Tuesday, November 17, 2015

History & Luxury in St.Kitts

The Wingfield Estate conducts tours to explain the steps of the cane production and processing and feels like stepping back in time. The history can be seen through copper vats and rum casks. Enjoy views from above at UNESCO Brimstone Hill Fortress. Traveling on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, which was used to move the sugar cane from the plantations to the factory, gives a tour of the island and the only acapella group set on rails.
The signature luxury experience continues at Belle Mont Farm designed by architect Bill Bensley, who created the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Every detail was carefully planned to create authentic luxury that matches the mountain top setting on Kittian Hill. Participate in the farm by picking your own mangoes and make sure to take part in the farm dinner.  For more visit HERE

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

D.R. Makes Lists

The Dominican Republic has been included on two of the Best of Caribbean travel lists of the US News & World Report publication.
Puerto Plata and Punta Cana are both included the "Best Affordable Caribbean Destinations" list. Interestingly, the destinations are given the same weight as countries such as Puerto Rico, Curacao, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, US Virgin Islands, Barbados, and St. Kitts and Nevis.
The publication recommends a trip to Punta Cana:
"Thanks to a wealth of all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana is an affordable haven for sun-worshippers. This resort town offers everything from pristine beaches and turquoise water to challenging golf courses and top-notch cuisine."
And to Puerto Plata:
"This Dominican Republic beach town offers plenty for those seeking off-resort activities. Here, you can enjoy water sports in Cabarete and jaw-dropping sights like the Damajaqua Cascades [sic]. And with daily nonstop flights from the U.S., getting to Puerto Plata is a cinch."
In the "beach bum" category, Punta Cana is on the Best Caribbean Beaches list.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


Now in its 19th year, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival promises five nights of free concerts 4-8 November in Santiago, Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete. Confirmed artists for 2015 include international jazz players David Sanchez Quartet and John Patitucci, and the Pedrito Martinez Group. From the Dominican Republic, Pengbian Sang and Retro Jazz, and Manuel Tejada will be playing, as well as Josean Jacobo, Javier Vargas and the Big Band of the Santo Domingo Music Conservatory. Marco Pignataro and Matt Marvuglio of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute will also be playing.
This year the festival will pay tribute to saxophone players Juan Colon, Crispin Fernandez and Sandy Gabriel.
The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Colonial Gem

Right in the middle of the Colonial Zone, off the beaten path, are the ruins of the monastery of San Francisco. I have always thought this could be a real jewel. Perhaps a concert venue, amphitheater sort of place with a nice restaurant and gallery.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The CNN List

CNN recently featured a gallery of 20 beautiful places for people to put on their list of attractions to visit in the Dominican Republic. Their selection included:
Northeast: Moron and Rincon beaches in Samana, and El Limon Waterfall and Los Haitises National Park.
Puerto Plata: The cable car to Mount Isabel de Torres botanical gardens, Damajagua Falls, and La Isabela, the first European settlement site.
Montecristi: El Morro beach.
Santo Domingo: the Santo Domingo Cathedral, Ozama Fort and the Presidential Palace.
La Romana: Altos de Chavon, Las Maravillas cave and Playa Bayahibe beach.
Higuey: Basilica La Altagracia church.
Punta Cana: Juanillo Beach (Cap Cana) and Punta Cana beach.
Santiago: El Monumento.
Peravia: Las Dunas de Bani.
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php/153778-CNN-20-Most-Beautiful-DR-Places http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/12/travel/gallery/dominican-republic-beauty/

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dengue and Hotel

According to the latest Epidemiology Bulletin, 7,579 cases of dengue have been registered so far this year, resulting in 95 deaths, mostly among children.

The Ministry of Public Health is calling a meeting of heads of pediatrics and internal medicine around the country to discuss the figures.

National Health Service (SNS) director Ramon Alvarado said that dengue fever should not be fatal and that it was a matter of providing the correct treatment at the right time.

In an interview on CDN Radio 5-7pm talk show yesterday, Monday 12 October 2015 deputy minister Dr. Nelson Rodriguez attributed a good number of the deaths to negligent and inadequately trained doctors. He said that no patient should die from dengue, but the disease requires close monitoring and treatment for patients. Several cases have also been blamed on misdiagnosis by doctors. During the show, Dr. Senen Caba, former president of the Dominican Medical Association, said that the government's failure to provide primary healthcare units was more to blame for the high death rate.

Read more in Spanish:

In better news: During his visit to Santo Domingo for the re-opening of the renovated Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino, the area vice president for the Caribbean for Marriott International, Andrew Houghton, said that everything is new at the seafront Jaragua, from the air-conditioning system, the rooms, the lobby and the restaurants to the pool. The company invested over US$40 million in the makeover.
Marriott International has three properties in operation in the Dominican Republic, all in Santo Domingo: the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino (on the Malecon), the Courtyard Santo Domingo (on Av. Maximo Gomez) and the JW Marriott (on Av. Winston Churchill). Houghton said the company is planning other investments in the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Swimming With Seaweed

dr1 reports:

The executive vice president of the Dominican Republic Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) Arturo Villanueva said that hotels are absorbing the high cost of removing the seaweed from the beaches. The problem has mainly been affecting the southeastern beaches of La Romana, Juan Dolio, Guayacanes, Boca Chica and La Caleta. In Punta Cana and Bavaro, hoteliers have been hard at work dealing with the seaweed for several months.

It is now obvious that it is a large-scale natural phenomenon and no one has any idea how much longer the sargassum bloom will last. Explanations for the sudden invasion of tons of algae on Caribbean shores include the changing weather patterns and warmer temperatures in the region.

Deputy Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources at the Environment Ministry, Ydalia Acevedo Monedro said that there is nothing that can be done to stop the flow of the seaweed and the only option is to collect it to remove it from beaches.

She said that it was usually a seasonal issue but this time it had been much worse than normal.

Boca Chica is now in a state of emergency due to the sheer volume of seaweed and there is now almost nowhere to swim as the whole bay and part of 60-meter beach are covered. Mayor Daniel Ozuna says they do not have the funds to solve the problem and asked for government help in order to tackle it.