By Harvey Chipkin on May 31, 2024
MSN Travel

 

Viva Resorts by Wyndham will open a new all-inclusive property in Miches, on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic on December 11.

The newly built 538-room property, according to Amanda Santana, executive vice president of sales and marketing, is in a destination that is being developed by the government in partnership with the private sector with the goal of being “perfect and the way it should be” as far as sustainability and natural beauty.

The development is Phase 1 of what will be a two-part project which will see 750 rooms in total at the end. The first project involves an investment of $80 million with the total cost projected to be $137 million. The “off-the-beaten-path” resort is just over an hour’s drive from Punta Cana International Airport, which Santana calls “the best-connected airport in the Caribbean.”

The company, according to Erika Sordo, corporate director, is also launching a new rewards program for U.S. travel advisors called Viva Pro Rewards that will offer cash benefits from the very first sale.

Those rewards will be on top of regular commissions. Advisors can redeem the rewards in one of three ways: cash, Amazon gift cards or stays at Viva properties. If they choose the stays, the rewards will be valued at 1.5 times the regular levels so that each $1 earned will be worth $1.50. As soon as a guest checks out, said Sordo, “there is money in the bank for advisors.”

According to Santana, Viva Miches will be built based on the company’s traditional pillars: a beautiful beach, high-quality gastronomy, an entertainment program different from other all-inclusive operators and value. The new resort will offer those pillars, including a breathtaking beach and dining options that include an all-day buffet, as well as Latin, Asian, seafood and Mediterranean restaurants, and a creperie for desserts.

A major differentiator for Viva, said Santana, is the fact that “we want people to enjoy experiences they don’t normally have. That might be sports, but the way we do entertainment is really different.” According to Sordo, Viva offers a different kind of experiential entertainment program. That might mean sports lessons of all kinds, cooking lessons, dance classes and much more. And the company just launched a Viva Vibe Party with immersive fun events of all kinds. She said Viva has been doing that kind of thing for a while but is now branding it.

There are theaters at all properties, said Sordo, and there is no repetition of shows for 14 days, partly because European guests often stay that long. In fact, she said, the clientele is very international and the entire feel is international.

The company also encourages guests to venture out to nearby cultural or fun excursions, the only element that entails any cost. Viva Miches will offer seasonal whale-watching trips, boat tours through the caves of Los Haitises National Park and more.

Viva Miches will have six room types, including comfort rooms with resort view; superior garden rooms with garden view; ocean view rooms; splash ocean view rooms with plunge pools; oceanfront rooms; and splash oceanfront rooms with plunge pools. There will be an oceanfront pool with a swim-up bar.

Viva Resorts by Wyndham, which only operates all-inclusive properties, has eight resorts currently, including two in Mexico in Playa del Carmen, one in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, and the remainder in the Dominican Republic, where the company has its headquarters. While Viva has been around for 37 years, Santana says “we are very selective about how and where we grow. It has to be just right.”

The company has grown more significantly as far as rooms by adding units within existing resorts. The partnership with Wyndham began in 2003. While Viva owns and operates all of its resorts, it is part of Wyndham’s portfolio and guests enjoy the benefits of the Wyndham Rewards program.

Most of the company’s business is through the trade and Viva can customize any group request. The company has two representatives in the U.S. and an office in Miami. The properties, she said, have very strong wedding and romance business, and provide a multi-lingual staff that can offer “very good value on packages.”

Sustainability has always been in the DNA of Viva, said Santana, even when it was not discussed as much as it is now. With the Miches area being home to endangered leatherback sea turtles, the resort will be active in protecting them as well as the surrounding area and water. All Viva properties are Wyndham Green certified.

While the completion of the Miches product is a huge undertaking, Viva is already looking to its next project. It has purchased land in Jamaica near Negril and is in the early stages of development there.

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