Warning: What you are about to experience are 15,987,235 photos of me in a bikini.
AHHH LAAAAAWD I KEED.
We went to Nickelodeon! With two toddlers. To another country. The Dominican Republic. Punta Cana to be exact. We went there.
But not like, Nickelodeon STUDIOS. There was no Marc Summers present. But . . . the resort! It’s brand spankin’ new, and beyond stinkin’ luxurious. And totally kid friendly! And I stuck it all in my purse.
This is us, on our shuttle ride from the airport to the resort, after being up since literally 3am. Don’t we look super rested and fresh and not zombie-licious at all?
I cannot wait to show-and-tell you all about this place, omg. I’ll do my best to keep it under 97 minutes of reading time.
So, Nickelodeon wrote me earlier in the year and offered to host a long family weekend at their brand new resort. So new, it had barely opened. It was like a fetus resort when they wrote. Now it’s a toddler resort. None of this is making sense. Just deal.
Thing is, I was a gigaaaantor fan of Nick when I was younger. Obviously obsessed with Double Dare, You Can’t Do That on Television, Ren and Stimpy, you know. So it took me .456234 seconds to say DUH to their offer. And here we are. I mean there we were. Something like that.
When you arrive to Nickelodeon, what do you see first thing? Why – a shiny, bronzy SpongeBob SquarePants, of course. Now, I don’t overly care for SBSP (That’s what I call him. SBSP. You hate me.), but I can definitely handle him all bronzed over. He’s like a Kardashian SquarePants. Sorry, Bob.
This is the kids’ lobby, right off the main lobby. That’s how smart Nickelodeon is. They have a SE-PAR-ATE lobby (complete with child care!) for the kids, while you check in/out. And the kids get these awesome green slimy drinks while the adults get champagne and all is right in the frickin’ world.
These are brass pipes in the lobby. I notice these details. These BRASS DETAILS.
You should know something about Nick resort. (I’m going to call it Nick from here on out. We coo?) So, it’s like – theeee perfect combo of luxury and kid friendly. I have no idea how they pulled it off, but they so magically did. They skimped on not a detail. Everything, from the suites, restaurants, the spa, outdoor paths, landscaping, swimming areas, shopping areas – everything, was so articulately thought out and so beautifully designed. I said this the whole time, “THIS IS SO POSH. HOW IS THIS SO POSH. YOU GUYS. STOP IT.” And the humble Dominicans just laughed at me, “We’ve been doing this for a looooong time, miss.”
(he called me miss.)
Most of the suites are what they called a Swim-Up Flat Suite, which means you have a little back porch, and your own freaking pool, that joins up with all of your neighbors. Like that ^^^. Ugh. I loved it. Stuck it in my purse.
All of the buildings are either white, an off white, or a clean light brick look. I couldn’t deal. I cried the whole time. It was way too pretty.
You think, “This is a kid-friendly resort?!” IT IS, YOU GUYS.
Thaaaat would be pantsless Will. Upon arriving, we told him we had our own pool, and he dropped down to a diaper, zero shoes and just took off. He was speaking in fluent Spanish, too. I have yet to figure this out.
This is what we did about 85% of the time. That’s the ocean right behind us. WE HAD A POOL AND THE OCEAN. (although I preferred the pool. You know me and alligators and seaweed and dead bodies.)
Our room was second from the right. You can see me waving from the window!
Just kidding, I’m taking the photo.
Like, what if you could see me. How creepy and disgusting would that be.
Did I mention we swam a lot?
Anyone need a plumber?
It was eerily peaceful at this resort. I think because two things:
a) It’s still very, very new. The whole world doesn’t know about it just yet (which means you should jump on it).
and b) It’s also shared grounds with another, more adult-focused resort called Sensatori. Both resorts are run by the lovely Karisma Hotels, eff wye eye. Matter of fact, the two lobbies are side by side, each elegantly emitting their own unique, luxurious scents and vibes. The tour guide (we went on a tour!) said that Sensatori draws in mostly the Europeans, the business folk. AKA: the fancy.
So it’s the best of both worlds, this little land of utopia. Super posh and manicured for the adults, but a whole slew of things for the kids, only a golf cart ride away.
THE GOLF CARTS. Would you believe I didn’t get a single ding dong photo of the golf carts? They were one of the best parts! Will’s favorite thing about the whole trip. Anytime a golf cart drove up to take us for a ride, Will would run over in a fit of enthusiasm and seriously climb up on random strangers’ laps to get on board. It was super great. Especially for the strangers.
More details. These are the light fixtures in one of the restaurants. I just thought they were neat.
One of my favorite recurring design themes was their use of BRASS. Good Lawd, I love me some brass. And it was everywhere! All over the place. Light fixtures, wall decor, railing, door knobs.
Stuck it all in my purse.
This was in a fancy piano bar, right after Nat was all, “Mommy I need to poop.”
I was like, “Getusoutofheregetusoutofheregetusofhere.”
(My plan is to go back and sing there someday.)
Brass and white. Are you kidding?
Innnnnn mah purse.
Another restaurant. Every room had such different feels. We ate here our very first night. Aaron’s chicken curry had me weeping. I stole it from him.
(and stuck it in my pur- right.)
Oh! On the tour we took a gander at their spa. I mean, you can’t even know. It was unreal. Plain fabulous.
A lot of it is outside. You get massages – OUTSIDE.
This is what all the meals looked like. Me with an obnoxiously huge glass of wine. Sorry?
They also have this tiny toddler pool area, which was PERFECT for our grems. Yet I still made them wear their floaties for the first 15 minutes in six inches of water because I’m a freak of nature.
And I want 13 more babies.
I’m kidding, omg!
It’s too bad they couldn’t just RELAX ALREADY.
So the landscaping was perfection. So manicured and pristine. These plants ^^ were everywhere! Of course I became obnoxiously obsessed. They’re called Sea Grapes, and it is my new mission in life to find them in Kansas City and plant 78 of them in my back yard. Aren’t they beautiful?
(you’re like, YOU NEED A TAN, HOMIE.)
Ahhhh, the beach. You remember it’s our back yard, right?
It was our back yard. This wonky tree was walking distance from our crib.
They had all these fancy day chair thingies, and I wanted to get in one, but I get paranoid about sea crabs and the police and jail.
Nat was scared of the water. (that’s my daughter)
Thrill Zone (Will) was desperately and eagerly leaning into the waves. (that’s Aaron’s son)
I think we only have 96,274 photos to go. Are you hangin’ in there?
Ahhhhhhh. (it was hot)
I give you three chances to guess what foot prints belong to which person!
Okay, my feet don’t look like this in real life. I have the longest-ever toes, and they look like little nub wubs here. (I can’t believe I just said nub wubs.)
They’re IN the sand.
Wait, are they?! You can see my nail on two toes. What is going on.
OHHHHH I have them bent up! That’s the deal.
Wait, some are in the sand. Nothing is right anymore.
I need to reflect on life.
Only 64,206 photos to go. Do you need some water? Coffee? Absinthe?
Look at all those footprints! How many of them do you think have athlete’s foot? This is the kind of meaningless crap I think about, you guys.
So they have a water park! The lazy river was my fave, only because it reminds me of childhood. And it has the word lazy in it.
It’s a simple park, which I dig. No long lines, or anything too high or overwhelming. Just a chill water park. Laaaid back. With its mind on its money and its money on its mind.
Run, kids, run! SpongeBob is on the loose and he’s coming for you! Ahhhhh! (sorry about all of that.)
TRIVIA: Do you remember the nose?! Name that show.
They also have a whole sliming station, and we were actually supposed to get slimed, but I opted out because a) I had just showered, and b) I knew the kids would lose their minds in a straight shawshank meltdown.
Oh also, at the water park they have this little kid area called Just Kiddin’. And guess what – you can totally HIRE A NANNY to watch your kids there, or in your room. We had one look after Will and Nat for an hour at the little playground, and it was thee easiest, most comfortable thing ever. Certified nannies, all super sweet and darling. I totally recommend that!
(Also, did you see my snap of Aaron almost spilling my wine? DID YOU SEE THAT NINJA GRAB OF MINE? You can learn a lot from a turtle.)
Look how empty the park was! We went on a Thursday, and I hear it gets busier on the weekends. I prefer the quiet. That way I could go on the lazy river and not spiral into a pit of worry about my shoes and phone and towel and bag on the chair halfway around the park.
Do you worry about that stuff?
THE PEOPLE. Those Dominicans, you guys. Nicest people on the planet. I truly felt like everyone there was genuinely happy to see us, happy to help us, happy to have us there. All such positive energy.
Totally dig those people.
Even with the beach just a stroll away, our own pool right at our toes, and an entire park of activities, this was our fave. Just us. Thinking about nothing. (except sharks) Watching Peppa (Daddy Pig makes me stabby.), and just being. (I’m standing in the bathtub.)
It was heaven.
They’re way into doing the bear crawl lately. Complete with mini roars. Don’t ask.
The suites are soooo nice. Lots of orange and turquoise. Classic Nick colors. Very clean, very simple. Plus you get your own mini bar holllaaaaaaaaa. (It’s all inclusive, yo.)
Oh yeah, some of the current Nick characters can be spotted on the resort. We had breakfast with the Ninja Turtles, and I was impressed that neither of my kids freaked out or barfed on the spot. Those Turtles are nice, man. They like pizza a lot.
This is the word Nickelodeon carved into bushes. Just in case your eyes don’t work today.
I thought it was cute! I was about to go climb on it, but remember the thing I said about police and jail and handcuffs and capital punishment? Right.
Aaaaaaand our one family beach photo. A kind Australian dude with a rugged face and his tiny curly-haired lover strolled up on the beach and offered to take our photo. I was like, “Oh no no no, it’s fine. I don’t need to be in it!” He insisted, and said “mate” a lot, so I obliged. And I love it. The billowed-out coverup makes me look 13 times my normal size, but I don’t rightly care because we’re all together, and we officially have our FIRST FAMILY BEACH PHOTO. (even if neither kid is looking because one is deathly afraid and the other is dying to get in it and swim away forever.)
And that was the trip! If you have any questions at all about anything, I’m more than happy to holla back. I would give the resort an A+ in somehow managing to seamlessly combine pure luxury with kid friendly. It didn’t shove KID KID KID down your throat. Instead, there was a somewhat quiet, delicate kid-friendly undertone to the whole experience. Little touches here and there. Would I do it again? Yep. Do I recommend it? Yep yep.
Would I go stand under the nose and yell out, “OMG I’M GETTING SNOT ALL OVER ME.” Obviously.
Massive thanks, Nickelodeon, for the smashing time! Let’s do it again next week, coo?
*This post, and all of our travel is sponsored by Nickelodeon Resorts. But all opinions are totally my own, dudes.*
Aaaaand 95 minutes of reading time. BOOM.