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Old May 4, 05, 11:17 am   #1
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Post Paradise Found: New Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort


Press Release Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Paradise Found: The Dominican Republic's New Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort Will Feature Native Cultural Influences Set in a Lush Tropical Setting
Wednesday May 4, 1:13 pm ET
New Westin Resort Breaks Ground Near Punta Cana on the Eastern Shore

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2005-- Paradise has found a new address - The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, currently under construction in the Dominican Republic and scheduled to open in November 2006. Nestled in a lush tropical landscape on the azure-blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, and adjacent to the white silky sands of Macao Beach, this spectacular resort will be situated near the popular resort area of Punta Cana. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT - News) will manage the resort under its upper-upscale brand, Westin Hotels & Resorts. The property is owned by Macao Beach Resort, Inc., a subsidiary of Geostar, Inc. which has tourism investments worldwide.

The 315-room resort is taking great care to achieve a harmonious balance between luxurious comfort for guests and the diversity of environments on the property - ocean, wetlands, tropical forests, mangroves, cliffs and rolling hills. The property will feature architecture and exhibits honoring the ancient Taino culture. The resort's name, Roco Ki, which in the Taino language means "honoring the land," reflects the cultural and ecological balance of the area's natural attributes.

"This spectacular and unique resort will be Westin's fifth property in the Caribbean and strengthen the brand's presence in this region," said Sue Brush, senior vice president, Westin Hotels & Resorts. "The Westin Roco Ki will feature a regional and cultural flavor that will strike a chord with our guests who want to experience a distinctive, one-of-a-kind resort."

The resort will include 315 guest accommodations including 20 Jungle Luxe Bungalows, and 56 two and three bedroom luxury condo units. These exotic bungalows celebrate the historical heritage of the site and are the embodiment of the spiritual, tranquil and romantic ambiance the resort will bring to guests. Roco Ki also includes a residential community, comprised of private luxury homes as well as "Cliffside" Villas and Jungle Luxe Bungalows.

All resort guestrooms will be outfitted with Westin's signature Heavenly Bed, the epitome of luxury bedding replete with a sumptuous pillow top mattress, high-thread count sheets, down duvet and down pillows. Guests will also enjoy Westin's Heavenly Bath which consists of custom-designed dual showerheads with a choice of spray options from light mist to massaging needles and amenities which feature plush bathrobes, oversized Brazilian combed cotton bath sheets and invigorating bath products.

The resort will also feature a multitude of world-class amenities including an 18-hole championship Nick Faldo Signature Golf Course managed by Troon, The Spa at Westin Roco Ki, seven restaurants, seven elegant lounges and bars, a gourmet market, six tennis courts, six swimming pools, an aquatic sports complex, marina and over three miles of magnificent white-sand beach. There will also be a two-story, 2,700 square foot Activity Center that will house a Westin Kids Club, arts and crafts rooms, game arcade, movies, lecture hall and evening entertainment.

The resort will have 20,000 square feet of versatile state-of-the-art meeting and conference space in 14 different rooms, the largest accommodating over 700 persons. All public and function space areas will have wireless Internet. The Spa at The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort will encompass 18,000 square feet, featuring 15 treatment rooms with specialty treatments that incorporate the rejuvenating methods and natural ingredients indigenous to this tropical region.

Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
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Old Jul 4, 05, 10:17 am   #2
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Has this property begun any visible construction or are the plans just laid out....Are there any structures to look at?
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Old Jul 4, 05, 10:59 am   #3
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This Caribbean expansion is great news. It is often very affordable to fly into both the DR and Puerto Rico, so having several Starwoods to choose from will make for easier vacation planning. The purchase of some of the Wyndham hotels in PR (including the one in Vieques which will be the first W resort) will really increase our *wood options. Excellent.
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Old Jul 4, 05, 3:44 pm   #4
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Conceptual drawings and information on real estate can be found on this
website. Check the jungle luxe bungalows....

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Old Oct 26, 05, 1:55 pm   #5
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Westin Roco Ki Dominican Republic opens in 2011 - or does it?

Has anyone heard anything about this property other than what is on the website?
It looks like it will be one of the nicest places in the Dominican Republic. Also, I see there are condos...does anyone know if they will be part of the Starwoods Vacation Ownership?
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Old Apr 10, 06, 3:05 pm   #6
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I ran across some info online about the Dominican Republic that made me revisit this thread. Doesn't affect this Starwood property for a couple years since it's not opening until late 2007. But I thought it might interest some folks that might be thinking about visiting it during their kids' spring break in 2008:
The Dominican Republic puts a ban on watersports during the week of Easter. Starting just before Easter (usually the Thursday prior to Good Friday), and running through the week after Easter, all motorized water sports are banned. In addition, nonmotorized water sports may also be limited.

The weekend of Easter (Good Friday through Easter Sunday), some resorts may restrict the consumption of alcohol. Most all-inclusive resorts obtain a permit to serve alcohol to non-native persons during the ban. In addition, the playing of loud music may be silenced.

These guidelines are currently vague as distributed by the local government. Each year the actual policies are not determined until just prior to Easter. These rules are designed for the safety of everyone, as beaches get extremely busy during Easter week.
I still don't agree that this could become a Cat6 property. I think that Cat4 is more likely than Cat5. Unlike in the USVI and Grand Cayman, the Dominican Republic is a more affordable place to develop and do business.
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Old Apr 11, 06, 1:39 pm   #7
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I had the opportunity to visit the property the other weekend and put a deposit down on a Westin Cacique Terrace 1 bedroom condo. The property is stunning and the golf course with the 17th & 18th holes along cliffs will rank it as one of the best in the Caribbean when it debuts. Everything about this resort speaks 5 star destination, room rates $300/nite plus...and to that affect CAT 5. I'd be surprised though if they meet their Oct. 2007 opening date.....spring or summer 2008 is my guess.

Some of the amenities you won't find at other DR resorts or Starwood Caribbean properties:
Nick Faldo golf course with spectacular ocean/cliff holes - 7000+ yards par 73
Marina with sportfishing charter boats/diving
Equestrian center - horseback riding
Kids Club
Taino Indian Cultural Center
14 Restaurants and Lounges (none of which will be all inclusive)
3.5 miles of undeveloped beach/coastline (owned by developer)

Originally Posted by sc flier
I still don't agree that this could become a Cat6 property. I think that Cat4 is more likely than Cat5. Unlike in the USVI and Grand Cayman, the Dominican Republic is a more affordable place to develop and do business.
You can't compare this property to any of the all-inclusives...that is not their marketing goal for this property. While the country is know for this largely...this property and the plans for other 5 star hotels (ie., Ritz or Four Seaons on the site will help to change this perception). In any case the amenities that this resort will offer are far greater than USVI or Grand Cayman.

Last edited by Richard_SVO_SPG_Platinum; Apr 11, 06 at 1:49 pm
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Old Apr 11, 06, 1:55 pm   #8
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OK, now you've REALLY peaked my interest...is your one bedroom a SVO property? Or is it an outright purchase?
My wife and I are interested in SVO and this would put us on the fast track to taking the plunge. If it is not too forward to ask, how much was the 1bedroom, and is there a place where I can get information on line?
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Old Apr 11, 06, 2:06 pm   #9
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This is an outright 100% ownership not a timeshare (several years ago the DR gov't passed a law allowing for foreign ownership). I'm purchasing a one bedroom (1460 sqft) for $495K (one of the least expensive ones by the way). Although it won't be part of the Westin rental program there will be another rental mgmt co. handling owner rentals. The Westin condos that were eligible for the hotel rental pool were sold last year.

I can put you in contact with my sales person who is also the sister of the architect/developer. They have two more releases planned for this phase about 50 condos left and maybe 20 villas (1-2M+). A future phase will include condos by the marina and I believe there will also be fractional ownership but that could be 5 years away.
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Old Jan 1, 07, 3:41 pm   #10
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I received photos of the hotel and convention center taken in November. It appears that progress has been slow over the past 9 months. This should change now that the developer received $85M in construction financing. The developer is re-evaluating their schedule to see if they can compress and make the Dec. 2007 date. Personally, I think that is being optimistic...I think a mid to late 2008 date for the hotel opening is more realistic. Here's a copy of the letter I received.
__________________________________________________ ______
Dear Richard,

I hope this message finds you in the midst of a joyous holiday season. Roco Ki got the Christmas present we all hoped for - a firm date from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for disbursement of funds for the construction loans.

In September of this year I reported to you that the construction loans required for the completion of construction of The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort had been approved and executed. As you know, there has been some difficulty getting from the loan execution phase to the actual funding phase, which has caused delays in the pace of construction and put tremendous stress on the deadlines we face.

Today I am able to report to you that we have completed all the work needed to meet the requirements of EIB and we have a firm date for disbursement of funds. Today, on December 27, 2006, all funds from the $24,000,000 construction loan from the EIB, will be transferred to our construction account. This is the first phase of the $85,000,000 construction loan package. It is truly unfortunate that this was not accomplished sooner, but we can only look forward now. For a long time, we have been preparing for this moment with our contractor partners. All contractors are poised to ramp up construction as rapidly as possible. The reality is that we are now beginning the holiday season and in the Dominican Republic that means that major construction escalation will commence around the middle of January, 2007. Work will continue on a daily basis as we prepare for the major remobilization.

Now that we know when the acceleration of construction is starting we can analyze the schedule so we may confirm the completion date. All of our efforts will be focused on finding ways to compress the schedule so that our deadline of December, 2007 can be met. While the analysis of the schedule may dictate a change, we have not changed that date and will work very hard to maintain it. We will use the holiday period to complete this analysis and I will report back to you by the end of January with our findings.

Your patience, understanding and loyalty to the project are appreciated very much. Roco Ki is more than just a business venture. It is a community with members like you who have recognized the unique opportunity to create a place in the world where a luxurious lifestyle can be combined with an ecological and cultural sensitivity to produce a life lushly imagined. Your support, and the support of others like you, is critical to the success of Roco Ki.

The future at Roco Ki is bright and the coming months will see progress on all fronts. We are pleased that as a member of our community you will be here to bask in that light. We thank you for your support.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 12:41 pm   #11
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The sooner this property opens, the better. I just spent this past weekend in Punta Cana at the Punta Cana Club & Resort (one of the ubiquitous all-inclusives). The beaches were stunning & empty...but the rooms reminded me of the Newark Airport Sheraton. I will definitely be staying at the new Westin once it opens. After my first trip, Punta Cana managed to slot itself in behind Aruba & Barbados as having my favorite Caribbean beaches.

Now if only CO would re-launch nonstop service to PUJ from IAH...
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Old Mar 17, 08, 12:02 pm   #12
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Westin Roco Ki Dominican Republic Update

I thought some people would be interested in this. I sent an email to the management of Roco Ki a few weeks ago and here is their response:

Hello and thank you for your interest in the Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort.

Our resort is scheduled to open Fall of 2008, rates and availability will be available late Summer 2008.
Yes, we will be participation in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, and anticipate to be a a category 6 SPG level.

We invite you to please revisit our website and the Starwoodhotels.com website closer to our opening date for the most current information on our availability.

We look forward to hosting you soon !


The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort
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Old Mar 17, 08, 12:13 pm   #13
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Cat 6 seems a bit high for a Westin in the Dominican Republic, no?
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Old Mar 17, 08, 1:28 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
Cat 6 seems a bit high for a Westin in the Dominican Republic, no?
I thought the same thing...but remember this is based on average room price, and I'm guessing in high season they will be asking $400+/night.
They also "anticipate" being a category 6...I'm guessing category 5 the first year with a possible bump up to 6...but that is just a guess...I am hoping they start accepting reservations soon at this property as DR is one of the places the wife and I have targeted for our annual long weekend in February sans the kids...
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Old May 16, 08, 6:09 am   #15
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Opening pushed back...

Westin.com now reflects a 2009 opening.
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