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Travel to the Dominican Republic, Cigar Country

Visiting the Dominican Republic
Michael Frank
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95

(continued from page 1)

Flamenco Beach Resort
Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, RD
Phone: (809) 320-5084
Fax: (809) 320-2775
Room rates: single or double: $110; suite: $225 to $450 Club Miguel Angel : $250


The 582-room Flamenco is a cut above all other properties in Playa Dorada. In 1989, 300 rooms were completed and in 1993, the hotel added the rest of the rooms as well as the exclusive, 30-room Club Miguel Angel (the inner sanctum of the hotel featuring private entry, private buffet breakfast, concierge services, express checkout, robe, reserved chaise lounge and towel by the pool and an exclusive private Jacuzzi for club-only use).

Unlike many of its neighbors, little wear is evident at the Flamenco. The beautiful, open-air lobby is subtle, with less fluorescent coloring and more whitewashed stucco and richly toned wood--a comfortable fit with the region and your eye. Hand-painted tiles dot the inner walkways, all of which seem to lead to the striking pool and the mammoth upstairs patio.

But the best part of the Flamenco is its style, which is cool, professional and courteous. These elements reach their apex at the Club Miguel Angel. The design of the club centers around the private pool, but each guest room is spaceous and inviting--staying inside is actually a viable option for club guests. Third-floor rooms have vaulted ceilings, second- and third-floor rooms have balconies and first-floor rooms have terraces. Extraordinary detail has been paid to the decor, such as authentic, Dominican-style furniture that's actually comfortable, and richly patterned new fabrics.

Like most hotels here, meal plans are available. However, two excellent restaurants are not included in most packages but deserve mentioning. The El Cortijo, which serves rich, subtly spiced Spanish cuisine, and Las Reses--a steakhouse which looks like the inside of a Cheyenne dance hall--serve quality food at reasonable prices. Wine lists are limited, though it is possible to find decent Spanish, Italian or Chilean wines.

Paradise Beach Club & Casino
Box 337, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, RD
Phone: (809) 320-3663 or (800) 752-9236
Fax: (809) 320-4858
Room rates: single: $150, double: $260 ($50 children); suite: $170 to $350
Three restaurants, three bars, boutiques, tennis, golf, horseback riding, water-sports, disco, bicycles, scooters


Most hotels at Playa Dorada are like the Paradise, only less so. The Paradise impresses with appearance and a graceful atmosphere, while still managing to balance between the young party crowd and families. This is not a luxury property. Rather, it accommodates most people by offering prompt service and clean, updated rooms. The lobby features vaulted ceilings with open pools of water, fountains and an overgrown jungle, however the rooms are less stylish than the Flamenco. This is a good place for families as many of the junior suites open into full-sized apartments.

But you won't be spending much time in your room. More likely, you'll make a nightly pilgrimage along the edge of the meandering pool until you reach Eden Grill, where you can sit by the ocean and dine while the sun sets behind the giant shadow of Mt. Pico Duarte.

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