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November 18, 2008
  • Agua in Island Destinations
  • Salinas regattas
  • Boat becomes attraction
  • Targeting the rich
  • Professional Tennis in Santo Domingo
Agua in Island Destinations
Agua Resort & Spa in Uvero Alto on the northern beach stretch of Punta Cana has joined the prestigious Island Destinations' Travelers Collection 2009.
Agua promises seclusion and a private beach, an open-space spa, a haven for intimacy amidst Caribbean architecture. Natural stone, hardwoods and cane-thatched roofs at the 42 junior suites and 5 spacious villas that are harmoniously set along tropical gardens and oceanfront land. Agua is a12-minute helicopter ride from Punta Cana Airport and non-stop flights from major US cities.
Others listed in the 2009 catalogue for the Dominican Republic are Caleton Beach Club & Villas in Cap Cana, Paradisus Palma Real Resort and Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana and Casa Colonial Beach & Spa in Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata along with Casa de Campo in La Romana.
Island Destinations is the Virtuoso and Signature Travel network's preferred luxury tour operator. The luxury vacation vendor just released its 2009 catalogue on occasion of its 25th anniversary.
For bookings, see www.dr1.com/directories/hotels/agua.shtml
Salinas regattas
Under the rules of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the Dominican Sailing Federation, the First Regatta All-Class Regatta is set for Salinas Beach, on the southwest coast of the DR, fronting the Salinas Hotel. The schedule of regattas is:
Friday & Saturday, 21-22 November. Registration.
Sunday, 23 November. Races will take place in the morning.
The races will be held in windsurf and kite surf classes.
The categories are: Slalom -- mini junior, pro kids, junior, women class, sports class, open class.
Formula - open class, sport class.
The event is organized by champion windsurfer Pablito Guzman and the Cabarete Classic Team. Las Salinas, in the southwestern province of Peravia is known for its excellent winds, warm temperatures and flat water.
This is a first time that windsurfers and kite surfers come together in a regatta. In the Open Class Category, windsurfers will match the kiters in open class slalom and open class formula.
See: www.cabarete-classic.com
Boat becomes attraction
The Atlantic Princess, which ran aground in Bayahibe on 15 August during Tropical Storm Fay, is to be intentionally sunk and turned into an artificial reef for scuba divers. The boat has been decontaminated and prepared for the sinking. The Environment and Tourism Ministries as well as the Navy will take part in this venture. Officials say the boat will be ready in about 15 days, once 100,000 gallons of contaminated water on board the ship have all been removed.
The boat is an attraction for tourists staying at hotels in the east, especially in the La Romana, Dominicus and Bayahibe area during the winter holidays.
Targeting the rich
USA Today points out that Dominican all-inclusive hotels are going upscale but the US$150-US$230 daily rate package deals are still reasonable even in these financial free-fall days. In a report on all-inclusive vacations in Punta Cana, the reporter stresses that the everything-covered industry is wooing guests with new, over-the-top Shangri-Las courting resort sophisticates with Architectural Digest-style decor, non-buffet eateries, butlers, family freebies and velvet-rope VIP areas with their own pools and restaurant
"They have a very high rate of returning guests," says Scott Berman, head of PricewaterhouseCoopers' US hospitality and leisure consulting group. "In other down cycles, they have performed very well."
Brands operating in the DR such as Iberostar, Occidental, Club Med and Paradisus have renovated and added even more luxurious getaways and targeting upscale clients who would never have booked an all-inclusive vacation in the past, the newspaper points out. The luxury is recognized and some are members of The Leading Hotels of the World consortium, such as the Punta Cana Paradisus Palma Real.
Professional Tennis in Santo Domingo
Professional Tennis Circuit Los Tres Ojos will feature 84 male tennis players from 29 countries in different continents. Prize money is US$50,000 and US$10,000 per event. The tournament will last five weeks and will take place at the Tennis Pavilion courts in the Parque del Este, site of the Pan American Games in 2003. The tournaments Futures F1, F2, F3, F4 and F5 are valid for the ATP ranking. Winners will receive 12 points per event. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Sports and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is part of the Association of Tennis Professionals ranking. The qualifying round for the Future will be placed Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 November at the courts at Parque del Este.
Competing in the event are players from Argentina (2), Austria (2), Belgium (4), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1), Bolivia (1), Croatia (1), Cuba (1), Czech Republic (1), Ecuador (2), Spain (1), France (2), Georgia (1), Germany (8), Italy (7), Mexico (2), Holland (3), Panama (2), Poland (3), Portugal (1), Puerto Rico (1), Romania (1), South Africa (1), Russia (3), Serbia (2), Switzerland (1), Sweden (1), Ukraine (1), United States (8), Venezuela (6), and the Dominican Republic (13).
Futures tournaments are tennis tournaments held by the ITF Men's Circuit. They allow for players to win career titles and improve their rankings. Futures are held in both singles and doubles, and last only one week. They contain qualifying rounds so that players who are not ranked can gain ATP ranking points. Several hundred Futures events are held each year. As of 2008, the prize fund for each tournament is either US$10,000 or US$15,000.
For ITF Pro Circuit Rules and Regulations, see:

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