A nice place to get away from it all? This Radisson Blu resort has opened up in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and could be just the spot you wanted. Photo provided by Radisson.

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic–November 15th, 2020–Since the beginning of June, when the first Caribbean destinations began to reopen their borders for tourism, lots of hotels have re-opened, but it was really big news in Punta Cana this weekend when a completely new resort actually opened its doors for the first time and stepped out into the super-competitive world of resort tourism in the age of Covid.

The Radisson Blu Resort and Residence Punta Cana, the only Radisson Blu in the Caribbean, officially launched operations on Nov. 15.

It’s one of just a handful of new resorts that have opened since the beginning of the pandemic, and the first in the Dominican Republic.

The 164-suite resort, which is set on Cabeza de Toro beach in greater Punta Cana, is one of the only all-inclusive Radisson Blu resorts in the world.

“The opening of Radisson Blu in Punta Cana marks an important milestone in our corporate history and is a testament to our confidence in the reactivation of tourism in the Dominican Republic,” said Francisco Jorge, Vice President of ACH Hoteles & Resorts, which owns the resort. “We are proud to expand Radisson’s footprint in the Caribbean, offering our guests the quality of service that has made the brand a staple in the tourism industry, combined with the idyllic natural charm of one of the best Dominican beaches.”

The new-build property’s 164 suites are set across 12 buildings on the beach, with amenities including six a la carte restaurants, five bars and lounges and a large lagoon-style pool, among others.

It’s the second Radisson in the Dominican Republic, joining a Radisson-branded hotel in the country’s capital of Santo Domingo.

The company says, in an official handout: “We are delighted to welcome guests to Radisson Blu Resort and Residence Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. As with all Radisson Blu properties, we are committed to providing an unparalleled guest experience in the idyllic setting of Cabeza de Toro, a blue flag beach in close proximity to all the attractions Punta Cana has to offer. Our guests can travel with the peace of mind that we have them completely covered, from safety protocols, to all-inclusive offering, to personalized attention, Radisson Blu Punta Cana will redefine the upscale beach vacation”

The Dominican Republic has been open for tourism since this summer and has a relatively light Covi-19 testing regime compared to other destinations which are ordering multiple Covid-19 tests and quarantines for tourists.

At a recent conference, Dominican Republic tourism officials revealed that in the third quarter of 2020, the Dominican Republic welcomed more than 100,000 air passengers, obviously a huge increase compared to the 1,000 passengers received in June 2020 due to the airports being closed.

“Since August, we have focused diligently on recovering tourism and reviving our economy,” said David Collado, Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism. “We are thrilled to inaugurate this monumental event and share our productive recovery efforts to date, none of which would have been possible without the leadership of President Abinader and our continued partnership with ASONAHORES.”

Another speaker also said that if tourism arrivals continue to increase, it is projected that the country could close 2020 with two million tourist arrivals. For the key tourism season, December 2020 through March 2021, the country looks to be on track to welcome one million international tourists.
Despite lax Covid-19 controls, reports of tourists contracting or spreading Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic are hard to find, although last year international newspapers carried a number of stories about US tourists mysteriously dying in the Dominican Republic, sometimes after drinking large amounts of alcohol.