“Welcome home.” The concierge greets us with a smile and a cool drink before quickly checking us in. We have just arrived at Casa de Campo, an enormous resort in the Dominican Republic. After showing us where the hotel’s restaurants and activities are located on our map, we are driven to our room, and we’re immediately enchanted by our view of the lush green grounds, with the blue green water of Caribbean Sea shimmering in the distance. The driver gives us the key to our very own golf cart. Riding in the golf cart and exploring the grounds together was a highlight of our trip!
My first stop is the spa, where my masseuse introduces herself then walks with me to our spa suite, visible through a glass wall, creating the feeling of being indoors and outdoors at the same time. With each step I take toward the suite, my blood pressure drops a bit. The masseuse invites me to lie down for the Classic Massage, then lulls me into a wonderfully relaxed state with her scented oils and firm strokes. I want to stay there forever, but eventually it is time to get ready for dinner.
Our first dinner is at La Cana by Il Circo. We sit outside, enjoying the refreshing tropical breeze and views of the opulent pools and gardens. There is something magical in the air, and we smile at each other giddily over the candlelight. The service is impeccable and sophisticated enough to feel like we are in a fine European restaurant. The food is beautifully presented, and the fish is as fresh as we’ve ever tasted. As a seafood lover, I am in heaven, enjoying fresh seafood at nearly every meal. My husband is equally satisfied with his steaks. While at Casa de Campo, we also eat breakfast at the Lago Grill, with its beautiful views of the Caribbean, and have dinner at the Beach Club by Il Circo, which is located directly on the Caribbean. We also enjoy a room service breakfast one morning. The food is always excellent!
Kayaking, Horseback Riding, & More
The scope and caliber of activities is also excellent. We go kayaking on the Chavon River, the backdrop to movies like “Apocalypse Now” and “Jurassic Park.”
The beach at Las Minitas is lovely, but there is so much to do that we spend very little time there. Horseback riding is done at the equestrian center, where guests can ride well-kept horses or get lessons in riding, jumping, or grooming.
Skeet shooting is practiced at the shooting center, where we had a private instructor. It was my first time shooting and we had a lot of fun placing bets on who was going to be the better shooter. The recoil was a bit too strong for my shoulder, but my husband, a more experienced shooter, had a fantastic time and was impressed by the quality of the shotgun. I still get teased about my “weak” shoulder! The main attraction of the resort is its golf course, where notable golf championships have been held. Golf lovers will be in paradise.
Driving the golf cart was incredibly fun, and we tried to take a long drive at least twice a day, admiring the multi-million dollar homes on the resort, with their dramatic views of the Caribbean Sea visible from the road! We drive to the marina and dream about sailing on one of the grandiose yachts as we walk along the docks. We also drive to Altos de Chavon, a lovely 16th century replica of a Mediterranean village, where we stroll hand-in-hand along the cobblestone streets. Casa de Campo is a huge, luxurious resort with several communities to explore and endless memories to create, all best experienced with someone you love. –– by Noemi Smith