La Mansión, the villa in the mountains of San José de las Matas in the Dominican Republic where Profirio Rubirosa married the dictator’s daughter Flor de Oro Trujillo, has just reopened as a hotel after an extensive remodeling. The mansion was the mountain retreat of both former President Horacio Vázquez and Trujillo’s family, and it functioned as the government’s headquarters when they were in residence. In 1952 it became the site of the “wedding of the year” when Flor de Oro married Rubirosa.
The luxurious villa was built in 1927 by Horacio Vásquez and his wife Trina as a mountain retreat. It became a hotel under the Balaguer regime, when 100 cabins were added to make it an early nature tourism destination. The Mansion closed in 1996 and remained for a brief time under the jurisdiction of the “Batallón de Comando” of the Dominican Armed Forces before falling into serious disrepair.
The Mansion has been rescued through the efforts of the Dominican Corporación de Hoteles, who held a competition to select a team for the building’s restoration. The winners, Luciano Miguel Rodríguez, Elido Torres y Juan de Jesús Estévez, began the two-year restoration project in 2007. La Mansión, with its spectacular natural setting intact, now offers 20 rooms, restaurants, pools, a small number of two-room cabins, horseback riding, and numerous hiking trails. Its bar, built in the room where Rubi married Flor de Oro, has been decorated with photos of Vázquez and Trujillo (a tad tastelessly, in my opinion) and has been christened “Rubirosa’s Bar.” Drink up.
For (much) more (in Spanish) go to http://www.hoy.com.do/areito/2009/7/25/286810/La-Mansion-recupera-su-brillo-presidencial