Are you planning a holiday and wondering about all-inclusive drinks in the Dominican Republic resorts and hotels? Find out what you can expect, the best drinks to try, and all the information on typical hotel beverages you might enjoy in your visit to our country.
Most first-time visitors experience the Dominican Republic on vacation at one of our all-inclusive resorts, the most popular tourist areas being Punta Cana and Bávaro on the east coast, Puerto Plata on the north coast, and Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, La Romana and Bayahibe.
An all-inclusive vacation typically means that the cost of your meals in the buffet restaurants, snacks, unlimited food, and unlimited drinks inside the resort is included in the pre-paid deal. But depending on the hotel, or your particular tour package, extra privileges for dining options like the a la carte restaurants and premium drinks may not always be covered, so there will be an extra charge.
Do I need to bring any money?
Premium packages will also include more luxurious amenities and services but even so, do not arrive in the country without any cash. You'll need some low denomination dollar/euros bills for tips at the airport as well as in the hotel itself. You'll need to use a bank card if you plan to take any of the popular off-resort excursions like catamarans that go to a secluded private beach, and to other idyllic spots like Saona Island.
One of the main attractions of a Caribbean sea vacation is the prospect of sipping ice-cold drinks from the comfort of sun loungers or hammocks, shaded by coconut palms and cooled by sea breezes, with the gentle sound of waves lapping on the shores of the white sand beach in the background. Or enjoy live music and live entertainment at night. Or group games, group exercise classes, and a variety of activities by the pool. Or maybe your fantasy involves an ice-cold beer in the infinity pool or cocktails in hot tubs? Or just relaxing on the balcony, watching the sunset or ocean views?
After a spa session, a nutritious fruit or vegetable juice smoothie might just be the perfect finishing touch. So, the question on everyone's lips is, which of these will be part of my all-inclusive package?
What drinks do you get with all-inclusive?
All-inclusive packages will cover the cost of both alcoholic drinks (like beer, house wines, cocktails) and non-alcoholic drinks (like fresh juices bar, soft drinks, bottled water).
In some cases, only unbranded alcoholic drinks will be included and guests are expected to cover the additional cost of branded beers such as the most famous Dominican brand, Presidente beer, or Dominican rums like Brugal, along with imported beers, wines, and liquors.
The more upscale resorts will offer all these drinks as part of the package, while the rest will serve unbranded beers, and rum, vodka, whiskey, or gin in mixed drinks and cocktails. At some hotels there may be an additional charge for these. You get what you pay for!
Check with your tour operator to confirm what exactly is and isn't covered, in the all inclusive service to avoid any misunderstandings or unwelcome surprises.
A la carte dining restaurants may not be included in the package, and if they are, some may not include alcoholic beverages with your meal, It is worth finding out what all-inclusive mean in that regard.
What drinks are popular in the Dominican Republic?
Cold beer mug
We have a full list of the most common traditional drinks in the Dominican Republic in the blog. This collection includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
In the non-alcoholic category, Dominicans especially love drinking papaya smoothies (batida de lechosa), and the poetically named morir soñando (milk and orange juice drink). Fruit smoothies in the Dominican Republic can be made with or without milk. If you prefer your drink without milk, ask for "natural".
Many of these beverages will be available in hotels, resorts, and restaurants in tourist areas.
For others, you may need to venture outside the resort. Ask your local guide or friends for advice on where to find the best authentic local drinks.
Dominicans drink their fruit juices very sweet, so if this is not your preference and the drink is being made on the spot, ask for yours to be made "sin azucar" (without sugar) or "con poca azucar" (with less sugar).
In the hotels, the choice of alcoholic drinks will include rum-based drinks like Cuba Libre, or Santo Libre, made with lime juice, and ice-cold beers. You'll almost certainly be introduced to Mamajuana, a uniquely Dominican spiced rum drink with some mystery ingredients like leaves and tree bark. Mamajuana is said to have aphrodisiac properties. For the ultimate tropical paradise-themed photo opportunity, the Coco Loco cocktail is made with rum and coconut water and served in a coconut.
Typically you'll find that popular tropical cocktails are available too: Mojitos, margaritas and Cuba libre are part of almost the all-inclusive experience. Piña colada is also a very popular drink with the resort crowd which can also be enjoyed without alcohol.
What's the legal drinking age in the Dominican Rep.?
It's worth mentioning that the legal drinking age in the Dominican Republic is 18, so younger guests should not be served alcoholic drinks in restaurants, bars, and hotels. Small children may not be allowed in certain areas of the hotel like bars and night clubs. In all-inclusive resorts, wristbands are color-coded according to age to ensure that this rule is applied. Also, hotel employees are instructed to stop serving drinks to people of legal drinking age who appear to have drunk too much. Think of your fellow guests. Too much of a good thing isn't always such a good thing!
Non-alcoholic drinks are essential in our tropical climate. Make sure you drink plenty of water, of course, as well as fruit juices and smoothies, to keep you and your kids hydrated. This is important whether or not you choose to take part in the more energetic activities on offer, such as poolside aerobics, and dance lessons, a session in the fitness center, beach volleyball, water polo, pool games, horseback riding, tennis, golf or non-motorized water sports like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing, snorkeling or scuba diving.
Younger vacationers have the kids' club, teens' club, and water park activities to look forward to a good time. All of these can be thirsty work.
Can I drink the water in the Dominican Republic?
Glass of water with lime
Don't drink the tap water. It's not purified, so you should only drink filtered or bottled water. All hotels will make sure that safe drinking water is available and food will be washed and prepared using filtered water. If you prefer not to use single-use plastic bottles and cups, bring your own refillable ones or buy them at the gift shop: they also make great eco-friendly gifts and souvenirs.
What are the most popular fruit drinks?
As a first-time visitor, this will probably be your first encounter with some of the fruits used in Dominican juices and smoothies. Some fruit drinks are made by blending well-known tropical fruits like pineapple with ingredients like rice to make a juice called pera-piña, or a combination of mango and passionfruit (chinola), and lime juice with oats, with heavenly results. But had you heard of less familiar tropical fruits like zapote, níspero, or guanábana? All three are used to make refreshing, tasty smoothies beloved by Dominicans.
Ask your waiter or bartender if any of these fruits or drinks are available for you to try for the first time.
Be adventurous, drink sensibly, and savor every moment in our tropical paradise!
Published May 29, 2022, and last revised