Though known for its dazzling landscape and historic appeal, the Dominican Republic's lavish resorts and upscale hotels are raising the bar for its Caribbean neighbors. Grabbing the number 9 spot on Condé Nast Traveler's 2007 It List, the Dominican Republic is quickly becoming one of the Caribbean's most sought-after destinations for tourists and business travelers alike. Easily accessible, the country's eight major international airports provide convenient gateways to the island's top cities. Las Americas International, the largest airport, offers flights to destinations throughout the United States, Caribbean, Europe and South America.
Once in the Dominican Republic, guests are immediately transported into the lap of luxury. Expansive resorts and fashionable hotels are popping up across the island at a rapid rate. In fact, more than 20 hotels and resorts have been built over the past two years. Today, over 20,000 upscale rooms make for an excellent range of lodging options throughout the Dominican Republic.
Aside from providing luxurious lodging, many of these establishments are ideal for events and meetings. The Dominican Fiesta Hotel and Casino offers nearly 2,000 square meters of meeting and event space, or room for up to 2,800 people. Often regarded as the capital city's most prestigious meetings locale, the 21-story, 228-room Hilton Santo Domingo has a total of 1,579 square meters of meeting space. Two boardrooms, five flexible meeting rooms, a 669-square-meter ballroom and a 225-square-meter foyer are available for events ranging in function and size.
The Barcelo Bavaro Beach resort features one of the largest and most modern meeting facilities in the Caribbean. Its Barceló Bávaro Convention Center can accommodate up to 5,000 guests within 24 meeting rooms. The center's largest room, the 1,600-square-meter Grand Bávaro Hall, is a stunning venue for black-tie galas and posh affairs of up to 3,000 people.
From casinos to award-winning golf courses, these meeting and convention hotels have much more to offer than boardrooms and ballrooms. Host a casual buffet lunch at Viva Wyndham Tangerine's La Bahia restaurant, or plan an elegant cocktail reception at its Loft Bar. Aside from its two newly-remodeled conference centers, the Casa de Campo resort offers numerous convenient settings for events so that attendees need not venture off resort grounds. The tennis center gardens are an elegant backdrop for dinners and receptions, while the resort's private Minitas Beach can host up to 600 people. Casa de Campo's Altos de Chavon, the resort's own 16th century replica of a Mediterranean village, has several beautiful venues, including the Chavon Terrace, La Piazzetta Restaurant and Chavon Plaza.
Unique venues are certainly not limited to those within resort grounds. La Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo is home to a host of popular attractions that impart a traditional Dominican feel to any event. Add punch to a presentation by holding it in one of three theaters at the historic National Theater. Take the bored out of boardroom with a meeting in the conference room of the Museum of the Dominican Man, home of the world's largest collection of Taino artifacts. With wild orchids and tropical palms as a background, the Santo Domingo National Botanical Gardens are a colorful and elegant setting for cocktails and post-event receptions.
The Dominican Republic's economic mainstay is tourism, followed closely by agriculture. The country serves as headquarters for TRICOM, a major telecommunications corporation, and for cigar manufacturer General Cigar Dominicana.