Perched between mountainous jungle and pristine beach in the Dominican Republic, Amanera combines elegant design with a lush, untouched jungle location.
Like the majority of five-star properties in the Dominican Republic, Casa Colonial is located within a sprawling development consisting of condos, villas and hotels. But unlike, say, Tortuga Bay and Eden Roc, its area is a bit depressing, full of three-star all-inclusive hotels, 1980s-style condos and some abandoned projects. But behind the ornate wrought-iron gates of the tiny property—squished between low-end properties—the building’s grand, white façade gleams.
Once inside the palatial estancia style main building, the soaring lobby and restaurant-cum-bar is lovely, centered around a cluster of live bamboo and amidst all-white upholstered furniture. Set on just two and a half acres of land (Playa Grande Beach Club, for instance, is on 2,000 acres of virgin forest), the property can feel claustrophobic. The 50 guest rooms, which are spread out between multiple condo-style indoor-outdoor structures are lacking. Furnishings feel tired and outdated, lighting is dim and strange decorative touches—such as a Japanese desktop sand and rock garden and burning incense everywhere—don’t help matters much. Rooms look out either to the ocean or the jungle that separates the rooms from the main building; less fortunate views are of the adjacent hotel’s derelict playground. The penthouse suite is a standard one-bedroom suite on the top floor, but it has a romantic—if silly—claw-footed bathtub on a private terrace with ocean views.
A redeeming factor is the property’s location nearby the kite-boarding capital of Cabarete, a cute, if touristy, town on the north coast of Dominican Republic that has long been famous for its excellent surf and wind. The town has developed a tourism industry but without any very luxurious hotel options, so Casa Colonial is the best option for a five-star property in the area.
The hotel’s only pool is located on the rooftop, a strange choice for a beachside destination, but one that makes sense when considering the crowds of people from adjacent resorts who use the same beach. There is a nice spa and a fitness room with ocean views and three restaurants in total. The lovely rooftop restaurant sits adjacent to the pool and has four hot tubs, and there is a petty eatery set just off the beach called Veranda, which is open for breakfast and lunch.
Casa de Campo
The hotel at this legendary resort has six restaurants, three award-winning golf courses and hundreds of hotel rooms and villas spread out over 7,000 acres.
Dominican Republic Villas
Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team for assistance finding and booking a private villa throughout the Dominican Republic. We have access to houses and bungalows located within developments and hotels as well as private, stand-alone homes.
Eden Roc at Cap Cana
At the end of an immaculately landscaped and manicured development called Cap Cana, which is home to an all-inclusive resort, adventure center, condos and villas, sits a boutique hotel that seems to have thought of nearly everything.
Playa Grande Beach Club
The Peninsula House
The Peninsula House teems with friendliness from the get-go. After following a long winding dirt road, guests arrive at a beautiful, gingerbread-style house. The main building, which centers around a light-filled courtyard, is graciously decorated and features large breezy balconies with stunning view of the ocean and palm groves.
Because there are only six rooms, each guest receives personalized service, and there is an attention to detail that larger resorts lack. In the mornings, breakfast is served on the patio, and before heading out for the day, guests are asked their dinner preference so the chef can shop accordingly. Active types enjoy whale watching, paddle boarding, and surfing, while those who wish to spend their day leisurely can play pool in the billiards room or enjoy downtime on the veranda.
While not directly on the water, the Peninsula House has access to a stunning beach just a five-minute drive from the property. Built in the same gingerbread-style as the main house, the hotel’s beach cabana provides lounge chairs and towels, as well as a restaurant, serving local specialties, seafood, pasta and wonderful wines, all with a bit of a French flair.
The Peninsula House offers a very different experience than Casa de Campo and the Punta Cana area of the Dominican Republic; the Samaná Peninsula is all about natural beauty, incredible beaches and simple hotels and villas. The closest town of Las Terranas is more fishing village than glamorous beach resort.
Tortuga Bay at Puntacana
That the Puntacana organization reigns supreme in this area of the Dominican Republic is evident from the moment you approach the resort's international airport: it is rumored that the hotel dictates the direction that flights take upon landing so as to not disturb beach- or pool-lounging guests. Once you have landed, a staff member will greet you just off the plane and whisk you through customs and to the hotel in a matter of mere minutes.
Tortuga Bay consists of 50 suites set in 15 villas located directly on or a few yards removed from the beach. One-, two-, three-and four-bedroom set-ups are available in a seemingly endless combination of connecting and adjoining rooms with living areas, kitchenettes and French doors leading to outdoor space. (Note that while the buildings look and feel like singular villas, rooms and suites are offered individually.) The tasteful furnishings are thanks to investor and Puntacana resident, Dominican Republic-born Oscar de la Renta, who favors traditional cane-style furniture, rich-hued fabrics printed with animals and florals and vibrantly painted walls. Some might consider the décor slightly dusty and in need of an update—and one is in the works. Bathrooms are spacious, chic and outfitted in coralline stone tiles and stocked with Oscar de la Renta toiletries.
As in the rest of the Dominican Republic resorts, guests will most likely not leave the property, but undoubtedly be happy on the grounds partaking in such activities as kite-boarding, horseback riding, deep-sea fishing and kayaking. Most guests will be content lying on and walking the three miles of white-sand beaches in front of the property. There are three golf courses—one from Pete Dye and two courtesy of Tom Fazio—that boast multiple stunning holes directly on the ocean and are proudly maintained in part with seawater. The Mediterranean restaurant Bamboo sits in the main building adjacent to the simple swimming pool, while the memorable La Yola is set on the ocean and serves seafood.
The nearly 20,000-square-foot Six Senses spa is the only one in the Caribbean and provides the ultimate in pampering treatments, surroundings and products.