48 Hours at the Sublime Samana, Las Terrenas
If you are honest to yourself you might have never heard of the Samana peninsula, didn't you? Actually it's one of the prettiest places in the Dominican Republic and if I could, I would definitely change the name to Palm Peninsula thanks to the thousands of palm trees that make up most of the landscape. Besides palms, Samana is situated in front of the famous Les Haitises National Park (which looks more like Thailand than the Caribbean), has an island called Caya Levantado with a stunning beach and is home to the impressive "Cascade El Limon" - the biggest waterfall on the peninsula. In addition to all these natural wonders, there is the pretty town Las Terrenas with lovely shops, amazing restaurants (for Caribbean standards of course) and a really wonderful hotel that is also part of the "Small Luxury Hotels". Flying into Santiago, we found the best was to take a rental car for the absolute local experience and to be flexible. To all our surprise, the car was not in bad condition and we soon started our drive over the countryside of the Dominican Republic until we reached the Sublime Samana Resort just 10 minutes before Las Terrenas.
Situated somewhere off the main road leading to Samana, Sublime Samana seems to be the peninsulas only member of the Small Luxury Hotel and compared to international luxury hotel standards, I can say it's the only hotel I would stay on the Samana peninsula. After we drove through the entrance doors of the resort and came to a complete stop in front of the front desk, we were greeted by the front desk manager personally and then found ourselves on a hotel tour with Ana who showed us all the facilities and finally accomplished us to our One Bedroom Suite on the ground floor. I found the living room to be very spacious with a big sofa, dining table for four, spacious kitchen with complimentary minibar inlcuing two beer and a few soft drinks as well as a quite big television. The idea to have a guest toilet was very much appreciated and in fact it was one of the coolest guest bathrooms thanks to the stone walls.
Opening up the huge sliding door, we arrived in the bedroom with a king bed and another television on top of the writing desk. Both, the bed- and the living room had access to our terrace which again was accessible from the garden and therefore right next to the pool area. Next to the wardrobe was the bathroom with another separated toilet, vanity desk with a very nice smelling soap bar plus a set of toiletries by "The White Company" - a british brand that does lovely interior pieces. I once had them at a resort in Austria and they are of good quality plus have a nice smell too. Unfortunately our room was not made after the first night, which could have either been a mistake or perhabs the fact that they just do the room every three nights (which a few remotely located Small Luxury properties do nowadays).
Besides the gorgeous location on one of the prettiest beaches in the Dominican Republic, the other highlight of our stay was the gorgeous a la carte breakfast served on the terrace of the hotel's main restaurant. There are always 10 options to choose from and you can feel free to choose 3 or more dishes too. We always started with Imperial Omelette (the hotel's signature dish), then ordered a ham and cheese plate which was actually fresh mozzarella cheese, some olive oil drops and freshly cut Iberico ham (presented in a most amazing way just like at a posh restaurant) plus finished up with a homemade chocolate brownie. I can tell, this breakfast was very good and extremely relaxing since you don't have to rush to a buffet always. During our time at Sublime Samana we spent one day driving around the peninsula before stopping somewhere after the town of Samana to take a small boat over to Caya Levantado where we took a rest for two hours and had a Pina Colada in a real Pineapple. When we left, a storm was starting so we headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the small but sufficient gym. For dinner we always went outside the hotel: one evening to the Hotel Atlantis for fresh seafood and the other day to Mi Corazon which turned out to be an amazing find.
Before we left the hotel we arranged a tour with the front desk to the Cascada del El Limon, which is a very impressibe waterfall 30 minutes from the hotel by car. They arranged a driver and once we arrived at the ranch, we were allocated our horses. It was a bumpy 30 minutes horseback ride until we reached the main parking spot of the waterfalls - well actually it was just a flat ground with many many horses - and then we had to walk for another 10 minutes down the hill to actually go swimming in the beautiful waterfall. Once we came back to the farm, a lunch was set-up and after that our driver brought us back to the hotel where we had one last shower, packed our stuff and left the resort for our 2,5 hour drive to Santo Domingo - a totally amazing place. All in all Sublime Samana is a wonderful property that is absolutely worth its 200 USD a night for a suite considering a private beach, superb breakfast and two swimming pools.