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Playa Dorada was one of the first resort areas in the Dominican Republic to be developed, and it still has a dozen or so all-inclusive resorts, along with one deluxe boutique hotel, Casa Colonial. What's interesting is how these older resorts are evolving in order to compete with their increasingly upscale competition to the east. The transformation of the Blue Bay Villas Dorada into an adults-only resort was also a major happening; it's spa-oriented and well priced. Allegro Puerto Plata (formerly Jack Tar Village, then Holiday Village Golden Beach) has taken the club-within-a-club concierge concept to a budget resort. And perched on a mountain ridge, the new Tubagua Plantation Village appeals to budget travelers and groups.
Cabarete and Sosúa were once proud to say that they were the strongholds of the small, casual hotel. Nowadays there are as many rooms in all-inclusive resorts as in the small independents. Condos have also come to Cabarete in particular, and many are luxurious complexes on the oceanfront. Farther out, in Cabrera and Abreu, luxury villas in exclusive gated communities are the draw.
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- $98 & up -- Punta Cana All-Incl. Eco Beach Resort, 15% Off CheapCaribbean.com
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- $102 & up -- Punta Cana All-Incl. Family Friendly Resort — $102 CheapCaribbean.com