Hello, fellow travelers; we’re Jhon and Ari, and we finally got to stay in one of the newest resorts in Punta Cana. Is the Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana our new favorite resort?
This is our honest review to help you decide if this is the right hotel for your vacation.
We arrived at the property at 12:15 PM and headed to the lobby of the Margaritaville Wave. This resort has two lobbies, one for the Wave section and one for the Hammock section.
In theory, they are two different resorts, the Hammock is only for adults, and the Wave is for families. In practice, we found them to be the same resort with two sections, as you’ll see in this video.
The check-in process was seamless, but our room would be ready at 3 PM, which is the check-in time. However, they put on our bracelets, and from that moment on, we could enjoy everything the hotel had to offer.
We kicked things off with a drink in the lobby bar, Jhon tried the Piña Colada, and I tried the non-alcoholic Piña Colada; both were very good.
We had two options for lunch; Rum Runners, an adults-only a la carte restaurant, and the buffet at the Boathouse eatery. We chose the latter.
The food options at the buffet were extensive, which was a good thing because we were starving. There were many salad and meat options, cheeses, charcuterie, pasta, and pizza. They also offered different cuisines like Mexican, Dominican, and Asian.
The sweet options were also varied, and everything looked great. The taste did not disappoint either. With the excuse of having to try as many things as possible to form an opinion for this review, we got to work.
Everything we tried was good or above average, and our first impression of the food at the Margaritaville was excellent.
How About a Quick Nap?
With our bellies about to burst, we headed to the main pool to take a nap. We found two chaise lounges by the pool bar right away.
There was music playing in this area, and the playlist was perfect; a good mix of American and Latin music with older and newer tracks.
The music at the Margaritaville seems carefully curated and not left to chance or the particular taste of the person in charge of the music.
After our quick nap, we decided to get into the nearby hot tubs while we waited for our room to be ready. The hot water, the jetstreams, and the bubbles made this hot tub our favorite spot in the resort during our stay.
Our room was ready at 3 PM sharp. The resort looked fantastic so far, but we were nervous about how our room would be.
We’ve been disappointed in the past while staying at other resorts in Punta Cana, and the room is a big letdown. Fortunately, this was not the case at the Margaritaville.
We got room 4331, located on the third floor of building number four. We used our bracelets to open the door, and our fears were immediately put to rest as soon as we looked inside.
The room looked and smelled amazing. We paid $188 per person per night for a Deluxe Double Room. The Margaritaville branding and style were all over the room but not tacky.
The decoration, the colors, and the lighting were on point and gave the room a tropical and clean feeling.
The size of the room was also a pleasant surprise; this is the cheapest room they offer, and it didn’t feel cramped.
The bathroom area was ample and well-illuminated. There was a double vanity with a big wall mirror and a small magnifying lighting mirror. There were enough bath towels, hand towels, and face towels.
The shower was big; it had a rain showerhead which we love, and the toiletries smelled terrific.
The toilet area was entirely separated from the rest of the bathroom by a door, which we always greatly appreciate. The lighting was poor; we’re unsure if it was designed to be like this or if there was a burnt-out light bulb. We hope it’s the latter.
The bedroom is next to the balcony, providing plenty of natural light. We had a king-sized bed with four comfy pillows. The bed was mushy but firm, and we slept great in it.
The night lights embedded in the bed frame were a nice touch. There were plenty of outlets and USB charging ports by the bed, which is always great for charging multiple devices at night.
In front of the bed, there’s a good-sized TV with good programming and picture quality. Under the TV, there were plenty of drawers.
To the right, you’ll find the coffee station with amenities like a Nespresso machine, a basic drinks preparation kit, and Margarita glasses.
The minibar works in a unique way at the Margaritaville. The hotel only provides water, and you can shop for minibar supplies at an onsite store using resort points allotted to your room. We’ll go into more detail about this later in the video.
We have reason to believe our minibar was filled with more than water because of the platform we used to book our stay, but this may not be the case during your visit.
There was plenty of closet space; inside the closet, you’ll find the standard amenities: bathrobes, an iron with an iron board, a safe, and an umbrella.
In the corner of the room, there’s a seating area with a comfy couch and a chair. Seating areas in resort rooms are often not very clean, but this one felt clean and inviting.
The view from our balcony was gorgeous; we could see almost the entire resort and the beach. The balcony furniture was basic but comfortable.
There was no decoration in this area, but the view was so pretty that we found the balcony fine as it was.
Final Thoughts About the Room
The room was spacious and sparkling clean; the AC worked great, there was good sound isolation, and everything was in working order.
We both loved our room; for Jhon, this is now his favorite resort room so far; for me, it comes a close second behind the room at Lopesan Costa Bavaro.
In mid-afternoon, we headed to the beach. The Margaritaville Cap Cana is located on Juanillo beach, one of the most famous beaches in the Dominican Republic.
The beach was beautiful; the water had that turquoise color characteristic of Punta Cana beaches. It had a small rocky section, but the rest was smooth pearly white sand.
We know Juanillo beach is affected by seaweed during seaweed season, but luckily there was virtually no seaweed.
There was plenty of seating, the furniture was in good condition, and the beach area was clean. There was a roped-off area exclusive for Prestige Travelers by Karisma.
There was a tiny hut where you could get drinks and avoid the trip to the hotel bars.
One thing that caught our attention was the large sand patch between the hotel and the beach; we assume they built the hotel a bit further to protect the property from the storm surge during hurricane season.
If you feel the Margaritaville is the right choice, check its price on Expedia. They usually have lower rates than other booking engines, and we earn a small commission if you decide to book through them (at no extra cost to you), which helps us grow!
After the beach, we went exploring the resort. Nearby we found a soccer field in the sand and two beach volleyball courts.
The water activities kiosk was in this area. The hotel offers kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, and free scuba diving clinics in the pool.
We also saw people playing volleyball in the pool, where the staff had set up a net.
Other sports facilities in the Margaritaville include an artificial turf tennis court and two tennis courts for kids. There’s a sports room with ping pong and shuffleboard tables. There was also a TV tuned to a sports channel.
Right by this room, you’ll find the theater. It didn’t open during our stay, but a staff member told us they sometimes play kid’s movies there.
Someone who had stayed in the Margaritaville before said to us that they did the night show inside the theater during their stay.
Spa and Gym
In this part of the resort, you’ll also find the St. Somewhere Spa, which looked and smelled amazing, and the Fins Up gym, right next door. It is medium-sized and well-equipped for a complete workout routine.
By this point, we were hungry again and decided to grab a snack before dinner. Joe Merchant’s coffee shop is the only place to grab a quick bite; they offer complimentary hot and cold beverages and sweet and savory snacks.
Provisions for the Room Minibar
Remember when I mentioned that you buy provisions for your room’s minibar with hotel points? Well, this is the place you do it.
Points are included in your stay and are loaded onto your wristband upon check-in. Points are given based on room category & number of nights booked.
You can then spend those points on provisions at Joe Merchant’s; you can choose from traditional minibar offerings as well as premium beverages, snacks, and charcuterie items.
We had 2,000 points to spend and bought two Budweiser beers and two Coke Zeros.
At first, we saw this method as the hotel trying to save money, but we now see it as a great way to customize your room’s minibar according to your taste and give it some variety during your stay.
The sun was starting to set, so we returned to our room to get ready for dinner. We had a choice of three a la carte restaurants; Frank and Lola’s, the Italian restaurant; JWB Steakhouse; and Landshark, an American-style restaurant.
Since we didn’t need reservations, we decided to try them all. The Margaritaville has five other restaurants; Mon So Wi, which offers Pan Asian dishes; and KOS, a Mediterranean food restaurant. These two take turns to open on different days, with the three I mentioned previously.
A-LAM-BIK is a soon-to-be-opened designer restaurant with a menu specially designed by a chef. This restaurant is for adults only and is not included in the hotel fare.
Rum Runners is a bar and an adults-only Dominican-style a la carte restaurant that opens for lunch; and The Boathouse, which houses the breakfast and lunch buffets.
Our first stop of the evening was Frank and Lola’s. We had to wait about two minutes for our table to be ready and ordered a couple of drinks from the bar in the meantime.
The restaurant was beautifully decorated, and the food was delicious. We tried the fried calamari, tomato soup, aglio and oglio shrimp pasta, and vegetable risotto. We loved every single plate of food.
We then headed to Landshark. The decoration here was also on point, with a lively atmosphere with American music.
There is a small brewery where they make a Landshark-branded lager beer. Here Jhon tried the teriyaki salmon, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and I had the artichoke dip; it was a bit too runny but tasted fantastic.
We intended to eat in all three restaurants, but the food was so good we filled up in the first two. We visited the JWB steakhouse to show it to you guys, but it remained unconquered.
After dinner, people gathered at the Punch Bar, where a band played live music. The band sounded great, and they were playing American rock music. People were really into the music, and the bar was crowded.
The band was the only entertainment planned for this night. If you’re craving dessert, there’s a cute ice cream cart.
After a while, we heard the bed calling for us, and we turned in for the night.
Early the following day, we went for breakfast at the Boathouse. This is the best breakfast buffet we’ve tried so far in Punta Cana.
The variety was fantastic, and everything we tried was delicious. Like in the lunch buffet, many cuisine options catered to the breakfast preferences of different cultures.
We suggest the Margaritaville management to have ready-made scrambled eggs as part of the buffet. You must ask for eggs at the omelet station if you want eggs other than hard-boiled.
This is cumbersome and can create a traffic jam in the omelet station since eggs are a breakfast staple in western cultures.
Checkout time was at noon, but we took advantage of every minute we had left. We returned to our favorite spot, the hot tubs, and combined our time there with the different pools.
There are four pools on the Wave side of the Margaritaville; three big ones and one for kids. On the Hammock adults-only side of the resort, there are two pools.
One huge one that zigs zags to the beach, ending on an infinity edge. The other one is exclusive for guests staying in one of the villas.
The pool water is cool this time of year and was the perfect compliment for the hot tub.
The Bars & Drinks
Three of the pools have swim-up bars; the 5 o’Clock Somewhere bar in the adults-only Hammock section; Salty Rim in the Wave section; and S.O.S., in the island exclusive for villas guests.
In addition to the three swim-up bars, there are three others. Rum Runners doubles as a restaurant and a bar; the small hut that offers drinks at the beach; and Punch Bar, the gathering point after dinner.
We tried many drinks during our stay, and the bartenders did a great job. The drinks were good regardless of the bartender and the bar, which shows they do an excellent job at standardization and training.
The Piña Coladas could be a little more coconuty, and ironically, the Margaritas were not the best drinks at Margaritaville.
Checkout time came, and the checkout process was a breeze. After you checkout, you can still use the hotel’s facilities. We decided to have lunch before heading back to Santo Domingo.
Lunch at Rum Runners
This time we chose the Rum Runners a la carte restaurant. This restaurant is by the pool, and the food is Dominican/Caribbean style. There’s a small buffet with salads and sashimi while you wait for your order.
Jhon tried the fish soup and the stewed goat, which he really liked; while I had the only vegetarian option on the menu, the tofu bowl, which was my least favorite food during our stay.
We tried the churros with ice cream for dessert; the churros were a bit hard but very tasty.
Some say the Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana doesn’t feel Dominican. While we agree with that sentiment, it’s a great-looking, high-quality Punta Cana resort.
For Jhon, the Margaritaville takes the top spot on our rankings, while for me, it’s tied with our current top pick, the Lopesan Costa Bavaro.
Would We Go Back?
Would we go back to this resort? ABSOLUTELY!
Our score of the Margaritaville Cap Cana is 9.5/10.
If you feel the Margaritaville Cap Cana is the right resort for you, book it using the below links:
👉 On Expedia: Adults Only side & Family side
👉 On Hotels.com: Adults Only side & Family side
👉 On Booking.com: Adults Only side & Family side
Click here to see where we rank the Margaritaville Cap Cana in our Punta Cana resort rankings.
Click here to see our Youtube video tour of the Margaritaville Cap Cana facilities.