- New Sol Meliá hotel in the East
- Time for the stars
- Futuristic retirement city in Yamasá
- E León Jimenes Cultural Center
|New Sol Meliá hotel in the East
Manfred Schoebel announced the Sol Meliá hotel chain would build a
luxury 500-room hotel in the Punta Cana area. Schoebel, spokesman for the organization,
told Hoy newspaper that the newest construction would be one notch above its
other two properties in the Punta Cana area and would open in time for the 2005
winter season. Sol Meliá also operates the Meliá Tropical Caribe
and Paradisus in the Punta Cana region, in addition to the Santo Domingo Meliá in
the capital city.
The third East Coast Sol Meliá hotel will be built with the US traveler
in mind, said Schoebel, who also mentioned that Meliá Caribe Tropical
would soon offer golf suites for those traveling to play their Cocotal golf course
this winter. The first 40 golf suites will be available at years end, with
another 40 to join the market in 2004, and 40 more by the end of 2005.
The new hotel and golf suites will be built on the Meliá Caribe Tropicals
500,000-square-meter property, of which only one third has been built up so far
to house the present 44 residential villas, 502 hotel rooms for groups and couples
and another 502 rooms that cater to family travelers. The hotel complex also
offers eight meeting rooms with capacity for 1,000. For more information, see http://www.dr1.com/directories/realestate/palmareal.shtml
|Time for the stars
El Caribe newspaper reports that Decree 818-03, dated 20 August, provides
for the creation of the Hotel Classification Committee. The new ruling replaces
the 1984 classification norms and will entrust the committee with the grading
of Dominican hotels in categories that range from one star up to five-star deluxe.
The committee is to be presided over by the Minister of Tourism. Other members
will include the president of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants
(Asonahores) and the head of the Department of Business and Services of the Ministry
The committee is also responsible for monitoring the fulfillment of price policies,
inspecting operating conditions of hotels, resolving claims, and assessing penalties
for non-fulfillment of regulations. The decree establishes conditions for city,
beach, mountain, apart-hotels, bungalows, cabañas and villa accommodation
The next step will be for the Ministry of Tourism to distribute forms to hotel
operators in order to gather information for the classification process.
|Futuristic retirement city in Yamasá
Pablo Ferrer of El Caribe reports that the DR may soon have its own Asimov-inspired
ecotourism vacation and residential community located in the mountains of
Yamasá, north of Santo Domingo. Legacy International, a Miami-based
US corporation, is behind the US$620-million investment in a co-venture with
Rancho Verde, belonging to Dominican entrepreneur Maximino Brito. The plans
call for the construction of a retirement and residential community, complemented
by sports venues, educational centers (hotel and business schools), 300 villas
and an apartment complex in the mountain area. The hotel would also include
a golf course, tennis courts, and an equestrian center.
As reported, Legacy has contracted the preliminary designs to world-acclaimed
US architect John Randall McDonald, a disciple of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
McDonald visited the area last month and is quoted in El Caribe saying, I
have designed many hotels in many places around the world, and on many islands,
but I had never seen anything so beautiful. He promised outstanding views
from all vantage points. The first phase of construction is set to start on 15
|E León Jimenes Cultural Center
There is a new reason to visit Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest
city in the Dominican Republic. E. León Jimenes has opened its Centro
León, a cultural center that boasts probably the largest private collection
of artwork in the Dominican Republic. The opening of the center took place on
Friday, 3 October, and was part of the events to commemorate the companys
100th anniversary. E. León Jimenes affiliate companies produce Presidente
beer, Marlboro cigarettes and Aurora cigars, among other products and services.
Dominican artist Geo Ripley told the El Caribe reporter covering the event: For
the doors of the Centro León to open during a time of so much disenchantment
means that all is not lost, that there is still a refuge, a space for dreams
and for discovering who we really are.
The Centro León has two permanent exhibitions, one of which is titled Genesis
and Trajectory: The León Jimenes Collection and is made up of winners
of the annual E. León Jimenes Art Contest. Signs of Identity is
a multi-sensory journey that sheds light on the Dominican people, through the
context of their Caribbean, American and global influences.
Dominican culture expert Freddy Ginebra said the center will be to Santiago what
the Guggenheim Museum is to Bilbao. Foreigners who want to understand who
we Dominicans are, who we have been and who we will become will find their answers
on the walls of the center. At least, I saw myself here....
Admission is RD$50 for adults and RD$20 for children. For more information, see http://www.centroleon.org.do