Pair sugar-white beaches, seaside breezes, lush foliage and award-winning golf with myriad lodging options that keep costs in check and you have a recipe for outstanding value. The savings start with Puntacana Resort’s location, just 10 minutes from the international airport, and continue with a variety of homes and apartments for rent, where you can house the entire family and make your own meals. Rates range from $2,880 per week for a 2-bedroom unit to $10,000 per week for an 8-bedroom home. Even the hotels help with finances, such as the Westin Puntacana where kids 12-and-under stay free when accompanied by two paying adults. The clincher is the golf packages (starting at $185 per person, per night, based on a four-night minimum stay), which include rounds on both Tom Fazio’s Corales and P.B. Dye’s 27-hole La Cana, daily meals, VIP transport from the airport and other niceties.
Inside the top 5: “Good values” are very much in the eye of the consumer. Take our runner-up Adare Manor, which has possibly Ireland’s best inland layout, a rugged Robert Trent Jones Sr. design, and a stately castle-like hotel on the grounds that makes you feel like royalty. Rates aren’t exactly bargain-bin cheap, but with golf packages starting at $250 per person, per night, it’s surprisingly affordable (especially with the current strength of the dollar).