CASA DE CAMPO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Everyone is someone, it’s said, at Casa de Campo.
And such someones.
Dominican real estate tycoons. Venezuelan oil honchos. Cuban American sugar barons. European heirs and heiresses.
“Her husband was the founder of Monster.com; he died,” Rebecca Hughes, who runs a local Web site, CasadeCampoLiving.com, confides one languid tropical afternoon, gesturing matter-of-factly toward a tall woman strolling across a stone walkway.
In this ultra-exclusive, 7,000-acre redoubt — less gated community and resort than gated alternate planet — discretion is everything.
“You’re able to be here without being harassed,” says Leo Proaño, a Dominican realtor and budding film producer who lives in a golf course villa here. “People say we live in this little bubble . . . but security is very important to us.”
Casa de Campo’s cloistered mystique adds a measure of intrigue to the scandal that’s complicating life for Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat and newly minted chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez got the VIP treatment, winging down to Casa de Campo a couple of times in 2010 on the private jet of a buddy and campaign contributor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who owns a villa here.