Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo is among the world’s most famous resorts that will compete head-to-head for the coveted title of “World’s Leading Resort” at a VIP World Travel Awards (WTA) ceremony in Qatar on January 11 2012.
Sprawled across the Southern Coast of Dominican Republic, this iconic property - also in the running for World’s Leading Golf Resort, World’s Leading Hotel Villas and World’s Leading Luxurious Hotel - has an astonishing, colourful and exciting 40 year history.
Initially built four decades ago as an executive golf course to be played by the employees of the local Sugar Mill, Casa de Campo has expanded and flourished to become one of the world’s leading hotels, picking up accolade after accolade for its quality facilities, staff and service.
Spread over an expansive 28 km, Casa’s unusual and awesome amenities place it into a league of its own, providing each of its guests with a truly unforgettable experience.
For the past 30 years, Casa de Campo – which means country house in Spanish, has been driven forward by its president and CEO, Dr Claudio Silvestri. The Italian entrepreneur (pictured below) has applied his forward thinking flare to ensure this Caribbean gem still has no direct competitors anywhere else in the world.
The property went from 160 villas to more than 1,600 – with the main focus not on guests arriving and then leaving in the main hotel, but exploring and playing throughout this resort’s 7,000 acre playground. Most recently, Casa has been showing off its sparkling new guest rooms following a $40 million upgrade. In addition, the new $12m central kitchen is one of the largest in the region, estimated to be able to feed 2,500 people for a week.
Casa de Campo is considered to be a sportsman’s paradise, with activities ranging from polo, to shooting and sailing. In high season there are 150 polo horses – 80 of which are for riding, and showjumping. Or guests can organise to go hunting or fishing. Then there is the purpose-built kennel where dogs are trained. The tennis centre boasts 13 courts, 10 of which are lit at night.
The focal point of Casa de Campo has historically been the Teeth of the Dog golf course designed by legendary architect Pete Dye, which has been consistently ranked in the top 50 golf courses in the world since it first opened in 1971. The Links is set to reopen in March after a major refurb.
The hotel, which was voted Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort by the World Travel Awards, operates three world class golfing courses.The David Leadbedder golf academy opened at Casa de Campo last year which enables guests to train under the instruction of David as well as having the best golfing courses in the world to play on.
Another feature that truly sets this property apart is its two-terminal, LRM on-site international airport which opened in December 2000. American Airlines, Air Canada, Jetblue, Air Berlin, and West Jet are among carriers that fly to the destination and this is continuing to expand.
Last month saw the arrival of two new commercial jets; American Eagle has added twice weekly flights from Puerto Rico, while JetBlue has announced twice weekly fights from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
The Casa de Campo Marina & Yacht Club is thought to be a great spot for dining, shopping and seeing some of the most amazing yachts cruising the high seas.There are also four beaches close to resort for guests to enjoy, including one on the property.
Casa de Campo picked up five World Travel Awards during the Caribbean & Americas Ceremony, including the Caribbean’s Leading Resort so it is hardly surprising that guests choose to return again and again.
In addition to its phenomenal sports and beach experiences, Casa de Campo offers unique cultural experiences in its Altas de Chavon artists village, featuring artisan workshops, museums, boutiques, restaurants and an amphitheatre site bringing many international concerts.
The World Travel Awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, will reward those destinations, hotels and organisations that have made the largest contribution to the travel and tourism industry over the past year.
Stay tuned to find out whether Casa de Campo triumphs in the World Travel Awards Grand Final, which is set to take place in Qatar on January 11.
To find out where to go and what to do in the Dominican Republic visit Dominicanrepublic.city.mobi/