Luxury tourism The Luxury of the Dominican Republic´s Unique Experiences
The Caribbean country holds unique and pleasant curiosities for the luxury traveler.
Dominican Republic has the most extensive cave system in the Caribbean. The limestone caves are not only fun to explore, but many of them have artwork etched on the cave walls by the indigenous Taino Indians, dating back one thousand to three thousand years. Archeologists have found 54 caves in El Pomier, near Santo Domingo, containing thousands of pictographs and hundreds of petroglyphs. Visitors can ride horseback to the entrance of a hidden cave, rewarded by a stunning display of ancient cave paintings, stalactites and stalagmites. In addition, in Cueva Taina, they can discover stunning underwater geological formations.
An Aquatic Luxury Paradise
Both experienced sailors and landlubbers find plenty to do on the waters of Dominican Republic. From bareboating a multi-cabin monohull to taking out a 16-foot HobieCat, to taking an exclusive catamaran tour along the coast, to hiring a private yacht for a romantic dinner cruise, luxurious options abound on the turquoise waters of the island.
Dock at your leisure on the eastern side of the island and discover the resort town of Punta Cana, its chic restaurants and 35 kilometers of Punta Cana’s uninterrupted beaches. On the North side of the island, explore the beach town of Cabarete for kite surfing. Divers and snorkelers alike love exploring the underwater reefs of Las Terrenas.
Exquisite Spas and Treatments
Indulge yourself in bliss and tranquility at the world-class spas of the Dominican Republic. Pick from beachside massages, couples treatments in luxurious suites, or relax in a Turkish bath, hammam or jacuzzi. Choose from treatments that are designed to alleviate aching muscles and relieve tension like mud-based body wraps where you will benefit from the exfoliating properties of natural and local plants and minerals.
Iberostar’s Bávaro Resort offers a wide range of treatments, from full body aromatherapy to Roman baths, to couple’s rituals to massages using the elements of the sea and natural surroundings of the Dominican Republic.
The culinary scene in the Dominican Republic has exploded thanks to the surge in tourism over the past decade. Internationally trained chefs have jazzed up typical Dominican fare in Caribbean-inspired gourmet offerings. Chefs are opening elegant, candlelit spaces for foodies with innovative fusion dishes such as grilled vegetable-wrapped mozzarella with jamón serrano, or goat marinated in rum, combining Dominican ingredients with various culinary traditions. And Dominican staples never fail, the like grilled lobster that can be found in beachside restaurants all along the coast.
The Art Scene in Santo Domingo
As an integral part of Dominican culture, a rich tradition of fine art pervades the capital of Santo Domingo. The Bohemian Colonial Zone is home to countless artist studios, galleries, and exhibition venues, as well as a School of Fine Arts. The Dominican Republic has also produced beloved contemporary artists like Ramón Oviedo, Alberto Ulloa, Juan Medina, Cándido Bidó, Ada Balcácer, José Cestero, Elsa Núñez and Carlos Goico. Check out the many exhibits in Santo Domingo has to offer, either in small galleries or at the Museum of Modern Art and Museo Bellapart https://www.museobellapart.com/, or at local craft and souvenir shops in Cabarete.
The Dominican Republic is rapidly becoming one of the premier golf destinations in the world. Iberostar Selection Bávaro Golf club, with its 18 holes graced by gentle sea breezes, was designed by Pete Dye. He transformed the naturally flat landscape into a challenging course of elevated terrain with swales and mounding. Another Pete Dye course worth checking out is the Teeth of the Dog, which roams directly along the shore seven times and contains three spectacular par 3s. This is definitely a bucket list golf destination.
Look for intricately carved teak furniture in La Romana and in Santo Domingo, clothing shops run the gamut, selling anything from fine Italian shirts and dress clothes to stylish casual fit for the country club, to classy intimate wear. And don’t forget the famous high-quality cigars and exquisite rums available at shops around the island.
PATRICIA SERRANO CHUNGSATHAPORN I 05/09/2017
Photography by Cordon Press and Getty Images