The Reserve at Paradisus (Punta Cana) – Part I
Weird, at our favorite pool bar, the only beer they served either on tab or in the can was Presidente beer, brewed in the Dominican Republic. Even if you have a taste for an imported beer to quench your thirst, Presidente had to be the one. However, if you’re looking for liquor besides the locally made, your selection was quite good. You had the choice between bottles of Johnny Walker Red, Jim Beam Bourbon, Stolichnaya Vodka, Dewar’s Whiskey, or Grey Goose Vodka to name a few. What a juxtaposition between the local beer selection and fine whisky and spirits? It feels rather counterintuitive.
Later in the week, I wanted to kayak just outside the buoys while my wife practiced some sea swimming in the same area. Unfortunately, the man who was responsible for tending to the Scuba Quatic area was gone so I approached another man nearby. He called him on the phone and said he’d be back in about 10 minutes…Ok wait for a kayak for safety reasons even though I used one dozens of times. The 10 minutes went by and he said another 10 minutes, he had to rescue a catamaran that someone left near the beach. After about 25 minutes of waiting, he finally arrived. He didn’t apologize, asked me to get in the kayak and gave me one push. Boy was I glad I waited almost a half hour for safety reasons. Is that something I should have added to The Reserves at Paradisus survey after my vacation was through?
As we gathered and got comfortable on the beach on the first day, it didn’t take long before we saw plenty of men and women, but mostly men, attempting to see items to the beach goers. Selling bracelets, beach bags, cover-ups, cigars, rugs, tattoos, hair braids, do they not about Amazon? Do they not know how much junk and stuff we already have?
They were going back and forth on the beach although it did not take long before we realize they stayed in an area between the water and the first row of launch chairs. We later found out that they are only licensed to sell to the first row of beach visitors.
Towards the end of our visit, they became a little more of an annoyance but I still showed respect by saying, “No gracias.” It’s a tough gig as they are turned down often, but they persist and if you watch them long enough, they have some success. Otherwise, they’d realize they’re wasting their time as no sales would occur. It’s just a numbers game, like telemarketers knowing after the 40th or 60th call, you may get success. It also reminds me of the panhandlers on Michigan Ave. in Chicago, you see dozens of people just ignore them or turn them down and you wonder what motivates them to continue. They must have success, otherwise, it’s contrary to human nature to do something without any financial or material reward.
One more thing about the beach, when we arrived, we were pale, without any tattoos and appeared to be from the conservative Midwest. Regardless, we had a number of vendors approach us on the beach asking us if we wanted a tattoo — no discrimination here. My wife and I looked at each other and laughed, knowing we’re not the target audience for such behavior. Anyway, I heard it was a temporary tattoo (would only last 2 weeks) but I wasn’t going to be the guinea pig. Besides, if it lasted 4 months, what would be my resources once I was back in the States.
The check-in area was nice with water, coffee, fresh fruit, and cookies. I enjoyed stopping in if I had a question or was looking for a quick refreshment. I did notice an area for relaxing and a thought occurred to me. Why not introduce a book exchange at the resort. You know, you bring a paperback or two with you and once finished, you might be looking for another novel or non-fiction to read during your last few days. Once you’re finished with a book, you could drop it off at the exchange whether or not you want another book. This book exchange could apply to magazines, newspapers, hardbound and softbound books. Perhaps title it this exchange area as the Information Exchange Lounge.