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Josep Castellnou, General Manager, Catalonia Royal Bávaro

The addition of new suites creates a resort within a resort.

Friday, December 11, 2009
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The secluded paradise of the all-adults resort Catalonia Royal Bávaro just got better.

The all-inclusive property on Bávaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has added 111 new suites, bringing the total number of guestrooms and suites to 255. The new rooms include 96 Junior Deluxe Suites, 14 Exclusive Suites and one Gran Suite Royal. Guests in the junior suites have access to a swimming pool separate from the rest of the resort, while guests in the Exclusive and Gran Suites each have their own private pools with teak decks and chaise lounges.

The most recent additions, as well as new food and beverage outlets, were opened to guests this summer.

The resort worked with suppliers from all over the world, as far-flung as Spain and Indonesia. Cidon B2B Interiors of Madrid did rooms and common areas.

General Manager Josep Castellnou spoke with Buyer Interactive about some of the unique features of the resort.

The addition of the suites serves as a boutique resort within the resort, as they are housed in separate villa structures tucked away on a secluded section of the property. How is this area different from the rest of the resort?
There's much more quality. The restaurants are very high cuisine, top-level. There is no buffet in this restaurant [at lunch and dinner]. We just have the buffet at breakfast. There's more exclusivity for our guests. Here in the hotel it used to be just one restaurant. Now there are three restaurants. Our guests used to go next door [to an affiliated resort] to get more quality of food. The guests are allowed to go to the other restaurants, but we are only adults while the other hotel is not just for adults. We are getting a lot of guests who are honeymooners, just couples. It is exclusive in this kind of way because they look for a very quiet place. We don't have animation or activities to disturb people in our hotels. We are very quiet and relaxed. That's one of the best points.

There are two F&B outlets: casual fare restaurant, Sea Blue, and the Cata Tapa Restaurant (set atop a reflecting pool and featuring an extensive tapas menu). How are these different from what's on the other part of the resort?
It's a very nice presentation. Sea Blue is oceanfront with nouvelle cuisine. In all of our bars we have premium beverages -- Johnnie Walker, Absolut. We have another bar directly to the beach and they have fresh fruit juices during the morning. When you are on the beach, you want something fresh and healthy. Another serves alcoholic drinks.

Are the villas new construction? What was previously on the land?
Yes. Just the jungle. The first part of the hotel, the 144 rooms, they were from the lobby until the jungle. There wasn't access directly to the beach. With the two new buildings and suites, guests have access directly to the beach. The views are much better because they are closer to the beach.

You have used the word 'boutique.' What does that mean in the context of these new suites?
It's not minimalist design. All the furniture in the rooms in the villas is very comfortable, the rooms are calm rooms. It's not looking for minimalist design. It's a very casual style.

Who did the purchasing?
The architect. He was giving them a lot of light. It looked like a duplex, on two floors. At the back there is a window giving light to the room. When you are inside you are looking to swimming pool -- an infinity pool -- when you are on the third floor, your view is just water. It's open to everything -- there is no privacy. The people in front of you can see you. He didn't give so much importance to this because he was looking for and wanted something really open with luminosity. It's a very big space as well.

Are there design themes that unite or differentiate the new space?
In the new villas, between the shower and the bathtub there is a bigger glass with a screen. They [the glass partitions] are all different. In one there is a palm, the other there is a beach, flowers, fish. That makes it a little different.
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