Best Boutique Hotels of the Dominican Republic

A bucket of ice-cold Presidentes, sun, sand … repeat.

For decades, the Dominican Republic was best known for its impossibly large all-inclusive resorts in areas like Punta Cana. While those never went away, now there’s a distinct trend toward smaller, more personalized, boutique hotels. Here are three of the country’s best:

Billini Hotel

Billini Hotel

If there’s a sleeker, more modern, more boutique boutique hotel in the Dominican Republic, we haven’t found it. In Santo Domingo’s popular Zona Colonial, Billini Hotel is a centuries-old, one-time monastery, nunnery, and school that retains much of its original architecture. Every corner of the hotel blends beautifully preserved 17th-century details with luxurious materials and contemporary decor. Each room is unique, but all offer spacious floor plans and ultra-modern amenities like Bang & Olufsen Wi-Fi radios, smart TVs, and bedside iPads for checking out nearby attractions or browsing the 24-hour room service menu. An avant-garde cocktail lounge and world-class gourmet restaurant are available on the first floor, while a rooftop pool deck offers sweeping, 360-degree views of the city and live music on most nights of the week.

The Bannister Hotel

The Bannister Hotel

The Bannister Hotel is equal parts yacht club and boutique hotel with a vibe that’s more chic than stuffy. The unique geography places guests amid the mountains, the sea, and a beautiful marina in relaxed Puerto Bahia. While only 15 minutes from the hustle of downtown Samana, it feels worlds away. Every one of the 33 suites is spacious with a private balcony, full kitchen, and plenty of modern touches. Though small compared to the larger all-inclusives nearby, it’s every bit as full-featured. Amenities include a large, full-service spa, three alfresco restaurants (including a sleek, waterfront restaurant/nightclub), and an ocean-view lobby lounge.

Casa La Nouba

Casa La Nouba

On the island’s northeastern shore, Las Terrenas is coming into its own as a resort town. But there’s still a quiet hum about the area that feels like it’s yet to be fully discovered. Skip the mid-range resorts and head to one of the town’s highest hills where you’ll find Casa La Nouba —  a bed and breakfast unlike any we’ve seen. Situated in the exclusive private community of Bonita Village, the five bedroom/six bathroom home is sleek, ultra-modern, and offers all the panache of a celebrity villa high in the Hollywood Hills. There’s a gourmet chef’s kitchen, flat-screen TVs throughout, and large, open-air living and dining rooms. But, the real showstopper is the outdoor terrace with a stunning infinity pool that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the town of Las Terrenas below.

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