Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Every suite is condo-style, with a full kitchen, separate living area and terrace or balcony
- The swimmable golden beach, lined with plush lounge chairs and palm trees
- The beach grill, a wooden deck with a sunshade and bar
- Over-the-pool daybeds for two are available for free
- Warm, genuine service from staff members who remember your name
- Fresh, local fruit in everything from juices to cocktails to dessert
What To Know
- Suites look out over the pool and landscaped courtyard
- Located a scenic two-hour drive from the international airport in Santo Domingo
- The resort welcomes all ages; one pool is adults-only
- Suites have AC, but the fitness center relies on trade winds and a large ceiling fan
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Put the word “sublime” in your name and expectations are going to be high. Happily, Sublime Samana doesn’t disappoint. It starts with the setting: the Samana Peninsula, a gloriously low-key enclave on the northern coast of an island otherwise saturated with high-maintenance all-inclusives. Here, hotels are small, mountains compete with beaches for scenic superiority, and the motorbike is the prime mode of transportation. Opened in March 2012, Sublime Samana fits right into the scene. In the low-rise main building, 50 one- and two-bedroom suites (16 for guests, the rest privately owned) arc around the property’s centerpiece: a quiet, angular pool complex of interconnecting waterways.
Bed & Bath
Guestrooms have a contemporary Caribbean vibe, with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in the light and breeze, and decor heavy on bright whites and tasteful pops of color. There’s no roughing it here; every suite has a flat-screen TV, free WiFi and a marble bathroom, while two-bedroom units also have private hot tubs. And each room comes stocked with his-and-hers Havaianas flip-flops, just waiting for your sandy toes.
Life is simple at Sublime Samana. There are only two restaurants (a beach grill for lunch, the Bistro for all-day dining) and a small spa. But the edited amenities have translated into attention to detail. Where the hotel shines brightest is the food. Its Argentine chef, Cristian Baez, is known to become exuberant when local fishermen catch something new for him to prepare, and the in-room guide discourages guests from bringing in outside food “to avoid hurting the chef’s feelings.” Expect fresh, simple fare such as Dominican-style chicken with coconut sauce, grilled Caribbean lobster, and mahi mahi with mango salsa. And when you do make it to the beach, attendants are there to serve passion fruit cocktails right to your lounge chair. Not relaxed yet? Hit the massage pavilion at the far end of the beach for a treatment set to the sound of lapping waves.
In the Area
Foodies should ask the concierge to set up a cooking class with chef Baez, who will teach you the basics of food prep and plating — then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Participants receive paper toques and recipes as souvenirs. Civilization seekers should take a quick cab ride to the bustling town of Las Terrenas and Plaza El Paseo, which has jewelry boutiques and a cute wine room, all set around a pleasant courtyard. Larimar, a local gemstone, is the prize keepsake. A couple of towns over, in Las Galeras, lives Roberto Guzman, an avid fisherman and boat captain who’ll happily whisk you off to deserted beaches such as Playa Fronton for sunning, snorkeling and lunching on fresh-caught fish. And dance fans take note: Merengue and bachata are king and at local club La Bodega, in Las Terrenas; instructors snatch newbies out of the crowd for a literal spin on the dance floor. Need a little liquid courage before you get down? There’s also a full bar.
How to Get There
Sublime Samana is not at all a 5 star hotel. I booked because I trusted that the Small Hotel of the World network is of very high quality, but I was highly disappointed.
We booked a 2 bedrooms suite to have a jacuzzi. During the first 2 days, the jacuzzi wasn't working.
- some lights were not working. we asked the staff to repair it, and they came and repaired after 24 hours of no lighting, but when they came they didn't cleaned afterwards ! we had to ask the front desk to send someone.
- Several times during the stay the room was not well cleaned
- The bedsheets were not changed during 1 week. I had to ask for them to be changed. For god sakes, in a 5 star hotel you want new bedsheets almost everyday if not every day. Finally after 8 nights the bed was finally changed.
- The yoga classes were cancelled during all of our stay and nothing was offered to replace them
- the excursions are ridiculously high priced. 95 dollars for a 3 hours horse tour, while when I asked the horse guide at the club she says she only asks for 40 dollars. It means the hotel has a mark up of 55 dollars ! What a shame.
- the spa was OK but not fabulous. The massage "coconut whisper" is not fabulous. It is a small spa, and the ingredient are ok but not fabulous, it's mostly coconut oil. The massages are too expensive, for example it is from 100 dollars to 200 dollars. It is frankly ridiculous for Dominican Republic, there the average monthly salary is 200 dollars.
The masseuse are good but not great, out of the 4, 2 were pretty lazy and I felt that I wasted my money on a massage a couple of times.
- DO NOT have your nails done at the spa. The quality of the nail polish is extremely ba. IT seems it comes from local supermarkets. It literally took 2 seconds for my nail polish to go and crac everywhere.
- The restaurant : big NO NO. The beach restaurants serves a food for tourists that have no tastebuds. The chicken is dry, probably frozen, the sauces are overwhelming, the seasoning is bad. The waiters can't understand a word of English. They added at every meal something to our check ! So at every meal we had to check the prices on the menu, and check what we ordered, and just be really careful about everything. It was a very poor service o real, and very long waiting times. We waited 45 minutes for salads almost every day. It was ridiculous.
- the restaurant that is supposed to be better only serve overcooked food. The main ingredient here is coconut oil and plantain, which is type of banana that is closer to the potato. Mix coconut and potato and make different shapes and cook them in more oil and you have what the "delicatessen" restaurant was all about.
- The front desk staff was friendly and the only people in the hotel who were able to speak English
- The bathrooms are huge but there are no bathtubs. Only showers, where the water doesn't come out properly. It is not a shower of a 5 star hotel, rather a 2 stars hotel.
- The view from the room was horrible. The garden view is a view on the other rooms, and you can see everyone n their balcony naked having coffee. Horrible.
- The taxi trips to go the closest city Las Terrenas are 40 dollars a trip. If you want to go to the supermarket you will have to add this to your trip. Frankly, for a 5 star Hoel, there is no shuttle for the city, I don't understand. It should be complimentary ! We paid 500 dollars a night ! How come we don't even have a free shuttle to go to the city which is 5 minute away ? In other parts of the world, the services of a 5 star hotel can even be a free shuttle to the airport, Sublime Samana should take example on that ...
- Dominican Republic is amazingly beautiful. Walk on the beaches, in the forests, go see the whales. It is breathtaking. But don't expect fantastic service and to feel like a king in your castle.
Overall a very disappointing stay. It was supposed to be a honeymoon, a trip of a lifetime, and it is one of the worst trips we ever had. Luckily we love each other very much and had a lot of fun, but don't come there for the hotel. The value is properly terrible.
- Coincidence : one evening I was so disappointed with the quality of everything around that I spoke to the people around me at the restaurant. Out of 6 tables, 3 had problems in their rooms too and were disappointed with the service and the restaurant.
- Don't stay here for more than 3 days, or else you are going to feel trapped. 3 nights is perfect, just enjoy the beach, and go back home.
Now that I am writing this reviews I understand it is severe, but for the price we payed, comparing to the service we got, it was a huge disappointment overall. Luckily the ocean was here.
Excellent stay!!!!! I highly recommend this place. The location of this unit is just perfect, you are just steps away from the pool, beach and restaurant. if you are looking for a place to enjoy your vacation this is the one.
We stayed here from July 16-20. Reserved a three bedroom casita for three couples. Our stay was wonderful. Highly recommend. The casitas are beautifully decorated. Each room has its own bathroom. They all have a private jacuzzi and terrace. The pool area is gorgeous. Staff was wonderful. The Terrenas area is more isolated and off the beaten path than Casa de Campo but that is part of the charm. The road from SDQ is easy and in great shape. There is a large grocery store in town. Two restaurants serve the resort. We had a private dining experience on the beach one night. Chef Jose Andres prepared our meal and heard all of our requests. The food was amazing. It was a magical evening and the staff helped do that. We went windsurfing and paddle boarding, and surfing at nearby Playa Bonita. We ended up not doing any of the excursions because we were so happy just staying in the resort. In the future we plan to visit the sights. All in all, this was a very elegant vacation, great food and service without the buzz of larger beach areas. It would be excellent for families and couples.
We decided to do a long week end outside of the hustle and bustle of Las Terrenas but close enough to go there for diner and sublime Samaná was a hit! Beautiful suites with great breakfast à la carte. We tried the beach restaurant once with success and enjoyed amenities of the beach (paddle, kayak and farniente) a short drive to Las Terrenas and only 2 hours drive from Las Terrenas. If you do not want to dare the drive, transfer from Santo Domingo is available
We attended my son's wedding with 50 guests over a 6 day period. Our 2 bedroom casita with jacuzzi was fabulous. The beach is exceptional and the grounds excellent. All arrangements were handled very well and the staff is super friendly and helpful.
My only "less than perfect" is the food. It was good but not excellent. The meats served at our outdoor bar-b-q were dry. Everyone had a great time, but I could not rate the food as outstanding.