Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 59)

Opposite: Balcones del Atlantico’s beach Below: Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Behind the two hotels, the new 18-hole, P.B. Dye golf course completes the entire package, offering incredible value and variety. Convention center capacity is 5,000 pax. THe SAMANA CONNeCTION Les Pye is vp of operations for Connect Travel Services DMC, the only DMC on-island that works exclusively with groups and incentives. We met for coffee in the covered, open-air lobby at Barcelo that’s about the size of a football field. “We can take care of all planning services including booking hotels and private jet services,” he says. It’s not uncommon for Pye to arrange helicopter/plane transfers from Punta Cana to other popular DR destinations such as Santo Domingo, La Romana and Puerto Plata. And now, Samana—the best kept secret in the Caribbean for small groups visiting for an outstanding pre/post or day trip. It took a while but the new Samana el Catey Int’l Airport opened on the north coast this year, sparking a slew of chic, affordable boutique resorts and a new highway to the rustic fishing town of Las Terrenas. The idyllic postcard beach from one end of town to the other looks just like the untouched photo to the left, without any large crowds. Groups can fly domestic into El Catey for about $80 r/t, or like we did, charter a plane for the 50-minute flight. The cost runs around $2,000 for a 19-seater, but prices range depending on season/load. Also, there are presently direct international flights from Canada and Europe into El Catey, and negotiations are underway with U.S. carriers. Behind the town, the mountains are covered with a lush palm tree canopy that gives the destination a slightly wild jungle-like ambience. Untamed, exotic, authentic—a local kind of destination where you feel part of the island culture by the end of the first day. “When people want a real Dominican experience they choose Terrenas,” says Pedro Sanchez, general manager of the new 87-unit Balcones del Atlantico. “Yet the area was built by the French, Italian, German and Dominicans who lived and worked here for decades. So it’s very multicultural but at the same time lush and natural, so you feel very in touch with the soul of the Dominican Republic.” It’s been over a decade since I last visited and not much has changed, which is great. Except for hotels like Balcones, which is even greater. The 2- and 3-bedroom villas (1,900-4,000 sf) come with full stainless steel kitchens, modern island furniture, roomy baths and gigantic balconies, hence the name, with 12-person thick wood tables, BBQs and plumpy sofas. I can see myself dicing fresh veggies to make homemade salsa for a group of colleagues here. Can’t imagine a more awesome place for brainstorming than this balcony boardroom. “We have a new concept where we have top level executives come for a board meeting but they bring their family, so the spouses and children can be together during the day and then everyone can be together at night,” says Sanchez. We end our tour on the beach at the open-air Porto restaurant, perched above the sand a few feet from the sea. The breeze is consistent and the decor is refined and rustic—what you’d expect from wealthy owners who designed the place like they would their home. Peruvian chef Bruno Toso meets with local fishermen every morning, not far from where we’re all sitting at a variety of tables. You could host 100 people here easily, followed by a bonfire on the beach with merengue dancing lessons. Sanchez says groups tend to sample a little of everything: mahi-mahi ceviche, tuna kabobs, shrimp with a bunch of dipping sauces. And the wine list is one of the largest on the island. I meet co-owner Maria Turull de Bisono and mention the refined/rustic vibe and how everyone looks so entirely content. “Our motto is ‘Simple Luxury,’” she says. “Definitely luxury but with sandals and shorts, not stuffy.” Sanchez comes over with another bottle of chilled Chilean, and tells us Balcones works with Pack for a Purpose (PFaP), a global program in its infancy asking groups to pack items to donate to local school kids. I wonder to myself, PFaP seems so simple, why couldn’t it be scaled up all over the world? Fabeth Martinez Fernandez, executive director of the Samana Hotel & Tourism Association, nods in agreement. She adds, “Sustainable, responsible tourism and educating the community so they can be active in tourism here are our top priorities.” There’s a great vibe here. Keep an eye on Samana. ctsdr.com; meetbarcelo.com; ahetsa.com; rockresorts.com prevueonline.net | 59 http://www.ctsdr.com http://www.meetbarcelo.com http://www.ahetsa.com http://www.rockresorts.com http://www.prevueonline.net

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2011

Back Bay, Boston
Manchester
Meliá Hotels & Resorts
San Francisco/Denver/Cleveland
HSMAI + Soles4Souls
IRF/MGM Resorts, Las Vegas
Daytona Beach
Sustainability: The Next Big Thing
Central America
India
Sweden
Barcelo Resorts/Samana, DR
Portland

Prevue September/October 2011

Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 1)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 2)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 3)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 4)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 5)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 6)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 7)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 8)
Prevue September/October 2011 - (Page 9)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Back Bay, Boston (Page 10)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Back Bay, Boston (Page 11)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Manchester (Page 12)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Manchester (Page 13)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Meliá Hotels & Resorts (Page 14)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Meliá Hotels & Resorts (Page 15)
Prevue September/October 2011 - San Francisco/Denver/Cleveland (Page 16)
Prevue September/October 2011 - San Francisco/Denver/Cleveland (Page 17)
Prevue September/October 2011 - HSMAI + Soles4Souls (Page 18)
Prevue September/October 2011 - HSMAI + Soles4Souls (Page 19)
Prevue September/October 2011 - IRF/MGM Resorts, Las Vegas (Page 20)
Prevue September/October 2011 - IRF/MGM Resorts, Las Vegas (Page 21)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Daytona Beach (Page 22)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Daytona Beach (Page 23)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 24)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 25)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 26)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 27)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 28)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 29)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 30)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 31)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 32)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 33)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 34)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 35)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 36)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 37)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 38)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sustainability: The Next Big Thing (Page 39)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 40)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 41)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 42)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 43)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 44)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 45)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 46)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Central America (Page 47)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 48)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 49)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 50)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 51)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 52)
Prevue September/October 2011 - India (Page 53)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sweden (Page 54)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sweden (Page 55)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sweden (Page 56)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Sweden (Page 57)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Barcelo Resorts/Samana, DR (Page 58)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Barcelo Resorts/Samana, DR (Page 59)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 60)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 61)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 62)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 63)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 64)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 65)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 66)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 67)
Prevue September/October 2011 - Portland (Page 68)
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