Normally you'd do the hydrotheraphy first and then the massage, but I chose to do the hydrotheraphy circuit afterwards and really take my time.
I started with the sauna and steam room, then moved on to the cold cleansing showers, then to the freezing pool, the leg and foot rock and shower pathway, warm swim pool and finally the jacuzzi! It was perfection. You really MUST go if you end up vacationing at Breathless. Stay for at least 2 hours or more including your massage.
In the evening at Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa, there's usually a show spanning the time of 7-10pm. We saw a live rock band, a few dance shows and special performances put on by the entertainment staff. It's fun and most of the guests staying at Breathless and Now Onyx come to watch. It's not something you have to do though if you'd prefer to go enjoy a nice dinner in another area of the resort. The late late spots for drinks and pop music are Wink Bar and After Dark. Below is a pic I took from the outdoor terrace of After Dark. It overlooks the resort.
My favorite bar to chill at was nestled in between restaurants closer to the beachside at the Now Onyx Resort. It's an open air wine and cocktail bar called Prelude (open until 11pm). It has a much quieter vibe than any other bar on both properties and you'll get more mixology-type drinks made for you here if that's your thing...and in my case, it is :)
With so much media attention focused on the Dominican Republic in 2019 and now with the Coronavirus scare, I can understand why tourism is down but I can honestly share that my stay here was one of unlimited luxury, relaxation and pure enjoyment. So if you're looking to get away, there's nothing to fear here...LIKE AT ALL. I didn't leave the resort property during my stay because all I wanted to do was chill out and reinvigorate myself for 2020. There are a variety of tours, excursions and day shopping trips you can take. Get in touch with the hotel concierge to make arrangements OR be like me and just get lost at Breathless Resort for a long weekend. There's enough to do and no shame in it.
Please leave any questions below about traveling to DR, to this particular resort or on planning your next vacay below. I know a lot now about traveling domestically and internationally with a small dog, so if you have questions about this and how to go about preparing the needed documentation, I'm happy to advise :) Thanks for reading!