EVER wondered what it is like to live as a millionaire?
Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is the place to find out.
This sprawling 7,000-acre estate is a haven for the rich and famous — but can also be enjoyed by mere mortals, with room-only rates from £39 per person per night.
Exclusivity is still name of the game, though. This place is a playground for the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce, Vin Diesel, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Frank Sinatra used to visit, landing on the resort’s very own airstrip.
Apparently Steven Spielberg has a place there. But ask the staff and you will be met with silence — protecting guests’ privacy is key to this resort’s success.
The vast complex, about a quarter the size of Manchester, has its own road system, hotel, hundreds of villas, three golf courses designed by Pete Dye (creator of the famous TPC Sawgrass course), a power station, a marina — and its own re-creation of a Mediterranean village. There’s even an amphitheatre where J-Lo, Andrea Bocelli and Old Blue Eyes himself have played.
The villa I stayed at was a four-bed oceanfront, overlooking the eighth fairway of the Teeth of the Dog golf course — the Caribbean’s best.
I was lucky enough to draw the master suite out of the hat.
It had a lounge, huge bedroom, two bathrooms, office, gym and outside Jacuzzi. Oh, also its own pool, butler, maid, two golf buggies and a car to get around the resort.
The password for the wifi was PARADISE. What else!
The butler made an awesome breakfast which included, well, anything you could ask for. Fresh fruit, juices, tea, bacon, sausages, eggs, toast, croissants, pancakes — and on and on. It was served on the veranda, overlooking the pool and ocean — not a bad start to the day.
The free buggies and car came in handy as it is a bit of a trek to get to any of the facilities.
The marina is home to mighty yachts and excellent restaurants — choose from Japanese, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican and Dominican.
The places to eat are all top-notch — and go all-inclusive, most are available at no extra cost.
During the day, there is also plenty to do. The resort has its own polo fields, with players flying in from all over the world to use the facilities.
Other fun includes clay-pigeon shooting, horse-riding, kayaking, paddle-boarding, tennis, and a fully equipped gym.
If that sounds a bit energetic, take a fast boat to the resort’s own island — yes, really. It is about a 20-minute blast across to the white beaches and palm trees and a great place for a bit of lazy snorkelling followed by a barbecue. There are also scuba trips available.
Or try the spa, for a massage or one of many other treatments. I had a full-body massage on the veranda of my villa. The masseuse administering the tenderising asked if it was all right as she tried to push her thumbs through my back. “Arghhh, yes!” I replied through gritted teeth.
And so to the golf. I played Teeth of the Dog, escorted by a caddy who drove the buggy. It is a beautiful creation, with a few island greens.
I played from the front tees, a fair distance ahead of where the pros tee off — and it was the best course I have ever played. The greens were true as can be and if by chance you hit the ball on the line given by the caddy, the ball went in.
Sipping a cocktail on the club house veranda, beside the Caribbean, was the perfect end to my VIP stay.
I hadn’t seen any celebs — but was starting to feel like one.