A Tale of Two: Samana, Dominican Republic
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
There is something magical about Samaná Located in the Northeast Region of the Carribean island, Dominican Republic, it is easy to be filled with wonder.
The landscape is mountainous; the beaches are idyllic, the waterfalls are spectacular, and if you visit between January and March, you might even spot a few humpback whales as they migrate to the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean for their mating season. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Samaná are the people; there is nothing more welcoming or kind than Dominican hospitality.
Stay at Sublime Samaná
There is a quiet, understated luxury about Sublime Samaná. The hotel, surrounded by green mountains, can be found along the pristine Coson Beach within Las Terrenas. There is a calming effect as soon as you walk into the reception – an open-sided rotunda that allows for a slight breeze and the harmonious sounds of birds chirping.
Each residence within the property is either a suite or a villa. The One Bedroom Suite is very spacious and includes an open-plan kitchen and lounge area with floor-to-ceiling windows that lead to the balcony, overlooking the incredible courtyard and pool area. The bedroom is cavernous and features an enormous king-sized bed and small office table. The minimalist décor is not without effusive details, including White Company toiletries and complimentary Havaianas flip-flops.
From the courtyard, the cobbled aisle leading to the palmed beach, and large pool ahead is lined with contemporary villas, palm trees and plunge pools that separate the white palatial cabanas in front.
Bahía de Coson, Ramal Viva, Las Terrenas 32000, Dominican Republic
Eat at The Beach Restaurant
The Beach Restaurant, part of The Peninsula House, a magnificent Victorian plantation-style guest house, is only a short walk from Sublime Samaná. Venture out further and enjoy the butter-gold beach as the waves roll over languorously.
The restaurant takes inspiration from the sea and specialises in seafood dishes, using the best local produce available. The Garlic Prawns are fresh and full of flavour and the perfect dish to start your meal, the Fillet of Chillo is cooked in a Rosé wine sauce and served with grilled potatoes.
Las Terrenas 32000, Dominican Republic
Enjoy the Coconut Whispers Spa
The Coconut Whispers Spa is hidden away at the back of Sublime Samaná, completely encircled in an oasis of lush green tropical trees. The spa is made up of several round huts; the minimalist wooden décor emulates the serene natural environment you are in.
The Holistic Caribbean treatment is the perfect way to unwind after exploring. Auri’s gentle hands use deep tissue techniques and refreshing aromatic citrus oils to relax the body completely. Before you know it, she will awaken you from your slumber, and it will have felt like the shortest 50-minutes of your life.
Stay at Dominican Treehouse Village
Tucked away in the bucolic tropical jungle, the Dominican Treehouse Village offers a different kind of luxury experience. With no service or wifi, it is the perfect opportunity to shut off from the world and completely immerse yourself in the very best of nature’s offerings.
The Treehouse Village was designed to be completely integrated into its idyllic surroundings and the local communities. The open-air cabins are built into the trees and offer breathtaking views of the jungle that can be enjoyed from the hammocks provided. There is nothing more enchanting than the lullabies of nature putting you to sleep, and waking up in the heart of the jungle.
The hotel prides themselves on giving back to the community. All furniture within the resort was made by a local carpenter using wood from the jungle. The presence of the Treehouse Village has also brought electricity to 36 local families, as well as employing from the local community.
El Valle-Rincon Trail, 32000, Dominican Republic
Explore Cascada Lulu Waterfall
One of the highlights of the Dominican Treehouse Village is its proximity to the beautiful Cascada Lulu Waterfall. There is nothing more extraordinary than enjoying breakfast in the jungle, before wandering over to take a dip in the serenity-pool, created by the water cascading down like a liquid slide.
If you’re brave enough, climb up the rocks and jump down into the water, or swing down on the rope-swing like Tarzan. There is nothing more exhilarating.
Eat at Mami’s
The Treehouse Village encourages guests to experience the beauty and culture Samaná has to offer. Guests are given coupons to Mami’s, a little hut on Playa El Valle offering the very best in homecooked Dominican food. Cruiser bikes are available to guests and locals to explore the El Valle area.
Samaná provides a real sense of freedom and adventure, even when cycling through the torrential tropical rain, Mami’s food is so worth it. Homemade fried chicken, fish and plantain served with rice and coleslaw. Samaná teaches you to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and there is nothing more pleasurable than enjoying a fresh piña colada on one of the most magnificent beaches in the Dominican Republic.
If you’re lucky, you will meet Bessie and Sky, soulmates (stray dogs), young, wild and free, having the best adventure.
Explore El Limón
There are several waterfalls in the Dominican Republic; the most famous is in El Limón, Samaná. The best way to get there is by horseback, where you will venture through a plantation and come across spectacular views of the jungle.
It can be quite an arduous journey as you travel over very steep and muddy terrain, luckily Geoffrey (the horse) was a real hero. You can only go so far by horseback and will have to do the rest of the journey by foot, down another 85 perpendicular steps.
Standing at a majestic 131 feet tall, the roaring cascade is a magnificent sight to see. There is nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in the lagoon-blue pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Stand under the clangorous water and let it wash away all your worries.