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The 2 Resorts You Shouldn't Miss in the Dominican Republic

Photo Credit: Eden Roc at Cap Cana

More than five million tourists flock to the Dominican Republic’s serene beaches, lush jungles, and pristine golf courses each year. Since 2014, the island destination has seen a 12 percent increase in visitors. The laid-back country is only a two-hour flight from Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and Cuba, making it an easy stop on a Caribbean tour. I recently hopped over to the Dominican Republic to enjoy two of the nation’s most exquisite resorts.

casa de campo
Photo Credit: Casa de Campo Resort & Spa

Casa De Campo Resort & Spa was my first stop, about an hour’s drive from the international airport. The enormous 7,000 acre development is home to three Pete Dye golf courses, a marina and yacht club, and its own international airport (La Romana). A self-contained tropical playground, the resort grounds boast a shooting center, polo field, helipad, 13 tennis courts, and a 16th-century Mediterranean village called Altos de Chavon. There’s also a Grecian-inspired amphitheater that was inaugurated by Frank Sinatra in 1982 and comfortably seats 5,000 people. The compound remains a discreet getaway and has hosted many of the Caribbean’s and America’s A-listers, such as the Clintons, Oscar de La Renta, Beyoncé, Richard Branson and a slew of business tycoons.

casa de campo
Photo Credit: Casa de Campo Resort & Spa

Tucked between lofty palm trees and ferns nearby the main pool sits the spa. A garden labyrinth shaded from the sun in the back area leads up to the private patios of the treatment rooms. Many rooms feature waterfall-soaking pools and patio chairs shaded under thick bamboo. Check out the scrub treatment with local cane sugar (a DR staple), as well as the Polo Stretching Massage.

casa de campo
Photo Credit: Casa de Campo Resort & Spa

Cuisine is as much a standout as it is a celebration at Casa de Campo. This summer kicked off with a “Flavors of the World” experience with monthly weekend dinner experiences hosted by Michelin Star and other lauded international chefs. Flavors of Mexico (September) and Portugal (October) are slated for the remainder of the year. I was fortunate to attend May’s event with Spain’s culinary celebrity, Two Michelin Star chef Fernando Arellano. During the rest of the year, resort and villa owners can enjoy the property’s six restaurants, including Lago, the delicious buffet-style restaurant that features traditional Dominican delights such as grilled chivo higueyano (goat) and cassava empanadas.

eden roc
Photo Credit: Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Eden Roc, the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in the Dominican Republic, is an idyllic two-hour drive from Casa De Campo. The 34 suite and villa resort is tucked deep in the 30,000-acre, master-planned community of Cap Cana. Polo, yachting, and golfing are signature activities enjoyed by residents and tourists of this grand Caribbean compound. The resort’s signature restaurant, Mediterraneo, meaning “sea between lands,” offers a mix of Mediterranean flavors interpreted by Executive Chef Hernan Griccini. Seafood standouts include citrus-scented King crab meat, rich ravioli with local crustaceans, and fish of the day from local fishermen served in decadent quinoa.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Photo Credit: Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Despite the scale of Cap Cana, Eden Roc is serenely intimate and prioritizes privacy. The lobby area, topped with skylights and bottomed with an inlaid glass pool the length of the entire floor, feels similar to the entrance of a stylish, well-heeled friend’s estate. Bold bursts of purples and lime colored art and furniture fill the otherwise bright white interior. It’s fun and vibrant, lacking anything corporate or expected. Just outside the doors of the lobby is a stunning, seemingly private 4,090-square-foot pool that wraps around a terrace and swim up bar, the Blue Lagoon.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Photo Credit: Eden Roc at Cap Cana

However, each of Eden Roc’s villas and suites have their own sizable private pools and pergolas covered in tropical fauna. The bathroom is another impressive area, furnished with a massive deep soaking tub, rain shower room, and Laura Tonatto bath products. Milan-based interior designers, Marina Nova and Carlo Belgir, selected the bright array of art and bold furnishings for the interiors of the resort, most prominently showcased in Eden Roc’s massive 6,000-square-foot four bedroom Imperiale Villa. In addition to the coral stone bathtubs, private gym, and chef quarters, the suite’s gold and amber finishes create accommodations fit for royals (who do indeed stay in this villa). The Royale Villa is more than 4,000 square feet and further displays Nova and Belgir’s European inspired taste with inky black and ivory hues throughout.

Rates at Casa de Campo begin at $290 a night and $900 a night at Eden Rock.

Katherine Bond

Katherine Sutton Bond is a freelance travel and luxury item writer for Justluxe.com. She's traveled the world and sampled some of the leading hotels and destinations of the globe. She often covers luxury events and technology. ...(Read More)

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