Onsite Review: Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana

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Guestrooms at the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.

Prepare to be slimed…with fun at the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana. This is a kid’s dream hotel…and it’s not too shabby for us adults. There are water slides galore, a gorgeous stretch of shoreline, expertly crafted cuisine, and most importantly, ample time to hang with the locals—we’re thinking SpongeBob SquarePants, not Punta Cana locals. Part of the Karisma Hotels & Resorts collection, this 208-room resort is a colorful playground for mom, dad and the kids, with restaurants serving “ton-sized” burgers; a top-of-the-line, 2-bedroom Pineapple Villa accommodation; a lively AquaPark where sliming is a religion; and the Zen-like Vassa Spa where guests will feel transported to a mystical retreat in Asia. Get the picture: The resort smartly balances adult fun and kid-friendly amenities.

Playful Decor
After checking into the hotel at one of the chicest—and yes, orange-hued—lobbies we’ve ever seen, your clients are whisked away on a golf cart to their spacious accommodations, where the decor is elegant, fun and playful with pops of Nickelodeon-inspired tones and whimsical details (think a silhouette of a clothesline with SpongeBob SquarePants’ outfit decorating the shade that separates the bedroom from the bathroom), complemented by a deep-soaking tub, stylish furniture and ample balconies. The accommodations, as well as all the public spaces and dining venues, offer a fine balance of elegance and Nickelodeon fun, without ever going over the top. It’s actually one of the reasons the resort works so well, because although, of course, the Nickelodeon theme is front and center, it’s not hitting guests over the head. So, say your clients want to hang out by the infinity pool and have a drink at the swim-up bar and not think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a bit, that’s perfectly doable.

Waterfall of Fun
On the other hand…if they are venturing off to Nickelodeon Place, well, that’s where your clients will be hit over the head…with plenty of water fun and Nickelodeon amusement. AquaPark, what many, especially the kids, will consider the heart of the resort, features water slides, splash pads, spray grounds and a lazy river. There’s also a water cannon, a Mass Sliming, and a Slime Time photo-op. Nick Place, as those in the know like to call it, is also where guests will find Plaza Orange, the area for entertainment and events, think island-style Carnivale; the Just Kiddin’ hang out with daily supervised activities and programs for children 4 to 12, plus meet-and-greets with Nickelodeon characters; NICK kNACKS retail shop; a Sports Hub with access to archery, tennis and a soccer field; and Character Central, where guests can meet their favorite Nickelodeon characters throughout the day.

Dining Delights
And in case the little ones just aren’t patient enough to wait all day to meet their favorite Nick characters, the hotel offers a Character Breakfast at Zest (surcharge applies). Everyone comes out for this party, including, you guessed it, SpongeBob himself, Patrick, and Dora the Explorer. The Insta-worthy photo-ops are complemented by a conga line procession and delicious treats. Did you notice how I say delicious? I mean it when it comes to the resort’s culinary offerings. The resort goes all out in its feast for the palate with 10 restaurants, two Gourmet Corners, four bars and lounges, and the Doppio Coffee Shop. Our top recommendations are the hip Sugarcane restaurant for breakfast; the BRGRS.PH dining venue for clients who are hungry for a 2-lb. burger with all the toppings; and the sinful Sicilian fare at Verdello.

Swanky Accommodations
It would be remiss of me not to mention the imaginative 2,292-sq.-ft. Pineapple Villa, inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants’ own home at Bikini Bottom. It includes a garden, patio, signature infinity pool, and private butlers. Rates at the Pineapple Villa start at $3,800 per night for up to four adults and two children or two adults and six children. Ok, for clients who might not have such deep pockets, all the other accommodations are just as fab, with seven styles that range from intimate Pad Suites and Flat Suites to Swank Swim-Up Suites. The resort is offering an Early Booking deal with savings up to 37 percent for travel Jan. 3 to Dec. 22, 2017; booking window is through September 2017 (not applicable for the Pineapple Villa).

Contact Information
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana: nickresortpuntacana.com