Maxim's New Bungalows in the Dominican Republic

Maxim is looking to bring its magazine to life. For years, fans of the successful publication have read about sexy women, fashion trends, the latest hot spots and generally how to live well. Seating area of a studio at Maxim Bungalows

With its new Maxim Bungalows, the company is hoping that its readers now take what they have learned from the articles and apply it to life on one of two properties: Maxim Bungalows at CofresiBeach, which is scheduled to open in October, and Maxim Bungalows at Juan Dolio, which is slated to open in early 2008.

Jay Burley, executive vice president of Elliott, a resort hospitality and real estate company that partnered with Dennis Publishing, Inc. for the project, recently chatted with Travel Agent and told us who the bungalows are for and why travel agents should take note.

"These bungalows are mainly for the Maxim readership, 29- to 36-year-olds, singles and couples looking to live the good life," Burley says. He also notes that families are welcome as well.

A rendering of Maxim Bungalows' restaurant

"The magazine isn't just about pretty girls; it's about living a better life. What is the coolest watch out there, who has the best flat-screen television out there, what is the best vehicle on the market? That is the attitude we will bring to Maxim Bungalows."

About 90 percent of all bookings are expected to be through U.S. tour operators, Burley says. All major operators are working with Maxim Bungalows, including GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Travel Impressions, Funjet Vacations and Apple Vacations.

Dennis Publishing, Inc. is a media company that publishes two successful modern men's lifestyle magazines—Maxim and Stuff—along with general interest music magazine Blender and The Week, a compilation of the week's top domestic and international news stories.

A one-bedroom Maxim Bungalow

First Property Near Puerto Plata

Maxim Bungalows at CofresiBeach will have 108 units, including studios, one- and two-bedroom luxury bungalow accommodations. It is located about 30 minutes from the PuertoPlataGregorioLuperonAirport and an hour from the CibaoInternationalAirport in Santiago. Included in the room fee is transportation from and to the airport. Each guest will be driven to the resort by a luxury SUV and given VIP access on and off property at all the top restaurants, bars and golf courses. Each bungalow will have five-star amenities geared toward sophisticated travelers, including resort-wide Wi-Fi, iHome audio capabilities, plasma-screen TVs and personal care products.

Guests will have the opportunity to unwind and enjoy cocktails in either the pool area, one of the cabanas, the lounge, or on the beach; the beach is reserved for guests only. Maxim Bungalow guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy The Spa, a new 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center offering a range of products.

The Spa at Maxim Bungalow

The 54-foot Maxim yacht, Independence, will be available exclusively for guest to charter for day trips and evening voyages. Maxim Bungalows at CofresiBeach is near the village of Cabarete, a hot spot for surfing and skateboard enthusiasts.

Second Property on the South Coast

The second location, Maxim Bungalows at Juan Dolio, is on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is 25 minutes east of the Santo Domingo Las Americas International Airport.

The property includes 240 rooms, which will range from studio bungalows to Grand Presidential suites. Like the first property, it will also include luxury amenities. The Gary Player signature golf course, Guavaberry Golf Course, is about 10 minutes from the property.

The best rooms at either of the properties, Burley says, are the King Bungalows, which are 2,400 square feet and include a balcony with 17 pieces of furniture. Those rooms retail for about $430 per night.

And this is just the latest time that Burley has scene a major swing toward luxury in the Dominican Republic. He played a major role in the development of hotels in the Dominican Republic over the course of the past 14 years, heading teams to build and renovate various hotels, restaurants, spas, wedding chapels, nightclubs and other types of resort amenities.

Burley was also a key player in the conceptualization and building of the Sun Village Resort & Spa on Cofresi Beach, Dominican Republic.

The complex, which is valued at about $50 million, includes 300 rooms, four luxury villas, seven swimming pools, four restaurants and eight lounges.

Although he wouldn't give specifics, Burley told Travel Agent that Elliot and Dennis Publishing won't be finished developing after the second property is built. He says more bungalows will be built in the Dominican Republic by the team in the future.

"There is no question that the Dominican Republic is becoming a bigger and bigger luxury destination," Burley says. "Hotels and hoteliers will really continue to see this [type of development] continue."

Agents receive 12 percent commissions. Those who become members of the Elliott Preferred Travel Agent Program (EPTAP) also receive 12 percent commissions as well as a host of incentives, including fam trip invitations. Agents should call Dan Graham, EPTAP manager at 519-772–5684, ext. 241, or e-mail [email protected] for information, booking rooms and how to become an EPTAP member.