I hadn’t been to Casa de Campo since 2015 and was excited to return to one of my favourite spots in the world, let alone the Caribbean. We went down to the DR with a group of 19 people, and a trip host in Natasha Staniszewski, for a 5 night stay. Needless to say, the trip couldn’t have gone better, and most of that is down to the resort and what it offers. It’s hard not to enjoy a golf vacation at Casa de Campo. Let me recap our trip.
We stayed in three villas on property – an 8 bedroom modern villa, a 5 bedroom classic and a 3 bedroom golf view villa. All of them had their charms and worked perfectly for our group.
I stayed in the 5 bedroom villa and immediately fell in love with the place. It was located adjacent to the 11th green of La Romana Country Club, the private golf course on the property. It had its own private pool and hot tub – as did the other two villas – located in a very private backyard that had a cozy feel to it. The rooms were all accessible from the outside so it provided lots of privacy for each resident.
We had a butler and maid for the week and Gerardo and Mercedes could not have been more kind and helpful. Two of the mornings we had organised breakfast at the villa instead of heading down to the buffet restaurant close to the lobby. We did that since we were playing Dye Fore that morning, so it saved us travelling across the resort early in the morning before heading to golf. Gerardo and Mercedes made us an incredible breakfast with fresh fruit, omelets, pancakes, bacon, the works! All in all the villa stay was an awesome experience.
I had played the courses once before and had a good feel for them, but really enjoyed playing each of them multiple times to get a more intimate feel for each course. The Links course is a great course for an afternoon round. It’s relatively straight forward with less challenge off the tee than the other two courses, a nice course to walk, and was in equally as good shape as the other two. It really is a fun course to play, despite playing third fiddle to the big two.
Dye Fore blew people away with its vistas of the River Chavon, the Marina and the Caribbean Sea. The views really are to die for, and the course provides a different challenge than the other two.
The elevation at Dye Fore is unique, with big rolls in the fairways and some challenging uphill and downhill shots. Given the size of the property, Pete Dye did a good job providing lots of width off of the tee, making the course playable despite its considerable length. Of course there are many tee options, so you can play it a bit forward, which I would recommend. The greens are fairly large compared to Teeth of the Dog, but very puttable once you reach them, nothing tricked up on the putting surfaces.
The real treat for me on the property is still Teeth of the Dog. Seven of the holes hug the rocky shoreline of the Caribbean Sea, so close to the play that many a golf ball has met their demise in the clear blue waters. The signature 5th hole is a short par three with a small target that challenges the best of players, partly because you are so distracted by the surroundings.
But the thing that struck me the most with the course were the other 11 holes that don’t run adjacent to the sea. They are very fun holes with great green complexes. The course is “gettable” in the sense that there isn’t a ton of trouble off of the tee and the greens – albeit quite small – are mostly flat, so you can make some putts, especially with the caddies reading the greens for you. My caddie for the week was Jesus, who has been there for 26 years. I normally like reading my own greens but I quickly learned to trust him because he read every putt perfectly.
I really did get an appreciation for the variety of the three courses, and after canvassing the group following the trip, found out that there was a real split on which course everyone preferred between Teeth and Dye Fore. You can’t go wrong either way!
The part of the resort that blew me away the most was the cuisine. Given it’s an all inclusive resort, you never know how good the food might be. We had 6 restaurants to eat from as part of our package, plus one upgraded meal at the Beach Club on our last night. I have to admit that it was hard to choose a favourite because the food at each was off the charts. From the sushi and tapas style meal at Causa in the marina, to the Mexican meal in the village of Altos to Chavon to the slightly more formal meals at La Cana in the main hotel, the group loved all of them.
And I haven’t even touched on breakfast, which was either at our villa as I described above, or at Lago restaurant near the first tee at Teeth. It’s a buffet style breakfast but the food is served by staff during these Covid times. The food is rotated through the week so each morning you have many different options to choose from. And believe me, the fruit is delicious. You definitely won’t go hungry with all of the great food options at the resort.
The staff at Casa de Campo really do reflect the 5 star status of the hotel. They are all friendly, attentive and make you feel comfortable. And during these crazy times in which we live, it’s nice to know that each of them is triple vaccinated and wears a mask the whole time, so you feel safe visiting the resort.
I had already touched on the great service our caddies provided, but all of the staff, from the golf courses to the restaurants to the grounds staff, they were all 5 star.
So that’s a wrap on our trip to Casa de Campo. It was a successful trip with a great group and I can’t wait to return. We’ll be replicating this trip with Natasha next November, so if you’re interested in joining us, give us a shout! Until then, happy holidays and here’s to a healthy and happy 2022.