If your family beach vacation dream includes total relaxation on a gorgeous, undeveloped tropical beach, bookmark this page, as Sublime Samana is for you. Aptly named, this remote Small Luxury Hotel on the Atlantic coast of the Dominican Republic is a true gem in every sense of the word. The resort offers intimate, simple luxury without pretentious frills; it’s the kind of place where you can have dinner in flip-flops or heels, and nobody will notice the difference. A mix of guests (couples and families) come here for one thing: to unwind in a magnificent setting totally removed from the rigors of everyday life.
Sublime Samana does not provide a long list of kids’ amenities, but it’s kid-friendly all the same, with spacious apartment-like suites and casitas, a wonderful family pool on the beach, and service that pampers all.
My husband and I could not get over the fact that this palm tree-lined slice of paradise has nothing on it. There are a few private residences, but there’s a total absence of meaningful visual distraction of any kind. You can walk for miles in either direction.
The beach at Sublime Samana is bodysurfing paradise, but it’s not protected, so the waves can be quite strong. Young kids need close supervision. Older tweens and teenagers are in heaven.
The hotel has lounge chairs and umbrellas right on the sand with full food and beverage service from the beachfront restaurant.
The accommodations at Sublime Samana are U-shaped around a grassy garden and stunning adult pool that runs the length of the property to the beach. The pool has clever cabanas built right into its sides. I’ve never seen anything like it — but the setup is spectacular.
At the end of the the adult pool is a sweet family pool with perfect shallow areas for little kids. The proximity of the pool to the beach enables families to have easy access to the best of both activities.
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The accommodation options here are absolutely ideal for families. One- and two-bedroom suites include fully equipped kitchens, separate living rooms, and a private terrace or balcony. The two-bedroom suite includes a private Jacuzzi. In addition, two- and three-bedroom casitas are freestanding villas with fully equipped kitchens and Jacuzzis. The three-bedroom option has a private rooftop terrace.
The suites are owned by the hotel, while the casitas are privately owned and the decoration may vary, although all have a minimum quality standard. Suites are light and airy with white fabrics and walls. Modern lighting and furnishings give them a contemporary feel.
Onsite dining options include the Bistro and the Beachside Grill. Both are informal and offer fresh seafood, vegetables, and meat options. There’s a children’s menu too. Between both dining venues, there’s enough variety that you never feel the need to leave the property. Plus, the in-room kitchens make it easy to cook meals “at home.”
There’s a simple spa on the beach for treatments. Free yoga classes are offered twice a week by the main pool. The beach is phenomenal for walking, although there is a full fitness room with weights and cardio equipment.
We didn’t get a chance to explore the Samaná Peninsula, but there are all kinds of eco-activities on and off the water to do with kids, from horseback riding to whale watching. The scenery here is lush, dramatic, and exotic. If you can pull yourself away from that beach, there’s quite a bit to explore.
The town of Las Terrenas is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. It’s very local-feeling with an assortment of simple restaurants, activity providers, and touristy shops. It’s fun for an outing, but there’s not a whole lot to do here. My one caveat about Sublime Samana is that it’s not destination for a deep cultural dive.
We paired our visit to Sublime Semana with Eden Roc Cap Cana. I loved this combination — these luxury properties are so different. That said, Cap Cana and the Punta Cana airport are a 4-hour drive from Sublime Samana. If you plan on just staying on the Semana Peninsula, the closest airport is Samaná, which now has direct flights via JetBlue from JFK. This is huge in terms of convenience, as Samaná is only a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Otherwise, Santo Domingo Airport is a 2-hour drive from here.
Editor’s Note: Sublime Semana offered Ciao Bambino a media rate to review the property for families. As usual, our opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy.
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