Frequently Asked Questions
Do you know anyone who belongs to the Knights of Columbus, VFW, or a golf club? Or that guy at work that buys stuff from Costco and sells it? They’re members of a club that has certain privileges and facilities they can use at a discount and offer to their guests. This is really similar.
On one hand, this is paid upfront All-Inclusive. The staff will repeatedly tell you “Have some more, you already paid for it.” On the other hand, many of the staff you see work for less than US$1,000 a month. Follow your conscience but respect your budget.
At the time of this writing, Royal Suites, Villas, and Presidential Suites do not require the All-Inclusive to stay there. If you plan to stay for an extended period it may be in your best interest to use the All-Inclusive for a few days at the beginning and end of your trip, and cook for yourself in the middle part. Those accommodations have parking onsite or very near by, so renting a car and grocery shopping is quite reasonable. Otherwise, take my advice and get the All-Inclusive. The food at all the restaurants is good. Incredibly good. And, it’s great to hang out on the beach, then get some food and drinks without having to worry about losing your wallet in the ocean. Learn from the experience of others.
The wristband is your backstage pass. You will see people with paper/Tyvek wristbands. They booked their trip through Groupon, the resort website, Airbnb, etc. They cannot go anywhere if the sign reads VIP, Shareholder, or CC. That actually turns out to be large parts of the resorts including the best restaurants. You will receive gold VIP bracelets that will let you go anywhere where there is a VIP sign, including the VIP shuttle. Additionally, gold VIP wristbands get priority when booking restaurants. The VIP wristbands are reserved for members of the vacation club and our guests.
The resorts all belong to a vacation club, and the tour will be their effort to get you to join the club. Your phone will ring your first morning there, and a kind voice will offer you a tour right after breakfast. The fasteners on your wristbands are color coded by your arrival day and the men in khaki shirts have lists of who arrived yesterday afternoon, so it’s hard to hide if you want to skip it, even if you don’t answer the phone. The tour is actually a little helpful, because they will drive you around and show things about the resorts and amenities. However, it’s a real whirlwind and you are unlikely to walk away feeling completely oriented. The tour ends with a high pressure sales pitch from someone in a white dress shirt. They’re sales people, they hear rejection every day and they work on commission. If you are genuinely interested in joining the club, tell them. If you are not, tell them that, too, but probably 4-5 times.
Hey, I’m a VIP member of LHVC, but your prices are better than what’s in my member contract? Should I rent with you?
No. We have recently re-verified this with the resorts and club. Don’t do it. It sounds like what they will do is take your VIP bands away for the rest of your trip if they find out. If you’re just dying to know what’s in the Chairman’s Circle contact us directly. We’re more than happy to talk about it.
In Cabarete and Punta Cana, walking will be sufficient. In Puerto Plata, if you are staying in a Villa or Presidential Suite you will be provided with a golf cart ($50 refundable deposit) if available, which is pretty likely. Elsewhere, you will take the VIP shuttle which circles the area several times per hour.
Some, maybe most, of the Villas and Sunrise Suites belong to private individuals and are managed by the respective resort. When in resort, Owners get quite a bit of privilege, as you can imagine, and get first dibs on everything. If the helicopter is landing, there’s a good chance they picked up one of the Owners from the airport. If you want to buy a Villa you can do that, too, just let us know. Chairman’s Circle is us. We provide affiliate services for the resorts through the vacation club. Shareholders is the older version of the Chairman’s Circle, with a few differences.
Remember the Owners we mentioned? If they notify the resort they are coming to occupy the Villa you had selected, you’d get displaced and there would be a mess. Remember, it is their Villa. Instead the resorts use a cutoff a few days before arrival and then assign Villas based on factors like party size/composition, member or guest, etc. We will make every effort to get you the exact Villa you want. We really will, and we’re good at it. Just understand it may not be available.
Yes, they are also affiliates. We make an effort to be more transparent, more relevant, even if we cannot beat their price. (But seriously, ask us, and if we can we will.)
Yes, very near to the Presidential suites there is a restaurant with a certified Kosher kitchen, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an All-Inclusive plan. The current rate is $150/day per adult, $75/day for children 3-11, and free for under 3 years. I have not eaten in that restaurant, though the menu is quite tempting. There is also a synagogue a 3-5 minute walk away.
Absolutely. Let us know at the time of booking, as there will be a little extra planning and cost involved. We can make this really special.
The tradeoff for such great prices is delayed gratification. You will submit your request and payment, we will make all the arrangements with the resort, and provide you with confirmations. It is possible this could happen in one business day. Three to five days is a more reasonable timeline.
Yes, there is Wi-Fi at the Villas, VIP Tower, and Harmony Beach. Roaming wifi can also be purchased from MASA Wifi, their office is near the Tropical Lobby. Both pathways were adequate for emails, social media, and (usually) a video call.
Most recently we visited with an iPhone, a Pixel 3, and a Moto X4. Signal was great everywhere on the last two. Google Fi service is seamless.
The Dominican Republic uses the same standard as the US & Canada. No adjustment or adapter is necessary.
There is bottled water everywhere. The tap water might be fine, at least I didn’t get sick when I drank it before reading the sign. Best not to chance it, though.
Yes, with two exceptions. Flights into Santiago for the Puerto Plata resorts have an additional fee of $250 per every 6 guests roundtrip, which must be paid in advance. All Ritmo has no transportation service from the Cancun airport.