This post is also available in: Spanish
One thing is to be agreed upon right off… the sun shines brighter at Casa de Campo. There is a shift in perspective that occurs when you arrive at the Casa de Campo resort. It could be your first or your fiftieth visit. No matter, you will feel it.
Since I can remember, my family and I have made an annual trip to the Dominican Republic. Although my Dad’s parents, Vinzenz & Polita Hofer, live in Santo Domingo, we would without fail make our way to the beaches of Casa de Campo within days of arriving on the island. It has been over twenty years or so since my first visit to Casa de Campo and although it retains so much of its original charm, the resort has evolved into a mature and refined beauty.
In my earliest memories there are huge red see-saws at the playground next to Playa Minitas and some of the roads that are now laid permanently in pavement were simply dirt tracks in the land. My cousins and I would wander around the backyard of our villa documenting plant life like the mysterious pink pineapples. We spent every moment possible with our feet in the soft grass, the sun soaking our bare shoulders and legs. My father, brother and I used to take what could only be described as grand expeditions on the golf cart. It was on these adventures that I discovered the majesty of the oceanfront holes on Teeth of the Dog. We would drive to and from the beach day after day. Often times we would explore the outer reaches of the resort near the old single aircraft landing strip. It was before La Marina. And before Dye Fore. It’s amazing how things have changed.
Yet Casa de Campo’s ability to inspire joy in its visitors has not diminished in the slightest. Quite the opposite in fact.
Guests of the resort tend to operate with these unspoken guidelines: Remove yourself from the outside world. Relieve yourself of your daily stresses. Relax and revive your spirit. Then rejoice in the celebration of each beautiful day.
It had been a while since I last traveled down to the D.R. for any length of time, but this past summer I was lucky enough to spend a month at the resort with my grandparents. We briefly entertained friends from the states but for the majority of my stay I just took some time alone to do nothing but relax. Eventually however, those explorations from my early years at Casa de Campo called to me. I could feel that there was much around me waiting to be discovered. So…I rented a bike, packed my camera and set off each morning looking for a new adventure. I hope, over the next few months, to share some of the treasures I happened upon and the inspiration I found in the most unlikely places.
I too was gifted with the lightness of spirit that Casa imbues in each of its patrons. The tiny miracles of life, art and nature are so apparent in the daily life at Casa de Campo. I hope only to inspire you in seeing the bits of beauty that are all around you.
This fantastic article about Casa de Campo was written by Tina Hofer, who has been visiting Casa de Campo for over 20 years and over the next few months Tina will be sharing more of here Casa de Campo memories and photos with us!