Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, the storied Dominican Republic resort that draws in everyone from U.S. presidents (including both George Bushes and Bill Clinton) to celebrities (Drake filmed his “Started from the Bottom” video in a lavish villa, one that Rihanna also visited during a separate trip), recently amped up its already extensive offerings with a new hotel-within-a-hotel, The Premier Club.
Opened in 1974, the sprawling 7,000-acre haven on the country’s southeastern coast seems more like a village than a resort, with three golf courses, a marina (with 370 slips, it’s the largest in the Caribbean), a yacht club, an equestrian center, polo fields, a spa, nearly 20 dining and drinking spots, a tennis center (the Caribbean’s biggest) and a shooting club in addition to hotel rooms, suites and villas.
Debuting last month, the all-suite Premier Club provides more privacy and personalized service. While staying in the newly built lakefront building across from Casa de Campo’s central lobby, you’ll have access to perks unavailable elsewhere in the resort, including check-in at a dedicated lounge, a special golf cart to help you navigate the vast grounds, private concierge service and a pillow and aromatherapy menu. And only Premier guests can visit the Club lounge, which offers an array of cocktails and complimentary canapes and appetizers.
The New Suites
The 58 Premier Club suites have a different look, too. While the main hotel accommodations feature a classic aesthetic with neutral hues and natural materials like stone and mahogany, the Premier Club suites adopt a modern take by layering a neutral palette with lighter woods and shades of peacock inspired by the ocean, local art and updated technology (like 55- and 65-inch smart TVs in the Premier Junior Suites and Premier Suites, respectively). They also come outfitted with a full-size wet bar, Kohler-equipped bathrooms with a large window (with a shade) that make them feel more spacious, living areas with sofa beds, balconies or terraces, and butler service.
The most coveted among the new accommodations is the Premier Presidential Suite. Inside, you’ll find three bedrooms, an office, a kitchen with a separate staff entrance, a dining room table for eight and a living room with a 70-inch smart television. If you’re traveling with an entourage or want the utmost privacy, you can rent out two additional suites to have the entire second floor to yourself.
The New Spa
The resort will also add a new spa. Scheduled to open in the summer, The Spa at Casa de Campo will be a larger wellness refuge featuring 13 treatment rooms, each with its own garden and outdoor shower; a hydrotherapy circuit with a sauna, a steam room, a vitality pool, a cold plunge and laconium loungers; an alfresco pool with cabanas; an expansive tranquility lounge; a café and juice bar; and a spa concierge. In a quest to create more private experiences, Casa de Campo will provide a new VIP suite that it’s calling a “spa within a spa.” The specialty spa suite will have its own entrance, lounge, treatment space, makeup station, bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, vitality pool and bar and refreshment area.
Along with lavish renditions of traditional treatments, the more-than-18,000-square-foot spa will offer innovative services like the JetPeel Facial, which employs jet technology to thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate the skin; Triple Detox Therapy, a combination of infrared heat, negative ions and chromotherapy; and Binaural Acoustic & Dynamic Stimulation, where a Gharieni Welnamis treatment bed with computer-controlled sound and vibrational therapy helps you achieve a deeper level of relaxation.
The Extensive Activities
As you wait for the spa’s opening, partake in the seemingly endless list of activities at the La Romana hotel. One unique attraction is Altos de Chavón, an artisans’ village modeled after a 16th-century Mediterranean town. Walk the cobblestone streets to peruse boutiques, a museum, a gallery, a Catholic church, restaurants and a 5,000-seat amphitheater that’s hosted performances from everyone from Frank Sinatra to Alicia Keys.
Golfers will want to reserve tee times at the three Pete Dye-designed courses, but especially at the top-rated Teeth of the Dog, which boasts seven oceanfront holes. You can also head to the equestrian center to explore the hotel’s tropical grounds on one of the gorgeous horses — you’ll even trot by secluded villas owned by celebrities like singer Marc Anthony and former baseball player Sammy Sosa.
If you want to venture off the extensive property, take a day trip to Catalina Island for a snorkeling tour. A boat will bring you to the six-square-mile sliver of uninhabited, pristine sand not far from the coast. Considered a national monument for its diverse marine ecosystem, Catalina is a great place for snorkeling newbies given its clear, shallow water. Our guide led us to the popular snorkel spots, and his sharp eye spotted a puffer fish lurking under a rock. He showed us an area dotted with large starfish, and we encountered a turtle munching on grass on the bottom of the ocean floor. On shore, the beach fills as the day goes on, with catamarans setting anchor along the shoreline and music rising above the sound of the waves as tourists swim or soak up the sun.