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November 26, 2013
  • New La Romana and Punta Cana highways make driving easy
  • Three big convention centers in Punta Cana
  • 44 casinos in the Dominican Republic
  • DR hotels get 3 slots of top 10 all-inclusives
New La Romana and Punta Cana highways make driving easy
Traveling to La Romana from Santo Domingo now takes less than an hour-and-a-half as the new overpasses and express highway connecting San Pedro de Macoris with La Romana are open. On 30 November, the La Romana city bypass will open to the general public meaning it should take an hour to commute from La Romana to Santo Domingo, depending on city traffic in Santo Domingo.
From there it is another 40 minutes to Punta Cana. Once in Punta Cana enjoy traveling within that destination along the Boulevard Turistico del Este (BTE). President Danilo Medina was in Punta Cana last week to inaugurate the BTE and nearby roads and sidewalks for a total 65.2 km of major access roads in the eastern tourist area. It is now very easy to go from and to Santo Domingo to Punta Cana, including along the coastline route to Macao area beach resorts.
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia said that the works have brought order to the leading tourist area that has helped create a new tourism model. He said the new boulevard matches the standards of the large hotel complexes in the area, a world-class destination. Grupo Punta Cana president, Frank Rainieri, speaking for investors, said that the highway is a major contribution to road safety.
Around 2.5 million tourists arrive via the Punta Cana International Airport that services the most passengers in the country and the Caribbean.
The Boulevard Turistico del Este is 30 km long, of which 26.4 km are four lanes wide, two in each direction from the Punta Cana International Airport. Another 3.6 km of two lanes continue to Macao in the north, 4 km of the Uvero Alto extension. The project also includes a further 17.2 km of secondary roads and sidewalks in Bavaro, Cabeza de Toro and Punta Cana area. The Boulevard Turistico is designed for a speed limit of 100 km per hour.
The works on the Boulevard Turistico del Este include the intersections of Manantiales, Cabeza de Toro, Coco Loco, CEPM Cocotal, Av. Papo Aveja, Friusa and Av. Estados Unidos. Other works that have been completed are the access road to Cap Cana, paving of sidewalks along the Estados Unidos, Espana, Italia, Francia, Alemania, Barcelo, El Cortecito and Friusa avenues and roads in Bavaro. Sidewalks were also built in roads within Cabeza de Toro. An access road to Uvero Alto has been built, and 7 km of the highway from Uvero Alto to Miches to the north of the Punta Cana region. Cisneros Group of Venezuela is investing in a major tourism development in Miches, where a Four Seasons hotel is expected to open by 2015.
Three big convention centers in Punta Cana
While Punta Cana does not have a mega convention center, it does have two centers with capacity for more than 3,000 people theater-style and a new one for 1,400 people.
Newest in the area is the Palma Real Paradisus Convention Center in Bavaro that opened recently with the III Hopefor Initiative for disaster prevention and mitigation strategies. It has 14 meeting rooms and covers an area of 17,760ft² / 1,649m² in its largest hall.
The largest in the area is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with 38,750ft² /3600m² and capacity for up to 3,600 theater-style. This is followed by the older Barcelo Bavaro Convention Center that can cater to 3,000 attendees at the same time in its largest 17,222ft² / 1,600m² hall.
The smaller Bahia Principe Convention Center at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar covers an area of 6,458 ft² /600m² .
The Grand Palladium Convention Center can host 600 people in its main hall that covers an area of 5,252ft² /488m² .
44 casinos in the Dominican Republic
Casinos are offered as another amenity at most resort and city hotels, located in Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Samana, Boca Chica, Juan Dolio and San Francisco de Macoris.
Punta Cana is the Dominican destination with the most casinos, 18. Most are located within the premises of the beach and golf destination's many resorts.
The casinos located in Punta Cana resorts are at the Palm Beach Punta Cana, Catalonia Bavaro, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Melia Caribe Tropical, Now Larimar, Grand Palladium Palace Resort, Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino, Majestic Colonial Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Ocean Blue & Sand Golf & Beach Resort, Iberostar Dominicana, Sirenis Cocotal Beach Casino & Aqua Games, Excellence Punta Cana, BeLive Grand Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa and the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro. The casino at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is open to the general public. In Bavaro, the Princess Tower Casino is free standing and open to the general public.
Santo Domingo has the second largest concentration of hotels with 12. Since there are no all-inclusive in Santo Domingo, casinos at hotels cater to the general public. They are located at Santo Domingo casinos are at the Aurora del Sol Hotel & Casino, Barcelo Santo Domingo, Blue House Hotel & Casino, Dominican Fiesta & Casino, Holiday Inn Santo Domingo, Hotel Magna 365, Hotel Napolitano, Occidental El Embajador, Renaissance Jaragua Hotel, Crowne Plaza. There are two free standing casinos, the Casino Hispaniola and the Casino Mirage (San Geronimo).
Puerto Plata's six casinos are at ClubHotel Riu Bachata (Maimon). Others that are open to the general public are the Dream Casino Marien (Costa Dorada Marien), the Dream Casino Puerto Plata (Playa Dorada), the Casino Ocean World (Cofresi), and the Coral Reef Casino and Casino Playa Chiquita (Sosua).
The second largest city in the Dominican Republic, Santiago has five casinos all open to the general public. These are at the Hodelpa Gran Almirante, Hodelpa Centro Plaza, Hotel Ambar, Hotel Matum and Hotel Platino.
La Romana offers three casino gambling operations at the Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa (Bayahibe), the Gran Bahia Principe La Romana. In Dominicus resort town, there is the Dream Casino Dominicus.
In Samana, gambling is possible at two casinos: the Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa, inside the hotel of the same name, in Samana city. In Las Terrenas, the there is the Hotel Casino Niza that is open to the general public.
In San Francisco de Macoris, it is possible to attend a baseball game and then go gambling at the Hotel Las Caobas casino.
DR hotels get 3 slots of top 10 all-inclusives
The Dominican Republic took three of the top 10 positions on the list of 25 top all-inclusive resorts all around the world voted by Trip Advisor online review site. The Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel in Punta Cana was seventh on the list, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real was ninth, and the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection in Samana was tenth.

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