Family Vacation Critic Favorite

Melia Caribe Tropical

Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana , 23301

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An expansive, open-air lobby greets visitors at Meliá Caribe Tropical with lush foliage, water features and several comfortable seating areas, providing a small preview to the landscaped gardens and relaxing accommodations residing beyond the front desk. As you walk the grounds, it’s no stretch to see how this all-inclusive property has been described as a tropical paradise. The towering palm trees, thick flowering plants and calm pond waters all coalesce into a serene and intimate landscape. But take a turn by the main swimming pool or stroll by the beach, and it’s clear that this Punta Cana resort is no stranger to families.

From relaxing by the swimming pool as the kids splash around to testing your skills in the candle workshop to competing against one another in the family Olympics on the beach, there’s no shortage of family fun at Meliá Caribe Tropical. Throw in spacious accommodations, a wide and varied selection of onsite restaurants, and nonstop activities, and it’s no wonder that families choose Meliá Caribe Tropical for their vacation year after year.

Our Editor Loves

  • Large family-friendly pools
  • Special family-only accommodations
  • More than 10 onsite restaurants

Family Interests

  • All Inclusive Rates
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Water Sports

Family Amenities

  • Babysitting
  • Children Programs
  • Connecting Rooms
  • Cribs
  • Family Room 5+
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Kids' Pool
  • Laundry
  • Meal Plan
  • Onsite Dining
  • Pool

Room Information

Find the Best Price for Your Stay

All accommodations are located in two-story buildings without elevator service. All rooms come with an in-room safe, a mini-bar with complimentary water and soft drinks, coffee and coffeemaker, and flat-screen TV. Free Wi-Fi is available in all public areas, and comes with select accommodations.

Deluxe Rooms
The property's 515 Deluxe Rooms measure 450 square feet and come with either a king bed or two double beds, a seating area with chairs, love seat, tables, desk, private terrace or balcony, and a garden view.

Premium Rooms
All 72 Premium Rooms have either a king bed or two double beds, a seating area with chairs, love seat, tables, desk, private terrace or balcony, and a garden view. In addition, premium rooms can receive room service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and come with special amenities in the room.

Family Junior Suites
Measuring 450 square feet, the property's 144 Family Junior Suites include a king bed or two double beds, plus a sofa bed and a pull-out bed or bunk. They also feature either a garden or pool view, as well as private terrace or balcony. Guests will find a step stool in the bathroom so children can reach the sink, plus there's a dividing curtain in the main room for added privacy. Special amenities for these rooms include child-themed amenities like beach toys, crayons and books; a Meliá baby kit with soap, a floating toy, shampoo and bubble bath; a mini-bar stocked with water, soft drinks, juice and milk; and free Internet access. For a fee, guests can request an in-room video game console. Maximum occupancy for these rooms is either two adults and three children or three adults and two children. All of these rooms are located in the family fun and adventure area of the property, so they are close to such amenities as the kids club, children's swimming pool, beach and one of the buffet restaurants.

THE LEVEL Junior Suites
These 48 guestrooms measure 520 square feet and come with a king bed, a living room with sofa bed, a private terrace or balcony, an in-room whirlpool, and either a pool or garden view. Upgraded services and facilities accompanying these guestrooms include private check-in/check-out, exclusive beach area, exclusive pool area, guest host service, designer concierge services, complimentary Wi-Fi, special in-room amenities like pillow and aroma menus, and room service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. THE LEVEL guests also have access to THE LEVEL VIP lounge, where they can enjoy daily continental breakfast, free Internet, newspapers and beverages. In addition, these guests receive access to GABI Club for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

THE LEVEL Grand Suites
The property's 48 THE LEVEL Grand Suites, measuring 815 square feet each, contain a king bed, living room with sofa bed, a dining room with full-size refrigerator stocked with water, soft drinks and beer, a private terrace or balcony, an in-room whirlpool, and either a pool or garden view. These room guests enjoy the same upgraded services and amenities listed above with THE LEVEL Junior Suites.

Note: There are two more category room types, but they are for adults only: THE LEVEL Adults Only Suites and THE LEVEL Adults Only Suites with Whirlpool.

Family Activities

Given than Meliá Caribe Tropical covers 120 acres, it's no surprise that the accommodations, amenities and activities are spread throughout the property. For the most part, it only takes a brief walk to go from your room to your desired destination; however, a shuttle train also runs throughout the property from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional golf cart shuttles are available upon request.

Throughout the property there are a total of 10 swimming pools, including two separate children's pools. There are two large, freeform, zero-entry swimming pools with hot tub "alcoves" in the water. Lounge chairs border each pool, and there are some thatched "umbrellas" as well. Complimentary towel service is available; guests receive a towel card at check-in; towels must be returned everyday with all towel cards returned at checkout; failure to do so results in a $25 charge. Restrooms are located in close proximity to all pools. One of the large, freeform pools and one of the children's pools, as well as the water activities pool, are located right outside the family suite accommodations.

A little more than 1 mile long, the beach is protected by a coral reef, resulting in calmer waters ideal for children. There are numerous lounge chairs on the beach, along with some permanent "umbrellas" made of small, thatched roofs. Towel service is available when presenting your towel card. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the following non-motorized sports are included with your stay: kayaks, canoes, windsurfers, water bikes, snorkel gear and scuba diving tryouts (at the pool). Motorized water sports are available for a fee.

Adventure Park
This children's play area is outfitted with a 30-foot climbing wall, a zip-line with ropes course, and super jumpers. An additional fee is required to participate on the zip-line and the super jumpers. All attractions are monitored by staff members.

Kids Club
Organized by age (8 months to 4 years old, 5 to 8 years old and 9 to 13 years old), the Kids Club offers supervised activities daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Activities range from arts and crafts and family Olympics on the beach to painting workshops and playing in the pool. A weekly calendar of events is posted at the Kids Club and on bulletin boards around the property, plus you can grab one at the front desk.

Open daily from 6 to 11 p.m., the arcade in the Tropical lobby features video and electronic games for teens. Table games, darts, Ping-Pong, pool games and bocce are also available on the property.

Daily Activities
A full schedule of activities for children and adults is offered daily at the beach and around the swimming pools. Sample activities include horseshoes games, candle workshops, super bingo, volleyball tournaments and weekly themed parties. Schedules are available at the front desk and posted throughout the property. Also, guests can attend live shows every night at 9:30 p.m. in the Caribe Theatre.

The resort offers a number of sporting options, including beach and water volleyball, one basketball court and seven tennis courts. Tennis balls are included; however, tennis racquets must be rented. Paid lessons also are available. All courts are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with night hours available for an additional fee. Golf is available at nearby Cocotal Golf & Country Club.

When looking for souvenirs, guests can shop at the onsite gift shops, the newsstand and boutiques. A free shuttle ride away, guests also can shop at the Palma Real Shopping Village near the resort's entrance.

Those seeking nighttime entertainment can head to the onsite disco for a night of dancing. The disco is open daily for teenagers from 8 to 11 p.m. and for adults from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. A Mini Disco is held daily for children in the Caribe Theatre at 8 p.m.

Family Dining

Meliá Caribe Tropical features two buffet restaurants and 11 a la carte specialty restaurants onsite, along with 14 bars and lounges. Specialty restaurants require reservations and are open from 6 to 10 p.m. All restaurants follow a dress code of no swimsuits, no flip-flops and no shorts for men. While none of the restaurants feature a kids' menu, the chefs will prepare something upon request. Ask your server about available items.

Market Place Buffet
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this onsite restaurant contains six live cooking buffets inside an air-conditioned facility. Breakfast is available from 7 to 10:30 a.m., lunch is available from 12 to 3:30 p.m. and dinner is available from 6 to 10:30 p.m.

Agora Grill
For breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks and sweets, head to this beachside international buffet restaurant. Breakfast hours are 7 to 11 a.m., snack hours are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and lunch hours are 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The American Grill
Enjoy traditional American favorites such as the steakhouse bacon cheddar burger, a Hawaiian BBQ sandwich, king salmon with Cajun sauce, and sesame-teriyaki pork loin.

El Guarapo
Try some traditional colonial Dominican cuisine for dinner, with such selections as grilled fish with tomato and coconut sauce, chicken with rice, plantain mash with shrimp, and goat stew with tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano.

La Gondola
This Italian restaurant offers such dishes as beef lasagna with nuts and rosemary, penne pasta with tomatoes, garlic, black olives and chili pepper, and Sicilian seafood spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and rosemary. An antipasto corner also is available.

Le Gourmet
With a focus on modern international cuisine, this restaurant serves up dishes like lobster bisque, duck pate in Cumberland sauce, mushroom risotto enhanced with saffron and roasted lamb ribs with fresh herbs.

La Hacienda
Enjoy a selection of traditional Mexican dishes, including tortilla soup, tortilla stuffed with seafood, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese au gratin, and chicken, pork and beef fajitas with corn and flour tortillas and guacamole.

La Pagoda
At this Thai fusion restaurant, sample such menu items as fried pork dumplings with cabbage and carrots, vegetable spring rolls, cashew chicken and green curry beef steak.

The GABI Club
Included for THE LEVEL guests only and requiring an additional fee for all other guests, The GABI Club serves contemporary cuisine.

A Japanese restaurant with Teppanyaki show tables, dining at this restaurant requires an additional charge of $39 per person.

For guests 18 and older only, this restaurant cooks up fish and seafood from the Caribbean Sea. Menu selections include barbecued mahi mahi with caramelized onion sauce, fresh seafood in a light curry and coconut sauce, and king salmon with an almond sauce.

Ma Maison
For guests 18 and older only, this French-style restaurant offers a menu filled with escargot, crepes with smoked salmon and cream cheese in basil sauce, and beef steak with mushroom sauce and red wine.

Cuatro, THE LEVEL Adults Only Restaurant
Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, this adults-only restaurant features four differing dining options in a beautiful setting. Breakfast buffet is available from 7 to 11 a.m., buffet and a la carte lunch is available from 12:30 to 4 p.m., and four-concept buffet or a la carte dinner is available from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Note: A steak and lobster dinner is available every night at the Square Lounge, but reservations are required. In addition, this dinner requires an additional fee of $39 per person. Men must wear a button-down or polo shirt, long or short dress pants, and closed shoes. Women may wear casual dress.

Planning & Tips

All About the Extras
Check-in time is 3 p.m. with check-out by 12 p.m. Guests arriving prior to check-in time will be permitted to use all facilities, and will receive access to their accommodations as soon as available. Late check-out can be requested and is subject to availability and an additional charge of $15 per hour.

Fitness Center
Located in Tropical Yhi Wellness, the fitness center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. No guests younger than 18 are permitted inside.

Medical Center
For those in need, 24-hour medical service is available onsite for a fee.

International Travel
Traveling to Punta Cana requires a passport, but an advanced visa is not required for a short stay. However, you must purchase a 30-day tourist card at the customs and immigration desk. The cost of the card is $10 U.S., and must be paid for in cash; it is imperative that you bring this cash with you. Although the official currency is the Dominican peso, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted. You should bring some, but not a lot, of cash with you for any taxi or unexpected expenses. In addition, while Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially at Meliá Caribe Tropical.

The Art of Smart Timing
Thanks to its location, the weather does not fluctuate much throughout the year. Average high temperatures are around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the coolest weather usually in January (average high is 82 degrees Fahrenheit) and the warmest weather usually in September (average high 88 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the humidity can make you feel much warmer than the actual temperature. The water temperature remains a relatively steady 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

At Meliá Caribe Tropical, the busy season traditionally runs from November through the end of April, with low season between May and October.

Getting There
Serving Meliá Caribe Tropical, Punta Cana International Airport is approximately 15 minutes away. If traveling by taxi, expect to pay around $30 for a one-way trip. Although the hotel does not provide shuttle service, it does work with an external company to provide private and personalized airport transfers. Transfers can be booked ahead on the hotel website.

Getting Around
When it comes to exploring Punta Cana, Meliá Caribe Tropical offers complimentary shuttle service only to Cocotal Golf & Country Club and the Palma Real Shopping Village. If booking an offsite excursion, those vendors usually will include round-trip transportation in the price of the excursion. If venturing out on your own, expect to pay out-of-pocket for taxi service. Rental cars are available at the airport, but are not recommended unless you are staying for a lengthy vacation and plan to do a lot of your own sightseeing.

For Mom and Dad
Parents who carve out some alone time will find no shortage of adult fun at Meliá Caribe Tropical. Mom will love being pampered at Yhi Wellness, where she can indulge in a massage or body treatment. Meanwhile, dad can head over to Cocotal Golf & Country Club for a round of golf. Once they come back together, the parents can enjoy a quiet dinner for two at one of the adults-only restaurants, followed by a cocktail at one of the property's 14 bars. Afterward, spend a festive evening at the casino or dance the night away in the disco.