Need to know
24 suites, plus a two-bedroom casa.
2pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, noon.
Double rooms from $1100.00, excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates usually include: VIP return airport transfers (from Puerto Plata or Samana Airport); some outdoor activities; non-motorised watersports; free afternoon tea; soft drinks and snacks; access to the kids club. Breakfast is usually excluded.
Take part in free yoga and Pilates classes or book a private session with the personal trainer ($120 for an hour; $170 for 90 minutes). Keen golfers will relish the chance to tee off at the Playa Grande Golf Course, the hotel’s near neighbour, which boasts the highest number of oceanside holes in the Western Hemisphere (www.playagrande.com/golf).
At the hotel
Private patch of Playa Grande beach; more than 2,000 acres of leafy grounds; Aman spa; watersports centre; tennis courts; cigar lounge; gym; free WiFi across the resort. In rooms: Nespresso machine, TV, DVD player, Aman bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If you like the sound of bedding down on the front row of a 60-foot cliff, with uninterrupted views of Playa Grande beach and sunrise (it’s up to you whether you wake up early enough), opt for a Bay View Pool Casita or the Amanera Casita. (That said, if you’ve had a peek at our pics, you’ll know that this litter has no runts.)
As curvy as a Caribbean supermodel, the main infinity pool cascades around the dining areas, meaning meals are soundtracked by splashing water.
Holy smoke. Inspired by the native healing methods of the island’s Taíno Indians, treatments at Amanera come with the option of ‘smudging’: the fanning of palo santo wood smoke over one’s body, traditionally carried out before any journey for a sense of a new beginning. Palo santo means ‘holy wood’; as its name suggests, it’s considered sacred. Try a sage-infused body wrap, a coffee exfoliation or a facial featuring natural oils.
Bring a thirst for rum and a yen for cigars.
There are compulsory gala dinners on Christmas day (at the Beach Club for $195 an adult, $85 a child, or restaurant $375 an adult, $105 a child) and New Year's Eve (at the Beach Club for $375 an adult, $185 a child, or restaurant $550, or $270 a child).
Little Smiths are very welcome. Parents can borrow cots; there are on-loan highchairs; babysitting is $20 an hour (book at least a day ahead).
Little Smiths of all ages are invited – and they’re brilliantly catered for.
Take your pick – they all have space for a tot or teen.
None, but babysitting can be arranged.
Amanera has an Eco Casita Children and Youth Programme that champions the hotel’s landscapes. Guests of all ages can join hikes and nature walks; little Smiths aged between five and 12 can go on guided beach and forest jaunts and learn about the native flora and fauna; younger ones can try supervised arts and crafts sessions. Special events are regularly staged for younger guests: bonfire nights, discovery walks, tennis and golf clinics, cookery classes, dance performances and more…
The family-friendly infinity pool has a shallow end and Roman steps; there’s also a kids’ pool by the beach.
Menu items can be adapted for junior palates; the hotel has a stash of on-loan highchairs for parents.
Babysitting is available for $20 an hour; give at least 24 hours’ notice.
No need to pack
Nappies, swim nappies, baby wipes, baby food and healthy snacks.
Older kids can borrow DVDs, books and bicycles; there are indoor soft toys and outdoor toys for younger tots to play with, plus plenty of arts and crafts materials.