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Harlequin set to launch additional luxury hotels in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean

Following the success of the Harlequin Hotel in St Vincent the firm has announced plans to further expand in the Caribbean. Travellers booking Dominican Republic holidays can look forward to two new Harelquin H Hotels set to be built in the near future.

Harlequin set to launch additional luxury hotels in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean

Dave Ames, British entrepreneur and Chairman of Harelquin Hotels and Resorts has announced his plans to launch a string of new hotels across key Caribbean locations including Barbados, the Dominican Republic and St Lucia. Notably, Mr Ames confirmed that Harelquin hotels will launch not one but two luxury Dominican Republic hotels in the near future.

Despite the fact that Harelequin hotels and Resorts are novices to the Caribbean hospitality industry (the first Harelequin hotel located in Buccament Bay, St Vincent and the Grenadines has been in operation for just over a year), Mr Ames is confident that travellers to the Caribbean, on their Dominican Republic holidays for example, will relish the opportunity to stay at one of the ultra-luxurious Harlequin resorts. Much of the firm’s positive outlook stems from the fact that Harlequin’s ultra-chic boutique style resorts is a cut above the current Caribbean hotel offerings.

 Harelquin Hotels and Resorts in Dominican Republic
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

“I looked at all the large chains and realized this type of hotel was not what people necessarily want anymore…Ninety per cent of the hotels in the Caribbean haven’t had any investment into them for years. They are now mostly owned by the banks, and the average hotel quality in the Caribbean is, to be honest, pretty poor…Because of our emphasis on high-quality design, service and facilities, not only are we taking business from the rest of the Caribbean, but we are also drawing people away from places like Dubai and the Far East who enjoy a standard of hotels that is not usually available in the Caribbean” Mr Ames went on to elaborate.

The Dominican Republic is the ideal place for a hotel like Harelequin. The nation located on the island of Hispaniola which it shares with Haiti has long been a popular holiday destination for international tourists on account of its luscious green landscapes, pristine beaches in popular locations like Punta Cana and its warm Caribbean climate.

The 2011 travel statistics released by the Dominican Republic’s officials are a testament to the Dominican Republic’s booming tourism industry with a 5.17 per cent increase in the number of travellers who took Dominican Republic holidays in 2011 when compared with 2010.

 Harelquin Hotels and Resorts in Dominican Republic
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

However, the island also poses challenges for hoteliers like Mr Ames. The longstanding perception that holidays in the Dominican Republic are affordable may serve to dissuade the affluent guests that Harelquin Resorts hopes to attract when planning luxury holidays in the Caribbean island. As Ignacio “Nacho” Foncillas, adviser to the Spanish investor Redberry SA, stated, “It's a little bit of a challenge to sell the Dominican Republic to a luxury crowd… Ultimately, it's a perception that is based mostly on lack of information”.

Only time will tell if Harlequin’s luxury resorts will be able to overcome the misconception that Dominican Republic is not only for holidaymakers hoping for an all-inclusive bargain but also the ideal location for an exclusive luxury getaway.

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