The absence of pink walls and plastic furniture isn't the only refreshing thing about Casa Colonial Beach & Spa (Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata; 800/525-4800 or 809/320-3232; www.slh.com; doubles from $350), the latest resort to come to the Dominican Republic. At many all-inclusive resorts (and there are dozens on this island), arriving guests are escorted to a welcome rally; here, they pass through the lobby's majestic white arches while Edith Piaf croons in the background. They're then led to one of just 50 suites, each an homage to colonial sophistication, with white marble floors and mahogany furnishings. Once settled, they can visit the private beach, one of the two restaurants, the rooftop infinity pool (with Atlantic views), or the 12,000-square-foot spa, which offers daily beachside Pilates and yoga classes. The 2 1/2-acre retreat is on the northern coast, in a dense tropical setting. With any luck, other luxury properties won't invade this untouched region for a while, leaving visitors to Casa Colonial lots of time to enjoy the last quiet corner of the D.R.
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