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Tortuga Bay, Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana 
$$$$

Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
Tel: 888 442 2262 (toll-free)
Tel: 809 959 2262
info@puntacana.com
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Concierge.com's insider take:

Fifteen gorgeous, cheery yellow villas—decorated by none other than D.R. native son Oscar de la Renta—are spread along the beachfront of this posh gated community. De la Renta, Julio Iglesias, and Mikhail Baryshnikov are among the somebodies who own homes here, and when you're ushered through the Punta Cana airport to a waiting car, whisked to your villa, and handed the keys to your own golf cart, you'll start to feel like a big deal, too. Together, the villas comprise 30 one- to four-bedroom suites, each decorated in fresh, Caribbean-meets-Hamptons style, with cream upholstery, dark wood furniture, coralline stone baths, and French doors that open to a private patio or balcony. Although the friendly staff tries hard, the service isn't always as polished as you'd expect when paying upward of $800 per night in high season. But if there's anything you need, you can use your hotel-provided mobile phone to ring up your villa manager. The poolside Bamboo restaurant and bar is Tortuga Bay's congenial hub, but you'll also have access to the surrounding parent property, Puntacana Resort & Club (easily reached by golf cart). Though a little more gimmicky-feeling, Puntacana nevertheless has a lot to offer: two golf courses (one designed by Pete Dye, the other by Tom Fazio), six clay tennis courts, a Six Senses spa, water sports facilities, and several restaurants (including the beachfront La Yola). The resort also has its own 600-acre forest preserve, where you can bathe in spring-fed pools and take guided nature walks.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

This exclusive new enclave within the Puntacana Resort & Club complex creates the home away from home that you wished you lived in. The 50 guest suites are contained within 15 sunny villas resembling small houses in a genteel development (with your own golf cart parked right outside). Even the smallest one-bedroom suite is vast, at 1,127 square feet. Decorated by Oscar de la Renta (who owns a home in Punta Cana) with rattan furniture and orange and white prints, the suites' Caribbean-cool interiors are easy on the eyes. French doors open onto a terrace that faces either a green lawn and the ocean beyond or the P. B. Dye–designed golf course. The crackerjack staff include a cheerful villa manager who will do practically anything you ask, as well as valets who whisk you through customs at the airport. Meals are memorable, whether at the Latin-Asian Bamboo, the closest restaurant, or on your own breezy terrace. The Six Senses Spa is included among the 2007 Hot List Spas.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: January through March promises the best weather—sunny with little rain and relatively cool.

Which room to book: Oceanfront junior suites have terraces from which to take in the water.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym, Pool, Spa

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