Start planning your getaway to the Dominican Republic’s little piece of paradise!
Close your eyes and imagine with me for a moment, a hidden utopia located under vibrant blue skies and spread across 7,000 acres of the Dominican Republic’s verdant fields. Take a deep breath and inhale the distinct smell of the southeastern coast as a cooling breeze gently caresses your skin under the dazzling sun. Feel how the perfect tropical weather warms you from the inside out and welcomes you to your long-awaited getaway. This euphoric escape is one of genuine beauty and true elegance. A gated Caribbean destination that one could only call paradise. Now stop imagining this experience and start planning your next vacation there instead. As the locals would say, “Bienvenidos” and welcome to Casa de Campo!
For four magical days and three beautiful nights, I had the unsurpassed pleasure of staying at the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo to enjoy their unique take on the ideal vacation. A three-in-one hotel, resort and residential community located in La Romana, Casa de Campo is truly onto something special. For the past 40 years, the internationally recognized property has been a hot vacation spot to a vast array of the world’s most elite globetrotters. From government officials to hollywood stars and sports professionals, Casa de Campo is near and dear to the hearts of all who have visited this tropical playground. Upon first entrance to the resort, I was immediately struck by the warmth, tenderness and care shown to each and every guest by the friendly, always smiling Dominican staff. True hospitality is what they aim for and world-class service is what they ultimately achieve. After checking into my guestroom conveniently located along the main hotel lobby and pool, it was time for some cocktails at the beautiful La Caña Bar & Lounge. As I toasted with companions in the open air seating, light music filled the air and the refreshing Caribbean breeze reminded me of the wonderful things I had to look forward to over the course of my stay.
An exceptional Mediterranean dinner at La Caña by Il Circo followed the cocktails and further proved that I had barely touched all the excellent offerings at Casa de Campo. Perfect for fine dining or a light lunch, the exquisite La Caña cuisine featured specialties prepared by chefs from the noted Circo restaurants in New York and Las Vegas. The following morning I headed to Largo Grill for a very different, but equally enjoyable dining experience. After a delicious breakfast buffet that featured several cooks preparing made-to-order dishes, it was time for some rest and relaxation on Casa de Campo’s acclaimed beach. In what went on to become a highlight of my trip, I walked along the peaceful turquoise waters and took some time out to lay on the powdery white sand. After a couple hours that passed by all too quickly, it was time to head back to my room and change for a highly anticipated golf experience. Though Casa de Campo is home to three championship golf courses and 63 holes all designed by the brilliant Pete Dye, my afternoon adventure consisted of one game on Teeth of the Dog. Ranked number one in the Caribbean, Teeth of the Dog is preceded by its reputation as a challenging course and I would have to agree. As an avid golfer, I was impressed by the variety of shots required by the course such as a hole that must be hit from one peninsula to another located across the rocks and water. The focus required to remain on par could only be broken by the sheer beauty that surrounded me. A beauty that demanded it be noticed, admired and respected.
With six fabulous dining options available to resort guests, it only made sense that we try our hand at somewhere new and different every night. For my second evening on property, we toured the stunning La Marina and then dined at the nearby La Casita. Waterfront seating and an expansive al fresco structure allowed us to continue embodying the marina lifestyle as we enjoyed stunning views of private yachts on the glistening Caribbean Sea. After indulging in succulent seafood specialties, fine Spanish cuisine and a variety of tapas–a few decadent desserts and refreshing handmade cocktails brought the dinner to a satisfying close. Seated nearby–and also dining on the property–was famed singer-songwriter Marc Anthony and his entourage. At that point, I had to admit to myself that Casa de Campo truly was a destination perfect for everyone. The next morning we rose bright and early to get in touch with nature at Casa de Campo’s Equestrian Center. With dozens of magnificent horses filling the stables and several ponies for the little ones, the Equestrian Center offers visitors everything from lessons in horseback riding and rodeo stunts to private guided tours such as the one I partook in that morning. For one hour, Dominican ranchers led my companions and I on a trail ride through Dye Fore. As we alternated between galloping and walking, it felt good to be miles away from the fast paced life back home and up close and personal with one of nature’s most beautiful creatures instead. During the intimate time, our guides further proved the good nature of the local people as they went out of their way to make sure each and every single one of us felt safe on top of the horses.
A few hours later we traded the peaceful serenity of horseback riding with the high-energy thrills and excitement that comes with sport shooting. I know of no other resort that could match the shooting action we found at Casa de Campo´s Sporting Clays Shooting Center! Set on more than 245 acres, the Shooting Center boasts over 200 stations for trap, skeet and sporting clays (including one of the largest towers in the world), pigeon rings and more. The beginners in our party were placed in one group while myself and the others entered another for those with more experience. With our instructor beside us and a double barrel shotgun in hand, we let loose on clay targets mechanically flung into the air. I was impressed by the level of detail in the instructions we received to ensure safety and that a good time was had by all. Regardless of skill level or total number of targets shot, everyone had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience–that being said, I must admit I was proud to be the best out of the group!
Our final dinner took place on private Minitas beach and under the twinkling stars that surround The Beach Club by Le Cirque. The newly renovated restaurant serves savory seafood, grilled meats, pasta, fresh salads and side dishes along with enticing desserts. The Beach Club was my fourth dining experience at a Casa de Campo restaurant and I was pleased to see that it followed the same trend of impeccable service that the resort had taught me to expect in every interaction across the gorgeous property. For our final evening, my companions and I checked into one of the resort’s absolutely stunning villas which featured its own cook and a housemaid among other notable services and amenities. To say I wasn’t ready to fly back home the next day would be a gross understatement! From adventure and excitement to rest and relaxation, no matter what I was looking for, Casa de Campo’s five-star facilities and warm welcome went a long way towards making my visit as memorable, comfortable and satisfying as possible. When an already stunning resort pays such close attention to detail and the needs of their guests, it only makes sense that they would go above and beyond my highest standards. With various excursions such as a boat cruise to secluded Catalina Island or an exploration of Altos de Chavón’s 16th century inspired cobblestone streets–putting Casa de Campo on your future itinerary is a must. Perhaps your desire is simply to relax at the spa and enjoying internationally recognized culinary delights on property. Whatever you’re looking for, I highly recommend you come and see firsthand why this unassuming gem is treasured, loved and respected by people of all ages from around the world.
Casa de Campo
La Romana, Dominican Republic