SuperClubs Breezes into Dominican Republic

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NEW YORK -- SuperClubs Resorts reflagged two resorts it has managed in the Dominican Republic since August as the first Breezes properties to open in the Caribbean nation.

The multimillion-dollar renovation and rebranding of the resorts -- Breezes Punta Cana, which is currently open, and Breezes Puerto Plata, closed for renovations through February -- expands SuperClubs' portfolio to 16 properties in six countries, according to company officials.

The hotels -- formerly operated as the Punta Cana Spa & Casino Beach Resort and Puerto Plata Beach & Spa Resort, respectively -- are owned by Sol de Plata Hotels & Resorts.

The new Breezes properties could be the first foray of a larger expansion by SuperClubs into the fast-growing Dominican Republic market, according to executive chairman John Issa.

"We hope to grow our presence there," Issa said. "But given the state of the global travel market, I don't see too much construction taking place for the next few years."

Instead, he said, SuperClubs may look into taking over as many as six other existing Dominican resorts.

In the meantime, the company is busy with renovations at the 466-room Breezes Puerto Plata that include the construction of a new lobby, casino, banquet hall and swimming pools.

SuperClubs hopes to reopen the resort by February but no firm date has been set, said Issa, thanks to the vagaries of any construction effort.

But a two-month spruce-up of the larger Breezes Punta Cana (735 rooms) has resulted in new water-sports facilities and restaurants, along with improvements to the gym and in-room amenities and other "minor refinements," Issa added, all without shuttering the resort or disturbing guests.

The property's strongest selling point may be that it was built on an unusually wide lot for the area, so that most of its rooms have views of its 1,500-foot beach.

"It's really one of the few true 'beachfront' hotels in the region," according to Issa, who added that the site abuts a government-protected stretch of undeveloped beach that guarantees unspoiled views.

Guest rooms and suites at both Breezes Punta Cana and Breezes Puerto Plata have been outfitted with air conditioning, satellite TV, CD players, direct-dial telephones, irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers, minifridges, hair dryers and in-room safes.

Standard Breezes activity options added to both resorts include a circus workshop with trapeze and trampoline, ice-skating and rock-climbing.

Rates start at $119 per person, double, from Jan. 1 to April 13, and include accommodations; meals, snacks and liquor; land and water sports; and entertainment.

For more information, call (800) GO-SUPER or visit www.superclubs.com.

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