Unfortunately traveling and flying will still be limited for a while, but luckily we can travel virtually for now, and dream about future trips to paradise islands like the Dominican Republic, with its lush natural beauty, diversity and many unique accommodations to choose from.
If you’ve read my earlier Dominican Republic blog you got a taste of the most authentic and photogenic spots of the island already, through many of our own pictures. And since this was a campaign trip for the tourism board, together with a professional photographer, we also had a drone with us and filmed some of the most beautiful spots around the island!
See the Dominican Republic from above
Get a taste through this drone video of our photographer Joyce van Galen, to see for yourself why a visit to the Dominican Republic in the future is a must:
Last year I also did a wonderful trip to the Dominican Republic, during which I saw several other photogenic spots and stayed at 4 unique luxury hotels already, about which you can read more in this blog: 7 days in paradise.
9 days, 5 locations & 6 accommodations
But during this year's 9 day round trip we even stayed in 6 different accommodations! In this blog I will tell you all about my 4 favourites of this trip located in several beautiful spots all around the island!
Even though I have stayed in more than 300 different hotels, resorts and villas in my life so far, I was surprised by the high quality and big variety of unique accommodations in the Dominican Republic, if you know where to find them.
Join me on a trip from a luxurious beachside glamping in a Unesco listed National Park near the border of Haiti, to a colonial city hotel in the capital of the Dominican Republic. Crossing over to a chique tropical hide away between the mountains and the sea, in the most authentic region of the island.
To top it off with an artistic & sustainable boutique hotel in the lush north of Sámana.
I’m delighted to share these accommodations with you through many of Joyce's and my own pics and the accommodations' unique features, based on my own experiences and honest opinion, as always.
4 of the most unique accommodations in the Dominican Republic
Each is rated 3 - 5 stars, ranging in room rate from €60 a night, starting with the least expensive one, to €130-200 a night for the last 2, depending on the room type, based on a stay in May/June.
Of course you will get the best prices booking directly on the websites of these accommodations for package deals or last-minute offers, while traveling off season.
Eco del Mar Glamping - Pedernales
Unique 3 star glamping
Price range: €
This luxurious glamping in the south west of the Dominican Republic truly is a hidden gem. Located in a pristine beach area, directly by the sea, in the northern tip of the Jaragua National Park in the province of Pedernales.
The Unesco Biosphere Reserve of 500 m2 has a variety of wildlife, 130 different bird- and 400 flora species. This is a place where iguanas roam freely on the beach amongst the accommodations, really unique on the island.
Even though it’s quite remote and a 5 hour drive from Santo Domingo it’s only 5 km away from Cabo Rojo airport and is easily reached by car.
Because of its location it has some of the best sunsets of the island, which is rare, as in the rest of the Dominican Republic only the sunrise is visible.
Eco del Mar even has a bar and restaurant on the beach serving specialties of the house, like fresh fish and seafood, together with a curated selection of wines and international cocktails, providing the perfect setting for sundowners, a romantic sunset dinner and relaxing seaside breakfast with your feet in the sand!
They can accommodate up to 50 people in 3 accommodation types. With a choice of one of the less luxurious, but very affordable tents by the seashore, with your own comfortable queen size bed and shower facilities.
A junior wooden suite, or an even more luxurious suite tent on stilts with big wooden terrace and space for 4 - 6 people, located a bit further back on the grounds, just 2 minutes from the sea, surrounded by desert-like landscapes.
Our modern styled glamping suite was very spacious with 2 king-size four-poster beds with big mosquito net, an inside toilet and spacious outside bathroom with conch shower, several inside and outside lounge options, and all the amenities and privacy we needed to truly relax in luxury.
Do note that the WIFI does not work here, you do have a fan in the tent, but no Aircon, and the tent can get noisy at night when windy.
Daily excursions to Bahia de las Aguilas, worldwide recognized as one of the most stunning and unspoiled beaches in the world, but also to other interesting spots are possible. As well as snorkeling, paddle boarding, sport fishing, private plane and helicopter excursions upon request.
To escape the hustle and bustle of touristic areas and truly experience the unique nature of the Dominican Republic, this is the place to be! Unlike the rest of the island, which is very lush, this area consists of desert-like landscapes with some of the whitest beaches and bright blue waters that will take your breath away, worth the long drive.
Luca Hotel – Santo Domingo
Historic 4 star city hotel
Price range: €€
This quaint boutique hotel is situated right in the heart of the Unesco listed Zona Colonial, surrounded by 16th to early 20th century architecture.
Perfect if you want to stay in the center of the city, just steps away from the buzzing squares, monuments, stunning chapels and the first Cathedral in America.
Luca Hotel only offers 10 rooms, and 1 suite, varying in size from 24 -35 m2, each in a contemporary design, with different views upon the colonial courtyard.
The rooms have all the modern facilities you might expect from a 4 star hotel, such as WIFI, air con, LED TV with digital channel, iPod dock, minibar, fridge, safe and more.
The hotel is very atmospheric with a big rooftop terrace on the 3rd floor providing stunning views towards the sea over the colonial city from the seating area and jacuzzi!
This small oasis, situated in a quiet side street, surprises with its lush contemporary setting, decorated with fountains and tropical plants, making the perfect breakfast setting and a unique and tranquil place to stay amidst the buzzing capital of the Dominican Republic.
Get an impression through this gallery:
Saman Boutique Hotel – Las Terrenas, Sámana
Sustainable 5 star resort
Price range: €€ - €€€
Even though this newly-opened resort is officially rated 5 stars, the prices here were quite reasonable.
It's quite small-scale with just 24 luxurious and uniquely decorated rooms, which are tasteful, spacious, including a balcony and all the amenities and facilities you might need and can expect from a 5 star hotel.
Throughout the building you will find beautiful murals, artworks, tasteful decorations and details. Even the toilet is uniquely designed and very photogenic, with these local hats.
This artistic resort has been set up in a sustainable and ecologic way, fully built around nature with the impressive Saman tree, of which the resort derives its name, in the center of it all, while mainly using local materials.
All 3 storeys of the building are clean and contemporary, looking out upon the stunning tree, right next to the main pool and jacuzzi, with an extra pool on the rooftop as well.
Located quietly on the lush peninsula of Sámana, but also just a short drive from the buzzing Las Terrenas, with a large selection of restaurants and bars by the beach where you can drink and dance the night away!
But the resort itself also provides everything you need with in-house massages upon request, and an excellent hotel restaurant with delicious á la carte breakfast, and high-standing gastronomy.
Our last dinner here truly was a unique culinary experience with some of the best local food I sampled during this trip, get a taste through this gallery:
Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge - Barahona
Lush 4 star resort
Price range: €€€
This tropical hideaway, nestled between the mountains and the Caribbean sea in the deep southwest of the Dominican Republic, is righteously called a hidden gem.
Located in Barahona, one of the most authentic regions of the island, with stunning mountain ranges, lush nature, waterfalls, deserted surfing beaches, and some of the finest coffee plantations of the island, a 2,5 hours drive from Santo Domingo.
This family-owned lodge is run by the third generation of the Schiffino family with a true passion for hospitality and organic local gastronomy.
The hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, and it shows!
Offering a big diversity of rooms and suites, designed by renowned architect Rafael Selman, inspired by nature, ensuring that each has views both upon the Sierra Barahuco Mountains and the Caribbean sea, as you can see from my room’s balcony:
Besides the 12 deluxe guest rooms and ocean view suite with private pool, located near the main building, the hotel also offers several river and master river suites with their own outdoor jacuzzi and terrace by the river.
For bigger groups or families a spacious private villa with 2 bedrooms is available as well, including big terrace, private pool and bbq.
Casa Bonita offers everything you need to fully relax, with a beautiful lounge and delicious restaurant next to the infinity pool and jacuzzi, all lined with palm trees, and providing stunning views towards the ocean and surrounding mountain range.
There's also an Eco Spa on the spacious grounds, set amidst the woods by the river, offering a range of therapeutic treatments using natural elements like pineapple, mango, chocolate, coffee, basil, coconut and noni.
The hotel restaurant is of a really high standard, with innovative cuisine prepared with local produce and ingredients from their own organic garden, offering a unique farm-to-table dining experience and one of the best lunches I had here.
I hope my reviews and pictures of these 4 unique accommodations will help you find the best hotel, resort or glamping to fit your taste and will inspire you to visit the Dominican Republic, when it’s safe to travel again of course!
Each was carefully tested by me with pleasure😊, and renowned for their hospitality, quality, comfort, authenticity, but also luxury! All with a unique local character and quaint atmosphere.
Which of these 4 appealed to you the most and which accommodation would you choose for your next visit? If you'd rather search for other accommodations in the Caribbean to suit your taste, check out this hotel page or the region page.
On my Caribbean page you can find even more blogs about unique restaurants, the most beautiful spots and a multitude of accommodations on Aruba and the Dominican Republic, all based on my own experiences.
And do follow me on social media, via the icons at the bottom of this page, for daily inspiration.