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Three of the Dominican Republic’s best luxury resorts

A&K’s Amanda Springer highlights this popular Caribbean nation’s more exclusive accommodation options, including Eden Roc, Amanera and Casas del XVI

Reading time: 4 minutes 

The Dominican Republic’s reputation as a luxury destination suffered a knock when it became popular with the mass-market, all-inclusive holiday crowd. However, there’s a new breed of five-star accommodation here appealing to the more discerning traveller and helping to restore this Caribbean island’s rightful status. These three properties are sure to match or exceed your expectations, as they did mine.

 

Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Beach Club Aerial, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, A&K 

Set in a picture-perfect bay on the island’s east coast, Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a fantastic all-round resort with a range of accommodation and dining options. The property is divided into two main areas. In the first are the stand-alone Boutique Pool Suites, and the multi-bedroom villas – great for festive occasions and family celebrations. The second area is the Beach Club, a short buggy-ride away. Here you’ll find modern, airy one- and two-bedroom Beachfront Suites, as well as Oceanfront Bungalows with private pools and palapa-style roofs. 

The only challenge you’ll face here is choosing between these two equally charming but distinct areas. I opted for the Beachfront Suite, as proximity to Cap Cana’s pure-white sand is a real plus; unlike some Caribbean beaches which have eroded away, this one remains expansive, and the occasional seaweed problem is swiftly dealt with by dedicated staff. 

Families and honeymooners alike are welcome at Eden Roc at Cap Cana, and it’s great for a relaxing fly-and-flop. Whilst here, I recommend taking a day trip to capital Santo Domingo (2.5 hours by car), playing a round of golf or visiting one of the nearby cenotes for a unique dip.

 

Amanera

 Casita Pool, Amanera, Dominican Republic, A&K

Situated in the north-coast province of Puerto Plata is the equally impressive Amanera. The Aman hotel group is renowned for choosing undiscovered, off-the-beaten-track locations and Amanera’s doesn’t disappoint. Set on a hillside overlooking Playa Grande – arguably the best beach on the island – this property is a wonderful spot for an escape. Its architecture was designed by John Heath and blends elegantly into the landscape whilst offering a very modern twist. 

Casa Grande is the heart of the resort, housing the main restaurant, library and concierge desk. You’ll also find a second restaurant here, overlooking a wide stretch of near-deserted beach reminiscent of tiny untouched islands such as Bequia. Accommodation is divided into casitas, either perched on a hillside or slightly lower with a more prominent beach view. At least half of the casitas have a good-sized pool, and all have an expansive outdoor area. The little touches of luxury single Amanera out from the rest, including a complimentary minibar, homemade biscuits and a sublime spa overlooking the par-72 golf course. 

Although I took the long drive from the airport to get here, you may prefer to fly directly instead; we can arrange a private aeroplane or helicopter for you.

 

 

Casas del XVI

 Royal Suite Pool, Casas del XVI, Dominican Republic, A&K

Casas del XVI is the ideal choice if, like me, you enjoy combining a beach escape with a city break. It’s situated in the vibrant coastal capital of Santo Domingo, one of the best-preserved colonial-era cities in the Caribbean. 

Just like the city, Casas del XVI has plenty of history behind it; the property comprises six converted colonial-era houses, each with between three and six rooms. The Dominican Republic’s version of the Moroccan riad or Spanish parador, they are the epitome of refined elegance. Every house here centres around a shaded courtyard and most feature a plunge pool. You can book rooms individually, or book the whole house (the ideal option for families and larger groups). 

A dedicated butler is on hand at all times so you don’t have to lift a finger. On my first evening here, the butler served dinner to me from a carefully considered menu and was amazingly conscientious of my needs, from remembering my favourite wine to spending an hour resolving my technology problems. On the second day, he took me on a lovely, informal walking tour of Santo Domingo, pausing for a beer and to admire the views over the port. This was just one example of how the Casas del XVI staff are keen for guests to discover the city and will happily recommend places to see, dine and be entertained – and accompany you there if you wish.

 

 

Wherever you choose to spend your stay, the Dominican Republic’s diverse topography and numerous natural beauty spots warrant at least a week of exploring. With extra time, you can go whale watching in Samaná, cavern diving at Las Terrenas and city touring in Santiago.  Alternatively, I recommend combining New York and Miami with the Dominican Republic for the perfect twin-centre escape.