by Jennifer Nicole Dienst | March 01, 2010

Dominican Republic
Local Update: The 337-room Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort will open in June 2011 in Punta Cana with 14 meeting rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hard Rock International and Palace Resorts will open the all-inclusive, 1,800-room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana this spring in Macao Beach. The property will have 65,000 square feet of meeting space, a 48,000-square-foot casino, an 18-hole golf course, a Rock Spa and a 1,200-seat amphitheater.

AMResorts opened the 126-suite Golden Bear Lodge & Spa last December and will open two more properties here later this year: the 53-suite Zoëtry Pearl Sands Cap Cana and the 175-suite Pure Secrets Cap Cana, the latter with a 16,000-square-foot convention center.

Meeting Hotels: In Santo Domingo, properties include the 300-room Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino, 278-room Occidental El Embajador, 228-room Hilton Santo Domingo, 196-room InterContinental V Centenario and 156-room Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino. In the Bávaro/Punta Cana resort area are the 1,800-room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana (to open this spring), 865-room Occidental Grand Flamenco Punta Cana, 689-room Paradisus Punta Cana, 600-room Barceló Bávaro Beach, 592-room Iberostar Bávaro and 558-room Barceló Bávaro Palace.   

 Convention Center: Barceló Bávaro Convention Center; total space, 123,000 square feet; meeting space, 50,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 24. (888) 676-7960; barcelo.com

Airport Transit: Las Amér­icas International Airport, 18 miles east of Santo Domingo. Transfer cost by taxi, US$35

Punta Cana International Airport, 15-18 miles from the Bávaro/Punta Cana resorts. Transfer cost by taxi, US$35

Taxes:
Sales tax, 16%; service charge, 10%; total tax on hotel rooms, 26%
Group Venue: The par-72, 18-hole layout at the top-ranked (by Golfweek) Punta Espada Golf Club offers panoramic views of Cap Cana's stunning coast. The adjacent Golden Bear Lodge & Spa offers 126 suites and 2,300 square feet for events. (888) 496-3879; zoetryresorts.com/goldenbear

CVB Services:
 Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, (888) 374-6361; godominicanrepublic.com