A walk down memory lane to the tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and a friendly staff that seemed to genuinely enjoy taking care of their guests. This hallmarked our introduction to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, which along with its plethora of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, dazzles in meeting and incentive possibilities.
Eighty percent of the meeting and incentive groups that visit the property come from North America. Companies like John Deere and Verizon have chosen the 1,775-room all-inclusive resort for its variety of spaces, flexibility, and of course, value. Of note to us: Whatever we imagined, it was delivered with a smile.
Meeting & Eating
Eight accommodation buildings connect to the main building where meeting spaces, dining and entertainment are located. This design allows groups to be placed in rooms that are closest to the resort’s 65,000 sf of meeting and event space and away from individual resort guests. Accommodations are very spacious, stylish and full of surprises—from curated playlists and Fender guitar room service to liquor dispensers. We also loved the free unlimited phone calls to the USA from our rooms.
The resort’s “backstage boardroom” style permeates meeting and event space, which is diverse enough to cater to the needs of small groups and those up to 2,000. The indoor space has different ballrooms, which can be divided for any size group with a separate entrance for checking in. The outdoor areas for events include terraces, pool areas and gazebos, and let’s not forget their beautiful and expansive beach for oceanside experiences.
When it comes to food and group choices, the experience that can be created is endless. If you don’t like or want what they have from their banquet menus, there is every opportunity to adjust or upgrade. “Pre-planning is key and we work with each group to personalize their experience with us,” says marketing manager Paula Benzo. “Only your imagination sets the limits. If for any reason your request is not within our resources to accomplish, we will not say no, but try to find another solution to create the spectacular.”
For groups that have up to 150 people for a seated dinner, we highly recommend Simon Mansion Restaurant for a food experience that is sensational. Buyout the restaurant that is elaborately designed to mimic a rock star’s home, with multiple rooms for meeting, including a dining room, living room, bedroom, library and patio. Chef Kerry Simon has an organic contemporary approach to food and uses natural meats and local organic produce for his dishes. The menu is varied from a large selection of main plates of meats and fish and fun small plates like all kinds of ceviches, fish tacos and wok-charred edamame. Don’t forget their innovative cocktail menu to start the night off—we recommend the “mansion margarita” and “green garden.”
Beyond the Meeting
When it comes to giving your group playtime, there is plenty to choose from. Rock Spa has 54 treatment rooms with an extensive menu of services. Fitting for Hard Rock, try the “rhythm and motion” where your choice of music is integrated into the experience. There is also 18-hole golf course, casino action and built-in entertainment options, and coming in 2016, Camp Woodward, offering indoor snowboarding and skiing, among other things, as an innovative teambuilding and adrenaline-invoking experience.