Heads turned when Amanera and the Gansevoort Dominican Republic opened a couple of years ago in the Dominican Republic. They were small, world-class properties that didn’t fit people’s preconceptions. This month, at DATE, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exposition, there was more good news about low-volume, high-end resorts.
Eden Roc at Cap Cana has added an Eden Roc Beach Club—twenty-six 1- and 2-bedroom beachfront suites—to its 34 luxury suites with private pools. It has also opened Blue, the country’s first Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant. Blue’s chef ran one of the best restaurants in Lima. The new suites are calm, contemporary spaces with white, ocean blue, and wood furnishings. They have iPads, smart TVs, full kitchens, and, of course, freestanding tubs.
Cap Cana’s Punta Espada golf course has been named the best in the Caribbean, but Eden Roc is not just about golf, dining, or even the beach. “We offer a completely different tourism option than people are used to here. We cater to travelers who want to go out and explore the countryside, the cigar and rum factories, the culture,” said Stefano Baratelli, Eden Roc’s managing director. He hopes to facilitate partnerships with hotels in Santo Domingo.
When asked if Eden Roc Cap Cana, the only Relais & Chateaux property in the Dominican Republic, might expand further in the future, Baratelli replied, “We don’t want to go beyond our current 60 suites for the service we offer.” For more information, visit edenroccapcana.com.
Meanwhile, Blue Beach Punta Cana, said Lissa Jimenez, public relations manager for this new resort, “is the destination for the new generation of luxury travelers seeking an authentic connection to local customs and nature.” Blue Beach is currently in a soft opening phase; it will enter its second phase in September.
When completed, the resort will have 174 suites (admittedly, that stretches the meaning of “boutique”) in a main building and in twelve 4-story buildings. The modern architecture features clean lines, glass, wood, and stone. Interiors are mostly white, with kitchens, washer-dryers, large baths, and large-screen TVs. Blue Beach has a sprawling pool, a location on Cabeza de Toro Beach, contemporary cuisine, entertainment, a spa, watersports, a kids club, access to world-class golf, and a full menu of excursions, including free shuttles to a disco. For more information, visit bluebeachpuntacana.com.
Tortuga Bay at Puntacana Resort & Club may be considered the godfather of luxury boutique hotels in the D.R. With 13 villas designed by Oscar de la Renta, it’s the only AAA five-diamond hotel in the country. In July it will begin a renovation to update the villas’ decor and technology. In addition, the four-diamond Bamboo Restaurant will get more seating, a new kitchen, and a new bakery. The resort will also add a new wine cellar, humidor, lounge for early arrivals and late departures, and fitness gear for the gym.
Rest easy, Tortuga Bay’s new look will still evoke the late, great designer. That’s a priority of at least one member of the renovations team: Annette de la Renta. For more information, visit tortugabayhotel.com.