Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
What it is
A blissfully private, modern-day sanctuary right where the ocean meets the jungle.
What it isn't
A Caribbean party pad where wristbands are required.
What we think
On the untouched northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Amanera claims almost seven miles of golden coastline and more than 2,000 acres of lush jungle. Quiet footpaths weave past reflecting pools and hidden gardens, bending around centuries-old trees before depositing guests at casitas and casas tucked away along the shoreline cliffs. There are only 25 accommodations on the property; about half have private pools on their sprawling stone terraces, while all have gloriously unobstructed ocean views and minimalist open-plan layouts that blend indoors and out. As at most Amans, the hotel is within easy enough reach of civilization, but feels remote, like the last pure escape on the planet. Guests may choose not to leave their blissfully private hideaways, but if they did indulge a wandering stroll, the resort has a restaurant serving organic island fare, a host of water sports, a spa that goes above and beyond the usual roster of services. Most notable is the golf course, the first in the Aman collection. Originally designed by the late, legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the Playa Grande course is at once challenging and beautiful, overlooking the beach and the lush, untamed jungle.
You're here because
You want a sophisticated Caribbean getaway (complete with beaches, spa and golf), but in the Aman vein: in tune with its surroundings, exclusive and remote.
The kids, happily exhausted from their morning's surfing lesson, are now wandering around the Nature Discovery Center, eyes wide as the naturalist explains the jungle food chain. The husband is winding down at the Clubhouse after shooting under par on the oceanside course. Peacefully basking in the momentary silence, you stretch out on the terrace's sofa and let the sun warm your skin.
Amanera sprawls over 2,000-plus acres of golden sand and wild jungle on the Dominican Republic's northern shore. The drive from the international airport in Puerto Plata is just under an hour and a half.