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Rōco Ki

Translated from the Taino language as "honoring the land," the multibillion-dollar development at Rōco Ki is a heavenly world set on the charmed Macao Beach. Its 2,700 acres on the East Coast enchant with dramatic cliffs, palm trees, mangroves, and jungle. The backdrop is like nature's equivalent of a laser light show: green vegetation, a turquoise sea, fuchsia flowers, blue sky, white sand. The blueprint for the 15-year phased development project maps out plans for posh hotels (seven to nine total), golf courses, a marina, a sports training complex, and various luxury housing, all exuding an easygoing affluence in an environment at peace with nature. The magnificent undertaking strives to achieve the perfect balance between low-density, low-environmental-impact design and high-end comfort. With buildings and villas spread out among lagoons, mangroves and coastline, and weaved around ample conservation areas teeming with wildlife, the development is conceived with respect toward preserving the natural habitat without stinting on the opulence.

First to go up was the championship 18-hole, Nick Faldo–designed course, with its striking 17th hole on a sculpted cliff, which opened in 2008. Also part of phase one are the Westin Rōco Ki hotel and branded villas, although their opening has been pushed back to 2011. The developers are working in cooperation with the government to preserve Taino artifacts unearthed during excavation at the Rōco Ki site. They will be displayed at a museum near the complex entrance; for now the artifacts are in storage in Santo Domingo.

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