Hot Spots

The 2007 It List

by Ondine Cohane

Dominican Republic

Until recently, visitors to this Caribbean nation fell into one of two groups: The moneyed and stuffy ensconced themselves at the venerable Casa de Campo compound, while the budget-minded favored the all-inclusives. Now, upscale properties, an improved infrastructure, more direct flights, and a good dose of cash are giving the D.R. newfound cachet. Much of the buzz emanates from Playa Grande, a 2,000-acre enclave earmarked for future development by a group of New York glitterati—founding members include Richard Meier, Alex von Furstenberg, Fareed Zakaria, and Moby. It already has a Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course, and Four Seasons, Amanresorts, and St. Regis are reportedly opening hotels–but not until 2009. In the meantime, there are plenty of new boutique properties already drawing celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Penélope Cruz, and Uma Thurman (not all in one room, of course). Our new Insider Guide lists some of the highlights: Sivory Punta Cana, on a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach; Tortuga Bay, on the eastern tip of the island, decorated by native son Oscar de la Renta with an enviable Six Senses spa; and the 50-suite Casa Colonial, just outside Puerto Plata. The Sanctuary Cap Cana opens its doors this spring with a Jack Nicklaus golf course attached; Starwood's Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort follows in late 2007—not to mention a number of new properties in Samaná. All of which means one thing: Go sooner rather than later.

Playa Grande
Tel: 917 338 6148

Sivory Punta Cana
Tel: 809 552 0500

Tortuga Bay
Tel: 888 442 2262

Casa Colonial
Tel: 809 320 3232

Sanctuary Cap Cana
Tel: 800 785 2198

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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