CARIBBEAN HOTEL REVIEWS - Special places to stay in the Caribbean
The Dominican Republic - a review of Casa de Campo Resort, The Sporting Life
Casa de Campo, a magnificent resort in the Dominican Republic, has been voted the World's Leading Golf Resort by World Travel Awards for seven years running... but golf isn't the only sport this wonderful resort has to offer
Written by Golf Travel Writer, Photographer and Consultant Tony Smart
Situated in the Dominican Republic on the island's south east coast, the magnificent Casa de Campo resort offers luxurious accommodation in the form of ensuite rooms and villas with maids and butlers, and a wide variety of restaurants. The golf resort is located around an hour's drive from Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo), a 70-minute drive from Punta Cana International Airport, and five minutes from Casa de Campo / La Romana International Airport. There is also a Heliport on site and for anyone arriving by sea, the resort's marina - Casa de Campo Marina - can facilitate private yachts up to 250ft in length.
The Sporting Life at Casa de Campo
Golf isn't the only sport this World's Leading Golf Resort has to offer. Casa de Campo's theme is 'The Sporting Life' and so, as well as three excellent golf courses, it has world class equestrian/polo, shooting, tennis and watersport facilities. The Equestrian Centre is internationally renowned for the quality of its four polo fields and during the polo season of November to July there can be up to 400 horses stabled there at any one time. It also has excellent show jumping facilities and can provide horses for trail riding as well as Donkey Polo for children and anyone who's never ridden a horse before.
The 245 acre Shooting Centre has over 200 shooting stations for trap, skeet and sporting clays including one of the largest towers in the world, and is the largest shooting centre in the southern hemisphere. And the La Terraza Tennis Centre, with its 13 fast-dry Har-Tru courts (10 of them floodlit) and more than 25 USPTR certified teaching professionals, has been called the Wimbledon of the Caribbean and has staged an international tennis tournament for more than 30 years, the Casa de Campo Cup, which attracts 250 entrants from 14 countries around the world.
Watersports & spa treatments at Casa de Campo
Naturally enough, as befits a resort located on the Caribbean, watersports also play a big part in 'The Sporting Life' at Casa de Campo. Deep sea fishers can chase wahoo, tuna, kingfish, sailfish, marlin and barracuda in the ocean or go fresh water fishing on the Chavon River. Kayaking can be enjoyed at sea or on the river. The snorkeling off the resort's private Minitas Beach or on excursion to one of several offshore islands is first class in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, as is the sailing which can be done on Hobie cats or on larger vessels available from the Casa de Campo Marina where you can also take sailing lessons from globally recognized professionals of the Scuola della Vela, direct from Italy.
Just in case all this exercise leaves your muscles feeling a little weary there are some great masseuses at the Casa de Campo Spa offering a wide range of treatments from aromatherapy to reiki and reflexology to soothe away your aches and pains. The Spa also offers a private Water Sanctuary with steam room, sauna and two hot/cold plunge pools, and a serene Meditation Garden.
HOTEL REVIEW - CASA DE CAMPO, THE SPORTING LIFE - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Altos de Chavon Mediterranean village
One more wonderful experience that is part of Casa de Campo's 7,000 acres is Altos de Chavon, a replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village located high above the Chavon River. Created as a cultural centre for the Dominican people this architectural masterpiece is filled with quaint shops, boutiques, art galleries, fine restaurants, museums and the Altos de Chavon School of Design. Working artists can be watched in the cobbled streets and the museums include an Archeological Museum and the Amber World Museum. The village was opened in 1982 with a concert by Frank Sinatra at the open air amphitheatre that is the centrepiece of Altos de Chavon and since then musicians like Sting, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo have all performed here.
Restaurants at Casa de Campo
You can dine on succulent seafood and Spanish cuisine at La Casita restaurant in amongst the yachts, high power speedboats and deep sea fishing vessels at the Marina where there are also Italian and Chinese restaurants. Or you can enjoy Mediterranean and International cuisine at the Lago Grill or La Cana by Il Circo restaurants in the main hotel area. Or you can enjoy a vast array of different foods at one of the six restaurants at Altos de Chavon.
A Caribbean paradise popular with Hollywood stars and VIPs
With all that it has to offer it's not surprising that Casa de Campo has been a favoured resort for the global elite for more than 40 years. Hollywood stars, sports professionals, heads-of-state, financial wizards and top entertainers have all made this Caribbean paradise one of their regular holiday stops.
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