Expansions & Renovations

Tortuga Bay Honored With AAA Five Diamond Award for 2011

The Oscar de la Renta Designed Hotel is the First in the Dominican Republic to Receive the Prestigious Designation

NEW YORK, NY - June 24, 2010 - Tortuga Bay, the luxury boutique hotel designed by Oscar de la Renta, has been honored with The AAA Five Star Diamond Award for 2011. The hotel is the first in the Dominican Republic and one of only four hotels in the Caribbean to ever receive this distinction.

The AAA Five Diamond Award for hotels and restaurants is reserved for properties that exemplify the highest level of excellence in every facet of operation. Only one-third of 1 percent of the over 31,000 properties approved by AAA achieve this designation.

Tortuga Bay, which opened at the PUNTACANA Resort & Club in 2006, has received much attention for its guest experience, including VIP transport from the airport, access to the exclusive Bamboo Restaurant and Six Senses Spa, and ability to play the resort’s two golf courses, the Tom Fazio-designed Corales and P.B. Dye-designed La Cana. The many amenities available to guests make the PUNTACANA Resort & Club the Caribbean’s premier golf and beach resort destination.

“We are sincerely honored and humbled for Tortuga Bay to be recognized by both AAA and American Express with these prestigious honors” said Frank Rainieri, President and CEO of Groupo PUNTACANA. “The focus at Tortuga Bay has always been to create a memorable experience for our guests and I am so proud that the hard work of our staff is being rewarded in such a wonderful way.”

This honor follows this month’s earlier announcement that the hotel was named to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. The program is a Card benefit of U.S.-issued Platinum and Centurion® Cards, where in Card members enjoy special amenities when staying with luxury partner hotels around the world.

“It is our goal that guests are treated with incomparable service from the moment their plane touches down in Punta Cana,” said Vincenzo Calcerano, General Manager of Tortuga Bay. “It is easy to have a relaxing trip when you are in a setting as beautiful as PUNTACANA Resort & Club, staying in a luxurious villa. However, it takes more than that to make a trip unforgettable. It is our job to ensure an unbelievable experience for all guests who choose to stay with us, and I’m so pleased that our staff is being recognized for their efforts.”

Tortuga Bay is a Leading Small Hotel of the World and a member of Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network.

About PUNTACANA Resort & Club
The development of Grupo PUNTACANA dates back to 1969 when Dominican businessman and hotelier Frank R. Rainieri and Theodore W. Kheel, the prominent New York attorney and labor mediator, created a partnership to construct a resort and real estate community that respects the natural habitat of Punta Cana while offering a world-class vacation experience. Maintaining a dedication to sustainable tourism, PUNTACANA Resort & Club has since grown to encompass over 26 square miles and now includes Tortuga Bay; Six Senses Spa; the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation; four residential communities (Corales, Hacienda, Marina and Arrecife); a full-service marina; nine restaurants; a shopping village; two 18-hole golf courses; and Punta Cana International Airport, a modern facility that incorporates innovative and eco-friendly design. In 1997, Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta joined the Group as co-investors and have made PUNTACANA Resort & Club their home. Currently, Punta Cana is the most highly visited Caribbean destination and is easily accessible from all over the globe.

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Law: The Biggest Challenges
Given the size and scope of the international hotel industry, the subject of hotel law is equally varied and vast. From development deals to management agreements; from food and beverage liability to labor and employment; from claims management to anti-trust matters; to legal concerns surrounding the issues of risk, safety and security, the practice of hotel law relies upon the expertise of many different kinds of legal specialists and practitioners. Though the subject matter is broad, there are several pending legal issues which will loom large in 2014 and beyond. The Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented in 2014 and its impact on hotel companies and their hiring practices is still to be determined. Other significant labor issues to be addressed include lawsuits pertaining to tip credit and tip pooling; wage-hour audits conducted by the Department of Labor: ongoing negotiations with unions involving living wage issues and the right of workers to organize; and increased pressure on hotel operations to be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. On the business side of the industry, it is expected that there will be a wave of new hotel development that will engender all the related legal issues – land acquisition, entitlements, joint ventures and other financing, selection of hotel operators and brands, along with Hotel Management and Franchise Agreements. In addition, it is projected that there will be a substantial increase in foreign investment – particularly from the Chinese. Chinese investment will involve all the normal legal issues of an investment from due diligence, acquisition and financing, but will add layers of complexity to deal with tax and other international issues involving direct foreign investment in the U.S. These critical issues and others pertaining to Hotel Law will be explored in the December issue of Hotel Business Review.