60-minute 90-minute bumpy ride from Punta Cana International Airport
Weak Wi-Fi and phone signals throughout the resort
Resort showing some wear; due for a renovation
Food gets mixed reviews
Water at beach can get rough due to wind
Few activities (a pro for some)
One of the few boutique hotels in Punta Cana, the quiet, 55-room adult-only Sivory lures couples to its secluded location -- about a (bumpy) 60-minute 90-minute ride from the airport. Service is impressive, as is the natural setting, and the beach is free of hawkers and tourists. Large, beach-chic rooms have some of the best bathrooms in the D.R., but are showing minor wear. It's worth comparing rates with the Zoetry Agua Punta Cana nearby, which is arguably more luxurious but allows children.
A tranquil, adult-only resort filled with mellow couples
When most working adults
hear the words "tropical paradise," they're picturing
something like the Sivory, a small, quiet, remote escape that's on the
other end of the spectrum from a party-hearty
mega-resort. The guests here, mostly French and American,
tend to be well-off, in their 30s and up, and well into the stage of
their lives where a well-aged Bordeaux has replaced a beer bong as
the celebratory tipple of choice.
Around the pool or in the
restaurants, you feel guilty for speaking above a whisper even when
the lounge chairs or dinner seats are full. At the beach,
conversations are drowned out by the gentle whoosh of the ocean
waves. The Edenic feel is only reinforced by the gorgeous, primeval
greenery that fills in the spaces between the paths, one of which
opens up into a relaxing spa where the loudest noise is the lapping
of the turquoise waters of the hidden pool. Landscaping features naturally adapted, water-sustainable plants such as palms, succulents, and native grasses that don't require a drop of water beyond what the clouds and the ocean mists give them.
The farthest north of the resorts in the Punta Cana tourist region, a bumpy, 60-minute ride from the airport
The hotel is considered the farthest-flung of the Punta Cana area resorts, sitting at the far north of the tourist-oriented hotel maps that even go that far. From the airport, it's a 45- to 60-minute drive on a sunbaked
highway past scrubby cattle farms, and then 15 or 20 minutes off the highway on a long, curve-filled road. This last stretch is a prime example of the Dominican government's bizarre love
affair with speed bumps, speed troughs, and rumble strips -- we counted
nearly three dozen of them, several of them unmarked and guaranteed
to scrape up your rental car's undercarriage. (And that 20 minute
estimate is dependent on whether you get stuck behind a mob of
horse-riding tourists, or a tortoise-slow tourist bus on a narrow
If you are looking for a remote tropical paradise, though,
it's worth the trip -- you'll be rewarded with a truly serene spot in the
middle of nowhere, surrounded only by wilderness and the ocean, with a beach you have to share only with the
relative handful of other guests.
Large, multi-space guest rooms with outdoor space, two-person showers, and in some, special
features such as hot tubs or direct access to the beach
Starting at 650 square feet, the rooms feel more like apartments than hotel rooms. In the standard Deluxe Junior Suite, there's an entry area containing a desk and mini-fridge, a bedroom with a banquette couch and TV, and a large bathroom. The bathrooms are a particular highlight: With a two-person whirlpool tub and a two-person shower with two shower heads on opposing walls, they can make for a phenomenal romantic vacation.
All rooms are clean and modern, with handsome dark wood trim, wicker furniture, king-size beds, and balconies. Minibars are free and restocked daily with soft drinks, water, and beer. Some rooms come with ocean views, or even direct access to the beach straight from the back door; others come with lounge beds that go right up to the edge of the balcony and look precipitously over succulent-filled gardens or the hot tubs of the downstairs neighbor. Luxury Oceanfront Junior Suites have private plunge pools and Honeymoon Suites have outdoor hot tubs.
Note that lighting in the rooms is a bit dim, only a few windows open, and there are no screens on the sliding glass doors. This will frustrate those who fly to the Caribbean looking for the gentle night breeze to wash over them. It won't happen -- you'll have to settle for that not-so-gentle AC gust. Also, the rooms are showing some minor wear (such as broken tiles on the plunge pools); they haven't had a major renovation in years.
Workaholics be warned:
Relaxation is the law here, and the Wi-Fi signal is weak at best in
the rooms, despite rooms technically having their own routers.
An uncrowded beach, a small infinity pool with lounge chairs built into it, and a luxury spa
The beach isn't huge, but it's adequate given the small size of the resort and blissfully uncrowded. Waves due get strong here due to wind, especially in the winter, though the water tends to be calmer in summer, spring, and fall. When it's not choppy it's possible to snorkel right off-shore. There are also lots of palm trees, so grabbing some shade shouldn't be a problem.
The pool is a bit of a letdown. Though it's technically an infinity pool, it's surrounded by a concrete walkway, so it lacks the same feeling as an infinity pool next to the ocean or one with a steep drop-off on one side. The wind, common during the winter months, picks up by mid-afternoon and can sometimes forces guests away from the pool area. There's a bar right next to the pool.
The spa consists of an open-air room with a hot tub and a plunge pool. Off the main room, there's a steam sauna and a dry sauna. Both are kept very clean and are sufficiently hot. There are also multiple massage rooms (hydro) and a beauty salon with a fitness center attached. To cool off, there are two sets of three different showers: a traditional shower, one with jets on the wall, and a bucket shower, where you pull the chain and a bucket of water tips, pouring its contents all over you. Use of the fitness center, whirlpools, saunas, locker rooms, thermal pool, and showers is free. The fitness center is small but clean, with big windows that look out on a grassy area, and just a couple of cardio machines and weight lifting machines. There's also a tennis court.
For business guests, there are meeting rooms and computers to use, though the free in-room Wi-Fi can be weak. There is free pressing for four items of clothing every day.
Three restaurants (one with an 8,000-bottle wine cave); both a la carte and all-inclusive plans available
There are three food options on-site. Laveranda is the main restaurant, with Mediterranean cuisine and both indoor and alfresco dining for all three meals. Tau is the Asian restaurant in the lobby, and La Gourmond is the upscale option with an 8,000-bottle wine cellar (one of the best selections in Punta Cana); both are for dinner only. Blu bar serves tapas under the palapa next to the pool during the day, and Sybbar serves cocktails and offers live entertainment throughout the day and evening. There's also a Cigar Lounge.
Guests can book a package just covering breakfast or one that covers all meals and drinks. All-inclusive guests also get free 24-hour room service and unlimited use of the water sports equipment.
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