Most Romantic Hotels in the Dominican Republic

Many Dominican resorts show off photos of candlelit dinners, secluded beaches, and timeless sunsets. What they won't show you are the screaming toddlers, the poolside beer-chugging contests, and the flies buzzing around the buffet. After touring the D.R. incognito and sleeping at over 100 hotels, we can assure you that these are the hotels that truly deliver -- quiet, comfortable rooms, scenic pools, blissful spas, and a discreet yet obliging staff.

Sivory Punta Cana

1.

Sivory Punta Cana Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Categories: Beach, Boutique, Luxury, Romantic

Made up of 55 massive suites, the Sivory is surrounded by dense tropical plant life and sits on one of the most remote stretches of Punta Cana (a 90-minute drive from the airport). Every suite features a two-person Jacuzzi tub, a two-person shower, and a private, intimate balcony -- all ideal for a romantic getaway. In addition to its premier spa with outdoor "bucket" showers, the hotel has three exceptional restaurants on-site, as well as a wine cellar stocked with over 8,000 bottles.

Casa Colonial Beach and Spa

2.

Casa Colonial Beach and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls

At the end of an unmarked road behind a wrought-iron gate, the Casa Colonial boutique hotel is discreet from the start. Even the cheapest Junior Suite comes with an outdoor bathtub and Caribbean-chic decor -- sisal rugs, modern artwork, and mahogany four-poster beds topped with Frette sateen linens. A large window separates the bathroom from the bedroom, allowing guests to watch TV from the massive Jacuzzi tub. The resort's 24-hour infinity pool on the roof of the spa has gorgeous views of the ocean as well as four intimate Jacuzzi tubs. Plus, the resort's orchid garden is a unique refuge from the outside world.

Natura Cabanas

3.

Natura Cabanas Rating: 3.5 Pearls

An eco-boutique hotel with a private beach and only 11 low-key bungalows, the Natura Cabanas are located just outside the beachside cafes and windsurfers of Cabarete. The stone-walled, thatch-roofed bungalows range in size from studios to a three-bedroom suite. Being eco-friendly, there are no TVs, no phones, and no air-conditioning (though the beach provides a great breeze). All the lightbulbs are energy-efficient, and guests must manually activate (and then shut off) the hot water when showering. But the amazing stone bathrooms are brimming with flowers. For features, there are yoga and Pilates classes two to three times daily inside the on-site yoga temple, which overlooks the ocean.

Tortuga Bay

4.

Tortuga Bay Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Interiors here are fashioned by fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, and the rooms feature comfortable four-poster beds with crisp, white Frette linens and unique wicker canopies. Bathrooms have coral floors, deep Jacuzzis, large stand-up glass showers, and toiletries from L'Occitane -- about as good as it gets in the D.R. The best part: the nightly turndown includes a drawn bath with floating red flower petals and tealights. The Six Senses Spa -- one of the D.R.'s best -- offers all the luxury treatments.

Sanctuary Cap Cana

5.

Sanctuary Cap Cana Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Perched like a small Mediterranean town on a remote cliff overlooking the ocean, this 176-room resort comes with beautifully decorated rooms, four sparkling pools, and breathtaking views throughout the property. Bedrooms are large and have canopied four-poster beds and deep soaking tubs in the bathrooms. Both the beach and spa -- with its flower-laden treatment rooms, fantastic hot tubs, and even its own private island -- are among the best in the D.R.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

6.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Located on a remote stretch of the Samana Peninsula -- far from the cruise-ship crowds -- the Gran Bahia has one of the most beautiful beaches in the D.R. Rooms come inside detached one- and two-story structures, and each has a powerful Jacuzzi tub. The full-service Bahia Spa invites couples to its upscale, indoor facilities or inside its massage hut, located near the beach. For an all-inclusive, service is excellent, and the a la carte dining is a cut above most other Dominican resorts.

Excellence Punta Cana

7.

Excellence Punta Cana Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Rooms at this adults-only resort, renovated in 2011, definitely have romance in mind. Lighting is soft, the plush four-poster bed and pillow-top mattress are divine, and there's a Jacuzzi in the room itself -- not inside the bathroom. Private balconies include a swinging hammock for lazy afternoons. The meandering pool snakes around the property, offering more quiet privacy than the traditional pool. Plus, the martini bar serves a better cocktail than most Dominican all-inclusives. The excellent staff pay special attention to honeymooners or couples who are celebrating anniversaries, and they'll even stretch a ribbon over your door to let everyone else know.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

8.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The Cayo Levantado all-inclusive resort is on its own private island off the scenic Samana Peninsula. Rooms come with king-size four-poster beds that evoke a clean, classically Caribbean feel. The marble bathroom, reminiscent of a Greek bath, has a Jacuzzi big enough for two (although snugly). Every room comes with a huge balcony, which is almost the size of the room itself. For even more privacy, there are several private villas, available with both indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, which dot the lush grounds by the beach.

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

9.

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Rating: 4.0 Pearls

This remote boutique hotel is so serene that all guests can hear are waves pounding the shore and water trickling through the resort's serpentine pool. Rooms have beautiful dark-wood floors and Frette linens. A simple bamboo screen separates the bedroom from the three-part bathroom area, which includes two Grohe vanity sinks, a wood-and-slate shower, and a soaking tub trimmed in a light pebble motif. The Yarari Spa -- one of the best spas in the D.R. -- offers free access to the spa pool, steam room, and sauna.

Catalonia Royal Bavaro

10.

Catalonia Royal Bavaro Rating: 3.5 Pearls

The most striking feature at this adults-only all-inclusive resort is ... the silence. No kids, no boom box by the pool, and no entertainment in the evening. Rooms offer large lounge areas furnished with armchairs, love seats, and coffee tables along with the king-size canopy beds and a broad patio with a hammock. Warm marble bathrooms feature spacious stand-up showers and large Jacuzzi tubs. The Alegria Spa provides free access to its steam room, sauna, Jacuzzis, and showers and is right around the corner from the resort's beautiful pool.

Paradisus Palma Real

11.

Paradisus Palma Real Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Luxurious rooms, high-quality restaurants, a superb beach, and endless amenities all make the Paradisus one of the best all-inclusives in Punta Cana. Circling a jungle-like interior courtyard, the rooms start at a massive 560 square feet, and they all offer king beds, Jacuzzi tubs, and multi-head showers. At nearly 38,000 square feet, the main pool is supposedly the largest beachfront free-form pool in the D.R. Poolside, you can even swap romantic stories with a Spanish-speaking parrot or ask love advice from a spider monkey named Mario.

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