*** Small Hotels in the Dominican Republic ***
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April 1, 2008
  • Viva Residence: new brand
  • BlueBay bullish on DR
  • Delta introduces Atlanta-Santiago
  • Spotlight on Punta Cana
Viva Residence: new brand
Viva Resorts is now targeting tourists who want to stay longer. Chief executives Ettore Colussi and Rafael Blanco Canto launched their Viva Residence brand at a gala at the Hotel Embajador last week. They stressed that buyers can enjoy the known advantages of Viva vacations, while enjoying the benefits of ownership. The company has started off by offering apartments at Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata and Las Terrenas in Samana (Cozon). Viva Residence Playa Dorada will have 120 apartments andViva Residence Samana will have 28 villas and 52 apartments. Residents will be able to use the company’s rental pools.
BlueBay bullish on DR
Enric Noguer, director general of Grupo Hotelero Hotetur Hotels & Resorts presented the Spanish company’s Strategic Plan for 2007-2010 during a meeting at the Mitre Wine Bar in Santo Domingo last week. The presentation emphasized that the company, which has hotel operations in Spain and Mexico, will continue to push investments in the DR over the next two years.
Noguer stressed that the company chose to invest EUR250 million worldwide, with a particular focus on the DR. The company invested heavily to convert the Villas Doradas in Playa Dorada into a BlueBay hotel and resort, their luxury brand. The company also completed renovations at its Hotetur Dominican Bay recently, including the opening of a leading convention area.
The investment will be followed up by Grand Punta Cana (Uvero Alto) scheduled to open in 2009 and Samana, scheduled for a 2010 opening, hotel and residence investments that will soon go on market. The hotel company has 3,200 rooms between its Hotetur and BlueBay brands, according to Reyson Pimentel, Caribbean sales director for the corporation, who introduced the visiting executives during the event.
“We are convinced that the DR is the country in the Caribbean with the greatest potential, because of its natural surroundings, facilities, location and the people, and we want to be a part of it”, he said. Hotetur is part of the Grupo Marsans, which describes itself as the largest tourism group in Spain. The company owns Air Comet, Aerolineas Argentinas, Pullmantur, Aerolineas del Sur, and the tour operators Mundi Color, Club Caribe, Marsans and New Co, among others.
Delta introduces Atlanta-Santiago
Delta Air Lines is promoting its daily Santiago-Atlanta (Harsfield-Jackson International Airport) route starting on 20 December 2008. A one-way introductory fare of US$249 (plus taxes and fees) is available for flights booked through 8 April 2008. The new flight will complement Delta’s existing nonstop service between Atlanta and Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana. DL501 will depart Atlanta at 10:25am arriving at Santiago at 2:33pm, to return to Atlanta on DL502, which leaves Santiago at 3:35pm and arrives in Atlanta at 6:18pm.
Spotlight on Punta Cana
Punta Cana is all action this week with the celebration of the PGA Championship Tour, bringing in 78 legends of the golf world. This is taking place at the Cap Cana luxury development’s new Punta Espada course, designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Also in town is the DATE 2008, the leading travel trade event for the Dominican industry, which is taking place at the Barcelo Convention Center, 1-3 April.

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