The Bannister – Hotel & Yacht Club
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes daily breakfast, a welcome drink and a cold towel upon arrival
- A relaxed, friendly vibe
- The fresh-caught seafood at the hotel’s restaurants
- READ MORE: A Caribbean Island for Everyone
What To Know
- Suitable for couples or families
- A free kids club is available; it’s open on weekends but must be prearranged on weekdays
- The hotel has no beach, but there’s plenty to explore nearby
- WiFi is free but a little spotty
- January through March is whale watching season
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Boutique sleep and full-service marina on the pristine Samaná Peninsula, with three restaurants and an infinity pool
Even seasoned travelers are still discovering the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Peninsula. It was once at the end of an arduous five-hour drive from Santo Domingo, but the arrival of a modern highway cut the journey to just over two hours and invited posh, upscale properties like the Bannister Hotel to set up shop in this still-pristine enclave. A world away from the megaresorts that overrun other parts of the DR, here you get cove beaches with powder-white sand and a lush interior full of mountains, waterfalls and jungles. The Bannister Hotel opened in a gated community in late 2010, bringing with it one of the area’s only full-service marinas. The decor is more posh than tropical, with a palette of natural colors, white linen curtains, dark wood bed frames and rattan chairs.
Bed & Bath
Modern and understated, guestrooms are spacious and include fully equipped kitchens and private terraces overlooking Samaná Bay or the surrounding mountains. Suites have a separate bedroom; all bathrooms are stocked with products from Italian company Acqua di Parma.
Days are spent lounging by the infinity pool right at the water’s edge, enjoying the top-notch spa and playing tennis on the resort’s two courts. With three restaurants, the hotel tries to please all tastes, turning out some of the best food on the peninsula. La Regata has a menu of Italian favorites, including pizzas made in a brick oven. The hotel also houses an outpost of Ibiza’s famed Cafe del Mar, where the chef serves up dishes that spotlight the region’s access to fresh seafood, much of it caught just offshore. At the end of the day, wind down with a water-based treatment in the Bannister’s 3,500-square-foot Ni Spa & Salon.
In the Area
Excellent dining is practically at your doorstep. The Samaná Peninsula is home to a large community of European and American expats who have opened up restaurants in former fishing shacks, many concentrated in Las Terrenas. We like Mi Corazon for its romantic courtyard and tasting menu of local dishes such as house-smoked saddle of pork and spiny lobster bisque. During the day, explore the interior of Samaná on a horse with a ride through the El Limón forest to the 170-foot El Salto dell Limón waterfall. For more watercentric activities, charter a boat to deep-sea-fish the large concentration of marlin offshore. Or just hit the beach; of all of the area’s sandy spots, the remote Playa Rincon is the most beautiful and least crowded.
How to Get There
Stayed here for Valentine's day! Beautiful rooms and great pool by the sea.
If you like fish the restaurants are great but lacking for veggies.
Good location for whale watching but there isn't much more to do in the area unless you are happy to drive.
This is a really lovely hotel and the staff made our experience exceptional! The location is beautiful, great views from the pool/deck. The breakfast was great (I loved the homemade jam, wish I could take it home). The room was large and very comfortable, clean bathroom with lovely aqua di Parma toiletries (extra bonus). The location is a bit out of the way to the main town, we did get a taxi out for some dinners but otherwise they can organise a lot of excursions for you to the beach etc which we enjoyed. The staff really make this place great though, they couldn’t do enough for us, always friendly and chatty and making an effort (I wish I could remember their names!). Overall we had a wonderful stay and hope to come back soon!
We stayed in a mountain view room for the weekend. I felt in love with the views, especially the view of the bay. The infinity pool was the best!!! Everyone was so thoughtful and polite. The food was really great, they served a homemade jam with breakfast that was OMG insanely good. I recommend the trip to Cayo Levantado which can be organized at the lobby. Looking forward to come back!
The personnel was friendly, Juan Miguel was very attentive. There was a minor issue but he Manager in charge was able to resolve it. Beautiful views and surroundings, loved the infinity pool. Will recommend it.
What a marvellous hotel! First wonderful surprise was to be upgraded from a 'mountain view' at the back of the hotel to the best suite overlooking the sea, which had sum on the fantastic balcony from dawn till dusk!! Staff were intrigued that we had booked for two weeks! Peace, quiet and sunshine from dawn till dusk. Sun shone every day. Rained for two hours......at night so we didn't see it!! There is a pool next to the sea which gives perfect sunbathing location with just the right breeze.
Travel to nearest town, Samana, is expensive at $35 per trip, so we only went one. Much better value is $15 for the boat trip from the resort to a nearby island, where there is a perfect tropical beach. To be recommended!
Food was not too great, and language difficulties caused us some amusement.
Also beware this hotel is over two hours drive from the airport, which is a little expensive.
Many thanks to all the staff, especially Marta, Wellington, Juan Carlos, Luis Felipe, Elena and several other!