Four Days at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is a place I had heard about for years but just didn’t know that much about it. I knew it was a resort and they had some golf and it was about an hour from the Punta Cana resort area. So spending four days at Casa de Campo was a complete learning experience for me. What I realized was that Casa de Campo is an amazing place. It’s basically a self-contained resort city spread out over some 7500 acres in a beautiful area of the southeastern Dominican Republic. I had a great time at Casa de Campo.

Four Days at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo is a massive property and area that has several different parts. So I am going to break it down that way based on my experience, what I did and what I saw. When you arrive to your room or villa, you will have access to your own golf car to take all over the resort; which is fantastic! In my opinion, every resort should provide golf carts!

The Hotel and Resort

The main hotel area is basically a beautiful lobby with some shops, a real estate office, a gym, bar restaurant and 2 pools with a swim-up bar. It is beautiful, spacious, the food, drinks and service were excellent and it’s just a pleasant place to be.

Just outside the main lobby at Casa de Campo

This is also the main area where the shuttles to the distant areas leaves from if you don’t want to take your golf cart that far or you don’t want to drive at night. The hotel lobby area is the centerpiece for Casa de Campo and a great point of reference.

My room at Casa de Campo

Surrounding the lobby are the rooms and villas. Mine was a large, modern room with a great bed and shower. It faced out onto Teeth of the Dog Golf Course and it was super comfortable. It was a short walk to the lobby and pools or a 30-second golf cart ride.

Golf

Golf was my main reason for going to Casa de Campo. There are three championship golf courses designed by Pete Dye-the famous golf course designer. Golf at Casa de Campo has been increasing in popularity amongst jet-setting golfers for years now. This is partly due to increased notoriety through word of mouth and a slew of celebrities and athletes that play and host charity events. But the crown jewel course, Teeth of the Dog, was voted the top course in the Caribbean.

Stunning Caribbean side holes at Teeth of the Dog

Teeth of the Dog is a gorgeous course with several holes situated right on the Caribbean Sea. It’s kind of a Pebble Beach of the Caribbean. While Teeth of the Dog was technically closed during my visit for routine maintenance, I was given special permission to play the coastal holes and drove the course. It was fabulous as you’d imagine and I can’t wait to return to play the whole thing.

Playing the Links

The Links course was a challenging track as well with perfectly maintained fairways and greens. In typical Pete Dye fashion, you had to weigh risk and reward on tee shots and approach shots. The greens were tricky and tough to read but phenomenal. I shot an 86; which is poor for me but I always give myself a break the first time I play a course because you don’t know the intricacies of it.

Beautiful marina views from Dye Fore

Finally, Dye Fore we played twice. This gem is made up on three different 9-hole courses spread out over different terrains. The Marina course is elevated and had great views of the Marina on some holes and the river at others. I shot 85 and 82 and played better than the score if a few putts fell!

Food

I generally don’t equate great food with the Caribbean and even less so with resorts. Prior to going to Casa de Campo I spent four days in another nice resort in Punta Cana and the food was awful. That has been my experience in many Caribbean resorts. But I have to say that Casa de Campo killed the food game. Honestly, every restaurant I ate in was excellent. Here are a few highlights.

Tuna tartar at Minitas Beach

It’s really hard to pick a favorite but if I had to I’d choose the Minitas Beach Club. Yes it is gorgeous to look at aesthetically with a gorgeous beach, pool and chic modern design. However, the food served in the restaurant was top notch. I wish I could have eaten there again because there were so many things on the multi-national menu I wanted to try!

Gorgeous bayside dining at Minitas beach Club

Next, I think La Piazzetta up in Altos de Chavon was outstanding. It’s an Italian place that really got it right. I had osso buco and a penne matriciana that was to die for. Not to mention the location up above the river in a small town built for a movie that never came to fruition. Now it’s a gorgeous Sicilian looking old town that is a tourist attraction and a hub for weddings.

The Matriciana Pasta at La Piazzetta was unreal

La Marina might have been my favorite area of the resort. They essentially recreated Portofino, Italy and it’s Main Square and filled it with restaurants overlooking the yachts in the marina. One night we ate at La Casita. This was a Spanish style restaurant and did a great Snapper. The atmosphere along the water and the musical entertainment made it memorable.

The delicious snapper at La Casita

We also headed down for lunch in the square itself and ate at Peperoni. They did very good pizzas and all types of salads and fish. There is also a sushi place, another Italian restaurant and even Pitbull has a restaurant there called 305-sounds about right!

Eating with a view in La Marina

Back near the lobby there’s a restaurant called La Caña. We had lunch twice there and dinner once. It is obviously very convenient to the hotel and our rooms but it was also excellent. Lunch I recommend the truffle burger and fries plus the French onion soup. Dinner you can’t go wrong with a steak and tuna appetizer. The service is outstanding and the menu is very large so whatever you like, you’ll be happy.

Tuna at La Cana

Finally, breakfast each morning is at a beautiful buffet style restaurant called Lago. It overlooks Teeth of the Dog and the Caribbean for great views. Breakfast is typical buffet style with a ton of choice. Everything was good and I loved the smoothie station. Lunch was also buffet style and you had all the basics covered including a great pasta station. Lago is casual and quick so you can get back to your day in a jiffy.

Points of Interest

As I have mentioned, Casa de Campo is massive and there is so much to see and do. You can do everything from skeet shooting to equestrian. You can play polo or play donkey polo. In fact, Casa de Campo was recently added to the championship polo circuit. But a few places shouldn’t be missed.

Altos de Chavon

Altos de Chavon is an amazing place. I mentioned the restaurant but it is also worthy of a good look around. It is photograph perfect and you literally feel like you’re in Sicily or elsewhere in the Mediterranean. The architecture and streets are done perfectly for that real European feel. Plus it has the best views of the river below.

River view from Altos de Chavon

As part of Altos de Chavon, there is an amphitheater that opened in 1982. None other than Frank Sinatra opened it. Massive acts like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and even Bocelli played it. It’s a gorgeous venue and a place not to be missed.

The amphitheatre

La Marina is another place that needs to be experienced on a visit to Casa de Campo. It’s actually more than just a marina. It’s basically the center of life for locals and expats who have villas or houses on property. It’s the only place with a supermarket, pharmacy, cinema, etc. But it’s the marina itself that makes it beautiful for the visitor. Definitely make sure to get out there.

The pool at Minitas Beach Club

Finally, as I mentioned Minitas Beach Club is just gorgeous day or night. During the day it’s a great place to relax at the pool or beach and have cocktails. At night, it’s a chilled out ultra-lounge kind of feel and again a fabulous restaurant. Bring your camera, it’s very photogenic.

Miscellaneous

Casa de Campo is a great place and it’s still on the come-up. That’s great for people in the know and for those learning about it now-here are a few tips. You can fly directly to La Romana from a few American cities. That airport is literally 5 minutes from Casa de Campo. You can also fly to Punta Cana (as I did) and drive an hour each way. A taxi from Punta Cana will run you about $100 each way. If you’re a guest, Casa de Campo can set it up for you.

The main lobby and very close to La Cana

Casa de Campo is not an all-inclusive resort but it does have that option as a package. A good number of restaurants and all bars are a part of it and there’s a great value there. This is the package I had. It only doesn’t include really high-end spirits like Johnnie Walker Blue, golf and some restaurants are independent.

Teeth of the Dog

Speaking of golf again, they have a state of the art golf learning center. It is absolutely phenomenal and was actually the first time I ever tried something like this. You’re given immediate stats and you get to watch your swing from several different angles to really see what you’re doing right and wrong. The instructor was fantastic and this is the top place I will return to on my next visit to measure myself and my game.

Casa de Campo golf learning center

So that’s about it for my excellent visit to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. I literally loved it and cannot wait to return. I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out. It’s so much better than anywhere in Punta Cana and if you’re a golfer there’s nowhere better in the Caribbean.

Disclaimer: I was invited and hosted to Casa de Campo but everything I’ve written is truthful, based on my own experience and was not coerced in any way.

Comments

  1. I have stayed there several times. It’s one of my favorite resorts. I agree it’s much better than anything in Punta Cana or elsewhere in Dominican

  2. How much is it a night there?

  3. Thank you fro sharing your experience and posting this review. I have heard only things about resort in the Dominican Republic.

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