Peaceful water: this is the meaning of Amanera. “Aman” means “peace” in Sanskrit and “age” for water in the Taino, the indigenous people of the Caribbean. Things have changed a lot since Christopher Columbus arrived on the island in 1492. But the Dominican Republic’s northern coast, dubbed the “green coast,” offers a glimpse of what it might look like.
Thousands of miles away from mass tourism, a stone’s throw from the authentic village of Rio San Juan, Amanera’s intimate “casitas” blend with a lush environment. They overlook the magnificent Playa Grande beach, a long stretch of yellow sand lined with palm trees and calmed by the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amanera promises a real time period in which one can renew, in harmony with nature.
First impression: 10/10
We were fascinated from the moment we arrived at this lush paradise of tranquility with a breathtaking beach view. Pierced by giant palm trees, the lobby already offers a view of the ocean. The staff’s welcome was immediately very warm. Moreover, like the weather: The Dominican Republic also has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 25° C all year round. All smiling, we are guided in a small electric golf cart to the entrance of the “casita” located inside the house. magnificent tropical vegetation. All this without ever giving the impression of being part of an impersonal resort. And that’s Aman’s whole philosophy: an intimate configuration that gives the feeling of being alone in the world. Here, 25 residences and villas, no longer available ! A bubble of peace.
Strong point: frame
Perched on a 18-meter-high hill, Amanera overlooks the magnificent Playa Grande beach. Its crescent-shaped golden sand and palm trees spread for 2 kilometers. The most beautiful in the country, we can hear it! The ocean is omnipresent here: you can see it from the lobby and from any casita. What’s more, the heart of the property, Casa Grande, is designed to give the illusion of swimming among the pools, infinity pool and Atlantic waves. The building houses the reception, main restaurant and lounge bar, all with stunning views. Glittering palm trees and birdsong as the sun rises promise a light start to the day.
25 residences, all with private gardens, 14 even with infinity pools, and more or less uninterrupted ocean views. From 77 m2 for the smallest, up to 244 m2 for the “Bay View Casa” with two bedrooms, a 20-meter swimming pool and stunning bay views. One falls in love at first sight with the architectural style that can be described as tropical modernism. Minimalism in all its glory, enriched with noble and natural materials (stones obtained from local quarries, handmade Aguavo tiles, etc.) and furniture that is both simple, contemporary and reflects the Dominican culture and the tranquility of the Caribbean. They are all bathed in natural light because modernism means nature is omnipresent. Thanks to the large bay windows, the exterior and interior seem to be one. Even in the bathroom: Plants appear transparently in the shower and bathtub and are reflected in the mirrors… A forest atmosphere where lying down and getting ready is pure pleasure. Finally, we particularly appreciate the layout of the different living areas, which can all be separated as desired: like the living room, the bathroom can be isolated from the bedroom with just a few sliding doors. Even the television screen recedes! It disappears into an elegant piece of wooden furniture, with a button neither seen nor known, completely out of sight.
A feast from morning to evening in different environments. For breakfast we sit in the main restaurant overlooking the infinity pool and beach. Fresh fruit juices, homemade pastries, acai bowl, seasonal fruit plate, eggs benedict… The menu includes dishes to suit every taste. “Gluten-free” people (and even others!) will love banana pancakes. For lunch, we have a weakness for the “beach club”, which, as the name suggests, is a comfortable restaurant open on the beach. Feet in the sand, eyes closed, we order one of these delicious ones ceviche, his chef knows this secret… And for good reason: Caesar is Peruvian! In its traditional version, it mixes lime, red onion, cilantro, grilled corn, sweet potatoes, and fresh fish, but it also comes Dominican style, adding other flavors like passion fruit and even lawyer, which we never tire of. This place is so perfect. In his rush to please his customers, the human chef does not hesitate to leave his kitchen for a chat, always with a smile on his lips. Some evenings the beach club organizes a lantern-lit “Dominican night”. In the evenings, we enjoy a more elegant dinner at the main restaurant… Or a private dinner by the pool by candlelight…
The massages are truly unforgettable. You wake up feeling both relieved and renewed after the “new moon therapy”, which is a deep massage from head to toe using hot stones. The only drawback is the reason for the note: the SPA is connected to the golf course, so it is not very safe to walk through it. Therefore, we go there by car, separated by road, which slightly spoils the meditation experience… However, good news: soon a new SPA will come to light near the hotel, and it is also possible to visit this hotel. Get a massage at the beach or in your room.
Shape: 40 meters
The length of the infinity pool is 1.40 m deep. A pleasure for both relaxing and swimming.
Good idea: Little touches in room service
We continue to be fascinated by the efficiency and discretion of room service, which sometimes gives the impression of a real magic trick. And that’s not all! At the end of the day, we always find a small gift on our bed with a written statement that introduces and supports the country’s culture.
Lounge bar with pool and breathtaking views of the swimming pool and beach, located on the first floor of the main building, between indoor and outdoor. We happily order a local rum. The drink, which has become the most popular drink on the island, has been a part of the culture since the 1850s.
Experience not to be missed: cigar making demonstration
The Dominican Republic is famous for its cigars as well as its rum. Amanera invites us to discover the secrets of their production. On the “cigar class” side we can count on the charismatic Juan Alberto. This “maestro del Cigarro” has more than ten years of experience under Arturo Fuente, one of the most prestigious cigar brands on the island. Before our eyes, he makes tiny cigars by rolling and pressing dried tobacco leaves. Frankly, we are invited to taste it!
3 activities to try at Amanera
An afternoon at the beach
Sun loungers under the coconut trees are waiting for us. You can also walk along the beach (about 20 minutes) to the end where the public part is located. There is a bar, small typical restaurants and souvenir stands… A pleasant atmosphere to the rhythm of local music: Merengue (African rhythm, Spanish salsa) and Bachata.
A cooking lesson
Ceviche with white fish, red tuna or shrimp will no longer have any secrets for us.Thanks to Caesar and his brigade. Did you know that for a result that is never bitter, the lemon needs to be cut in a special way before squeezing it? No cutting in half, unfortunately: you need to remove the center and cut all around. This is one of the secrets…
a round of golf
Amanera is Aman’s first integrated golf resort. Robert Trent Jones Sr. Designed by and renovated by his son Rees Jones, Playa Grande Golf Course covers 370 hectares with a beautiful 18-hole international class course, 10 of which are directly on the bluffs.
But also : tennis, yoga on the beach, horseback riding, kitesurfing, snorkeling, rowing, canoeing…
A nearby trip: bboat tour from mangroves to small beaches
A 10-minute drive from Amanera, Rio San Juan is home to the fishing village “Laguna Grigri”. On a small, colorful fishing boat, we pass a mangrove forest jutting out into the ocean before setting off to explore beautiful, unassuming little beaches like Playa Caleton. Warm and crystal clear waters promise a delicious swim.
Price: out of category
We are in Aman… Prices start from €1,840 per night in a Casita (double occupancy) including breakfast, excluding VAT
Web site : https://www.aman.com/resorts/amanera