I've been going to the DR since childhood -- that is where my father was born and raised. So I was not looking forward to taking a vacation there as an adult believe it or not! I was used to fighting off mosquitoes - sleeping under a mosquito net, no a/c, etc!
I must say -- traveling there as an adult, not visiting relatives 24/7 and staying at an all inclusive resort -- changed my mind real quick about not enjoying the DR!
Back in 2008 my hubby and I stayed at an all inclusive in Puerto Plata -- although it was isolated - you couldn't walk from there to somewhere else -- it was all we needed! You get your hotel, entertainment and food rolled up into one!
A lot of travel sites are pretty cheap as well with booking a package to the DR! We booked ours thru JetBlue.
I went again in 2015 and rented an apartment thru air b&b in the town of Santiago -- that was also a home run! Only negative on this trip was transportation options. Its a town where you need a car or need to understand their public transportation system to get around. Walking is an option but it is hot and you have to walk quite a bit if you're not centrally located. Thankfully the taxi's were cheap, reliable and just a phone call away!
Total cost: The plane tickets in 2015 were crazy inexpensive and only cost $200 r/t from JFK!
On both occasions -- I only stayed about 4-5 nights and spent around a grand ($1000) total for 2 people for EVERYTHING!