If you're looking for the ultimate tropical reprieve from Old Man Winter, Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is waiting to thaw you out.
From the drop dead gorgeous, ocean-hugging, famous Teeth of the Dog course to dancing the salsa under the stars on an outside dance floor, sipping private cask rum and smoking a fine Dominican cigar, Casa de Campo offers a multitude of memorable experiences.
Set on 7,000 acres on the country's southeast coast, Casa de Campo is a tropical playland of private beaches, three world-class golf courses, superb restaurants and pampering amenities. The resort makes it convenient to roam the grounds at your leisure by providing each guest room and villa home with a four-passenger touring golf cart.
Enhancing the amazing ambiance at Casa de Campo is Altos de Chavon, a spectacular recreated 16th-century Mediterranean village sitting on a high plateau overlooking the Chavon River. The cobblestone streets are lined with coral stone buildings that house restaurants, art galleries and boutiques. There's also a 5,000-seat Grecian-style, outdoor amphitheater that has hosted mega-stars like Julio Iglesias and Sting.
The definite superstar at Casa de Campo is the Teeth of the Dog, a Pete Dye masterpiece with seven holes skirting the brilliantly colored Caribbean Sea. Think Pebble Beach with a Caribbean flair.
While most of the world's great oceanside courses play along high cliffs, the Teeth of the Dog, like Pebble Beach, is ocean level and you'll feel the spray of the waves on a couple of holes.
Other golf options include the Dye Fore, a 27-hole layout adjacent to Altos de Chavon with three distinctly different nines and the Links Course, which weaves through the interior of the resort.
The resort has 185 patio and balcony Elite guest rooms and 50 three-to-five bedroom "villa homes". Amenities include 42-inch flat screen televisions, marble vanities, iPod/iPhone docking stations and an expresso coffee machine.
There are twenty restaurants in and around Casa de Campo. Highlighting the options are the Beach Club by Le Cirque, an elegant beach front dining experience featuring Le Cirque trained chefs and La Piazetta, a gourmet Italian restaurant at Altos de Chavon.
Featuring seven therapy rooms with their own showers, the spa has many treatments with Caribbean ingredients such as the Dominican Coffee Exfoliation, Fruity-Herban Body Wrap and Choco Body Mask.
THINGS TO DO
--Polo fields where you can watch matches during the November-May season
--Sunbathing and water activities at a choice of secluded beaches
--Water sports such as boating, fishing, river sailing, ocean sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and Scuba.
--Marina and yacht club
--Equestrian center with trail rides, jumping and dressage
--Shooting center with more than 200 stations for sporting clays as well as three trap and skeet layouts.
--A tennis center with 13 Har-Tru courts
--Fitness center with Cybex equipment, treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights and an area dedicated to improving golf performance.