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May. 23rd, 2013

Sublime Samana: Dominican Republic Hideaway Tucked Into the Northeast Coast

Sublime Samana pool
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana
A rotund lobby with an intricate mosaic stone floor makes for an impressive entrance to Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences—a two-story, horseshoe shaped building with palm trees, exotic shrubs and flowering plants scattered along a well-watered lawn from which a paved pathway leads to a private beach two hundred yards away.
Sublime Samana casitas
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

Located on the Dominican Republic’s more isolated northeast coast, the hotel is an oasis of calm—especially in comparison to the liveliness of downtown Las Terrenas two miles away—with a quiet ambiance pervading both the grassy area below the rooms, as well as on the soft, sandy beach itself. Private casitas line the pathway.
 Sublime Samana spa
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

A tennis court, basketball court, gym and bicycles provide options for the more athletic, while a play area caters to the adventurous whims of children, designed with a purple dinosaur theme, complete with swings, a rope bridge and a hut on stilts. The curved, palm-fringed beach is a long, sloping, narrow strip where spa treatments take place, with shallow turquoise water just offshore. After an enjoyable massage under the fluttering curtains of a canopy, I was delighted to be handed chilled milk straight from the coconut.
Sublime Samana cabana
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

For the more timid swimmer, there is a small open-air pool closer to the hotel rooms and casitas, with lounge chairs and wicker tables set all around it for relaxation. Private, over water cabanas located alongside the paving stone pathway leading from the rooms to the beach, offer even more languorous options, if one decides to purchase a holiday home there.
Sublime Samana guest room
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

The hotel rooms, all self-catering, are located along stone walkways that wrap their way around the entire building. Each has its own veranda overlooking the manicured lawn below, the nearby mountains behind or the beach area in front. Our door opened on to an expansive living room and kitchen combined, decorated in white, with a substantial-size dining table, a sofa, coffee table, television and a large refrigerator.
Sublime Samana veranda view
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

A small bathroom was to one side. Beyond, but open to the living room, was the bedroom with a railed verandah on one side with wicker chairs and a table and on the other; in a recessed area, a second bathroom, an open washing area and a stand-alone, glass-fronted shower cubicle. Simple framed prints with marine themes—shells, algae and boats—adorned the walls.
Sublime Samana dining
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Breakfast can be taken either in the Bistro restaurant on the ground floor beside the lawn; or, more interestingly, adjacent to it, outside on a small terrace, shaded from the sun by white curtains and large exotic plants. The menu is a balanced one, including healthy options of fruits, yogurts and cereal as well as more substantial items such as pancakes, hams, cheeses, omelets, breads and pastries.
Sublime Samana chef
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

Two of the hot choices emanated classic local flavor: Mangu of Samana, a traditional dish of mashed, boiled plantain, served with fried eggs, caramelized red onion, coconut, cheese and sausage; and Eggs Ranchero: fried eggs served with fried corn tortillas, tomato chili sauce and guacamole. So replenished were we after trying them, we did not require lunch. The other must-have is the coffee—dark, Dominican, and brewed strongly.
Sublime Samana romantic beach dinner
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

In terms of food, however, the highlight for us was dining under the stars down at the beach. Each evening, candlelit tables are placed on the sand under the coconut trees with hanging lamps strategically positioned here and there and the soft swishing sounds of the waves providing a rhythmic melodic backdrop. Argentinian Chef Cristian Baéz swears by fresh local ingredients, naturally placing a strong emphasis on fresh fish and seafood.
Sublime Samana food
Photo Courtesy of Sublime Samana

We began with fish croquettes in coconut; crisp with a surprising, but refreshing, passion fruit mayonnaise, plus Carpaccio of fish with grated tomatoes and yucca croutons. Following the starters was a selection of dorado (or mahi mahi) with passion fruit guacamole and baked catch of the day—a complete fish cooked in a traditional Dominican coconut sauce, consisting of tomato, onion and coconut milk.
Sublime Samana outdoor dining
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

As passion fruit seemed the light-motif of the evening, we chose for desert cheesecake of the same name, speckled and smooth just like the sky as seen through the fronds of the coconut trees above us. Waiter service was warm and informal, so much that the next morning when we ordered glasses of fresh passion fruit juice, the same waiter smiled, remembering, and promptly brought regular refills. Mention must be made of Bruno Gaudio, the Argentinian general manager, who proved to be a most amiable host; staying late on the first evening to welcome us personally and conversing with guests each morning over breakfast, making sure they had all they needed.
Sublime Samana whale watching
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Want a complete Travel Quote including airfare, special hotel rates and FREE upgrades? Contact our Travel Specialist today!While Sublime Samana provides enough diverse activities for an enjoyable stay, short excursions are possible to the bars and restaurants of Las Terrenas; or take a one-hour drive to embark on a leisurely boat trip such as those organized by ‘Tour Samana With Terry’ to see the humpback whales that arrive in Samana to mate, give birth and nurse their young. You can also make an afternoon visit to the island of Cayo Levantado, or head to the Los Haitises National Park with its calcified hills, caves, mangroves, sea turtles and a variety of bird species.
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