Oooh, Punta Cana is sooo beautiful. I was there about 2 years ago & we stayed at the Paradisus Palma Real..hands down gorgeous. I did get to see other properties & both RIU Macau or Punta Cana are great choices. You can't go wrong w/ Iberostar either, it's just a little bit more for families...if I'm not mistaken, you can stay at the RIU & have exchange priviledges w/ Iberostar, but not the other way around. Your best bet is to also stay at a resort (which most of them are anyway) that are all inclusive (includes meals, drinks, & non motorized watersport) as places to eat outside the resort are far. HTH a bit : )..enjoy your vacation!
I stayed at Iberostar in Puerto Plata DR a few years ago. It's not super luxurious, but the price was good and I had a great time. We were there in January, and there was a short rain storm almost every afternoon, but the weather was sunny and warm otherwise.
I have been to the dominican and it is fabulous! My DH and I travel a lot and this has by far been the best island we have been too! So, much so we are re-visiting it again this summer!
I think the beaches are the best I have seen and the prices cannot be beat~ We tend to stay in the lesser amount priced hotels as we pretty much just go for the beach and not the food. I have traveled 5 star and honestly... I will say the extra money you can save can be used for a Zip line/snorkeling or outside the resort activites.
let us know what you have decided...as I am booking mine currently...