from Redding, California
Submitted on 11-11-2016
My wife and I booked this trip as a wedding anniversary present to ourselves. My wife did a lot of research on different places and resorts, and decided this one looked perfect as it was smaller, and not in the main tourist areas of the Dominican Republic. We wanted a place that offered luxury and all inclusive, but where we could also go and explore and do activities. She couldn't have made a better choice. We went during low season (September) and the price for 2 weeks was great. you can have ...
My wife and I booked this trip as a wedding anniversary present to ourselves. My wife did a lot of research on different places and resorts, and decided this one looked perfect as it was smaller, and not in the main tourist areas of the Dominican Republic. We wanted a place that offered luxury and all inclusive, but where we could also go and explore and do activities. She couldn't have made a better choice. We went during low season (September) and the price for 2 weeks was great. you can have some dodgy weather at this time, but we only experienced a few hours here and there of storms, otherwise it was blue skys and warm temps. The hotel itself is beautiful, very well maintained with an inviting and relaxing feel. As there are only 400 or so rooms it's not going to be super crowded, and at this time of year especially so, there where only 67 other people staying when we checked in. We where worried that maybe during low season not everything would be available, like the 5 different restaurants, but not so. So step by step: The resort is about a 20 minute cab drive from Samana, but we highly recommend once there you take the local bus in and out of town if you want to visit it, it is cheap and a very fun experience. Once there the staff immediately treated us with great attention and service, and it took no time to feel like this was going to be a great stay. Our room was fantastic, very clean, comfortable, and with a great view out over the ocean towards Cayo Levantado. The house keeping staff always did an amazing job of keeping the room clean. Bathroom was very nice and modern looking with a great shower (Important). The Bed was king sized and VERY comfortable (Also very important). All of the rooms are built facing out to the ocean, so I think it would be hard to get a room without a great view, and all the people we met there said their rooms where great. There are several bars, in the lobby, by the pool, on the private beach, always well stocked and the staff (come to that in a bit). The main Lobby is very welcoming, and all the front desk staff very helpful, welcoming, and nothing ever seemed to be a problem for them, just the opposite, they always went overboard to help. The pool is not massive, but just right for a place this size, and the area was always very clean and well maintained, with great views out to the ocean. The private beach again is not huge, but just right for a place this size, clean, warm sea, and a pier that you can hire for private dining (at extra cost). There is always security staff there, they are not imposing, but you feel safe leaving your stuff while you take a swim. The food was ALWAYS amazing. There is the main buffet bar for breakfast and Dinner, with a huge selection of seafood, meat, veggies, breads, desserts, and a gala night once a week which is a seafood fest. Nothing ever tasted old or like it had been sitting out for a while, and the staff (again come to that in a bit). The Specialty restaurants you have to book, but to be honest at this time of year it's not a problem getting in. The Italian, French and Brazilian restaurants where all amazing, we never had a bad meal, and there was a huge amount or things to choose from. There was always entertainment going on, but not intrusive during the day, but fun activities around the pool. At night, there is broadway, a small stage out front with it's own bar and ample seating. We had some of the best nights there with fellow tourists, lots of local music and dancing and of course Karaoke, which with some mamajuana (local drink) and cocktails always went down a storm. The resort is perfectly placed to do activities outside the resort. There is a free shuttle that takes you to the ferry to go and see cayo Levantado (you need to book in advance). We used a company called Tours with Terry to do ATV, Zipline, Beaches and El Limon waterfalls, great company, great staff and we had the most fun on all the trips.
SO NOW TO THE STAFF. This resort has the best, wish I could mention every one, but here goes: At the front desk: Alfredo, Isabel, Victor. At the lobby bar: Roberto and his team. At the Pool bar: Jose, Antonio. At all the restaurants: Annerise, Wendy, Felix, Ingrid, Pedro. Butler service: Ramon, David. Entertainment: Milagro, Simon and their team. We had a private massage in the Spa for our anniversary, and it was the best. As said all the staff where great, but these guys became our friends, made everything so much fun, but also giving us the BEST service ever. And to mention these guys work long shifts, over 16 day periods without time off, but it never showed. We don't normally go somewhere twice, but due to these people, and the amazing people in the DR we will be coming back again as soon as we can.