PingDubai.com and VIRTUOZITY magazine, had the exclusive opportunity to travel with Davidoff Cigars to the master craft of cigar making in the Dominican Republic. It is a paradise, a pearl in the midst of the ocean, it is the beating heart of the Caribbean.
In this “The Art of Cigar Making” series shot in the Dominican Republic, you will hear the stories of how to enjoy the taste, the journey of tobacco and the people who grow it. Santo Domingo, a city full of culture and tradition from the colonial era till present days, will enchant you as much as it did us.
After a 26 hour trip, the excitement was still rising as we were unaware of what was awaiting for us. The warm welcome by the lovely people from Davidoff who made sure we are well received at the airport Suzy, Christian and Vincent. The visit was very promising starting with the shuttle drive to the hotel, with the sea on one side and coconut trees and greenery on the other. A long breathtaking corniche where locals hang out, young couples and tourists enjoying the cool breeze, cafes with bamboo tents, lounges and bars on the other side.
We finally reached the Nicolas de Ovando hotel by Sofitel. A very warm welcome before hitting El Patio for dinner and enjoying a Gignates Poro Doro Cigar in the cool breeze. The hotel is an old palace, with nice vintage design rooms, caribbean style decoration and old wood ceilings. This old castle is located on top of an old fortress. We were not patient enough to wait for the next day, so, so we woke up early to discover the city before the sunrise and of course, to witness the Caribbean sunrise.
Vincent Krembel Davidoff, Global Brand Ambassador, took us to discover the historical part of Santo Domingo after breakfast: Colombus Plaza, Plaza D’espagna, an old jesuite church transformed into a museum, a local market and the highlight, the location where one of the famous Al Pacino scenes from iconic movie The Godfather was shot.
Back at the hotel, our bus was ready to drive us to Puerto Plata where the cigar action started. A quick stop for lunch at Tipico Bonao in the city of Bonao, where we enjoyed lovely traditional food from salads with fresh vegetables to special made beef with a magical dressing. It was heavily raining by then, but we couldn’t leave without enjoying another cigar -this time, the shorto perfecto with its unique progress and taste- then continued our road trip to Puerto Plata. The key word for this trip was the scenery, with heavy tropical rains, nice smooth roads and nature all around.
So our Davidoff Cigars tobacco journey began with a great base, the Nicolas de Ovando hotel, but there is still a lot more to come during this five-day heavenly trip.
Stay tuned for episode 2, where we will visit the Jicome fields and learn more abut the cigar plantation and fermentation process….
We are just getting started!