The Dominican Republic produces sugar, baseball players and 300 varieties of orchids. It also provides a lush setting for our 1987 swimsuit spectacular. Kathy Ireland, in a Giorgio di Sant' Angelo bikini ($75), makes the rough on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo, a 7,000-acre resort, look very inviting.
Sun, sand and surf: The southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic has them all for the winter-weary vacationer. As befits an area that once was home to Juan Ponce de Leon, the fellow who went searching for the Fountain of Youth, it also boasts a couple of resorts offering an impressive array of sports for those who seek rejuvenation from the cold-weather blahs. At Casa de Campo, guests can golf on two Pete Dye-designed courses; ride along the banks of the Chavón River on any of 1,600 quarter horses; take up windsurfing, tennis, skeet shooting, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing; and even learn to play polo. (The less active can just stroll among the royal palms, hibiscus and bougainvillea or take a trip to beautiful Altos de Chavón, an artists' community built in the style of a 16th-century village.) At the 300-room Club Med, where life is a little simpler, visitors can swim and play tennis and watch the day break on a mile-long stretch of white sand that many consider to be the finest beach in the country. While the Dominican Republic may not boast the Fountain of Youth, its alluring blue waters and warm sea breezes can put a crimp in Old Man Winter.
Ready, set...Elle Macpherson, a girl on the go, does early-morning warmups in a T-back top and bikini from Speedo America ($37).
Snakes alive! Kim Alexis, in a slithery python print from Gottex ($60), splashes while she dashes through the water at Club Med.
Sprinting along the crest of a cliff at Casa de Campo in her stretch suit from Speedo America ($45), an airborne Elle shows fine form.
Anearly backless lace-up suit from Keiko ($60) keeps Kathy cool in a pool at the Casa de Campo.
Kim, a veteran scuba diver, checks out her gear before exploring the depths off Catalina Island in a latex suit by Liza Bruce ($120).
At Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th-century town, Carol Alt takes a breather in a suit with advanced engineering by Darling Rio ($45).
It's not quite time for the stars to come out, but Karen Alexander makes an early beach appearance. Her evening wear is by Keiko ($54).
Oscar de la Renta, a Dominican native, calls this his cha-cha-cha suit ($100), and Renèe Simonsen certainly looks set to shake a ruffle.
The tide tiptoed in on Kim as she was sundreaming at Club Med. Her tank suit with racing-car emblems is from Adrienne Vittadini ($56).
There's nothing like a round of water polo with the guys at Club Med. Kim is suited for the rough game by Speedo America ($45).
Could Monika Schnarre be hiding in the pampas grass from her many admirers? Monika's camouflage is by Little K of Spain ($70).
Carol, in a crewneck tank suit by Monika Tilley for Elon ($36), takes to the trees in a cove at Oscar's Beach to escape the searing rays.
Elle hops on the good ship Obsession—O.K., it's a fishing boat—in a Liza Bruce ($68) that's hot the tiniest bikini, but simply the most.
On a field near the beach at Casa de Campo, Kathy picks up polo pointers from Jabar Singh. Her suit is by Monika Tilley for Elon ($44).
Kathy gets a grip on "Thunbergia grandiflora," otherwise known as trumpet vine, in an open-midriff suit by OMO Norma Kamali ($66).
Could anyone brighten a dark day faster than our Kathy? She's poised to take the plunge in a sleek and silvery maillot from Gottex ($78).
A stiff easterly may rattle the sails of the Hobies on the Club Med beach, but Kim keeps on an even keel in a Speedo America ($45).
The well-balanced Kathy follows an expert along Minitas Beach, in a one-size-fits-all—er, some—suit by Giorgio di Sant'Angelo ($150).
It's daybreak in Bayahibe, a fishing village, and Karen waits patiently for the boats to cast off. She's set to sail in a Petticord print ($44).
The amphitheater at Altos de Chavón is nearly empty, but if Kathy sticks around in her Gottex suit ($64), crowds are sure to follow.
In a private villa at Casa de Campo, Elle is belle in a tanga ($75) and two net coverups—well, sort of—by Giorgio di Sant'Angelo ($500).
But Elle isn't just another pretty face. She's an athlete who likes to run every day—and stands six feet tail in her Speedo America ($37).
Kathy and Monika, who waits to bat, are a hit with the Cede‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬±o team, in uniforms by HO ($72). Turn the page for more on the Dominican Republic's favorite sport.
TWENTY FOUR PHOTOS
JOHN G. ZIMMERMAN