Beautiful design, sparkling rooms, pampering service, and the best food available are just a few of the factors we took into account when surveying more than 150 hotels throughout the Dominican Republic. Here, our list of the best luxury hotels in the D.R., from the country’s most famous (and most expensive) resort to emerging designer boutiques.
Designed by Oscar de la Renta, the 30-room Tortuga Bay hotel offers amazing service (including preferential treatment at Punta Cana Airport), an on-site nature reserve, several superb restaurants, and three world-class golf courses. Standard rooms are one-bedroom, second-floor villa; Upgrades get you a hot tub and additional bedrooms. All of the rooms have tasteful and luxurious design, a slew of impressive amenities, and terraces or balconies with ocean views.
The Eden Roc, opened in 2012, is one of the most high-tech properties in the Dominican Republic, and is located in the gated Cap Cana community -- which has a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, marina, and beach club. The 34 colorful suites are clustered around a small, man-made lagoon and feature elegant decor (picture four-poster beds, intricate floor tiling, and spacious bathrooms). Up-to-date amenities include iPad-controlled lights, sound systems, and TVs with numerous channels in Spanish and English. Suites also come with small pools and golf carts for getting around the property.
The D.R.'s classiest, most famous resort since 1974, the Casa de Campo hotel is part of a massive, 7,000-acre resort community that includes three world-renowned golf courses, an immaculate beach, a marina, the quaint "town" of Altos de Chavon, and numerous other on-site activities. It can take some time to get from place to place, but each of the spacious rooms comes with a golf cart for guests' use.
With fewer than 200 suites, this family-friendly section of Paradisus Palma Real all-inclusive offers a serene, luxurious environment. The property offers sprawling grounds, meandering pathways, and upscale amenities such as a top-notch spa, yoga, and a seemingly never-ending pool area; couples will find that the well-behaved little ones here are hardly ever a bother. Guests have free access to the services, facilities, and restaurants at next door Palma Real -– particularly the beach area, which this property lacks. Parents will likely appreciate the Kids Zone and babysitting services, while all can enjoy the daily excursions, quality restaurants and bars, and personal concierge service.
There's really nothing in the area that even comes close to the level of luxury found at the tranquil, 250-acre Sea Horse Ranch, on the northern coast of Cabarete. The resort features sophisticated luxury villas, each with private pools and a slew of pampering services -- like a private chef and maid service. The grounds also house an equestrian center, tennis academy, and a stunning ocean-front restaurant with live music nights every month. While there are two lovely pools and two beaches within a short drive, the property lacks its own truly swimmable shoreline.
Despite its kid-friendly mantra, this upscale boutique resort is a relaxing, appealing pick for both couples and families. The Reserve is pricier than its larger sister property next door, the Paradisus Punta Cana, but for good reason. The 132 classic one-bedroom units here (some adjoining) have separate living/dining areas, pull-out sofas, and spacious bathrooms with jetted tubs for two. Reserve guests can access the amenities and restaurants next door (minus Royal Services), so they don't lose out on features by staying here. The beach area is a good hike away, but the tangerine bikes are useful for getting around, and it's not too far to walk to the large pool complex, fitness center, yoga studio, and Asian-themed spa.
This 176-room romantic all-inclusive luxury resort looks like a Spanish castle town and is perched on a cliff by the ocean in the still developing Cap Cana complex, near the airport but a bit far from the main resort area. Its beautifully decorated pools, spa, and restaurants are all among the D.R.'s best.
With multiple pools, a full kilometer of pristine, white sand beach, and one of the largest, most beautiful open air restaurants in the area, the four-and-a-half pearl Balcones del Atlantico looks more like a resort than the individually owned condominium complex that it actually is. The secure, gated property feels worlds away from the hustle of nearby Las Terrenas, however, it’s only 10 minutes by car from the town’s dining, shopping, and nightlife scene. 35 huge villa suites are among the largest and most luxurious in the area and include gourmet kitchens and large terraces. Note that there's a daily resort fee that covers Wi-Fi and sports equipment, and an additional fee to use the fitness center.
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 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.
The 96-room Zoetry Agua is one of the most luxurious and tranquil all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. Catering towards couples, the resort boasts an uncrowded white-sand beach, sleek and spacious suites, a pristine pool, and one of the Dominican Republic’s top spas. Included amenities -- yoga classes, laundry services, top-shelf liquor, and even a horseback riding session -- are plentiful, but a difficult-to-reach location and no kids’ club make it less suited for families. But that’s just what makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a romantic and relaxing getaway.
The four-and-a-half pearl Sublime Samana looks and feels like one of the most exclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic, and it does a wonderful job of catering to both romance-seeking couples and fun-loving families. The 27 villa-style suites include full kitchens with Viking appliances and multiple flat-screen TVs, though not all have ocean views. Features include two al fresco restaurants, a pristine white sand beach, a rustic spa, and a nearly 500-foot long outdoor pool. The secure, gated property feels worlds away from the hustle of downtown Las Terrenas, however, it’s only 15 minutes by car from the town’s dining, shopping, and nightlife scene.
Opened in November 2013, the Breathless is one of the newest, most luxurious all-inclusive options in Punta Cana. The 750-suite adults-only property is massive, so guests rarely feel overwhelmed by crowds, whether they are in one of the restaurants, at one of the pools, or relaxing on the gorgeous white-sand beach. Rates include everything from the food and alcohol to the water sports and themed pool parties, but some guests complain that the food and service at the restaurants lag. Nonetheless, the Breathless is undoubtedly more stylish than the similarly priced Riu Palace Macao 20 minutes south, and is a solid luxury option in the area.