President Leonel Fernandez traveled to Macao last Thursday, 11 November for the ground-breaking ceremony of the hotel and residential complex, the Westin-operated Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, north of the Punta Cana area. The future five-star establishment calls for an initial investment of US$122 million over a 1.2 million square meter area. A second phase will see development of two million square meters. The developers have a purchase option for another eight million meters with a potential investment of US$400 million in hotel and residential property.
In its first phase, the Westin will have 296 luxury rooms, at least 40 condominiums, 115 residential units, sports facilities and a Taino Indian museum. The resort will also feature an 18-hole Nick Faldo-designed championship golf course, spa, and conference center. The vacation center will primarily target the US and Canadian luxury tourist market, including Latin expatriates.
According to Chicago architect Richard Knorr, the president of the Chicago architect firm Richard Knorr International, the DR is ?essentially an untapped luxury hospitality destination relative to its potential.?
Knorr first came to the DR when he was hired as the lead design architect on the construction of the Citibank Tower at the Acropolis, the tallest high-rise in the country.
He says that the DR?s greatest asset is its warm, friendly people and its rich cultural heritage.
Knorr said that his company has a commitment to respect the environment and the local culture. According to him, their designs strive to adapt to nature, and not to have nature adapt to the development.
In addition to Knorr, also present for the groundbreaking ceremony was Eduardo Fernandez for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the owners of the Westin hotel brand.
The development is the third upscale residential community that has been announced for the area, following in the footsteps of the Punta Cana Resort & Club and Cap Cana.