Prevue November-December 2017 - 59
Eden Roc at Cap Cana
New luxury developments & cultural experiences spur meetings growth
[ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING
he Dominican Republic is in the midst of major growth as
new hotels and resorts open to attract groups in search of
luxury accommodations mixed with experiential activities
that go beyond expectations. More than 5,400 hotel
rooms went online last year and the growth and potential options
for meetings and incentives doesn't stop there.
"The occupancy rate of major hotels in Santo Domingo
continues to grow because of an emphasis on the meetings
market," says Roberto Henriquez, president of the Santo
Domingo Hotel Association. "With five new hotels opening in the
next two years, we're looking to have Santo Domingo become the
key city for MICE and for cultural experiences."
THE LATEST IN LUXURY
Our group discovered many new luxury developments during a
recent visit to the island. The new 457-room, adults-only Secrets
Cap Cana Resort & Spa, our host hotel, strutted its stuff while
hosting the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange's closing
celebration this past May. The Blue Beach Punta Cana Luxury
Resort opened this year, offering yoga classes, water sports, a
juice bar, Namaste Spa and other wellness programs.
Renovations at the Eden Roc at Cap Cana are helping to
attract groups in search of top-notch amenities. In addition to
offering gourmet cuisine (and golf packages), Eden Roc recently
debuted 26 two-bedroom beachfront suites. This adds to an earlier
expansion that updated its Beach Club with an infinity pool, an
oceanview fitness center, a refreshed private beach and the BLUE
Grill + Bar. "[The Dominican Republic] hasn't yet been recognized
as a high-end luxury destination, so one of our goals was to
redefine luxury by adding to our hotel," says Juliana Cordones,
sales and marketing manager at Eden Roc.
A five-year contract with the PGA Tour that begins next
year at one of Puntacana Resort & Club's three properties,
The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, is also changing this
perception, says Carmen Rosa De Torres, hospitality sales director
of Puntacana Resort & Club. "Many planners don't know that we're
recognized as a high-end golfing destination, and The Westin's
courses look out over the ocean." Meanwhile, the resort's Tortuga
Bay Hotel will reopen this month (as of press time) following an
extensive design refresh and tech upgrades to its 13 villas, and a
new lounge for arrivals and departures. Scuba diving, fishing and
kiteboarding are available, or groups can explore the 1,500-acre
Ojos Indigenas Ecological Park and Reserve off-site or join a
sustainability giveback program with the Puntacana Foundation.
EXPLORING SANTO DOMINGO
The recent opening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
Convention Center, which can hold up to 3,500 attendees, is
currently Santo Domingo's biggest highlight. Santo Domingo also
continues to invest in the restoration of its Colonial City, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, to create diverse offerings in gastronomy,
culture, history and entertainment for meetings groups.
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