Dominican Republic Travel Guide
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Northwest Europe is going through a heatwave this week (or as most other places would call it, “summer”), but Aman Resorts is with you if you’re thinking ahead to your winter break to the sun: Amanera, its resort in the Dominican Republic, will open towards the end of 2015.
Above the view that will greet you from one of only 25 casitas the resort will have, with this particular setting reserved for one of 13 that have their own 10-metre private swimming pools. Their “raw, organic design” is meant to complement the natural setting, and each has a flat, biodiverse roof with a garden to help cool the interiors and be eco-conscious at the same time.
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Luxury Master Suite
While the northerner mass exodus to the Caribbean may be behind us, it doesn’t mean that hotels are now closed for the season. Oh no. In fact, the new AlSol Tiara Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic opened its doors for the first time yesterday, all ready for the family fun summer vacay.
Operated by Mexican-based AlSol Hotels & Resorts, the 112-room AlSol Tiara Cap Cana is located in Punta Cana between the ocean and Marina Cap Cana, so you’ll see lots of pretty yachts as you gaze out of your suite’s panoramic windows. It falls under the company’s luxury, family-focused AlSol brand (they also have the Azalea collection – luxury adult-focused hotels; All Ritmo – four-star family properties; and the Urban Collection, which are five-star hotels in major city centers.
The hotel is going for a Mediterranean, laidback chic sort of feel with a crisp white façade accented with cobalt blue and coral complements.
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A while back, we wrote about the Hard Rock Hotels' Rhythm and Motion Massage. Continuing the rigorous research, our newest contributor, Linda Marcisano, put herself on the table to experience something called "Synchronicity."
I walked into the treatment room at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for the “Synchronicity” massage ($210 for 50 minutes) only knowing that music was involved. Upon spotting a guitar lying on the massage table, I started to panic. Would I be serenaded during the treatment? Would an aging rock star (preferably Bon Jovi) appear to perform a solo? Would my masseuse, who didn’t appear musically inclined, use one hand to knead and another to strum?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rock Spa has quite the prelude to the actual treatment, so let’s start there.
I arrived 30 minutes before the massage (it was recommended to check in an hour before but we were in knee deep at the casino’s craps table) and led to the locker room where I was introduced to a guide. Whereas other spas show you where the amenities are and let you have at it, the Rock Spa actually accompanies you, kind of like a circuit, recommending how long to use each and in what order.
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What do we love more than hotel openings? Surprise hotel openings!
We had no idea that Gansevoort Hotel Group was planning an oceanfront resort in the Dominican Republic but here it is!
The Gansevoort Playa Imbert on the country's north coast will be opening on December 15 with just 48 luxury suites, in one and two-bedroom loft layouts, along with three-bedroom apartments and a handful of four-bedroom penthouses, each with their own private rooftop jacuzzi. But you should know, the property was previously The Ocean Club Luxury Residences and Gansevoort is making it over into a hotel.
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Andi Dorfman, bad-ass lawyer turned America's newest "The Bachelorette", took the three potential loves of her life, on a tropical adventure to the Dominican Republic with the hope of getting to know her suitors more intimately (coughFantasySuitecough) and perhaps, receiving an on-bended-knee proposal, complete with a diamond ring (by Neil Lane, of course.)
Andi, Josh, Nick and Chris all shacked up at the luxury all-inclusive Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, a Meliá hotel right on the Punta Cana beach. The resort is stunning and gorgeous and seemingly everything you could want from a romantic getaway. There are close to 700 rooms and suites to choose from so whether you're on a lovers' getaway or a family vacation, you'll find a room to suit your needs. There are also nine restaurants and bars, a Yhi spa, and activities galore, for all age groups.
But the only activity we cared about in Monday's night "Bachelorette" episode was vying for the Final Rose.
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Fall is finally here, which naturally means its time to wonder about winter escapes. On November 15th there will be another option to consider in the all-inclusive hotel category--Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa.
Formerly the Now Onyx Punta Cana, the remodeled property is now an all new 750-all Jacuzzi suite, adults-only resort that's part of the AMresorts family of hotels. It's located in Uvero Alto, a section of the Dominican Republic's popular Punta Cana town, about an 45 minutes from the airport.
This will be a mammoth resort with 6 pools, 13 restaurants and seven bars and lounges serving top shelf liquors (those who've done the a/i route know how important this is!). They've even tossed in free WiFi and international calling, so you can connect with home and get all braggy without wasting your cell phone minutes. Yeah!
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Starwood Hotels continues their global expansion by opening the 124-room Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana on September 28th, the first US-based, internationally-branded hotel to open in the Dominican Republic.
This is the newest addition to the Puntacana Village, which is designed to be a tranquil community with all the services and amenities of an urban area. The village includes a mix of both residential and commercial real estate, an international school, a retail and dining galleria, churches, financial institutions, medical centers, gyms, and, now, a Four Points by Sheraton. The hotel hopes to attract both business and leisure travelers with its low rates (starting at $96 a night) and location.
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Another day, another hotel called Eden Roc. We're not kidding. But this plush new, all-suites property in the Cap Cana area of the Dominican Republic is a lot fancier than its U.S. namesake, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.
Time will tell if it can become as legendary as its French namesake, Hotel Du Cap Eden Roc (a celeb and Lagerfeld fave).
What we can tell you is that Eden Roc at Cap Cana brings a new level of luxury to the area (and gets you far, far away from the party-happy scene in Punta Cana so beloved by reality TV stars).
The first 12 suites opened amid lush landscaping earlier this month, although the rest of the suites (some of them bigger than your house) and the resort's restaurants will be unveiled in October, as a more official grand opening. Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of the candy-colored exteriors peeking through palm trees and can attest to the generous size of even the entry-level suites.
If you love men who love banana hammocks and speedos, you'll want to head to the Barceló Punta Cana Resort. The Dominican Republic hotel will be full of hard-bodied, tan men when it hosts the finale of this year's Mr. Universe pageant.
You will be able to see the ripped guys flexing their muscles and strutting on the catwalk at the all-inclusive hotel from May 10 to 14. Given that the Barceló Punta Cana sits on the water, you may also be able to "accidentally" run into a few of the muscular contestants at the beach.
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We told you about the Real Housewives of New Jersey bar fight that went down at the Hard Rock Punta Cana. But deets are now surfacing, and it looks like housewife Teresa Giudice is being blamed for starting the brawl.
You're probably wondering if she instigated the February 23 fight by calling someone a "prostitution whore" or flipping over a table. Nope, according to RadarOnline, all she did to get a bar-goer angry was pop open a bottle of bubbly.
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Oscars, Schmoscars. We may have liked the pretty dresses on display last night but the celeb news we’re really lubsing from this weekend is that the Real Housewives of New Jersey got into a bar brawl at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana. That’s, like, so Jersey Shore season 1!
According to TMZ:
A couple of castmembers were hanging out at a bar inside the Hard Rock around 1:00 AM Wednesday morning when they got into a heated argument with a male patron.
We're told someone involved in the argument grabbed a drinking glass and smashed it over the man's head ... and the guy was hurt so badly, he needed immediate medical attention.
It’s still not known which members of the cast were involved, but all of them, including their other halves, had flown down for a week’s holiday last Sunday.
Still, we’ll know soon enough. According to the New York Post, the event was all caught on camera. Place your bets now.
Are you champing at the bit to get down to the Dominican Republic and party like a rock star on the beach? Well, you'll be able to in a few weeks, if the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana is to be believed. The massive complex of 121 acres, boasting more swimming pools than you can count on two hands and almost as many theme clubs and lounges, soft opens to guests on November 1, with it's official grand opening coming next spring.
It's an all-inclusive resort, of course, even though it's the first all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel. There'll be photobooths and live performances all over the place, just be sure to budget for some extra playing in the "Vegas-style casino," which will have 457 slots and 40 tables.