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April 8, 2008
  • Four AAA diamonds for Casa Colonial
  • Maxim Bungalows is open
  • Melia children's world
  • Punta Cana leads the industry
Four AAA diamonds for Casa Colonial
Casa Colonial, which was the Dominican Republic's first boutique hotel when it opened in 2004, has been awarded a Four Diamond rating by the American Automobile Association (AAA), a further affirmation of the hotel's popularity with those seeking luxury accommodations.
The AAA rating is for hotels that are upscale in all areas, and Casa Colonial's accommodations are defined as "progressively more refined and stylish." AAA explains that the physical attributes reflect an obvious enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.
Casa Colonial at Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata is affiliated to Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
And the boutique hotel was also recently added to the Virtuoso Hotel & Resort Program, again as a testament to its highest level of service and luxury. Virtuoso's Hotels & Resorts Program is a by-invitation-only program comprised of several of the finest properties in the world.
Casa Colonial is a 50-room and suites hotel and spa. The Spanish colonial-inspired lobby features high ceilings, limestone floors, furnishings in rich woods and sheer cotton draperies. The guestrooms and suites have private terraces with views of the ocean or the property's tropical gardens, some with large outdoor soaking tubs. Each guestroom is decorated with mahogany furniture, custom-designed Caribbean furnishings, original Dominican art, comfortable seating areas, flat screen TVs, Italian marble baths, fine linens and Presidential Suite Soft mattresses especially created for the resort by Serta, offering "the best sleep in the Caribbean." The property was the first Dominican member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the DR.
Recently, at the ITB Travel Fair in Berlin, Casa Colonial architect Sara Garcia was awarded the Outstanding Tropical Architecture & Interior Hotel Design Award, and recognized as the "First Art-Event Hotel" in the Dominican Republic by the Tropenpreis zur ITB Berlin 2008 organization.
See www.dr1.com/directories/hotels/demo_gran_casa_colonial_VH.shtml
Maxim Bungalows is open
Maxim Bungalows is officially opening its doors to guests at the company's first location in the Dominican Republic, Cofresi Beach in Puerto Plata, on 15 April 2008. The hotel and its new Social Dominican Republic is being launched at Kobe Club in New York City on 21 April, and another gathering for VIPs in the DR is set for 23 April. Maxim Bungalows at Cofresi Beach features 108 studio, one and two bedroom luxury bungalow accommodations. The hotel will target the European Plan (EP) market for Puerto Plata, where no meals are included in the rate. The resort is associated with Maxim magazine, regarded as the most successful young men's lifestyle magazine in the US.
The new resort seeks to be the "most luxurious in the DR." Its main market is the US East Coast businessman, who jumps on a flight and comes for two, three or four nights and can enjoy all the amenities of the property, while staying connected to his business and the world. Each guest is picked up at the airport and driven to the resort in a luxury SUV.
Maxim Bungalows has resort-wide Wi-Fi, iHome audio capabilities, plasma screen TVs, many pools and lounge, and guests will also have preferential access to the onsite 17,000 square-foot spa and fitness center. The hotel also features restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow's "Social Dominican Republic" restaurant, in partnership with Carlos Fuentes' cigar company. The restaurant also has branches in Miami and Hollywood.
The hotel is a sister property to Sun Village Resorts, also part of the Elliott group, located next door in Cofresi.
See www.maximbungalows.com
Melia children's world
Melia hotels have the red carpet out for families with children. At the Melia Caribe Tropical the Family Junior Suites offer 450 sq. feet each, including one sofa bed, one duplex or bunk bed, themed amenities on children's beds, curtain separation for privacy, bathroom kid amenities including a mini-step for the sink, and the Melia Baby Kit complete with soap, floating toy, shampoo and bubble bath. The Melia also has the Flintstones Land, the exciting club with supervised activities for kids, divided by age groups, from 4 months to 13 years old.
See www.dr1.com/directories/hotels/melia_caribe_tropical.shtml
Sister hotel, the Paradisus Punta Cana has its Kids Zone, the new tropical-theme playground with jungle gym, mini-water park with slides and water features, overnight camping experience, kids' movies and a mini-buffet.
The Paradisus also offers their signature Paradisus Family Concierge service that begins with private check-in area where the children can begin to absorb their spectacular holiday surroundings on junior-sized furniture. Guests staying at the Family Concierge Suite can enjoy amenities designed for the children, including bathrobes, slippers, pillows and towels and a mini-bar stocked with juices just for them. There's even PlayStation on request and turndown service with milk and cookies.
See www.dr1.com/directories/hotels/paradisus.shtml
Punta Cana leads the industry
Ernesto Veloz, spokesman for the Association of Hotels and Projects of the East, reaffirmed that Punta Cana is the leading Dominican vacation destination during a presentation to the press at the Dominican Annual Travel Exchange (DATE) held at the Barcelo Convention Center in Punta Cana last week. The area has 27,200 rooms, or 52% of all rooms in the Dominican Republic, and attracted 53% of foreign international arrivals, or 1,750,000 tourists. More than half of the arrivals were from the United States and Canada, followed by Spain, France and Russia.
"Punta Cana is and continues to be the motor of the tourism and economic development of the DR," said Veloz. He emphasized that while the destination first became known for its fun all-inclusive resorts, the new trend is for the upscaling of the resorts, and remodeling to convert the present properties to four and five star hotels, as well as the opening of luxury, residential & golf developments.
He reminded his audience that seven golf courses are in operation, but there are seven more under construction, of which three should be open by 2009. He also said that another four are on the drawing board. Veloz expects the recently concluded PGA Champions Tour, held at Cap Cana, on the south end of Punta Cana, to successfully project the area among golfers worldwide. He said that the PGA had committed to another two years, and this could turn into three more.
Veloz reported that the Association of Hotels & Projects had just completed a ground reorganization plan, at a cost of US$250,000, for zoning from Juanillo to Uvero Alto.
Veloz expects the 30km boulevard (RD$628 million), which fast-connects the region, to be ready by mid 2009, with the first 22 kms through the Cruce de Friusa ready for this year. The boulevard will be 43km long in total, once the highway is extended to Miches.

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