RETAKING THE MANTLE
Casa de Campo is back on the world stage after a few years on the relative sidelines as the courses at Punta Cana soaked up much of the travel writing ink and digital eyeballs. Yes, they are newer, and spectacular in that singular D.R. way, but they aren’t this place, with its fascinating history of rising out of the sugar cane fields, which fed the world’s largest sugar mill at the time — how it was built largely on the profits from those sweet reeds that still occupy much of the acreage between the resort’s gates and the airport.
They’ve never had a 747 land, carrying millionaires and bigwigs, on a strip that cut right across Teeth of the Dog’s 9th and 18 holes, a vestige of which is still there (these days private planes land at Romana International Airport, minutes away).
They haven’t been around long enough to grow from an executive retreat for Gulf + Western employees into a luxury enclave that got a $40 million expansion in 2011, with a spruce-up of its lovely Minitas Beach Club, complete with pool and open-air bar and protected swimming lanes in the bay itself — following in 2017.
They don’t have a trap shooting range just a short personal golf cart ride away from the resort lobby … or personal golf carts, for that matter. The gas-powered four-seaters get guests from their spacious, sleekly outfitted bungalows or luxury villas to the course or beach club or perhaps drinks and dinner at the Italian-themed marina, with its array of restaurants and shops arrayed next to a big public square … and, beyond, boats of all sizes, from day cruisers to serious yachts, bobbing in their slips.