VILLA #4-Panorama Village, Sosua, D.R.

Flower Dreams Bloom at Panorama Village

by Lulu Orozco

Like any creature on this planet, I want to learn, grow, flower and share my experiences. How do I know it is time to learn? How do I know I have grown? How do I know it is time to flower? The process reveals itself every single time. I only need to express the desire and intention. Flowers bloom and the sun shines; rain falls effortlessly from the sky and poof–the magic happens.

Panorma Village, Sosua FlowerTwo years ago my friend Emily, a travel writer, shared that she was going to the Dominican Republic. I was so excited for her because she loves tropical climate, the sun and beautiful beaches as much as I do. Secretly, I wanted to go with her. Emily had a blast in the Dominican Republic with all kinds of fulfilling experiences.

Since I was young, the desire to travel has been constantly pounding in my heart. As co-owner of a music store, having a 13-year-old son and no employees, how do I carve time for something like that? Finding time to get away by myself to explore some gorgeous properties sounded like pure fantasy.

Two years later, the travel seed sprouted. Tiny leaves made their way up and out through the moist soil of my mind and heart. The opportunity emerged when Emily called with this project in hand. I told myself right away, “I can do this, I’m organized, it’s summer, I just need to ask for some help from family and from my wonderful husband who is always there for me helping to allow my dreams come true”. Emily had not even finished telling me the details of the job when my brain and soul had it all figured out.

Flower Dreams Begin Blooming

Two years later, the travel seed sprouted. Tiny leaves made their way up and out through the moist soil of my mind and heart. The opportunity emerged when Emily called with this project in hand. I told myself right away, “I can do this, I’m organized, it’s summer, I just need to ask for some help from family and from my wonderful husband who is always there for me helping to allow my dreams come true”. Emily had not even finished telling me the details of the job when my brain and soul had it all figured out.

As soon as I arrived to the Caribbean, thousands of flowers began to pop like they were smiling at me, perhaps saying it is time to bloom and grow. One of my intentions coming to this country was to share music, love and light. As a musician and business owner, I love giving back to the community. Emily had the idea to give solar lights to families in need and I eagerly jumped into the project.  I wanted to bring musical instruments to play and give away. We planned to give ukuleles to anyone who showed interest in playing music.

Just a day after we arrived,  we went to see my friend Nelson Mendoza, a well-known artist in Puerto Plata. Nelson told me about his teaching in San Felipe School. He teaches art and drawing, but there is a music program in development. I immediately knew where the first ukulele was going. Emily jumped with excitement and pulled out a light from the organization Unite to Light and showed him how they work. Impressed by the solar light, Nelson explained that during rainstorms, electricity in this country often does not work. 

Singing on TV

Then he took us along the Malecon, a popular seaside walkway. On our way to the Puerto Plata Amphitheater and Fort San Felipe del Morro, a Spanish fort, Nelson showed us the TV station building. In that precise moment, Rafael Ortiz, a TV show host, was leaving. Nelson introduced us and told him about the ukuleles, lights and our love for music. He immediately invited us to his show Viernes de Cultura or Fridays of Culture in English. On the TV show we sang, gave lights away and a ukulele. Like a flower, everything aligned itself with our intention to bloom.   

Tree House Mansion

With enthusiasm, I woke to a misty morning to head over to Panorama Village. That little bit of rain encouraged thousands of flowers to bloom welcoming our way into the property. Panorama Village is a gated community with 24/7 security, hills adorned with millions of wildflowers and breathtaking views. Situated on a slope, Villa Number Four is just a five-minute drive from Sosua, a town with supermarkets, beautiful beaches and less than 20 minutes from Puerto Plata airport.

When visiting, do not be deceived by the narrow entry to a one-car garage with its own bathroom and maid or chef’s room included. This home is like a set of Russian Matryoska nested dolls expanding outward. Surrounding the house is a natural fence with prolific hot pink, purple and white Bougainvillea flowers. Welcoming your arrival is  an old robust Mahogany tree skirted by four purple Hyacinth bushes. A baby blue Hydrangea and white Plumeria bush sits to the side like a butler greeting you upon entry.

Panorama Villa, Sosua, Flower

Settling In

Marchelina, the property rental manager and energetic polyglot, guided us to the iron and wood double door entrance. She told us that the mahogany is the national tree of the Dominican Republic, and you can not cut them without written permission.

As soon as she opened the door, another dimension appeared. A slate floor open patio and wooden cabana held by four Coralina stone pillars framed by the stacked stone walls of the Infinity pool create a choreographed paradise footprint. Under the cabana is an iron-made dining table for six next to a comfortable seating area for five more and cabinets well equipped with extra cushions, towels, swimming toys, a sink and let’s not forget, the gas BBQ. The L shaped Infinity pool sits on the slope with a gorgeous 175 degree view. Another open area ten steps below focuses entirely on the hillside ocean vista.

Outdoor Living Room

Five electric walls are in the well-decorated living room and the 20 plus feet tall ceiling family room allows the breeze to flow effortlessly throughout the entire house. Next to the family room is the dining room. A 12’ diameter wooden table can sit nine guests under a monumental iron branch chandelier that brightens the entire room. The kitchen offers a 32” fridge with spacious freezer, large counter tops and a five burner stove, making it a breeze to prepare your meals for large gatherings.

With a queen-size bed and wooden canopy platform, the furniture in the master bedroom matches perfectly. Sliding doors offer a jungle view and feeling of being in a tree house as you look over tall palms and red flowering Flamboyant trees. With this view, why would anyone ever watch the 32” TV set? A cedar lined walk-in closet, double sink and spacious shower complement the classy feeling of this room. Outside the master bedroom is a Cherrywood stairway that leads to the lower level and where the rest of the rooms connect. A beverage refrigerator is next to the entrance of what I call The Flower Room.

The Flower Room and More

The Flower Room is mostly monochromatic white with turquoise accents, a queen-size bed and wallpaper full of flowers that gives this room its name also offers a sitting area under wide windows. It connects to the Darling Room through walk-in closets and a shared bathroom. Accented with lilac and light green, the Darling Room holds a dreamy sitting storage bench.

On the other side of the staircase are two other rooms –a bedroom with two twin beds and a full bath that I call The Boys Bedroom. Next to it is the Entertainment Room. This room is ideal for hosting a great party. With an inviting and comfortable feel and the 40 plus inch TV set, this area offers a collection of family games for both children and adults.

Designed with Coralina stone tile, the entire house exudes a neutral classy beach ambience. Every room provides AC, WiFi facilities, aromatic cedar lined walk-in closets. It also includes a laundry machine, a wine refrigerator radio and cable is available as well.

Morning in the Treetops

Panorma Villa, Sosua, Flower

Waking up in this house is a delight. Every morning, birds gently tweet and chirp. They fly and make their nests on top of trees that are at eye level. Sunrises glow over palm trees giving the sense of hidden sparkling emeralds. This property offers all. Just to retreat for quality time with friends and family, Villa Number Four is the ideal place.

Keep in mind, Villa Number Five is available as well for hosting an event such as a small corporate retreat, wedding or large family gathering. This property provides another three-bedroom house. It includes four bathrooms, a laundry room, two spacious living rooms and a swimming pool.

While indulging in the peaceful features of Villa Number Four, I thought, this cannot get any better. I was wrong. Emily said in an excited high-pitched voice “Deborah has arranged a massage for us! Sabine is coming on Monday at 2.” The Shiatsu massage was amazing. Sabine Schnarz owns and operates House of Shiatsu in Perla Marina community located between Sosua and Cabarete. After the massage, my mind and body came into balance–what this place is all about. Yet the ocean and luscious vegetation beckoned us to venture out.

Adventuring Lago Dudu

I began the journey with a tour called Lago Dudu or Blue Lagoon. Between the San Juan and Nagua River lies Cabrera, a town 10 minutes from Blue Lagoon by car. The park hosts a picnic area surrounded by Hibiscus, Daffodils, Petunias and probably other four kinds of flowers I do not know their name. Blue Lagoon’s main attractions are the cenotes or sinkholes, which are available for swimming and diving. For certified divers, Blue Lagoon provides the unique opportunity to dive from one sinkhole to another. The two sinkholes connect through two massive underwater tunnels. I opted to swim in the deep-blue fresh water with 20% of salinity and jumped from 160 plus feet zip line. A restaurant and bar area are available for the less adventurous.

The tour also offers a visit to a fruit farm that gives you the opportunity to pet crocodiles, iguanas and a parrot. The guide graciously explains facts about the different kinds of fruit trees and plants. The best part is you get to try them all! Some of the samples includes, coconut, pineapple, oranges, different kinds of bananas, lemon grass and cocoa bean fruit. Here, I fulfilled my long-time dream to taste cacao. Getting to see cacao flowers in different stages and transformation from flower to a fruit is sublime. The Blue Lagoon tour includes swimming at Playa Grande, lunch and coffee sampling as well. Blooming flowers are everywhere on this tour like the smiling faces of Dominicans making this adventure unforgettable.

My Flower Dreams Blossom

This personal retreat at Panorama Village was like the sun shining its nourishing rays on me. The flowers in bloom showed everywhere affirming that all I need is to dream and trust. If you are sensing it is time to take a vacation, time to create memories with friends or family; follow that desire and everything will flower and unfold in divine perfection.

Comments Welcome: Make a comment below (we work hard…give us some love!) on any of our Live Reviews by Travel Writer Liz Manduca, Emily Yurcheshen, Mike Jabon, Luz (Lulu) Orozco, Cindy White, Robert Munster, Deborah Nelson, or Renee Fontaine, and get a FREE Digital version of The Vacation Rental Travel Guide when it is hot off the press!

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