Casa de Campo

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a Casa de Campo Resort
Casa de Campo Resort

General Facts from Wikipedia

Casa de Campo (Spanish for "Country House") is a Ponderosa-style tropical seaside resort in La Romana on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. It was developed in 1975 by Gulf+Western on 7,000 acres (28 km2) of its Central Romana sugar mill's land.

The first to enjoy the luxuries of this enclave were friends of Charles Bluhdorn, Gulf+Western's founder and CEO, who built the retreat. One of Bluhdorn's Dominican friends, Oscar de la Renta, was hired to do interior design for Casa De Campo. After Bluhdorn's death, the Cuban-American Fanjul family (the world's top sugar barons), bought Casa and opened it to paying guests. Without compromising the feeling of exclusivity, they've developed it into one of the most complete resorts in the region.

In addition to being considered one of the most prestigious resorts in the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo also boasts over 1,700 private villas, which range in price from US$500,000 to US$24,000,000, making it also one of the countries' most affluent communities, comparable to the Hamptons.

Completed in 2000, Casa de Campo has a modern, 400-berth marina, complete with a shipyard with a 120-ton TraveLift designed by Italian architect, Gian Franco Fini to resemble Portofino. Surrounding this harbor are over 70 restaurants, shops, bars, and homes. In 2010, the Casa de Campo Marina played host to the prestigious Rolex Farr 40 sailing cup.

Additional Information on Casa de Campo

From A Study Guide for Junot Diaz's "The Sun, the moon, the Stars": Short Stories for Students by Gale, Cengage Learning:[2]

Contrasted with the abject poverty of Santo Domingo is the opulence of La Romana's Casa de Campo, "The Resort That Shame Forgot." Casa de Campo is the wealthiest resort on the island, and it resembles in many ways an entire country unto itself. The resort has its own airport, beaches, and golf course. Security guards, or "guachimanes," patrol the resort while peacocks strut among the "ambitious topiaries" that dot the landscape. Everywhere there is an air of sanitized purity, of separation from all that is unsightly. This is where the rich come to play and make deals that will increase their wealth. A majority of the hotel's clientele are white Europeans. Ironically, the only Island Dominicans seen at the resort are the ones who clean the rooms and serve the food. Yunior sums up the disparities between between the resort and the Dominican Republic as a whole when he says, "Casa de Campo has got beaches the way the rest of the island has got problems."

Private Police Force

Online blog, Dominican Watchdog, also commented on the usefulness of the "guachimanes" or private police force:[3]

[D]rugs, money laundering and corruption is what makes the wheels turn around in the Dominican Republic. And if you like to see many of the criminals and corrupt officials blowing cash, just visit their weekend play ground Casa de Campo in La Romana. Drug dealers like to hide in Casa de Campo because the police are not [patrolling] there, for some odd reason Casa de Campo has their private security company for the 2000 resident area, but several villas has been seized in Casa de Campo in connection to drug cases in the last two years.

The U.S. Department of State also supports the belief that Casa de Campo is a base for criminal activity. In their 2002 country report on the Dominican Republic (sidenote: the same year Hillary Clinton visited Casa de Campo for pleasure), the State Department cited many various human rights groups that claimed a government official charged with murder was hiding out at his villa in Casa de Campo.

From the U.S. Department of State website:[4]

There were no developments in the appeal of the 30-year sentences of retired General Joaquin Pou Castro, former air force officer Mariano Cabrera Duran, and Luis Emilio de la Rosa Beras, convicted in 2000 for the 1975 murder of journalist Orlando Martinez Howley, a critic of the Balaguer administration. A fourth defendant, General Salvador Lluberes Montas, was to stand trial in 2001, but the trial did not take place. Lluberes Montas failed to appear at 11 hearings in 2001 and at 3 additional hearings during the year. Although Lluberes Montas was allegedly near death due to illness, various human rights groups charged that he was living comfortably in his villa in Casa de Campo.

Thus it seems like Casa de Campo may be a hotbed for many sorts of criminals and crimes due to its lack of a public police force.

Casa Grande at Casa de Campo

From the Washington Post:[5]

Oscar de la Renta, who once owned a home in Casa de Campo, provided input about the overall “ambience” of the development, according to an official history.

The property is now owned by a corporation controlled by the Fanjul family, Florida sugar moguls and Olympic-size political campaign donors. The Fanjuls’ villa is called Casa Grande, which means “big house,” and “it’s no exaggeration,” says Phil Silvestri, a longtime resident, who notes that the Fanjuls’ place has its own helipad, natch.

Relationship to #Pizzagate

Connection to Bob Menendez and Salomon Melgen

a Villa Mehler
Villa Mehler

Connection to Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

a Natalia Vodianova by Bruce Weber for W Magazine, July 2002
Natalia Vodianova by Bruce Weber for W Magazine, July 2002 [1]

The Clintons also came to Oscar de la Renta's photo shoots in the Dominican Republic. During one shoot in 2002, Hillary even seemed to make a pass at a 20-year-old female model, Natalia Vodianova, with Hillary comparing Vodianova "to an angel."[6] The adjoining photo is from that shoot.

The online blog, Abreu Report, (the legitimacy of which is certainly in serious question) made the bold claim in August of 2016 that, based off anonymous sources, Bill Clinton strangled a sex worker to death at Casa de Campo and the body was disposed of by resort staff.[7]

Connection to Terry McAuliffe

From the NY Post:[8]

Clinton pal and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former head of the Democratic National Committee, was also a frequent [Salomon] Melgen guest, Goodman said.

“He used to go to Doctor Melgen’s home in Casa de Campo and play golf all the time,” she told the paper.

Connection to Michael Jackson and Donald Rumsfeld

Connection to Raffaello Follieri

Connection to the Fanjul family

See Also


For Integration

  • NY Social Diary "Palm Beach Social Diary" Friday, March 22, 2013 (Includes entries on Casa de Campo and Boy's Club) [9]
  • NY Social Diary "Notes from Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic" 2006 (includes entry on orphanage "Campo Nueva Esperanza") [10]