On-Site: Harlequin Resorts Finalizes Licensing for New Dominican Resort

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- During our ongoing coverage of the 2011 Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (D.A.T.E.), Travel Agent got the scoop on yet another new Caribbean resort by the fast-moving and steadily-growing Harlequin Hotels & Resorts.

Dave Ames, the company's chairman, told Travel Agent that Harlequin officially finalized the licensing process Thursday morning to build a new resort in Las Canas, Dominican Republic, just outside of Puerto Plata and 30 minutes from the nearest airport.

The 200-room The Hideaway resort will be ready by 2013 and it is being positioned as a couple retreat, although it will not be an adults-only resort, said Mark Sawkins, vice president of operations for Harlequin.

This is now the fifth resort announced by Harlequin. It opened its first resort in the Caribbean on April 3 in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. That property, Buccament Bay Resort, is apparently booming with a current occupancy of roughly 85 percent, Sawkins said. The other resorts will be built in St. Lucia and Barbados in 2014 and Jamaica with no time table set yet for an opening since the acquisition of 3,000 acres of land is still being finalized, Ames told us.

Visit www.harlequinhotelsandresorts.com.