If the word “exclusive” is used to describe a particular travel destination it would most certainly have to be Casa de Campo on the southeastern shores of the Dominican Republic. This 7,000 acres of paradise in Romana is about an hour outside Santo Domingo, the capital. The land was once home to the private retreat of Charles Bluhdorn, Gulf+Western CEO and founder who built the estate in 1975 on the company’s sugar mill property.
Casa de Campo is one of the world’s most prestigious holiday destinations for luxury travelers and one of the country’s most affluent communities. It has a modern, 400-berth marina, complete with a shipyard. Surrounding the harbor are more than 70 restaurants, shops, bars, and homes. The Casa de Campo Marina has also played host to the Rolex Farr 40 sailing cup.
Here is an inkling of some of what you can expect to see and do when heading to this exclusive Garden of Eden:
When you’re looking for a culinary treat in Casa de Campo head to Causa for some authentic Peruvian fare with a worldly flair. The menu is eclectic and includes dishes such as lomo saltado (a stir fry that typically combines marinated strips of sirloin with onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients, and usually served with rice), and ceviche. Fresh fish dishes are bountiful and deliciously prepared. If you want to relax with a cocktail, you might want to try the watermelon caipirinha.
At the heart of the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, La Cana Bar & Restaurant takes its name from the sugar cane crops surrounding the town of La Romana that have driven the local economy since the 1900s. The restaurant highlights and elevates local ingredients within its French-inspired fare. Guests congregate at the bar and lounge area nightly to enjoy the sounds of live music as well as hand-rolled cigars and an extensive selection of Dominican rums.
The shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea have long been a source of inspiration. Everything at La Casita is influenced and inspired by this great body of water. Its Spanish-inspired dishes focus on fresh, local seafood which complement this stunning location. Dine on La Casita’s famous paella in the open air and watch yachts coming and going, or simply watch as the sun sinks from the sky into the calm ocean beyond.
In a setting reminiscent of a Mediterranean medieval village overlooking Altos de Chavón, La Piazzetta was the first restaurant in Casa de Campo. The space, originally decorated by Oscar de la Renta, is the ideal venue for a family meal or a cozy dinner for two. The eatery offers a seasonally changing selection of Italian classics as well as Italian-inspired signature dishes, including a vast variety of fresh, handmade pastas prepared in-house by La Piazzetta staff.
Featuring an exquisite international menu with a Mediterranean flair, SBG is a luxurious and elegant venue for a casual dinner, or an evening’s worth of entertainment. Main courses feature a healthy variety of fish, meats, and pastas. Start off with an appetizer like tuna carpaccio, move on to a main dish such as miso sea bass over fried Thai rice and appease a sweet tooth with a dessert like a macadamia tart with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream. Dine by the pool, enjoying a chic and sophisticated vibe, with an occasional DJ appearance or live band.
With a home in the stunning replica 16th century Mediterranean village of Altos de Chavón, the Regional Museum of Archaeology fits right in even though relics inside go back earlier than the 16th century. The museum focuses on artifacts and artwork from the days when the Dominican Republic and Haiti were known as Hispaniola. Thousands of pieces from this pre-Columbian era, many of which were excavated from the nearby region that borders the Chavón River, are housed here. Many artifacts were left behind by the Tainos, an indigenous group drastically affected by the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s, which led to devastation for the population.
Visitors to this museum will find historical and scientific data on the creation of amber, the animals and vegetation of that era fossilized in these gems, and everything concerning its formation and characteristics. Dominican amber is known the world over. All pieces on display, dioramas, audio-visual and interactive technology, will transport guests back to the origin of amber. Fine pieces of amber jewelry are available for purchase.
People have been partying at the Genesis Nightclub since its inception in the 1970s. It is the place to go in Casa de Campo for upscale cocktails, music, and dancing. The club was totally revamped with a new layout, sound system, lights, and infrastructure now in par with top clubs in the world. World-class DJs bring their talents to the club ensuring a hip scene for those wanting to have a good time. Genesis is the ideal venue to enjoy a favorite cocktail while dancing the night away.
Onno’s is a restaurant/bar duo. It offers a wide selection of bar food such as tapas, pizza, wings, tacos, and then there are more unique offerings such as avocado fries with sriracha aioli or chicharron (pork belly with a garlic sriracha glaze). They can whip up a classic beverage like a mint julep or mai tai, but they also have their own “tikitails” like passion, a mix of pineapple, Bacardi rum and mango; el cielo, a mix of licor menta, curacao, rum and limon. They also offer shots, wine, champagne, and beer.
When nothing but the most elite and private will do, Villa Punta Minitas 18 must be at the top of the list when it comes to Casa de Campo luxury villas. Mesmerizing water views abound from the home's unique positioning with its jutting terrain extending into the Caribbean. With ample room for 12 guests, this luxurious residence presents a private beach club ambiance with the outdoors flaunting stunning pavilions, an extensive veranda, and deck space for soaking in the sun. Glamorous and exotic palms stand tall from a lovely stone deck, embracing an infinity pool and hot tub.
A boat trip to paradise? Why, yes, please. Spend an amazing day on Catalina Island and getting there is all part of the fun. Hop aboard a catamaran or private yacht to get to this popular destination for tourists at Casa de Campo. It’s a smooth, scenic half hour sail to the island. Once there, you can relax on the beach on loungers there for the using. Swim in the crystal blue sea and do some snorkeling.
The Tabacalera de Garcia was established in 1971 and is the world’s largest hand-rolled cigar factory with a long and varied history, making it an absolute must place to visit for avid cigar lovers or a casual aficionado. During the tour, you are led through the entire cigar-making process. Learn all about the different types of tobacco that go into making fine cigars and how they are blended to keep a consistent flavor. The factory is enormous. Every stage of production is done by hand – the old fashioned, traditional way.
Cueva del Chicho is one of the most outstanding underground caves, tucked inside Cotubanamá National Park. Its aquamarine, sparkling fresh waters draw many hikers, but it also holds numerous petroglyphs – proof of the Taino’s presence in these parts. Hikers can take a dip in its fresh water, azure blue waters that resemble a lake, or certified cave divers can venture deeper on a one-tank dive with a licensed operator. Near La Romana, Cueva de Las Maravillas reveals hundreds of pictographs. Scape Park, in Cap Cana, takes the adventurous into the tunnels of Iguabonita Cave, with its impressive limestone formations. Los Haitises National Park is home to caves only reached by boat. The most challenging and adventurous of all is Cueva Fun Fun. You will have no option but to rappel into its entrance. The least visited, yet most impressive caves are in the southwest, including El Pomier, and Las Caritas de los Indios.
There are several ways to explore Rio Chavon or the Chavon River and its nearby areas. One of the favorite ways for luxury travelers is with a private guide on a tranquil river cruise. Get close to all the wildlife that make this river their home. Make a stop at the lovely, historic town of Altos de Chavon. A river full of mysteries, Rio Chavon was used in colonial times for the transport of precious woods, as well as providing a hideout of fabulous treasures by legendary Caribbean pirates.
Arguably, the best golfing in the Dominican can be found at Casa de Campo, particularly at the number one ranked course in the Caribbean – Teeth of the Dog. This course is known to be all bite and no bark. This is course designer Pete Dye’s signature course carved from the jagged rock and coral of the Dominican coast. The course is replete with stunning natural landscapes and your chance to play on one of the top ranked courses in the world – 18 stunning holes including seven hugging the ocean shore tightly.
The Caribbean offers some stellar places to visit and one of them is undoubtedly Casa de Campo. No matter which place to which you would like to travel to first, LVH will take care of every travel detail for you. Our goal is to have your vacation be everything you ever expected it would be and more and that entails staying in the lap of luxury, having full services, around-the-clock support and doing those things that give you the most joy. We invite you to contact one of our experienced client relations team members who will get the planning underway. Share your vacation dreams with us and let us work our magic to make them come true!