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Swept Away

Post-hurricane pleasures in the Dominican Republic

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It's a well-known if little-advertised fact that the Dominican Republic offers quick and easy, legally binding divorces -- only a four-hour flight away. But New York divorcés who just shuttle in and out usually miss the southeast coast, which is an island paradise. Hurricane Georges hit hard in 1998, and resorts have suffered lower-than-normal occupancy ever since, so tourists can take advantage of special rates and brand-new fixtures. A half-hour drive from Sammy Sosa's hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, the massive 7,000-acre Casa de Campo resort offers a 135-horse stable for riding and polo, snorkeling, tennis, skeet-shooting, and the fearsome seaside golf course Teeth of the Dog (recently ranked twenty-eighth in the world by Golf magazine). Set on a rocky coast, Casa de Campo has only a man-made beach, but the resort town of Punta Cana, 90 minutes away, is a beach bum's dream. Stay there in one of the well-appointed bungalows at the new Sol Meliá Caribe resort, and dine on fresh fruit and seafood at its open-air restaurant by the sea.

DETAILS Casa de Campo Resort, 800-877-3643 or www.casadecampo.cc (doubles start at $225); Sol Meliá Resorts, 800-336-3542 or www.solmelia.es (doubles start at $360, $470 from December 21 to January 2).


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