An evening of surprises, treats and wonderful conversation! The triple inauguration which took place last Friday in Altos de Chavon, to commemorate the opening of the The Altos de Chavon Art Studios by Emilio Robba, Melissa Pastry Boutique and the brand new, and quite impressive, Museum of Amber and Larimar, was a tremendous success. With almost 100 villa owners and residents out and about, supporting these bustling new businesses, Altos de Chavon seemed to have taken on a whole new vibrant life. No one could have asked for a more lovely star-lit evening to enjoy the activities. Each establishment had their respective owners on hand, greeting guests and generally mingling with their new Altos de Chavon neighbors. The evening was warm, the stars were out and everyone seems genuinely impressed with the changing face of Altos de Chavon, which has clearly taken a tremendous turn towards a complete revitalization, which could be felt in the positive energy and enthusiasm which was in the air. With all the wonderful memories many of us share of Altos de Chavon, it is a welcome sign of things to come. In addition to simply creating and opening new establishments, some businesses have begun to really take a new approach to their businesses as regards Altos de Chavon, which is itself a unique environment not only in the Dominican Republic, but more specifically, in the scope of Casa de Campo itself. Unlike the rest of the resort, Altos de Chavon caters to more than just the villa owners, residents and resort guests; its sees many guest from neighboring resorts, artists and students. As a result, we have seen great interest to adapt to these markets and offer a little something to everyone, while at the same time keeping in mind that it is the Casa de Campo villa owners and residents that can determine the longevity of any business.

The Altos de Chavon Art Studios by Emilio Robba, for example, has a wonderful selection of that are perfect for the decoration of a villa or apartment right in Casa de Campo, while at the same time, providing a few key items that are perfect for the tourist on the go, looking to pick-up a special gift for a loved one back home. Working with local artisans, Emilio Robba has invested significant effort into revitalizing the various collections that are created in Altos de Chavon. So yes, all the wonderful and intricate pottery was made locally. Very locally.

When asked about he felt to be working with the local artists, Emilio Robba was clearly please, letting us know that his experiences have been quite positive. He explained to us that the local artist have been eager to learn and embraced the new projects. Though some of their skills still require a little polishing, he expressed great satisfaction with the collaboration thus far and looks forward to the collections he will be able to create by collaborating with the local Dominican artisans.

The Altos de Chavon Art Studios by Emilio Robba was packed all evening, which is a testament to how many people simply could not pull themselves away from the absolutely stunning collection that was on display. Mr. Emilio Robba himself also played an important part, greeting guests and answering questions. The Museum of Amber and Larimar was probably the least known establishment, but also one of the most impressive of the evening. Having heard the name and fully expecting a glorified gift shop, I for one, was pleasantly surprised. The Museum of Amber and Larimar has done an absolutely impressive job of creating an actual museum which is professionally organized and put together, as well as informative and quite elegant. We would like to tip our hats at this fine place which really surprised and impressed us! A job well done! Having spoken to the owner, Mr. Jorge Caridad, we were informed that the collection in the Museum of Amber and Larimar would be changing on an ongoing basis, with special collections presented exclusively to Casa de Campo villa owners and residents. This is of course in addition to providing some absolutely stunning pieces of jewelry, a few of which beautifully combine Amber and Larimar into some incredibly chic must-have fashion accessories. There are even a few, incredibly rare, blue amber pieces – something you simply cant find in just any jewelry store. Walking into the Museum of Amber and Larimar, it was clear that almost every person was pleasantly surprised, if not downright impressed with the ambiance and collection that was available. Comments where all positive, with many calling it ‘a much needed addition to Altos de Chavon’. [nggallery id=67] Last but not least, the oldest of the three, Melissa Pastry Boutique saw many people pop in for a little treat or two which were available to those looking for their sugary fix. The establishment is well ventilated by the breezy Chavon air and well decorated by Peruvian born Carla Abusada, who also happens to be sister to the pastry chef, Melissa Abusada after whom the establishment is named. Both sisters were on hand to greet their guests and introduce them to their little slice of sugary heaven. [nggallery id=68] All in all, the evening was a resounding success that saw the community of Casa de Campo villa owners and residents ascend to Altos de Chavon to get to know and support three new businesses, mingle with friends and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the unique ambiance which is Altos de Chavon. It is our understanding that there are several more tricks, treats and surprises still in store for Altos de Chavon! We look forward to any such surprises which will surely do a lot to keep the energy in Altos de Chavon vibrant and fun.