The following article was written by Jim Walberg of Caribbean Islands Realty.

The chic Caribbean fractional ownership destination is now the Dominican Republic!

So, will you be surprised if I tell you that the Ritz-Carlton is one of the KEY players in the fractional ownership 5-star resorts in the Dominican Republic? Well, hang on to your bathing suits, it’s TRUE! You have probably never heard of Cap Cana either, have you? Cap Cana is the best kept secrets in the beach community of the Caribbean. That is where the Ritz is building their next deeded fractional ownership residence resort! What a location: five miles just south of the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, with three of the top beaches in the Caribbean.

Cap Cana is also going to be the site of THREE Jack Nicklaus signature golf courses! Cap Cana is expected to be one of the real jewels of the Caribbean. In addition, there is one of the largest marina in the Caribbean being built right next to one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Dominican Republic. How in the world did I miss this one? The Ritz-Carlton Residence Club is set to open in 2010 with a two phase $1 billion project. If the Ritz has committed to the DR more are right behind.

J. W. Marriott Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International recently said, “Cap Cana has envisioned a bold luxury tourism and real estate development project that promises to be one of the most exciting new destinations in the Caribbean. We are excited that our Ritz-Carlton brand will be represented at Cap Cana and are hopeful that one or more of our other hotel brands will also fit in with Cap Cana’s plans for this world class destination.”

Other international resort players who are rushing to Cap Cana are:

Westin Resorts: Beach club, spa, aquatic center, and a Nick Faldo-designed golf course. The 360 varied private residences include beachfront homes, jungle bungalows, and “EcoDream” villas with spa-appointed roof decks. Properties here range from $400,000 to $4 million.

Trump Faralon Estates: Trump Farallon Estates will include 68 estates with at least 1.5 acres each, all within a gated community high on a bluff overlooking the ocean. But you’re SOL if you want in on this action; all 68 homes, ranging in price from $3 million to $12 million, sold in a single day in May 2007. Can you believe it? Where have we been?

The Estates At Punta Cana Resort & Club: Julio Inglesias is one of the key investors that are developing three luxury communities called The Estates which includes La Cana golf course and four miles of unbelievable beaches! “Corales” is the most exclusive of the three communities with 140 home sites at $1.8 million each! Yikes!

This is all happening RIGHT NOW in the Dominican Republic. Where have you been hanging out in the Caribbean? You better hurry up and get to the Dominican Republic before it gets out of reach as St. Bart’s has already done to most of the world. I will keep you posted as to the latest developments as I explore other parts of the Dominican Republic. There are still some GREAT bargains left, but not many. Until next time!

Written by Jim Walberg, Caribbean Islands Realty.

Related Fractional Property: Los Altos Private Residence Club, Casa de Campos, Dominican Republic