A first resort coming to Bahía de las Aguilas?
Now Onyx Splash at Now Onyx Punta Cana
Oscar de la Renta retrospective opens at Centro Leon in Santiago
Where to shop for Dominican designer clothes?
US travelers prefer Punta Cana for Thanksgiving
Marina Riverside Center in Casa de Campo

A first resort coming to Bahía de las Aguilas?
On occasion of the inauguration of a family-friendly section at the Now Onyx Punta Cana, Apple Leisure Group's chairman, Alex Zozaya announced the company would soon be including a property in southwestern Bahía de las Aguilas, as reported in Diario Libre. The announcement is the first for a major tourism operation for the environmentally-protected southwestern beach area. Zozaya also announced they would be developing a hotel in Samaná. Apple Leisure operates resorts under different brands in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and La Romana.


Now Onyx Splash at Now Onyx Punta Cana
The new family-friendly section, Now Onyx Splash opened at the Now Onyx Punta Cana in Uvero Alto, in northern Punta Cana. 320 suites are added to the Now Onyx Punta Cana, bringing the resort's overall total to 822 rooms.

The Now Onyx Splash features a water park with four water slides, including one of the kamikaze kind with a 11.5-meter drop, a rock-climbing wall, a baseball-batting cage, and more attractions for children and teens.

President Danilo Medina and Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García were present for the inauguration on 22 November 2019. The president of the Martinon Group, the resort's developer, Enrique Martinon García, welcomed President Medina, recalling how 14 years ago the company had gotten its start in the Dominican tourism industry. Martinón explained that the Now Onyx brand has six hotels in the Dominican Republic with 3,000 rooms.

Speaking at the event, Tourism Minister García highlighted how the Dominican Republic is the leading destination in the Caribbean.


Oscar de la Renta retrospective opens at Centro Leon in Santiago
A show at the Eduardo León Cultural Center in Santiago explores the 50-year career of the late Dominican-born designer Oscar de la Renta. "Being Oscar de la Renta" opened on 22 November 2019 and will run until March 2020. Dominican Sara Hermann curated the retrospective.

The show by itself is more than enough reason to make a trip to Santiago. The exhibition showcases 46 original designs, many on loan from famous people, objects and personal artifacts of the designer, along with 60 magazine and book covers and various artworks. There are explanations about his perfumes. The Centro León cafeteria is serving several of De la Renta's favorite Dominican dishes, made with recipes from the cook that worked for the designer for 40 years.

The exhibition tells how Oscar Renta Fiallo left Santo Domingo in 1950 for Madrid to study at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts with friends such as Ada Balcácer and Fernando Peña Defilló. Shortly after, he would switch to apprentice with Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, and the start of a legendary career in fashion had begun. It was not long before a design he prepared for the daughter of the US ambassador in Spain got him on his first cover for Life magazine.

A timeline marks the steps of visitors to this exhibition. Oscar de la Renta's designs from 1965 to 2015 are appreciated in all their elegance. There are designs from the different collections that little by little made him climb the rungs in the world of competitive international fashion.

The exhibit highlights how the mix of colors from the Caribbean colors with European know-how would mark De la Renta's timeless elegance and his successful career in the United States. The exhibit also tells about De la Renta's involvement in tourism and the development of Punta Cana as a tourism destination. Henry Kissinger, Julio Iglesias, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Anna Wintour talk about De la Renta in a 30-minute documentary that is part of the exhibition.

Oscar de la Renta died on 21 October 2014. He was 82 years old. The exhibition had been in the works before he died. His problem then was making time for the project.


Where to shop for Dominican designer clothes?
A new store at Agora Mall in Santo Domingo is selling Dominican designer clothes, including designer bathing suits. Dominican designer Jenny Polanco is the curator and her daughter, architect Carla Quiñones, the organizer of "Dominican Selection," a space for locally designed apparel.

Mother and daughter present "Creado Aquí" a seasonal store on the third floor of Agora Mall that is open from 11 November 2019 to April 2020.

The store features the designs of seven Dominican emerging designers for women and men. These are Angie Polanco, CS Beachwear, Fancy Sinner, YG, Le Blanc, Maylé and MCK.

Jenny Polanco explained that Agora Mall is not charging for the store space as their contribution to promoting Dominican fashion talents. Polanco explains that when you buy an outfit at the store, you are backing the designer and the person's professional development, but also all the people that are behind the designer, including those who sew the outfits, make patterns, border, and many arts and craftspeople.

She said the biggest challenge of original fashion vs. fast fashion is to create an awareness of the many linkages and what sustainable fashion means for the sector and the country. She told Estilos of Diario Libre that she got involved in taking responsibility as a fashion professional and motivating the growth of the industry.

Polano says that prices at the store are competitive. She is optimistic this will be a long-term venture. Her idea is to create a design guild for the local fashion industry that can open doors in the local and international markets. She says this is not only to show off the local design talent but also to create an economically productive and sustainable apparel industry.

Agora Mall is located at Av. Abraham Lincoln corner Av. John F. Kennedy in Santo Domingo.


US travelers prefer Punta Cana for Thanksgiving
Punta Cana is the top domestic and international destination for this Thanksgiving holiday, according to the leading travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance. This is the first time that the Dominican Republic dominates the ranking after climbing seven positions and dethroning Cancún in Mexico, the preferred destination since the study began in 2015.

"Our survey shows that Americans are returning to the Dominican Republic, now more than ever, to enjoy the island nation's exquisite beaches, world-class resorts, hotels and vacation experiences," said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA.

Allianz Global Assistance reviewed 2.4 million travel plans of Americans around Thanksgiving Day, with departures scheduled between Saturday, 23 November and Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, 28 November 2019.

The other eight top international destinations for Americans traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday in order of popularity are London, Paris, San Juan (Puerto Rico), San José del Cabo, Nassau, Puerto Vallarta, Montego Bay and Mexico City.

According to the Allianz survey, the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, 27 November 2019) remains the busiest departure day for domestic destinations, with travelers typically making four-day trips.

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major US airlines, leading travel agencies, online travel agencies and directly to consumers.


Marina Riverside Center in Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo has a new event and convention center, the Marina Riverside Center. It has a capacity for gatherings for up to 700 people. President Danilo Medina and Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia were in La Romana for the official opening day, on 21 November 2019.

The Marina Riverside Center can be booked for congresses, weddings, parties and other activities. Andrés Pichardo Rosenberg, president of Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, said almost US$5 million was invested in the new venue.

The event and meetings center features wide glass doors providing for impressive views of the Caribbean Sea. Sailboats inspired its design. It has a roofed terrace and courtyard-garden for special events.