Every year, I enjoy a little escape from the cold at a special retreat down south. I always come back feeling invigorated and ready to take on the world. This year, my friend Grace and I went down to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and stayed in the lovely Hard Rock Hotel. If you haven’t checked out this slice of paradise, you’ll want to add it to your bucket list. This beachside resort is the definition of luxury, and includes a spa, golf course and a massive casino.
What better way to kick the winter blues than by getting pampered in a Caribbean resort? The beautifully-decorated rooms in this hotel make you feel like royalty. There’s nothing quite like a double hydro spa tub to invigorate the senses – either that or the 13 luxury pools on site. The pools mimic venetian-style canals and are complete with swim-up bars. They range from party pools, where you can rock out to music, play some activities and meet others to exclusive and members-only pools. And of course, venture a few steps further and you have the biggest pool of all – the Atlantic Ocean!
Of course, there is only so much bathing you can do until your fingers and toes prune up, and not being avid golfers, Grace and I decided to liven things up with a trip to the in-resort casino. I felt very comfortable amidst the sounds of clinging coins and beeping slot machines because of my stint as a Blackjack dealer in Vegas. I immediately found myself gravitating towards the Blackjack tables, where I casually put in $100.
I got my two cards, checked the dealer’s face-up card, and instinctively knew that it was going to be a good round for me. I doubled down. My end hand: 20, enough to beat the dealer. I played a few more rounds and could tell that the dealer wasn’t used to customers who use sound Blackjack strategy. Working on a resort, he probably mostly gets drunks and newbies looking for entertainment. I kept trucking and eventually had a pretty sizable chip pile – the perfect time to exit the table. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with these winnings.
The next day was our final full day at the resort. I wanted to conclude our retreat in style, and treat Grace at the same time. After all, she was kind enough to go play penny slots as I became absorbed by table games. It had been a while since I played any, so it was a nice trip down memory lane – a trip that lead to a full day of massages, body wraps and facials, all in a unique and private environment. They call the package The Rock Star Experience. Did I tell you they used to call me The Big Deal in Vegas?