The Puerto Plata Report: news and travel info from the Dominican Republic's north coast

Velero Beach Resort in Cabarete

For a long time, everyone thought Cabarete’s crowd was limited to the budget conscious, windsurf addicts only too happy to crash in tiki huts and ten-dollar hostels.So when Velero Resort opened in 2000, its aspirations as a boutique hotel seemed a little out of place.

But some of those baggy, shin-length shorts that everybody wears on Cabarete Beach must have pretty deep pockets because not only have Velero’s four-star accommodations have become a popular commodity, they’ve started a trend, where today, half million dollar condominiums and million-plus villas are popping up all along the Cabarete shoreline.

“Cabarete used to attract just the hardcore windsurfers”, says Velero’s director, Mario Magnan. “Then the surfing crowd spawned a party crowd and now Cabarete has become the hottest beach in the Caribbean. Everybody’s coming here. It’s amazing.

The luxury of space: set on two acres, Velero’s buildings take up a small percentage of the land

Ever the discreet host, Mario won’t reveal who “everybody” might include booking into Velero Resort. Suffice it to say that last week a private jet flew in from L.A.; last month, Velero’s grounds provided the backdrop for a major swimwear shoot; and not long before that a major network crew had checked in and were interviewing him about the phenomenon that Cabarete has become.

“Not everybody is high profile. But there’s a lot of people who want quality and are willing to pay for it”, he says.

Velero is a complex of twenty-six privately owned condominiums three stories high, cleverly designed and properly equipped to function as a hotel; and to provide short term guests the services they likely wouldn’t get simply renting a private residence.

The $300 dollar for a penthouse that can sleep six is not priced out of orbit, while furniture and finishing makes you feel like you’ve checked into somebody’s house

Set on two oceanfront acres on the eastern tip of Cabarete Bay, balconies leading from each room look over an expansive lawn and an infinity pool set by the sea. The property is ideally located a few minutes walk down the beach from town center: just slightly removed from the bustle.

This affords a sense of civilized serenity at Velero, from where you get a perfect view of the entire expanse of the bay and of what makes Cabarete so incredibly special, that panorama of hundreds of multi colored sails on the water and giant kites in the sky, blasting through the waves and flying through the air on the silent power of the Tradewinds.

Particularly appealing at Velero is the very real feeling of being at home. Originally designed and constructed to appeal to a select group of private owners (half the owners don’t even rent out their units) there is an attention to detail in the handcrafted oak cabinets and trim, detailing in brickwork and fittings, personal touches and individuality in pieces of art and decorations, that all contribute to the sense being in a home and not a hotel room.

And while you’re enjoying feeling at home, the services are all there, too. You can pick up the phone request a personal attention from a 24-hour receptionist, arrange gourmet in-room dining, hire a babysitter, reserve a personal visit from a masseuse or aesthetician.

While there is no restaurant on the premises, a well-appointed beachside cafe serves breakfast. light meals and beverages.

“Cabarete has such a variety of fabulous restaurants, we decided not to provide a dining room”, says Mario. “But our kitchen is prepared to provide private meals and special menu requests.”

A business center, a small conference room, a gourmet deli are a few of the other facilities found at Velero. Room rates, from standard to penthouse, range from $75 to $250 in low season and $100 to $300-plus in the winter months.

For more information visit the Velero web site

Filed Under: Lodging

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