With its pristine, sugar-white beaches and electric blue ocean water, it's not hard to see why Punta Cana lands on many top travel wish lists. Punta Cana, situated on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, is the pure definition of relaxation. It also happens to boast the stylish touch of Oscar de la Renta, who was born in the Dominican. The designer not only has a home in the uber chic neighborhood of Corales (Julio Iglesias and Mikhail Baryshnikov are his neighbors), but he's one of the owners of , which includes his very own , the newly opened Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, the world-class La Cana golf course, a , an impressive ecological foundation, and more. This month, we joined ODLR for the annual parade and celebrations, and caught up with the designer to get the scoop on how to vacation like fashion royalty. Hurry up and pack your caftan.
1. What do you enjoy doing while in Punta Cana?
I love to walk along the white sand beaches. The efforts of the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation have kept the waters a pristine blue. The beach is also a fantastic place to ride horses. The resort at Tortuga Bay is simplicity and luxury at its best.
2. How do you like to start you day there?
I have fresh [a fried plantain dish] for breakfast every day.
3. What are your favorite restaurants in Punta Cana and the neighboring areas?
La Yola Restaurant is spectacular. It is set beneath a beautiful marina; while you eat, you hear the waves breaking underneath you. I love their fresh fish and Mediterranean dishes.
4. For women, what do you think is the perfect look for Punta Cana?
Swimsuits, caftans, fantastic jewelry in the evening.
5. The annual Carnaval just took place earlier this month. What do you like most about the Punta Cana Carnaval?
I think that Carnaval is incredibly exciting. To have people visiting this beautiful place from around the world and to be able to share its beauty and traditions is an extraordinary thing.
6. Favorite sites and destinations you like to visit in the Dominican?
Sometimes I take the 25-minute drive to El Cortecito, this little village by the sea. I eat at Captain Cook; it's very simple but it's some of the best seafood anywhere. I also take guests to Santo Domingo and we have dinner at El Vesuvio or La Bricola–they both serve wonderful Italian food. You also must go to the Six Senses spa for a massage, swim in one of the freshwater lagoons at Tortuga Bay, and visit the Swiss Mine alongside Parque Colon for wonderful, authentic amber.
Photo: Courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club