Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Update on Westin Roco Ki in the Dominican Republic

We know some of you are eagerly awaiting the opening of Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, to be located 19 miles from the Punta Cana airport. The family-friendly resort, one of the first internationally-branded, non-all-inclusive resorts in the DR, is now scheduled to open in time for winter 2009-2010 season.

What It Will Offer: The 337-room resort will include:
  • a Nick Faldo Legacy golf course with its signature 16th hole (already opened)
  • humpback whales visible seasonally just 100 yards offshore
  • a two-mile-long beach
  • 10 restaurants
  • 24-hour room service
  • Westin Kids Club®
  • arts, crafts and game room
  • spa with 15 treatment rooms
For More Information:


Friday, April 11, 2008

SuperClubs Offers Family Promotions

If you're watching your budget these days (what are we saying...who isn't?!), here's a good family package we just received: the family-run Caribbean resort chain SuperClubs Resorts is offering a "Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free" promotion starting May 1 at two of its resorts; children ages 2-13 stay completely free, a daily savings of $100 for a family of four. And for single parents, the usual single supplement is waived at three SuperClubs properties.

"Budget, destination and timing are the three biggest priorities for families today, and finding options that will please working parents, grandparents with time and money to spare, college-age kids, and tiny tots can be challenging," said Zein Nakash, SuperClubs‚ vice president of marketing, who is also a mother of two, a twin sister, full-time working executive, and daughter of John Issa, who introduced the first all-inclusive resorts for the American traveler more than 30 years ago. "All-inclusives are always a solid value for families, especially when they are true all-inclusives that fix costs before you even get on the plane, and offer a wide array of activities for all age groups and interests without charging extra for them. This summer especially, we've got the best vacation values for families."

Here's a look at summer SuperClubs offerings:

Starfish Trelawny (Jamaica): This resort offers teens a private island hideaway just a short swim away, windsurfing and flying trapeze lessons. At the Kids' Club, supervised, age-specific programs keep toddlers entertained, while adult pampering is available at the Blue Mahoe Spa. Nightly rates start at $74 per adult; $50 per child (age 2-13). No single supplement.

Breezes Curaçao. Fresh from $1.3 million in renovations and upgrades, this resort offers a 12,000-square-foot Kids' Club . Rates start at $129 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Breezes Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. While kids lose track of time at the Mini-club, parents and grandparents can lose their stress knots at the revamped Lighthouse Spa, the largest in the Dominican Republic. Rates start at $60 per adult, per night. No single supplement.

Dates: SuperClubs‚ family promotions run from May 1 through December 22, 2008.

Restrictions: A two-night minimum booking is required; all rates are land only.

For more information:
• visit www.superclubs.com
• call 1-800-GO-SUPER (800-467-8737)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

POTD: Amber Jewelry in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

We're always on the lookout for true souvenirs from destinations...ones that are made right on the island. Here's one of the most unique souvenirs in the Caribbean: amber. This fossilized sap is mined in the Dominican Republic and sold all over the country. Larger pieces and ones with "inclusions" (remember the mosquito in Jurassic Park?) can be pricey but we've bought fun bracelets and small earrings for under $10; we even got a small piece with a gnat encapsulated in the sap for just a few dollars more.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

DR Resort Areas Report No Damage from Noel

We've just returned from Sint Maarten where the weather was beautiful...but we kept a close eye on the weather as Tropical Storm Noel headed over the Dominican Republic and Haiti before heading north. Heavy rains caused death and damage in the DR but we've just received this report on conditions at the resort areas:

Dominican Republic Tourist Areas Sustained No Damage Due to Tropical Storm Noel

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – According to a recent announcement by the Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism, the main tourist areas in the country were not damaged by Tropical Storm Noel. It has been reported that all hotel complexes are functioning normally and no foreign tourists were affected.

The DR Ministry of Tourism states that no damages to hotel complexes have been reported in any of the major tourism areas of Bávaro, Bayahibe, La Romana, Punta Cana, Las Terrenas, Samaná, Cabarete, Sosúa, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio, Boca Chica, Constanza or Jarabacoa. “The hotel occupancy in the touristic areas of the country remains at 100 percent, and at 75 percent in the mountainous tourism region,” stated Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez. “Despite the damages that resulted from Tropical Storm Noel on a national level, all tourism infrastructure development will continue as planned,” said Jimenez. Furthermore, the DR Ministry of Tourism announced that all international flights resumed Monday afternoon, which allowed hotels to continue honoring vacation packages booked for this timeframe.

A meteorology report from The National Direction of Meteorology states that the provinces of La Romana, La Altagracia and Samaná were not confronted by Tropical Storm Noel. The precipitation that this region experienced remained in the normal zone; therefore, these provinces were not considered a part of the flood alert area.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

POTD: Christopher Columbus Statue, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

A statue of Christopher Columbus stands in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The island claims to be the final resting spot of the early explorer but Spain also believes it possesses the remains of Columbus.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

POTD: Pool Fun, Paradisus Palma Real

Organized pool activities--like this exercise class at Paradisus Palma Real--are scheduled at many all-inclusives several times a day. You'll find that many Caribbean resorts have a main pool with activities like this as well as pool volleyball and other sports plus a quiet pool perfect for relaxing with a good book.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

DR's Barcelo Bavaro Palace Hotel Offering Premium Club Upgrades

This April we had the pleasure of staying at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Hotel to attend the tourism convention for the Dominican Republic. It's a fun all-inclusive with a massive beach and easy access to the ajoining Bavaro resorts (the Barcelo Bavaro Beach, The Barcelo Bavaro Caribe, The Barcelo Bavaro Casino and The Barcelo Bavaro Golf, all connected by a free train).

The Barcelo Bavaro Palace Hotel, which is the signature property within the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort, is now offering guests an automatic upgrade to Barcelo's Signature Premium Club Service when they book a suite or master-suite accommodations.

Guests enjoying the new Premium Club Services will have access to:

-- Private guest registration upon arrival and personalized check-out upon departure.
-- Complimentary early check-in and late-check-out.
-- Use of the exclusive Premium Club Lounge -- located at the Convention Center and offering complimentary internet service, as well as premium brand complimentary cocktails and refreshments throughout the day and evening.
-- Priority seating and reservations at the resorts a la carte gourmet restaurants, as well as a private buffet breakfast at the Resort's gourmet restaurant 'Chez Palace.'
-- Children receive a special "Club Barcy" gift.
-- Express laundry service (same day return).
-- A 10% discount at the Resort's many shops and select activities.
-- Additional personal concierge services such as flight confirmations, additional reservations and special requests.
-- Turn down service and amenity upgrades in the guest suites.

The Barcelo Bavaro Palace is the third Barcelo resort to add Premium Club Services, joining the Barcelo Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic and the all-suite Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya Hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

Why Families Like It: Almost all of the resort's guestrooms are located directly on the beach with the majority enjoying ocean views. Amenities at the resort include a casino, an 18-hole golf course, three theaters, disco, 14 restaurants, and pool and beach activities. Guests fly into the Punta Cana International Airport.

For more information:
• visit www.barcelo.com
• call 1-800-BARCELO


Monday, May 07, 2007

New in the Dominican Republic

• The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort is scheduled to open May 2008 in Punta Cana. The 315-room resort will include 24-hour room service, Troon-managed Nick Faldo Championship Golf Course, six lighted tennis courts, and four pools.

• Punta Cana will become the home of the new $250 million Moon Palace Casino, Golf, and Spa Resort next year. The resort will offer 1743 rooms.



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