Q: Hi Playground! I want to plan an easy getaway to an island for a long weekend — Super Bowl weekend to be exact, and for three nights. We’re thinking about Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas. Somewhere not crazy far or crazy expensive. Thanks a lot! ~ Heidi
A: Hi Heidi, A long weekend on a sunny island sounds like heaven — I’m already tired of winter! And I think your two choices of Bahamas or Dominican Republic would work well for a long weekend; there are direct flights to both from the NJ/NY area that are only a few hours long.
To narrow it down, you have to decide if you want an all-inclusive or a traditional resort. Punta Cana has gorgeous beaches and will probably be a little warmer than the Bahamas Super Bowl weekend (the first weekend in February), but most properties there are all-inclusives. If you decide to go that route, Bavaro Beach is especially pretty, and I think The Paradisus, a Melia hotel, would be a perfect choice for your getaway — they have great food, beautiful rooms, and fun entertainment. Prices for that weekend are around $300 per person per night, and that includes all your food and drinks.
On the other hand, you’ll find more stand-alone hotels in the Bahamas, which frees you up to do things like go to the Fish Fry in Nassau for dinner (a really fun and inexpensive experience) instead of staying on property. If you go that route, consider the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a new luxury property that’s been getting strong buzz (room rates for that weekend in February are around $215 a night, a great deal!).
Note: the Grand Hyatt is on Nassau, which is where you want to be if you only have a few nights — the outer Bahamas islands will add too much additional travel time.
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