June 8, 2004
  • New marketing director at Sofitel
  • Celebrities come for divorce
  • City hotels hurting
  • Playa Dorada Magazine
  • Jet Blue starts flights
New marketing director at Sofitel
Maika Rodriguez is the new sales and marketing manager for
Accor hotels’ Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando Hotel. The hotel is a jewel of a property located on Calle Las Damas, the first street in the 15th century settlement of Santo Domingo, which proudly boasts having hosted King Juan Carlos during his first visit to the Dominican Republic. Jacques Serpollier, the director general of Accor in the Dominican Republic, presented the Spanish marketing expert at a recent cocktail at the Nicolas de Ovando Hotel. Highlighting what the Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando is all about, Serpollier stressed that the property, which reopened last year as a Sofitel, has already positioned itself as an oasis of elegance and exclusivity, and is aimed at who seek modern amenities, comfort and efficiency with genuine contact to the cultural and historic essence of the Dominican Republic. In his introduction of Rodriguez, he pointed out that she carried out hospitality industry studies at the Unviersidad de deusto in Bilbao, Spain, and has worked for over nine years with the Accor chain. See http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/sofitel_no.shtml
Celebrities come for divorce
One-day divorces, Dominican-style, made headlines last week after Latin American singing sensation Marc Anthony chose to divorce the former Miss Puerto Rico and 1993 Miss Universe Dayanara Torres in the Dominican Republic. The divorce requires mutual consent and at least one of the two to stand before a judge. Press reports recall the names of other famous stars that have divorced in the DR. These include singer Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola, the former president of Sony records, and actress Maite Proenca, known for her role in the Latin American soap opera, Dona Bella. Also divorced on Dominican soil were Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, George Scott and Lisa Presley (from Michael Jackson), among others.
City hotels hurting
Hotel occupancy in Santo Domingo was 42% in May, according to the Santo Domingo Hotel Association. Last year, occupancy in May was at 61%. Overall, during the first quarter of the year, hotel occupancy in Santo Domingo declined 20.5%.
City occupancy is down because Santo Domingo depends mainly on business activities, which have suffered a slowdown during this electoral year and given the present recession-stagflation affecting the Dominican Republic.
As reported in Diario Libre, Paola Dimitri, the director of the city hotel organization, attributed the decline to the economic instability, lack of confidence in the business community translating to less meetings and conventions in the city and an additional 400 new hotel rooms that went on the market from July to December 2003. These included the Courtyard Mariott and the Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando.
The newspaper points out that Santo Domingo is the exception in the tourism business in the DR. Occupancy in Boca Chica and Juan Dolio is up 3.7%, La Romana-Bayahibe posted a 5.3% increase, Punta Cana and Bavaro have sustained a 1% increase each, Puerto Plata has shown a strong recovery with 22% more this year, Sosua and Cabarete, also in Puerto Plata, are showing 21.5% occupancy increases, and even Samana has posted a 5.3% improvement.
Playa Dorada Magazine
Playa Dorada Hotel Association formally launched its new Playa Dorada magazine at a gathering at the Hotel Embajador on Thursday, 3 June. The magazine had initially been released and distributed on occasion of the Dominican Annual Travel Exchange, that this year took place the last week in April at the Playa Dorada Plaza in Puerto Plata.
The Playa Dorada magazine features stories on Puerto Plata’s Victorian houses and general overview on what’s planned for Puerto Plata and Playa Dorada. Also covered are the Playa Dorada golf course, the Ocean World Park, the Puerto Plata Amber Museum, and the Santiago-based Centro Leon. The art of Puerto Plata-born painter Jorge Severino is highlighted and there is even a story on breakfasts, Puerto Plata-style.
The magazine was coordinated by Magaly Toribio of Target, S.A. Content in English and Spanish was the responsibility of Dolores Vicioso, DR1 Editorial Director and photographs are by Polibio Diaz. Graphic design was entrusted to Luis Isidor of Angulo Publicidad.
The magazine is available by contacting Karina Abbott at the Playa Dorada Hotel Association in Puerto Plata at 809 320-3133 or for information on how to get a copy write to the association by email [email protected]
Jet Blue starts flights
JetBlue begins flying to the Dominican Republic this Thursday, 10 June.
New York’s low-fare carrier is launching twice daily service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Santiago. A daily flight to Santo Domingo will start Thursday, 17 June. The carrier is offering introductory sale fares on these routes when booked at the JetBlue website, www.jetblue.com
Check out the JetBlue banner on DR1, too.

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