Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

RESORT OPTION #1: OCEAN SAND by H10 Hotels

'Everything you need'

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Best value and overall satisfaction in a vacation start with a quality product, and that's how Ocean H10 Hotels sees it.

A relatively young brand, launching in 2008, Ocean by H10 Hotels is the name under which parent company H10 (founded in the early 1980s) operates its Caribbean resorts. Each of its three establishments in Mexico and the Dominican Republic features outstanding seaside locations, top-notch facilities, a wide array of services, all-inclusive packages, health and beauty centers, scuba-diving, and themed restaurants offering select, world-class cuisine.

The Ocean Sand property, located in the heart of Punta Cana, is no exception. And if you pick this resort as your prize, you'll be treated to a beach that makes regular appearances on many 'world's best" lists, offering about 1,600 kilometres of fine white sands lined with mature palms and clear, calm waters.

Catering to a range of vacationers, the area boasts a number of superior amenities.

Golf fanatics can test their skills and perfect their swing at the area's three most popular courses: Cocotal Golf & Country Club (18/72/7183), the Barceló Bavaro Golf Course (18/72/6710) and the White Sands Golf Course (18/72/6970, on-site at the Ocean Sand).

Water enthusiasts have many opportunities when staying in Punta Cana. You can swim with stingrays or dolphins, scuba-dive sunken ships or snorkel at Catalina or Saona Island -- both highly popular because of their clear waters and mix of colourful marine and coral life.

For travellers who like to get a taste of home while away, Punta Cana offers the Palma Real Shopping Centre in Bavaro, outfitted with retailers such as Quicksilver, Hard Rock Café and Tony Romas.

A petite resort, the Ocean Sand has become a favourite destination for vacationing Canadians and Signature staff. Previous visitors have rated the hotel's top features to be its location, beach and rooms, and it's easy to see why. With a combination of brightly coloured facades and luxurious, elegant exteriors, the Ocean Sand opens onto a stunning stretch of white-powder sand beach.

The resort hosts a diverse range of activities and entertainment options. Children and teens enjoy making new friends, and there are specialized activities and friendly competition from the supervised clubs as well as the on-site 5-pin bowling alley (one free game per room, per stay is included) and the beachside rock-climbing wall.

While adults can often be found taking advantage of the massive spa, with its full range of body and facial treatments, there's paid evening babysitting services, a disco, mini-casino and 9-hole golf course. Both the young and young at heart like the oversized pools -- one for relaxing and one for activities -- as well as a variety of non-motorized watersports.

Understanding that not every traveller enjoys exotic or local cuisine, the Ocean Sand has created an excellent assortment of dining options and offers a 'no reservations required' dining policy at all of its eateries. Here you will be able to dine at the sprawling International buffet or sample specialty cuisine from one of the à la carte restaurants. Options include fine Italian, seafood (served beachfront), American (served in a traditional dinner setting), traditional Dominican and Mexican fare.

All of the 334 rooms at the Ocean Sand are located in several low-rise blocks framing the pool and other amenities. The Great Escape prize-winner will enjoy a Junior Suite, a relaxing setting to start and end the day. Tastefully decorated, they're outfitted with modern amenities including a daily restocked mini-fridge, safe and cable TV.

In addition to a prime beachfront location, a spacious Junior Suite and an all-inclusive meal and activities plan, your vacation prize includes round-trip airfare from Winnipeg to Punta Cana International Airport, as well as transfers to and from the resort (about 25 minutes).

Using customer satisfaction as the ultimate motivation, Ocean by H10 continuously performs internal quality assurance checks and updates its facilities and amenities to ensure they remain comfortable and unique.

Their goal? Nothing less than "everything you need to enjoy the time you spend with us'.

 

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2009 E8

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