|One of the Dominican Republic’s natural gems, the Cascada El Limon waterfall is about 12 miles from the town of Samaná.|
A province in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, Samaná has a population of approximately 100,000. It is an area of immigrants from all over the Caribbean and who belong to various religious groups, including African Methodists, Wesleyans and Catholics. It is catching the attention of Americans for two main reasons: new, luxury hotels and new direct flights from New York via JetBlue Airways.
About five years ago, this untouched island started to pop up on agents’ radar screens when it became home to the luxurious, 87-unit Balcones del Atlántico at Las Terrenas Beach and the elegant El Portillo Beach Club & Spa. Then in 2012, Samaná finally nailed down its first direct flights from the U.S. in the form of nonstop JetBlue Airways flights from New York City. The twice-weekly flights are now among the carriers most popular routes to the Dominican Republic and leave from JFK at 8:25 a.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and arrive in Samaná at 1:05 p.m. Return flights leave at 2 p.m. and arrive in New York at 4:50 p.m.
The destination has already drawn wealthy Dominicans, Europeans and Canadians, but it is now starting to look toward attracting Americans. We suggest pitching Samaná to couples, both young and old, who basically want to experience the beach life of Punta Cana without the people. The main draw here is fun in the sun and, of course, some incredible whale watching. Punta Cana may arguably have the better beaches by a photo finish, but again, this is a less-saturated Punta Cana.
Although it’s not open yet, the most buzzed-about hotel in Samaná lately is V Samana. Viva Wyndham Resorts recently announced that its new V Samana, in Las Terrenas, which is within Samaná, will open in December. The hotel is expected to be the first in its category to combine hip elegance and a relaxed, yet active and modern vibrant ambiance in an all-inclusive setting.
The adults-only beachfront resort sounds like a perfect fit for girlfriend getaways and couples traveling with other couples. All 144 rooms at V Samana will feature ocean or garden views, and 48 will be “Vibe Rooms,” with ocean views and private plunge pools. Outstanding features will include a vertical garden in the reception area, fresh-to-table-and-spa onsite vegetable and herb gardens, and a market-style dining experience, offering various individual food specialty stations.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, the largest resort operator in the Dominican Republic, was slated to open on November 1 with the new Victorian-style Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection. This 149-room Don Pablo Collection resort will be adults-only.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts is a premium resort division under one of the world’s leading travel companies Grupo Piñero based in Mallorca, Spain. Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts features 18 fun-filled resorts in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica.
Other Tourism Developments
Xeliter Serviced Residences is the new managing company for Balcones del Atlántico at Las Terrenas Beach. Maximo Bisono, president of Balcones del Atlántico, and Julio Llibre, president of Coral Hospitality Corp., made the announcement recently. Xeliter is responsible now for the administration of the condominium and its 160 apartments, as well as the rental program. Balcones del Atlántico is located at Las Terrenas Beach, just five minutes from Las Terrenas downtown, on the road bound to Portillo. It features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, fully furbished and equipped.