LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic -- Any resort that provides guests
with a foldout map at check-in obviously has a lot to offer.
So it should be no surprise that Casa de Campo, a 7,000-acre
resort on the Dominican Republic's southeastern coast, offers
activities and amenities to please a variety of clients.
Guests zip around the grounds in golf carts for activities that
include golf, dining, swimming and skeet shooting.
Last year, the property was rated one of the top 10
Caribbean/Atlantic resorts by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the
top 20 by Travel & Leisure magazine.
However, the resort, which opened in 1971, is not resting on its
According to resort officials, more than $100 million has been
invested in the last two years on new rooms and facilities,
including restaurants and lounges.
That's not all. A new airport opened last December in La Romana,
10 minutes away.
The facility, which can accommodate wide-body aircraft, features
an air-conditioned terminal, shops, a cafeteria, a bank and
American Airlines has daily nonstop service from Miami and
several flights a day from San Juan. Transfers also are available
from Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, about 90 minutes away
Golf, long a draw for visitors, continues to be a strong market
for Casa de Campo.
A new Pete Dye-designed course will open its first nine holes by
fall 2002 near the Altos de Chavon complex above the resort.
Another major development is the 150-slip Casa de Campo Marina
and Yacht Club, slated to open in August at the mouth of the Chavon
River and the Caribbean Sea.
An Italian plaza will anchor the new development, surrounded by
restaurants, a piano bar, a travel agency, a gallery, gift shops
"Families have come to Casa de Campo for many years," said
Claudio Silvestri, president and chief executive officer of Premier
Resorts & Hotels, which manages the resort.
To entice the 13- to-18-year-old market, the resort unveiled Que
Pasa 'n Casa, which features a clubhouse with a pool table, air
hockey, karaoke, movies and e-mail access.
A disco and beachside hut are available, as are horseback riding
A family entertainment center has game tables and activities
that include merengue lessons and Olympic-style competitions.
Families can kayak down the Chavon River to a picnic lunch; take
a trail ride or travel by horse-drawn buggy to breakfast, and boat
to Catalina Island for Casa de Campo's Survivors game. Extra
Resort programs also offer activities for younger children.
'Tweens Fun is for 7- to 12-year-olds, with riding, nature
adventures, tennis and water games.
Kidz 'n Casa, for the 3- to 6-year-old group, provides
supervised activities, treasure hunts and creative arts.
Golfers have two Pete Dye-designed courses now, with a third in
Seven holes of the 18-hole Teeth of the Dog course skirt the
ocean. The course has been recognized as a top one by Golf
The Links is an inland course with hilly terrains and rolling
Guests also can opt for tennis at the 13-court La Terraza Center
and sport shooting at the Sporting Clays Shooting Center.
The center's clubhouse opened in 1999 and includes the Safari
Club restaurant, serving exotic game and other international
Horseback riding, trail rides, polo instruction and
international-level polo matches are held at the equestrian
Fitness nuts have a workout center with weights, exercise
equipment, massages and beauty treatments.
Snorkeling, volleyball, football and beach Olympics are at the
resort's Minitas Beach.
A snorkeling trip to an island and deep-sea fishing can be
Dining options include Lago Grill, with American, Caribbean and
Dominican dishes; El Pescador, offering seafood; El Patio, which
serves traditional and modern Dominican cuisine, and Cafe del Sol
in Altos de Chavon, serving pizzas and antipasto.