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: Legal Issues Looming Large in 2015
In an industry where people are on-property 24/7/365, the possibilities are endless for legal issues to arise stemming from hotel guest concerns. And given the sheer enormity of the international hotel industry, issues pertaining to business, franchise, investment and real estate law are equally immense. Finally, given the huge numbers of diverse people who are employed in the hospitality industry, whether in hotel operations or food and beverage, legal issues pertaining to labor, union, immigration and employment law are also significant and substantial. The expertise of all kinds of specialists and practitioners is required to administer the legal issues within the hotel industry, and though the subject areas are vast and varied, there are numerous issues which will be in the forefront in 2015 and beyond. One issue that is gaining traction is how hotels are dealing with the use of marijuana by employees, given its ever-changing legal status. The use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia for certain medical conditions. Two other states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana use for individuals who are 21 years old or older, and Alaska and Oregon currently have similar legislation pending. Most state laws legalizing marijuana do not address the employment issues implicated by these statutes. Therefore, it is incumbent on all hotel operators to be aware of the laws in their states and to adjust their employment policies accordingly regarding marijuana use by their employees. Other issues that are currently looming large pertain to guest identity theft by hotel employees and the legal liabilities which ensue; issues of property surveillance versus a guest’s right to privacy; and immigration reform could also be a major compliance issue. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine some of the more critical issues involving hotel law and how some managers are addressing them in their operations.