Villa Palmyra, in the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana, makes the most of one of the finest ocean views in the Caribbean.
When it came to designing Villa Palmyra, the greatest asset of this Punta Cana showstopper became its architects’ biggest challenge. “Thanks to the privileged location of the villa, on a high steep rock overlooking the Caribbean Sea, we had multiple views to integrate,” says Trini Baquero, a partner with Juanchy Zorrilla in the firm of Zorrilla and Baquero Architects based in the Dominican Republic. “We needed a design that could bring to every space, the interior as well as the exterior, the opportunity to appreciate the extraordinary coastal landscape.”
To accomplish this, the architects used their signature design element (and what Baquero calls their “passion”) — a spectacular interior courtyard, surrounded by breezy terraces and imposing columns, and offering 360 degree views of both the Caribbean Sea and the oceanfront and emerald green fairways of Punta Espada Golf Course. “By using this central axis that works as a visual ‘distributor,’ we were also able to balance the architectural composition,” says Baquero.
Privately owned, but a Signature Residence in the top-notch portfolio of exclusive vacation homes in the burgeoning Inspirato with American Express club collection, this magnificent 16,000-square-foot villa is located in the secluded and gated Cap Cana resort community in Punta Cana.
Outdoor living space at Villa Palmyra
The uber-spacious home boasts six bedrooms and seven and a half baths — three with outdoor showers — and room for 12 guests (winter vacation in Punta Cana, anyone?) who enjoy the services of a personal cook and butler, as well as access to Punta Espada golf, beaches, dining, and the marina at Cap Cana Resort.
Zorrilla and Baquero took their inspiration for Villa Palmyra’s design from traditional Dominican plantation houses. The villa’s formal living space combines colonial styling, with rich dark hardwoods complemented with rattan accents and earthy tones of green, cream and terra cotta.
The more informal spaces go for a bright and contemporary look with white walls serving as a crisp backdrop for colorful local artworks and furnishings. The architects unified the various interior styles with their use of local materials such as coral stone, “perrilla” (a compound derived from crushed stone), rare indigenous timbers, cement tiles, and outdoor floors created especially for the villa, resulting in a harmonious flow throughout the home.
Among the villa’s many outdoor living spaces is the large infinity pool with a terrace for relaxing and enjoying Punta Cana’s year-round warmth and sunshine, but golf carts are also available for easy access to the nearby beaches, marina, and golf courses of Puntacana Resort & Club and Cap Cana.
Now a popular vacation and second home destination, Punta Cana was nothing but wilderness little more than 40 years ago. A trip through the jungle from the nearest city would take six to eight hours; today you can do it in one. After Puntacana Resort & Club co-founders Frank Rainieri and Ted Kheel built the first hotel in the region, and followed it up with an airstrip, Punta Cana became one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations (giving weight to the saying “If you build it, they will come”).
All the amenities and activities that are available at other luxury resorts in the area are also available to guests at Villa Palmyra, including Six Senses, the elegant, full-service spa within the Puntacana Resort & Club (try the Signature Package, a seven-hour sampling of the spa’s best treatments).
Interiors flow seamlessly from one living space to the next
As with every Signature Residence in the Inspirato collection, Villa Palmyra comes with an on-site Destination Concierge to assist members during their stay, including booking activities, renting sports equipment, arranging for babysitters and private chefs, stocking the residence with groceries prior to arrival, and other requests. The villa also includes daily housekeeping.Punta Cana itself offers as many or as few (depending on your mood) choices of activities as you can ask for, from picnicking — head north to the secluded beach of Playa del Macao with its dramatic cliffs — to a 40-minute helicopter tour of La Altagracia coastline, or a chartered speedboat or glass-bottom power cat ride. The younger set can enjoy Dolphin Island Park, Manati Park which showcases indigenous animals, and Puntacana Ecological Foundation, a 1,500-acre eco-preserve.
When it comes to dining, meals can be prepared and served by your personal chef at the villa, in the state- of-the-art restaurant-quality kitchen, or you can enjoy a taste of Punta Cana itself, starting with El Codo del Diablo, a heady blend of rum, vodka, blue Curac?ao and fruit juices that’s the signature drink of the Tom Fazio- designed Corales golf complex located at the Puntacana Resort & Club.
Move on to a romantic dinner at La Yola, with its glass-floor viewing area, and end the night at Soles Chill Out Bar with its waterfront location on Bavaro Beach and live music every night of the year. But at day’s end, Villa Palmyra and its breathtaking ocean views will ultimate lure you back. “This is one of our favorite homes we have designed,” says Baquero. “It gives everyone who visits such a sense of peace and harmony.”
VILLA WATCH: INSPIRATO WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS
Looking for an exclusive vacation home? We asked co-founder Brent Handler for insight on Inspirato.
We are a private club for luxury travelers who value high-end service, privileged access and exceptional vacation experiences. At the heart of our rapidly growing portfolio is a collection of more than 140 Signature Residences – private and exclusive vacation homes in some of the world’s most sought-after beach, mountain, city and lifestyle destinations.
What makes Inspirato unique?
Launched in January 2011, Inspirato was the first club to lease rather than purchase its vacation residences. This innovative model allows the club to preserve the high quality of the destination club experience while avoiding the six-figure, upfront fees common in the industry.
What are membership requirements?
Unlike other clubs, fractional ownerships and timeshares, Inspirato with American Express requires no long-term commitment and also allows members to travel as much or as little as they wish. Membership initiation fees start at $7,500, and all members pay a $3,000 annual fee. inspirato.com