What was it about Dominican Republic that I loved so much? Well if you ask me, the adventures in the mountains not so much - maybe I'm to blame for just carrying my Tory Burch sandals, which fortunately survived, unfortunately my feet did not. (So girls, if the explorer in the relationship suggests sneakers, it was definitely not a "fashion advice".)
Personally, I preferred the sea. There we witnessed sporadic moments of pure magic, like running into a herd of dolphins by our boat, and moments of pure laughter, like when we realized that the whale on the horizon was just a coconut (thank you Balun). Also where we felt a mystical air as the sun set and the sea and the sky became one. And where we discovered the world’s endless possibilities in the middle of a hidden beach that once inhabited a "Most Wanted”.
But of all, what I liked the most is how close you are to Puerto Rico. I mean, think about it. When we want to travel to tropical places we think quickly about the Bahamas, Cancun, even Bali, and lose sight of the fact that the real treasure was hidden in our own Caribbean Sea. The richest most flavorful treasure for your palate and heart because in Dominican Republic you fall in love with its sweet people (and rulay!), Its "coros" with a taste of Presidente, and a hot bachata for two.
It made a lot of sense to me that the woman I love and admire the most, my grandmother Cisa, is from there and that's why I think I identified so much with them. There, you feel the genuine kindness of strangers and integrity in the acquaintances. It was so nice, it was almost impossible to leave behind.
But we already have plans to return and of course, we will be staying in our favorite hotels:
Unique Eco Hotel - The cool thing about this hotel is that it’s not your usual concrete vertical monument, but an actual experience to enjoy silence and fresh air at a "high-end spa-like tree house" and to create a beautiful relationship with a community of international young people who live among those trees.
El Valle Lodge - Here a family of Argentines welcomed us as an extended family. It is the trust and affection that Caro and Balun offer you since you walk through the hotel doors, sitting for dinner as family, going on a trip to Los Haitises, even that last farewell hug, that makes you feel at home. But this family’s love and attention is not limited solely to their guests, but to all the living beings of Samaná, including the plants. In fact, they have regenerated a whole new ecosystem in the valley thanks to their ingenious channels inspired by Mayan techniques to rehabilitate the environment. Super interesting facts! Such, that I think I’ll write a second Blog Post focusing on their eco-friendly initiatives.
Hacienda Cocuyo - Perhaps the most beautiful view in all of Samaná, but the best thing is the intimate experience with nature the amenities offer. It’s impressive how a place can foster such a deep connection between the human being and the flora and fauna. Imagine getting up with an ocean view, swimming with the fish in the hotel's natural pool in the morning (yes, there are fish in the pool - it’s a bio pool), and then sailing out in the open sea during sunset. Without a doubt, it has been where I have felt most at peace.
These boutique hotels have a lot to offer that bigger hotel chains. Among them, they have created a community that I admire and wish upon growing businesses in PR.
We are extremely grateful for the opportunity of being part of the magic each of them offers and for being willing to let us share this story on our social media. We are also very grateful to Nestor, @nestorpool, for connecting us with these beautiful people. Without cool people like you, we probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to discover and enjoy Samana as we did.
We see the potential that Samaná has for becoming a destination like Bali in a few years and we invite everyone to go and discover for themselves the beauty that awaits them. If you need more information or have any questions about the hotels, bookings, or excursions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Can’t wait to help you out on your next trip to Dominican Republic!