|by Hilary Geary Ross
Last weekend, instead of our usual romp around Palm Beach, we headed down to the delicious Dominican Republic to stay with Emilia and Pepe Fanjul at their dazzling abode, Casa Grande.
Gotta say, staying chez Fanjul is about as good as it gets. First of all there are no better hosts, more fun or adorable than Pepe and Emilia. Plus they happen to live in Paradise. Paradise being their family compound, Casa Grande, with its vast and beautifully appointed main house and little guest houses or "casitas” all right smack on the water.
The setting is Casa de Campo, a world class resort with every possible sporting activity you can think of. There are four superb golf courses, including the world renown “Teeth of the Dog,” along with tennis courts with ballboys, shooting, fishing, riding -- including polo; a spa, a gym, and so much more.
There is also the charming new marina with all kinds of boats that reminds me of Portofino. Plus shopping galore and my favorite shop was Bebe's with her divine hand painted chargers, boxes and chic evening bags that are to die for!
|Our first night there, we dined al fresco at "Le Cirque" at the Beach Club, which has the same menu you know and love from New York City. Emilia set up a long table and provided just the right touch with a scrumptious menu of pasta then fish and the best wines, and entertainment with a sensational singer. All we had to do was dance the night away!
The lazy mornings were spent nibbling on breakfast in our casitas, all brought on flower laden trays with the most wonderful freshly baked breads and delicious fruits, plus the most heavenly freshly squeezed tomato juice.
|After reading the newspapers and puttering around, before lunch we headed down to the beach to pop onto their boat for a little cruise to a nearby deserted beach called "Catalina" for some swimming in the clear aqua colored sea.
After a refreshing dip, we hopped back on board and headed over to the marina where we spotted Don Soffer's mega yacht where George Hamilton was a guest.
|After a visit with George, we headed back to the Fanjul’s beach for a yummy lunch under the pergola. After lunch, our graceful hostess, the beautiful Emilia arranged for golf, tennis, riding, shooting, biking, hairdressing, massages, shopping, etc., for any and all of us guests.
Around five each day there was another special treat: we watched Oscar nominated movies that that Peggy Siegal had brought along.
|Valentines night, we dined at the Yacht Club. The next morning was another wonderful boat ride, followed by another perfect lunch and a flawless afternoon.
|On our last night there, at a glamorous single long table for forty guests, with the moon shining down, we dined under the stars on the dock and helipad lit by torches and candlelight.
After dinner there was dancing to a sensational band. It had to be the most romantic setting you could possible dream of.
|Next day it was back to PB on "Air Fanjul " and all I can say is wowee, what a fabulous weekend! Among the lucky guests were Joe Allen and Annette Tapert, Lady Annabelle Astor, Dixon and Arriana Boardman, Countess Christina de Caraman, John and Debbie Loeffler, Aileen Mehle, aka "Suzy,” Sally and David Metcalfe, Shirley Lord Rosenthal, Wilbur Ross, Euan Rellie, Archie and Sharon Sterling, Peggy Siegal, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and more.|