Nestled among lush vegetation and the natural beachscapes of the Uvero Ulto district in Punta Cana, Live Aqua Beach Resort Puna Cana welcomes adults to a luxurious haven designed to captivate the mind, body, and spirit.
Live An Amazing Sensory Experience
See the smiling faces of the dedicated and friendly resort staff greet you upon arrival. Let your eyes sweep across the beautiful property, taking in the modern, clean lines and unpretentious luxury. From the comfort of a chaise lounge in the shade of your beach cabana, watch the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea caress the golden sandy shore. Take a dip in the pool and enjoy majestic sea views from a new perspective.
Listen to tropical birds call to one another from their perches atop the trees. Let the rustle of the palm fronds and the lapping waves lull you into a peaceful afternoon nap. Hear the tinkling of ice cubes as you sip from your handcrafted cocktail from The Strainer, the resort’s lobby bar, while people-watching or playing cards. Sway to the sounds of the evening’s musical entertainment and be carried away by Caribbean drumbeats.
Bury your toes in the soft sand. Feel the warmth of a sun-soaked towel as you drape it around your shoulders after a refreshing swim in one of the resort’s pristine pools. Allow your cares to melt away in the Feel Harmony by Spa Live Aqua when you treat yourself to a world-class massage. Visit one of the resort’s Zen sections and feel peace when you relax in a water hammock with the background soundtrack of waterfalls. Lie down to sleep at night after a fun-filled day with the silky softness of 400-thread-count sheets enveloping you in comfort.
The scents of a delicious dinner tempt you to the resort’s numerous restaurants. Take a deep breath and let the salt air calm your spirit. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of a freshly brewed cup of Nespresso coffee from the balcony of your lavish suite. Immerse yourself in your suite’s lavish tub and enjoy the scents of Molton Brown bath and body products.
From a sip of fine wine to the first bite of a sinfully scrumptious dessert, the tastes of the resort’s 7 themed restaurants are sure to delight. Whether feasting upon Italian, Asian, or local Dominican flavors, your taste buds will dance in response to exciting flavors.
If you're dreaming of a luxurious adult-only vacation to beautiful Punta Cana, contact me to begin planning today!
Fast Facts for Travelers
~ The island is 37 square miles and can be easily navigated by rental car. One main road runs the perimeter of the island and there is no official border or border crossing.
~The island is shared by two countries and is divided into two distinct "sides":
~ St. Maarten (Dutch) capital: Philipsburg
Features many beaches, shopping, restaurants, chain hotels, and casinos. Cruise ships dock at Philipsburg and passengers take a ferry to the capital from the pier. The international airport (SXM) is located on this side of the island, and is approximately four hours from NYC.
~ St. Martin (French) capital: Marigot
Features many beaches, upscale shopping and restaurants, boutique and smaller hotels. The French side of the island has a smaller airport that primarily caters to small planes arriving from and departing to other islands in the Caribbean.
~ US Dollars are widely accepted.
~ No converters or adapters are required for electronics.
~ Ferry service from two main points on the island is available to Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, and St. Eustacius.
St. Maarten shares the island with French St. Martin (both are pronounced the same), which makes up 21 square miles and is home to 39,000 people. The island has the unique distinction of being the world's smallest landmass to be shared by two countries (France and Holland).
We'll focus here on the Dutch side of St. Maarten.
St. Maarten by land and sea...
The average water temperature around the island is 81 degrees F.
~ Many guests to the island enjoy shallow diving to depths of 60 feet or less. The most famous wreck site on the island is the Proselyte Wreck and Reef on the south side, which features the frigate HMS Proselyte that sank here in 1801.
~ Water sports include sailing, kayaking, glass bottom canoeing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, and fishing.
~ For an extra special vacation experience, participate in the "12 Meter Challenge"and crew on one of five sailboats from the 1987 America's Cup.
~ Many reputable tour companies offer fantastic experiences around the island - check with your hotel or cruise line for details.
Landlubbers can also find many fun activities to occupy their days in St. Maarten. Contact Harley Davidson island tours and choose from a variety of themed options, including an eco ride, a biker's ride, or a champagne ride. Rent bicycles and explore the island while getting some exercise in the sunshine. Explore the 20 miles of hiking trails and climb to Pic Paradis, the highest point on the island at 1391 feet. Visit Seaside Nature Park for horseback riding, the discovery farm and garden, team building activities, and fun on the water. If you're in need of an adrenaline rush, visit Loterie Farm for ziplining through the tree tops.
Accommodations and Activities
~ Very few hotel chains exist on the island, so most are independently owned and operated. There are some all-inclusive resorts, but not many. Travelers are sure to find accommodations to match their desired amenities, style, and budget. Working with a knowledgeable travel agent will ensure this.
~ Choose from 14 casinos to test your luck.
~ Dine at one of 350 restaurants...St. Maarten is known as the Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean.
- Shop until you drop...tax and duty free!
If you're thinking about visiting St. Maarten for your next Caribbean getaway (whether as a cruise port or destination in itself) contact me to get started with your vacation plans. We can create custom packages together, tailored to your wishes and budget, for a special and memorable vacation.
All photos are my own.
The current rate as of posting is $90 USD per person. Transportation from Puerto Morelos is included, or Valerie can arrange transportation for you from your resort. (We were staying in Playa del Carmen, and paid a taxi approximately $55 for roundtrip fare.)
Once we disrobed (you may undress to your comfort level, and full nudity is acceptable for all treatments), we were escorted to the Temazcal, a small structure where we enjoyed time in the sauna followed by a cold shower. We repeated this process twice, gabbing with other travelers as we took turns rinsing the heat away in the outdoor shower.
Following our time in the Temazcal, we made our way to our (generally) secluded area to enjoy a relaxing massage and mud treatment. This tropical paradise felt like the perfect oasis to enjoy time away together as new parents.
The final treatment for our spa day was a bath to soak away the mud. Being bathed as an adult felt both awkward and soothing, but we went with it and enjoyed a breeze through the palms and the opportunity to escape our day-to-day routine.
We enjoyed our time away from the resort, and we found the treatments to be both enjoyable and a fantastic value.
On March 1, 2015 I learned I would become a mom, but my husband didn't know he would be a dad until two days later when I had a darker pink line to flash before his eyes. We waited to start a family for seven years (I am pretty sure potential grandparents had given up on us) but we knew parenthood was a responsibility and commitment we wanted to be more prepared for, and frankly, we had other things we wanted to do first as a couple. (Read: TRAVEL. Lots of TRAVEL.)
Knowing we would soon be stashing our passports for many months (sad face) to care for our little lady (happy face), we started planning a babymoon for the second trimester. As a travel agent, our plans must always come together last-minute, and our indecisiveness was particularly awful for coordinating this trip - I was really hoping to do a cruise, and my husband was really hoping to stay at an all-inclusive. The plans worked out for three nights at Secrets Silversands and four nights at Secrets the Vine, so that is what we ultimately chose to do. (Next trip, a cruise.)
We had always planned on having the sex of the baby be a surprise at birth, but after a few discussions during the week of our scheduled anatomy scan, we decided for many reasons that it was time to find out if it would be a he or a she. Because of my "old age" of 35, we could have found out at ten weeks, but held off for the element of surprise...ten weeks later we were whistling a different tune. Rather than finding out the news in the technician's office, we asked that she seal up the telltale photos in a card I had picked out for us to bring with us to open at Secrets Silversands, one of our favorite resorts.
The plan: the first morning of our trip we would eat breakfast and then take the card to the Barracuda Bar overlooking the beach and Caribbean Sea for the big reveal. With its cool breezes, great views, and comfortable seating options, it's one of our favorite spots to hang out on the property. "How could you wait so long after having the results on hand?!? We had already waited ten weeks. Weren't you tempted to open them as soon as you got them?!?" No, not even a little bit. Honestly. Plus, I was freaking out internally...I really wanted a girl.
We got situated, took deep breaths, and opened the card together...
One of the most intense rushes of emotion I have ever experienced washed over me, and I immediately began sobbing upon reading the word "girl". Finding out the sex of our baby made this vacation even more special, and we spent a great deal of time in the coming days making a list of potential names. The entire vacation has been documented in our baby book to share with our daughter when she grows up, but I will never be able to put into adequate wording how thrilled I was to know I would be a mom to a daughter.
Random thoughts...We waited until my 20th week of pregnancy to travel - even though my morning sickness had been rather tame, I knew I would not want to contend with nausea while on vacation. I felt pretty good for the duration of our trip, and really only had one evening of ick.
I made sure to pack any medications I might need in my carry-on bag for easy access. I consulted my midwives before booking our vacation to be sure I was good to travel, and I would definitely recommend you do the same.
I did my very best to stay hydrated and kept out of the sun as much as possible - even with hunkering down under umbrellas and diligently applying sunscreen, I came home with a nice tan.
I packed various layers of comfortable clothes that accentuated my little bump and made me feel like a cute pregnant gal. Thanks to Beachbody Chalean Extreme workouts and water aerobics, I was able to rock a bikini as well, which felt pretty great too.
I am so thankful that my husband and I were able to share this week together as our final vacation before the arrival of our little one. It was a wonderful time for fun and making memories, made all the more special because of the opening of that little envelope.
Update: Secrets Silversands is not currently operational.
Reasons We Love
During a four-night stay at the nearby Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, my husband and I were presented with an offer we couldn't refuse: a summer upgrade special to the Iberostar Grand Paraiso Beach, which represents the ultimate in luxurious, child-free splendor. (My coworkers just go on and on about this place.) Because we also happened to be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary (okay, I am kidding no one...we would have upgraded without an excuse) our arms needed no twisting to make the change to the resort for our final two nights in Mexico.
My husband and I had the opportunity to visit the Iberostar complex as an independent fam - a trip designed for travel agents to experience various destinations and resorts so we can best serve our clients. We were booked for four nights at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, 1/4 of the extensive Iberostar complex located approximately 30 minutes from the Cancun airport. The Lindo shares the property with two other family-friendly resorts: the Paraiso del Mar, the Paraiso Maya, and also the luxurious adults-only Grand Hotel Paraiso Beach.