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:
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 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
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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