The VIP Lounge Punta Cana Airport Offers Traditional Lounge Amenities Alongside An Unusual Amenity; An Outdoor Swimming Pool WIth Amazing Views
Months ago, I remember seeing a series of posts and articles detailing Punta Cana International Airport’s planned VIP Lounge in Terminal B. The lounge, though similar to most shared airport lounges, was very different in one unique way. The planned Terminal B lounge was to offer an amenity not available at any other airport lounge. Not even the top airline lounges in Asia and Europe would offer this amenity. The VIP Lounge Punta Cana in Terminal B was to feature an outdoor swimming pool.
At the time, little was known about this new VIP Lounge planned for Punta Cana International Airport’s Terminal B. I assumed one of two scenarios would end up playing out. One, the lounge could only be accessed by passengers who pay a fortune for VIP services at the airport. The second scenario was that the lounge would be built but the pool would end up being scrapped. Pools might be expensive to build but they’re even more expensive to maintain. I didn’t see how any airport or VIP services operator could rationally offer an outdoor pool as an amenity unless only the most wealthy and elite travelers had access.
Months later, neither of my pessimistic scenarios had played out. The VIP Lounge Punta Cana was built and features a substantially-sized outdoor infinity pool overlooking the apron and runway. Even more exciting is that the VIP Lounge Punta Cana Terminal B is accessible through Priority Pass. Naturally, I knew I had to fly down to the Dominican Republic for a night just to see an airport pool for myself.
VIP Lounge Punta Cana Location and Access
There are two VIP Lounges operated at Punta Cana International Airport. Both Terminal A and Terminal B feature a VIP Lounge. Though both appear to feature similar designs and nearly identical amenities, only one lounge offers an outdoor swimming pool. To take a dip in the VIP Lounge swimming pool, you will need to be departing from Terminal B. The VIP Lounge Punta Cana Terminal B is adjacent to Gate 24 just past a larger gate area and prior to a series of duty-free shops.
Access is quite limited. I have been unable to verify if any airlines operating out of Terminal B offer access to the lounge to their premium or elite passengers. This means there are basically two ways in which one can access the lounge. Both Priority Pass and Lounge Key are accepted. Depending on the membership level, you may or may not have the ability to let a guest access the lounge. The second way in which you can access the lounge is through paying $50 per adult. This $50 payment allows you to purchase a single-use day pass.
Aside from the outdoor swimming pool, the lounge features a variety of standard amenities. If the lounge didn’t feature the pool, it would be quite underwhelming and comparable to what’s found throughout the Priority Pass/Lounge Key network of lounges.
When I checked into the lounge, the attendant went over the amenities with me. It wasn’t until the very end of her overview of the VIP Lounge that the attendant broke some bad news. Guests only receive two free standard alcoholic beverages. After that, guests are required to pay for even the most basic drinks. Though I certainly wasn’t happy to learn about this policy, it’s not unheard of especially for common-use lounges like the VIP Lounge.
Other than the limited selection of free alcoholic beverages, the lounge was consistent with what I had expected prior to visiting. The lounge is fairly small. There are a variety of basic seating options including larger couches, individual armchairs, and restaurant-style seating. The decor was tropical though nothing too special.
At the very back of the lounge were the bar and buffet. There weren’t any self-serve beverage options with the exception of some fruit-infused water. Even soft drinks had to be ordered at the bar. The bartenders were all extremely friendly and professional though two of the bartenders spoke almost no English. This is quite surprising as most of the passengers using this lounge likely speak English as their first language. Language-barrier aside, I was able to order my drinks without any issues.
Adjacent to the bar was the buffet. There were two hot options and a spread of cold options. Every plate with the exception of the pear pie was underwhelming. The two hot options were an egg frittata and pumpkin soup. Cold options included Cuban sandwiches, Caprese salads, tapas, veggie cups, and a few other finger foods. Desserts consisted of chocolate cake, rice pudding, cookies, and pear pie. The pear pie was phenomenal. There were also some pastries and salty snacks behind the main buffet spread.
As for the drink list, there was a menu that consisted of both the free and paid drink selections. However, the paid drink list was missing 75% of the liquors and spirits the bar had on hand. I also found the menu to be quite confusing. It was almost as if the lounge operator didn’t want guests to easily decipher between what was included and what costs extra. On the plus side, it appeared that the two free drink minimum might not have been enforced. Free drinks included a Dominican beer, Corona, and house wines. There were a few other guests in the lounge at the time, all of whom drank Coronas during their visit. The bartenders never charged a guest for a Corona or house wines.
I ended up buying a mini-bottle of champagne and two shots of Galliano for my espresso drink. Both the champagne and Galliano were priced higher than what you’d pay at the store but were well within the range of what most lounges charge for premium drinks.
Also worth noting is that the lounge features a “Private Suite.” I asked the lounge attendant at the front desk what purpose the Private Suite served. She explained that homeowners and timeshare holders that bought their property through one of the Punta Cana Resort developments received access to this sectioned off part of the lounge. I could easily see into the Private Suite. It appeared to be an identical space just smaller and possibly featuring a separate bar. Surprisingly, the Private Suite saw maybe five guests during my visit.
The VIP Lounge Punta Cana Pool
Finally, the main reason I visited this lounge and Punta Cana, in general, was to experience the pool. I had my doubts prior to my visit about whether the pool would still be open or even operational. There was something too good to be true about an outdoor pool at a Priority Pass lounge.
Interestingly, when I checked into the lounge, the front desk attendant only briefly mentioned the pool. She mixed that detail in with other minor details including the wi-fi password and the location of the restrooms. If I was in her position, I feel like the fact that there’s a stunning outdoor pool would be the first thing I’d mention to guests.
Upon entry, I made a b-line to the restroom to change into my swimsuit. I kept a lookout for indoor shower suites though had no luck finding any. According to the Priority Pass website, there are showers in the lounge though the website might be including the outdoor shower you’re urged to use prior to getting into the pool.
Before I made my way to the pool, I looked around for some towels. I didn’t have any luck. I’m sure I could have asked a lounge attendant and probably could have got a towel but I knew it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t want to have to take another shower after swimming so I just dipped my legs into the pool.
The pool was spotless and the water was crisp. It wasn’t feezing but it also wasn’t bathtub temperature which is a common issue in tropical climates. The pool is an infinity pool giving it a very premium and modern feel.
The outdoor deck on which the pool is located overlooks one of the runways, the remote stands, and Terminal B apron. I had brought my DSLR though forget my battery at home. This meant I couldn’t take advantage of an amazing spotting opportunity.
I brought my champagne outside, let my legs hang down into the pool, and relaxed in the hot Punta Cana sun for a half hour or so before my flight. It was a surreal experience. I only wish I had more time or had been with friends.
Overall – The VIP Lounge Punta Cana Terminal B
The VIP Lounge Punta Cana will definitely go down as one of the more memorable lounges I’ve visited thus far. Though the amenities were pretty standard, being able to legally drink and have access to an outdoor pool made this visit especially enjoyable. The pool is a true gem for both this lounge, Punta Cana International Airport, and Priority Pass/Lounge Key holders. The views from the deck and the pool are simply stunning. If you find yourself departing from Terminal B after a visit to Punta Cana, make sure to get to the airport early to continue your tropical getaway with a visit to the VIP Lounge.
What do you think of the VIP Lounge Punta Cana? Have you managed to visit the lounge yet?