In November 2015, I traveled to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for the first time. My friends and I had bought two deals off of LivingSocial which included our room and the all-inclusive rates. It was a really good deal and we were excited to go down there for our first double-date vacation. We had a blast, as I’m sure you can guess. I mean, come on, were right on the beach, all our food and drinks are included, and were out of the cold New Jersey weather.
As on a lot of vacations, the resort will give you a tour and try and get you to become a member or buy a timeshare. The one thing my parents told me when I left was “Don’t buy a timeshare!” The two of them have a timeshare in Orlando that they’ve had for 30+ years. We love it there, but we didn’t need a second timeshare.
Back to the Dominican Republic … The day we signed up for the tour, they took us out for probably around 3+ hours. We got to see everything that would be included if we decided to become members and all our options of rooms. It was a really nice and informative tour as the resort sits on a pretty large plot of land with a LOT of amenities included. There are two different parties they have every week, 10+ restaurants, several pools, a bunch of bars and a few of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen. The rooms range from studios to 7-bedroom villas. We saw it all and at the end of the day, they sucked me in to becoming a member (which you can imagine my parents were NOT happy about, oops).
I know, I know. I’m really bad at saying no! Plus, they gave me a pretty good deal. I don’t remember how much I paid but I can’t imagine it being too much or I never would have done it. So now I am a proud owner of a 25-week membership for a studio room in Puerto Plata (well, now 24 weeks now that I went last month).
The resort is beautiful. The people who work there, and also visit, are amazing. The food is delicious. It’s always warm (especially warmer than NJ). I don’t regret getting the timeshare … That much. Our “home” resort is Puerto Plata but we can also use it in Punta Cana and somewhere in Mexico. So, there are a few options for us. But the problem comes when I want to travel somewhere else – I feel like I am letting the weeks go unused. Like, I’ve been a member since 2015 and the first time I’ve gone back was February. Even though those 24 weeks are mine, and aren’t going anywhere, I still feel a little bit guilty and wasteful when I book somewhere else.
The plus side of being a member is that I am a VIP member, meaning there are beaches & restaurants that I can go to with my guests that regular visitors cannot go to. There is a VIP Beach, a VIP Pool, certain restaurants that are just for, well, VIP’s, etc. It is really nice and the people there are so accommodating. Also, I paid the whole membership off while I was there the first time (I don’t know who I thought I was with money back then) so I don’t have to worry about that. I just have to pay for my flight obviously, the room which is pretty cheap and the all-inclusive which is less than $500 per person for the week.
I don’t know… As I look back and think about it, maybe becoming a member was worth it. My boyfriend and I have discussed going back the weekend of Valentine’s Day every year so that will be a nice trip we can take (check out my post on our trip here). I think in the long run I’ll be happy I did it. But I would absolutely recommend thinking about it a LOT before you commit because as you can see, there are pros and cons to it.