Why would I have to wait to exhale? Because even while pinching myself, I felt as if I am dreaming. Traveling with a dear friend, we had spent the three previous nights at similarly priced adults only in the DR. The setting there had been beautiful, the food decent but the service had been not so great. So after vigorous arguing with the taxi driver and a snail’s pace ride to get to Breathless, my agitation level was higher than my IQ and I was feeling no love for humanity or the DR. And then we arrived.
As our bags were being offloaded, our golf cart coach had arrived. Our driver hurried us down the lane to the Exhale Club where we were offered damp cloths and refreshing beverages in long stemmed glassware. Our welcome included a private check-in and then a detailed introduction to the resort by our personal concierge, Louner. The Exhale Club itself was gorgeous- boutique island chic surrounded us as soft music played and soft conversations filled the A-frame style structure.
As we breathed a sigh of relief, the General Manager for Breathless and the Exhale Club Manager introduced themselves and made it clear they were there to insure our satisfaction in every way. It was red carpet treatment that washed away the aura of confusion felt at our previous resort. Their gracious hospitality was most needed and very welcome. Our room was not ready for check-in so we went over to The Strip, the ocean view dining that was only available to Exhale Club guests for breakfast and lunch. The hospitality there for our welcome lunch was wonderful. We wandered a little afterward but then headed back to our secure little spot with the icy air conditioning- the Exhale Club. I know, I am repeating myself with every exhale. It was heaven.
Soon Louner came to show us to our room. We were on the second floor in the Exhale Club Ocean View room. When walking in, the place screamed luxury and yes, I had my robe and slippers. Outside on the patio, there was a Jacuzzi tub but wait, look at the view!!! We were perched above the pool and the ocean was just past that, about 100 yards and you could hear the waves. Love. Louner showed us how everything worked and slipping into our swimsuits, then down the stairs, then into the private pool just for the Exhale Club was like a wonderful dream. Dirty monkey, please? Let the coconut rum lull begin.
Here, in this one paragraph, I will try not to use the term Exhale Club after this sentence because I know how redundant this is all sounding. After leaving our special pool, the beach was calling our names. Plenty of palapa huts lined the beach so we tossed the towels, slathered the sunscreen, donned our shades and went bravely into the ocean blue. Gorgeous ocean blue. Beautiful Caribbean sea. Bobbing bevy of beauties in beautiful blue. Grateful we were to be in the ocean again and looking back onto land, the view was fantastic. From that vantage, it was hard to tell there was a 750 room resort behind the line of palm trees. Wait service was amazing and there was entertainment off to one side if you wanted to play volleyball or such.
The dinner hour approached and ready to eat without having to make a reservation, we chose the Italian restaurant, Spumante. All of the dining options were fantastic with a special nod to Coquette, the French option. Also, Culinaria had a unique menu and seating that makes a lot of Americans uncomfortable- long tables that are shared with people you don’t know. That isn’t so different from small tables set close to each other so it was no bother to us. The one buffet, The Spoon, was open long hours and had delightful choices for buffet lovers.
The DJ Rhianon was there that week, playing at the foam parties during the day and at the outdoor lobby at night. Entertainment of this caliber is not found on resort that often but then again, for a couple of older women, it was lost on us. I am certain the Breathless moniker was felt widely as the younger crowd listened to her spin her magic under the stars. The show that mimics Cirque de Soliel was interesting and at all hours, the big screen in the outdoor lobby had something entertaining on it. Many of the staff went about trying to engage people in all types of activities so you could be as entertained or undisturbed as you wanted.
Bars. Great bars and there were a lot of them. The swim up bars in both pools played lively music. There were plenty of seating options in all the bars and again, our favorite was the Exhale Club (aha, different paragraph). The waitress was steady and good, remembering what we wanted and never letting the drinks run dry.
Great pools… the quiet pool had shade which I love in a pool. I can only take so much sun but I am committed to being in the water so being in the water and the shade is very often what I am looking for. Again, for a huge resort, the pools never ever seemed crowded; a lot of open chairs (good quality, too, not plastic). I loved the pools but again, my favorite was the Exhale Club because of the quick service and close proximity to the ocean and our room.
I am a fan of new construction in resorts because of the countless things that go wrong in a resort as it ages. The grounds were immaculate, the walkways almost gleaming, the pools inviting and the buildings in perfect shape. Even the people looked like they had been created to grace the palette. Good people watching as everything from Ed from Cincinnati and Omar from Marrakesh mixed it up.
I waxed poetic over the beach before but to recap, ahhhhh. Ahhhhmazing. On a nice little point that juts out into the sea, the sand is white, the water is turquoise and with a shimmering sun above, it was bliss. Little shops are next door and a short walk down the beach. Just far enough away from everything and close enough to draw your interest.
Service from the staff was always offered with pleasure. We never had to go hunting for our own silverware or coffee cups. There was a language barrier but the staff made up for it with their sincere efforts, from the warm wonderful welcome upon arrival to the gentleman who came to fix a stuck patio door, it was always with a smile.
Waiting to exhale at Breathless meant taking a deep breath of relaxation and feeling comfortable enough to let the breath go, again and again. A heartfelt thank you to the managers and staff of the Exhale Club, for you are the ones who made this wonderful trip pure pleasure. The appreciation for all of the hospitality offered was deep and the relief at being treated so well allowed an exhale that ended only when we were at the Punta Cana airport. I am Breathless in Rockford, hoping that fate draws me back to where breathing deeply and exhaling completely is a way of life!