The Dominican Republic, on Christopher Columbus’s famous island of Hispaniola, enjoys year-round summer, sugar-white beaches shaded by palm trees, crystalline waters and Spanish colonial history stretching back five centuries

Columbus spotted Hispaniola’s coral-edged Caribbean coastline on his first voyage to the New World and pronounced, ‘There is no more beautiful island in the world.’ It is indeed a spectacular place, and our choice of beachfront hotel is the best on the island: Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, Punta Cana, the most sophisticated, intimate, and prestigious hotel in the Dominican Republic, and an architectural gem.



When Columbus arrived he thought mistakenly that he had reached Asia, and proceeded to create many ‘firsts’ for the Caribbean on this island which the Dominican people called Quisqueya, ‘Mother Earth’: the firs
t permanent European settlement in the New World was founded here on November 7, 1493, near Montecristi in the north-east part of the island (its ruins still remain). The oldest fort in the New World (1564) is Fort San Felipe. At Parque Nacional La Isabela, excavations have revealed the outlines of the church where the first Mass in the New World was conducted—plus what may have been Columbus’s house, and an observation tower where Columbus used to gaze at the stars.

History apart, all that sunshine, sand, sea, spicy food, even spicier merengue, and a leisurely lifestyle off the usual Caribbean beaten track, make the Dominican Republic extremely attractive—and the white sandy beaches and swaying coconut palm trees make Punta Cana a magnet for sun worshippers.

Scuba divers can plunge deep for shipwrecks in the translucent waters of Bayahibe—and the Dominican Republic offers some of the most exciting sports fishing in the world, the wide variety of fish species including dorado, wahoo, barracuda, blue marlin, white marlin, yellow fin tuna, sailfish and bonito. Deep-sea fishing charters are popular, and every year the international white and blue marlin championship is held there, at the Cap Cana Marina and fishing lodge.

Inland, the vibrant Santo Domingo, one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, has a 12-block Colonial Zone whose cobblestone streets take you past old stone buildings and museums. Away from the city, discover the thundering waterfall Salto de Aguas Blancas or observe marine life at Manati Park, including the protected manatees. Stock up on the world's finest cigars in the cigar-making region in and around Santiago, or bring home aged Dominican rum. In Santo Domingo, browse El Mercado Modela, a market filled with local crafts and spices. And visit Harrison's in Puerto Plata for amber jewellery, worn by Keith Richards and Madonna—amber is one of the island’s great natural treasures.


Now to our hand-picked hotel. Casa Colonial Beach & Spa was beautifully designed by the architect Sarah Garcia. It was the first hotel in the country to become one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and as an à la carte boutique hotel it is distinctly chic. It is a Palladian-style Renaissance villa, with hints of Andalusia. At its heart are two deluxe restaurants and a full-service spa, and an annex artfully combines lush gardens and views of the lagoon. And the ultra-smart staff uniform includes the wearing of a sola topee—the celebrated pith helmet.



The hotel is all-suite and the 50 rooms are beautifully appointed. Bedrooms are cool all-white retreats, high-ceilinged, large, and in some cases, very large. This is a very adult and appealingly indulgent kind of place (children aged 11 and under are not encouraged).

Take for example the Ocean Front Deluxe Suites, which feature two queen size beds or one king, en-suite bathroom (with double hand basins, Roman style tub and separate walk-in shower), separate living room with sofa bed, dining area and spacious balcony. In-room amenities include air-conditioning and ceiling fan, high-speed internet, two large flat-screen televisions with cable channels, three telephones with international direct dialing and voice-mail, a minibar, coffee-maker, bathrobes and slippers, luxury bathroom products and everything else you could wish.

Exclusive Club rates

Members enjoy special rates at this lovely Caribbean hotel, saving up to 68% off rack rates, currently starting at £160 for an Ocean Front Deluxe Suite for the first Members to book—an amazingly good rate! For details and to check availability, call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or follow the link below.

Enquire about availability.

 
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¶ Our exclusive Club rates are available to Members and their travelling companions only. To check the hotel's availability on your preferred dates, please click the specific hotel link (above or left) or visit the Club website Travel pages to browse more hotels (click here) or call Member Services on 020 7399 2960.




All rates and rooms are subject to availability and price fluctuations at the time of booking.
Bookings are made subject to our full Terms & Conditions (please read them by clicking the link below).


11 Princes Street, Mayfair, London W1B 2LJ. UK. Tel: 020 7399 2960. Web: www.countryclubuk.com.