Amongst the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic sit 25 golf courses flanked by top resorts. Its East Coast has especially become a golf mecca in recent years, with 10 courses having been opened between 2001 and 2010, and more being planned.
cap cana THE PROPERTY: A gated community on an area of 30,000 acres, Cap Cana will have numerous five-star properties. The 175-suite Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa opened in 2007. Many suites have their own private pools and all offer private balconies, jacuzzi tubs, plasma TVs and more. The all-inclusive property features five restaurants, five bars, a spa and day and evening activities including onsite casino. The Golden Bear Lodge offers 91 studio, 1- and 2-bedroom suites with marble bathrooms, double jacuzzis, kitchens, private terraces, and private pools in some suites. The resort has three restaurants, a freeform infinity pool, fitness center and a meal plan option. The 40-villa Eden Roc Cap Cana is expected to open this year and AMResorts is spending $400 million to open 1,100 suites with the “Gems at Cap Cana” hotel project by the end of 2012.
THE GREENS: The 18 holes of the par 72 Punta Espada Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus signature course, have ocean views, with eight that are oceanfront. It has been ranked as the number one course in the Caribbean and Mexico by Golfweek magazine for three consecutive years, including 2011. A second Jack Nicklaus course, Las Iguanas Golf Course, is 70 percent complete. More courses are planned in the coming years.
THE AMENITIES: Beyond the individual property amenities, guests at Cap Cana have access to the Caleton Beach Club, which has a pool and swim-up bar, expansive beach and two restaurants. Currently, the Cap Cana Marina has more than 100 boat slips available for yachts up to 250 ft. Upon completion, the marina will be one of the most modern in the Caribbean with capacity for more than 1,000 yachts. The community is home to 3.4 miles of white sand beach.
THE SCENE: The resort community is designed to offer all its guests’ desire, but properties can arrange for excursions to explore the island’s natural attractions.
THE RATES: Rates at Secrets start at $336 pp per night (jr. suite oceanview) and include accommodations, meals, snacks, beverages, activities, entertainment, taxes and gratuities. Rates start at $197 per unit, per night at Golden Bear and include breakfast and taxes. Greens fees start at $150 for hotel guests ($95 for twilight).
la romana THE PROPERTY: Casa de Campo is a world all its own sitting on 7,000 acres. A recent $40 million, 2-year redesign included the 155 Elite guestrooms and 10 1- and 2-bedroom Elite Suites, which feature flat-screen TVs, marble vanities, iPod/iPhone docking station and more. Suites enjoy a living/dining area and second full bathroom as well. The 50 3- to 7-bedroom villas offer the plus of privacy, as well as full kitchen, private patio with pool, daily breakfast, maid and valet service for eight hours each day, roundtrip airport transfers, and welcome snacks. All guests have use of 4-passenger touring carts to get around the resort.
THE GREENS: Three Pete Dye golf courses include the par 72 Teeth of the Dog, consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the world. The par 72 Links course is typical of links courses you would find in Britain and the par 72 Dye Fore has seven cliffside holes that drop 300 ft. to the Chavon River below. All courses go under “maintenance” in rotation from May through November, and this year Pete Dye is totally renovating The Links.
THE AMENITIES: There is much to do beyond golf, including dining at six fine dining restaurants. The resort’s private beach has a watersports center, while three offshore island beaches offer more natural beauty. Gourmet skin care is part of the services at the pampering spa, while the marina, Yacht Club, shooting center, and equestrian activities offer even more to do. There is also a supervised children’s program.
THE SCENE: Think a perfect blend of modern chic and classic elegance—this member of The Leading Hotels of the World offers top-notch everything, from picturesque destination weddings to activity-filled family escapes. Tell clients not to miss Altos de Chavon, which was modeled after a 16th century Mediterranean village and features artists’ studios and galleries, restaurants, boutiques, museums, and a 5,000-seat amphitheater.