Weekend in Casa de Campo
This Dominican Republic resort beckons travelers with activities, amenities, and miles of sandy beaches.
The soft, powdery sand of Casa de Campo’s Mintas Beach hugs the sea like the salt rim on a margarita glass. Here, bronzed couples and families lounge under white umbrellas; black snorkels poke through the water, the slight slap of fins the only sound against the gentle waves. This 7,000-acre resort puts you in a blissed-out state—fast—but excels in moments of excitement, too: The thwack of a golf club hitting the ball onto championship greens met directly by the sea, the gallop of a horseback ride through rolling hills, the deep horn blow of a million-dollar yacht pulling into La Marina.
Rows of parked golf carts signal the entrance to Casa de Campo hotel. (When checking in, you get your own; the shiny, sleek rides rule the sprawling property’s roads.) Mediterranean-style villas with infinity-edge pools are sporadically perched along the ocean. The hotel rooms and suites have Balinese style, with rich mahogany furniture and private balconies or patios overlooking the sea.
Left: Stunning Villa La Brisa is one of the rentals at Casa de Campo.
For golfers, this is a bucket-list destination. Legendary golf course designer Pete Dye created the three championship-level courses here: the Links, Dye Fore, and the coveted Teeth of the Dog—an award winner with seven holes winding down the resort’s craggy coastline. Or, ride horseback along the grassy trails for miles, spying herds of buffalo along the way.
At the northernmost point of the resort, Altos de Chavón is a convergence of shops, museums, and restaurants that channels a 16th-century Mediterranean village. Down a cobblestone alleyway, Everett Designs is a true gem, with hand- selected pieces of amber, emeralds, and sapphires—plus the not-to-be-missed signature Spanish Treasure necklace, with a perfectly imperfect silver coin minted before 1772 ($160).