Framed by mountains and rugged cliffs on the northern gold coast of the Dominican Republic and overlooking the mile-long Playa Grande Beach, Amanera will reopen following its annual seasonal closure on 1 November. This year, the resort will unveil the addition of private swimming pools to three of its Casitas, meaning that over half the accommodation at the resort will now have
private pools, as well as the introduction of Arva, the brand’s flavour-focused Italian dining concept that introduces guests to an array of dishes that marry Italy’s rich culinary heritage with the finest locally sourced ingredients available on the island. The resort will also introduce new immersive experiences for guests at Rancho Magante, the 2000-acre organic farm from which the resort sources its produce from.
Guided eco-hikes will allow guests to explore the indigenous flora and fauna found in more than 400- acres of virgin forest in the protected nature reserve that surrounds Amanera. Accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable guides, a variety of hikes are available for both the novice and the advanced hiker. A 3.7mile (7km) loop that begins at the resort takes guests up to remarkable vertiginous sights atop the mountain ridge behind the resort, then steadily descends through lush, green rainforest. After a brief pause surrounded by the local fauna, hikers can head back down to Playa Grande Beach, concluding the hike with a final stretch along the warm, golden sand ready to enjoy lunch at Club de Playa, or dinner at The Restaurant where the terrace overlooks the uninterrupted mile-long sandy shore and specialities in fresh, organic dishes with a combination of full- bodied Dominican flavours are central.
A 15-minute drive from the resort resides Rancho Magante, an entirely organic farm whose focus is on self-sustainability and preserving the untouched wilderness it calls home. With an on-site school that employs staff from the local community, the ranch is a home for those who have grown and flourished alongside it. Guests can experience the delight of riding horseback on the beach and through the waves or take an educational tour of the cacao plantation, learning the process of its growth and of its cultivation from bean to bar, it is a most insightful excursion for any chocolate devotee.
As one of the original kite-surfing meccas and known as the capital of the sport in the Caribbean, neighbouring seaside town Cabarete is the ideal place to try the local cuisine with some fresh seafood,
or to dip your toes in the crisp, azure ocean. As much as it is renowed for its kitesurfing, its buzzing nightlife and seafood, Cabarete is a 45-minute drive from Amanera, with strong, consistent trade winds blowing side-shore and side-onshore all summer (May to October), although the ideal months for kitesurfing is June to August. Amanera has partnered with the largest and most renowned watersports centre in the country, Kite Club, to offer guests a superb kiteboarding experience, whether they are experts or complete novices. Kite Club’s certified training programmes offer comprehensive private or semi-private lessons with three-hour, to three-day packages available.
Combining a 2.5-hour private surf session on the warm waves of the Caribbean and a surfer-specific yoga practice and guided meditation on the beach, Amanera’s Surf & Sun experience is designed to improve both technique and conditioning. With classes for beginners, intermediate and advance levels there is no place better to hone your surfing skills.
For a more tranquil brush with nature, guests can float across the mangrove lined Laguna Gri Gri. This beautiful freshwater lagoon is home to one of the country’s major bird sanctuaries and the Cueva de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), a low-lying cave formed by a rockslide in 1846 now home to an abundance of the slender bird.
Amanera comprises of experiences and pastimes for all including cooking classes, lessons on authentic cigar rolling and chocolate making, as well as seasonal humpback whale watching, truly embodying the Aman ethos of community, family and embracing a pathfinder spirit. As ocean meets lavish tropical jungle, Amanera welcomes its guests to experience all the surrounding nature and local life has to offer. From private horseback rides across the beach, excursions to forest and teak plantations to 18 holes on the world-renowned Playa Grande Golf Course, couples, friends and families alike will find sanctuary, be it on sand, sea or soil.