*** Small Hotels in the Dominican Republic ***
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December 26, 2006
  • Palma Real Shopping Village
  • Attention Canadian travelers
  • Blue Bay Getaway Villas
  • Ocean World Marina & Casino
Palma Real Shopping Village
The distinctive blue roofs of the Palma Real Shopping Village in Punta Cana are welcoming shoppers as of this December. Located in the midst of approximately 40,000 hotel rooms in the area, beside the Cocotal Golf Course, Palma Real Paradisus and Melia Caribe Tropical hotels, the new center is now home to or soon will be to brand name restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe and Tony Roma's, and local food stores such as Pizarrelli, Bon Ice Cream, Montecristo Cafe and Punto & Corcho, among others. The other establishments in the Shopping Village are Planeta Fashion, Tosca, Wine & Food Sensation, Cigar Lounge, La Cava Spirits Pleasure, Bruga Boutique, Coyote Salon, Carmen Sol New York, Laura Sauvage, Tosato, Verganti, Vertice, Capacine, Swatch, Gift Expression, Amber Museum, Melo Pharmachy, Movie Max, Globo Cambio, Wba Camper, Altamar and more, including a movie house, gymnasium and hardware store. The shopping center is open daily from 9 to 10 pm. Bars and restaurants stay open until midnight Monday to Thursday and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bars and restaurants stay open until 2 am.
Attention Canadian travelers
Whether you are resident in the United States or will transit the United States on your way to Canada or other destinations, it is important that you and your family members are aware of new requirements for Canadian travelers under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
As of January 23, 2007, the United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require Canadian citizens to present one of the following documents when entering or transiting the United States by air:
- A valid Canadian passport;
- A NEXUS Air card when used at a NEXUS Air kiosk.
Note that as of that date, Canadians entering or transiting the United States by air without the required documentation are likely to be referred for secondary screening, where US Customs and Border Protection officers will evaluate any evidence of citizenship and identity. As a result, Canadians without the required documentation may be prevented from boarding their flights. Delays and unexpected financial expenses may also occur.
The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadians carry a valid Canadian passport for all visits to the United States. Please note that Canadians are not required to have Machine Readable Passports to enter the United States, even if the passport was issued abroad. Canada is not a participant in the US Visa Waiver Program.
Blue Bay Getaway Villas
Playa Dorada now has its adults-only resort, Blue Bay Getaway, part of the Spanish Hotetur hotel chain. The chain practically rebuilt the former Villas Doradas establishment, in time for reopening for the winter season. Blue Bay Getaway has 220 tropical modern-style rooms, and offers food and beverages 24 hours a day on the all-inclusive plan. In the Dominican Republic, Hotetur also operates the Hotel Dorado Club Resort in Playa Dorada and the Dominican Bay Hotel at Boca Chica Beach.
Ocean World Marina & Casino
With a full house of guests, and a performance of vintage Beach Boys, Ocean World Marina & Casino has formally inaugurated its new installations. Opening words were delivered by company directors Ludwig Meister and Stefan Meister, and Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez. The new facilities complement the Ocean World water and animal park.
The Disney World and Las Vegas style facilities include the US-rules casino, the 216-seating Poseidon Restaurant, the Lighthouse Lounge with nightly live entertainment and shows, alongside the full service marina that offers immigration services, a mini-market and even includes wi-fi internet service and laundry facilities.
For the winter season, Ocean World is offering its Magical Nights excursion including transportation from most hotels, the Bravissimo Las Vegas-style revue, dinner with lobster and prime rib steaks, a sea lion magic show, dolphin show and time to play in the casino for US$69 per person.

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