Casa de Campo
In 1975 Gulf+Western developed 7,000 acres (28 km2) of its Central Romana sugar mill's land into the Casa de Campo resort. Situated in La Romana on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo (Spanish for "Country House") is a Ponderosa-style, tropical seaside resort.
The first to enjoy the luxuries of this enclave were friends of Charles Bluhdorn, Gulf+Western's founder and CEO, who built the retreat. One of Bluhdorn's Dominican friends, Oscar de la Renta, was hired to do interior design for Casa De Campo. After Bluhdorn's death, the Cuban-American Fanjul family (the world's top sugar barons), bought Casa and opened it to paying guests. Without compromising the feeling of exclusivity, they've developed it into one of the most complete resorts in the region.
Casa de Campo's golf has been internationally recognized for more than three decades. Golf architects Pete and Alice Dye have had a home at Casa de Campo since the early 1970s, when they guided 300 local laborers with machetes to blaze the Diente del Perro, (Teeth of the Dog, opened in 1971) through the jungle and along a rocky coast. The world's golfers flocked to the course after it served as a backdrop for the 1971 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It remains the only Caribbean course consistently in the world's top 100 courses (usually top 50). The Links Course (opened in 1974) and the members-only La Romana Country Club (opened in 1990) are inland layouts spiced with lakes. Dye's newest course, the much-acclaimed Dye Fore (opened in 2000), skirts cliffs 300 feet (91 m) above the Chavón River, with views of the village of Altos de Chavón, distant mountains and the new marina. Dye recently completed another course on the plateau next to Dye Fore, called the Dye Fore Lakes.
In addition to being considered one of the most prestigious resorts in the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo also boasts over 1,700 private villas, which range in price from US$500,000 to US$24,000,000, making it also one of the countries' most affluent communities, comparable to the Hamptons.
Completed in 2000, Casa de Campo has a modern, 400-berth marina, complete with a shipyard with a 120-ton TraveLift designed by Italian architect, Gian Franco Fini to resemble Portofino. Surrounding this harbor are over 70 restaurants, shops, bars, and homes. In 2010, the Casa de Campo Marina played host to the prestigious Rolex Farr 40 sailing cup.
Casa de Campo served as the backdrop for the 1987 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.