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Michele Sponagle

Senior editor

Smitten by hotels ever since she was a kid, hoarding toiletries started early and picked up steam as Michele Sponagle began a career as a freelance journalist. Her globetrotting has taken her to properties in more than 50 countries, from rustic B&Bs to sprawling resorts.

Despite a slew of negative headlines earlier this year, the North American love affair with the Dominican Republic is still going strong.

The latest statistics for January to May 2019 show the region with the highest increase in arrivals was North America, with 123,567 more visitors for an 8% growth. Punta Cana airport was the top gateway with 67.2% of foreign tourists, followed by Las Americas in Santo Domingo with 15.5% of the total, and Puerto Plata at 8.5%.

Those robust numbers have fueled plenty of new hotel development—not surprisingly much of it is focused on Punta Cana.

As you plan your future getaways to the country known for cigars, sun and hospitality, you’ll want to keep these new developments in mind:

Marriott International's hotel development
Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Marriott International has announced it will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in all-inclusive resort products. The initiative includes new management contracts with hotel developers who plan to build five new all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America including a 650-room Autograph Collection resort in Punta Cana, scheduled to open in 2022.

The first stone was laid for construction of the Pure Salt Orchidarium in the northern Uvero Alto area of greater Punta Cana. The Pure Salt Orchidarium is a US $82.5-million investment. The 269-room adults-only resort will feature pools, five themed restaurants, four bars, a coffee shop, conference space for 350 people and a giant orchid garden as its centerpiece. This is the chain’s first resort outside of Spain.

New Photo courtesy of Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana hotel, set to open early 2020, beautiful villa
Photo courtesy of Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana, set to open early 2020

AMResorts announced a new project in Punta Cana which will be the hotel group’s fifth Dominican property. Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana will hold an impressive 500 rooms and suites all with ocean views. The luxury resort will include a spa, six restaurants, seven bars, multiple pools and more.

Excellence Group officially broke ground on an extensive all-inclusive property in Punta Cana. The group’s third Dominican resort, Finest Punta Cana, will have 450 suites with 60 suites dedicated to families. The resort will offer over 20 restaurants, six pools, in-room Jacuzzis and plunge pools.

Eden Roc Cap Cana hotel in Punta Cana new Solaya Spa pool massage
Photo courtesy of Eden Roc Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Eden Roc Cap Cana has unveiled the new US$2 million, 30,000-square-foot spa called the Solaya Spa and Wellness Center. The luxurious spa contains 12 treatment rooms with indoor and outdoor cabins, a 1,200-square-foot anti-gravity yoga studio, aqua gardens and a freshwater pool.

Find out what else is happening in Caribbean hotels, by taking a peek at this story!

(Lead image courtesy of Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana)

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