Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer
Casa de Campo
What is it about the Spanish-speaking islands in the Caribbean that simply ensure a tastier Piña Colada? Is it because the drink likely originated from them (the name is Spanish after all) or that they cook more with coconut milk than say, Jamaica? I’m not sure, but as someone who has visited her fair share of the Caribbean islands and ordered a gluttonous amount of piña coladas in her day, I am confident in declaring the Dominican Republic as the home of the Caribbean’s best Piña Coladas, especially when they come served in an actual pineapple, like they do at Casa de Campo.
This past week I flew down to the DR – an easy 3-or-so hour flight on Jet Blue – flying into capital city, Santo Domingo, but more wisely, out of La Romana Airport, which is but ten minutes from the sprawling 7,000-acre resort of Casa de Campo. I spent four nights in a ground-floor Elite guestroom just a stone’s throw from the main pool with a terrace overlooking one of the resort’s three golf courses. The rooms have been redone in the past three years and are spacious, comfortable and very clean, thanks to twice daily housekeeping service. My fellow travelers and I were treated to multi-course meals around the resort, a boat trip to a private beach area and castaway lunch (see image above) and even a round of golf of the resorts award-winning Teeth of the Dog golf course. The highlight for me was by far and away the golf.
The course features multiple waterside holes on both the front and the back nine and plays well yet formidably with approachable tee shots and unforgiving greens. I had a wonderful round with two lovely ladies from Long Island and would have been back on the course each day of the trip had our schedules allowed for it. I would highly recommend a golf trip down to this beloved resort. I’m aware the sport fishing and the equestrian center are of equal high merit, however, as a golfer, I can’t help but steer clients towards what I know and truly enjoyed firsthand.
Casa de Campo
La Romana, Republica Dominicana
Tel: (809) 523-3333
Casa de Campo Website
Beach, Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Nantucket
Once again I find myself spoiled rotten by the beautiful scenery of Nantucket. It might be because the weather is perfect, a bluebird sky day, or that I’m up here solo and had the first uninterrupted night’s sleep with the bed chair pillow in a long time. Nevertheless, I am so happy to have enjoyed a gorgeous morning walk through Tupancy Links, Nantucket’s first-ever golf course, and now a beloved dog walk area, followed by the hilly pond route at Sanford Farm. It never ceases to amaze me how spectacularly scenic Nantucket truly is and how its topography can conjure up comparisons to places so far from this tiny New England island 22 miles out to sea. There are parts of it that resemble African plains (I kid you, not) while other landscapes could easily be mistaken for Northern England. I find Fall to be a particularly alluring time out here on the Rock, and not only because it’s often less congested than the summer (though not this weekend with The Nantucket Project and 10 weddings!) but also, because the colors of the land seem that much richer, the sky that much more brilliant and the days that much more nourishing. I encourage you all to consider a Fall weekend up on Nantucket for some delightful R&R and soul-enriching natural vistas.
*And look no further on where to stay than my review on the latest boutique hotel to hit the scene up here: 76 Main in FOF Favorites.
Beach, Hideaways, Hotel Reviews, Italy
This June my mother, young son and I all traveled to Italy. It was an adventure, to say the least, during which we indulged in some robust Hideaway Hunting. Our hunt took us up and down the boot, from Sorrento to Umbria and even over to Capri, each of which yielded some memorable Italian gems that I was happy to add to my list. One of my new favorites is La Minervetta in Sorrento. A remarkably charming boutique property nestled into the cliffside of Sorrento, La Minervetta is a spot you don’t easily forget. It’s simply that good. My young son was particularly taken with this spot as well. It didn’t hurt that our room was filled with model boats ideal for him to tinker with and line up along the sparkling picture windows.
As you can see, the hotel’s cheerful decor hardly lacks for color and the result is a wonderful lightness felt amongst the guests. We chatted with almost every other guest, likely due to the sunny weather and small pool area, but also because the spots welcoming design simply encourages friendliness. Furthermore, the to buy semenax breakfast buffet, pictured at top, was truly one of the best, particularly as this is a small hotel. The two women chefs in the kitchen were not only supremely talented, but so warm and friendly. I chatted with them easily and happily, of course this also gave me ample time to graze so as not to stockpile my plate like a typical American. Everything though, and truly everything, was delicious and homemade and oh so fresh. It was one of those times where everything just came together so beautifully and the essence of European travel, particularly Italian, reached its pinnacle: gorgeous scenery, excellent fresh food and a warm and inviting setting. I can assure you, I will go back.
Sure, it helps that the sparkling view of the Sea and the Italian coastline is mesmerizing in its own right, but with a colorscape so fun and flirty inside too, it makes the whole stay feel just as it should – like a giddy holiday. And do let me know if you’re interested in going yourself, I’ve got a few room favorites that are absolutely stunning.
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