At any given time at Falcon’s Resort by Meliá in Punta Cana, you could find yourself in the middle of a sudden beach foam party, surrounded by a parade of costume-clad dancers poolside, immersed in a pop-up art show in the lobby, or handed headphones for a little daytime silent disco. At this luxury all-inclusive resort – set on the picture-perfect Bávaro Beach – it’s all about unexpected experiences. In fact, the resort has quickly made a name for itself for pioneering the concept of “resortertainment.” It officially opened its doors in January and represents a partnership between luxury hotel brand Meliá Hotels International (a trusted name for the five-star hotel experience worldwide) and global entertainment development company Falcon’s Beyond.
The idea was to take resort entertainment above and beyond the expected. This means everything from days jam-packed with colourful interactive experiences, to intimate dinners with a side of entertainment, and a brand-new theme park that seamlessly blends simple pastimes like mini golf (but on an over-the-top scale), with rides that redefine the amusement park experience with first-of-its-kind technology (more on that later).
Blending premium resort amenities with elevated entertainment experiences, Falcon’s Resort by Meliá is the first resort to open under the new leisure and entertainment-based brand, Falcon’s Resorts by Meliá. The resort marks a multi-phase transformation of two existing Meliá properties; Paradisus Grand Cana and Garden Suites by Meliá, comprising 622 rooms. Phase one has rebranded the sprawling Paradisus Grand Cana property and includes 432 luxury suites, three swimming pools, nine specialty restaurants and a world-class spa and fitness center. Phase two, the rebrand of Garden Suites by Meliá, will include 190 rooms and will be completed by late 2023.
At Falcon’s Resort by Meliá, there are no subpar hotel rooms; every breezy and spacious guest accommodation is a full suite, which range in size from 800 to 2990 square feet. All feature colourful décor, large living areas, a dining area, a kitchen, a lounge area with a smart TV, and views of the garden or main pool. Each guest of the hotel receives a single pass to the new, world-class theme park, Katmandu Park|Punta Cana.
For those in the market for a (well worth it) splurge, guests can opt to upgrade to the Beyond Suites Experience, with an elevated suite and a slew of exclusive perks. This means a private check-in/check-out area, a personalized Beyond Concierge accessible via WhatsApp, priority reservations for activities and restaurants, customized turn-down, a dinner experience around the Beyond Pool (one per stay), and a multi-day pass to Katmandu Park. One of my favourite features of the lavish suites was the massive dressing room, which connects the bedroom and bathroom and is complete with a soaker tub.
Perhaps best of all, the Beyond Suites Experience allows guests to select from a variety of accommodation categories, including swim-up suites with semi-private pools (perfect for swimming laps) and relaxing whirlpools on their breezy private terrace.
This hotel is perfect for families while refraining from venturing into the cheesy territory like some family-focused resorts inevitably do. Things like an onsite water park with water slides and a splash area, and a nearby kids’ club offer hours of entertainment for the youngest members of the family.
Regardless of whether you’re travelling with children, we definitely recommend checking out Katmandu Park for a few hours. The park is just a short shuttle ride away and invites guests to get lost in an immersive storytelling experience based on the brand’s Katmandu franchise and its assortment of colourful characters — both heroes and villains.
Highlights include immersive 4D ride experiences and an elaborate ropes course that offers three levels of challenge; from relatively simple (keyword: relatively), to absolutely terrifying, frankly (yes, I tried the hardest and highest level and pretty much had a panic attack). Another unique option for thrill seekers is a swing-like ride built for two, which slowly raises its riders high off the ground, before swinging them backward once one rider pulls the lever (the pressure was real).
Juxtaposing the high-energy thrills offered at the theme park, and back at the resort, the Maia Signature Spa offers a sanctuary to relax, unwind, and basically live your best vacation life. The sleek yet peaceful spa features an array of services and is complete with its own pool for post-treatment relaxing with a tea or glass of wine.
When it comes to the food at this resort, there is tons of variety. Guests can expect a total of nine well-designed restaurants to cater to all tastes and cravings – with Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, and Caribbean-centric options. A central buffet offers fresh cuisine inspired by the origins of Taino culture on the Dominican Republic island. The resort offered some of the best food I’ve had at an all-inclusive spot – from the steak and lobster offered at the Karnica steakhouse or the sushi at Tori, right down to the fresher-than-fresh green juice served throughout the property.
While there are no shortage of options to facilitate a vacation full of healthy eating, if you want to shamelessly indulge (you’re on vacation, after all), you’ll find comforting options to do just that — from the jam-packed tacos served up at the theme park, to the tropical cocktails served pool or oceanside. Things like beach yoga, a dedicated poolside spin studio, and a top-of-the-line fitness facility facilitate a sense of balance.
One of the nicest features of the sprawling hotel is that it never feels overcrowded like some all-inclusive resorts can – whether you’re floating on an inflatable in the main pool (yes, floaties are allowed), chasing the kids around the water park, or grabbing breakfast at the buffet to fuel up for the day.
With its hues of turquoise and sprawling sandy shores for long walks, the beach is a short shuttle ride from the lobby (or a 10-minute walk) and offers a major draw of the property. Here, the views of the endless sea are perhaps best enjoyed from a peaceful cabana, as the super-attentive staff takes care of your every need. If you’re the type of vacationer who likes to mingle with other sun-seekers, a thatched-roofed beach bar offers the perfect place to do just that.
If this all sounds amazing, it is. And it all can be found in just a four-and-a-half hour flight from Toronto, where the vibrant Punta Cana resort awaits in all of its stimulation-filled glory.