The Peninsula House
What We Love
- Gorgeous interiors full of museum-quality art and antiques
- Top-notch, personable service (one of the owners lives on-site)
- Excellent food, courtesy of the Argentine chef
What To Know
- Children under 16 are not permitted
- The hotel isn’t on the beach, though there is an excellent stretch of sand a 10-minute drive away — it’s best to rent an SUV to explore the peninsula’s more remote areas
- The hotel can be somewhat difficult to find, so make sure you have good directions before setting out
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
The six-room Peninsula House is set on a green hillside overlooking the sea on the untamed Samaná Peninsula, a world away from the overrun and all-inclusive-resort-filled tourist areas in the DR. Here, you get cove beaches with powder-white sand (literally) and a lush jungle interior filled with mountains, waterfalls and tropical rain forests. The property’s chic sensibility would be at home in the South of France, which, incidentally, is where owners Cary Guy and Marie-Claude Thiebault ran their last hotel de charme before opening this property, in 2007. A potholed road leads you to an unmarked gate. Up the steep, winding driveway is the 15-acre patch of land on which stands the two-story Victorian-style plantation house, gingerbread trim and all. Guests have full run of the building and can settle down in the library for a nice chat, read a book on the veranda, which wraps around the house, play a game of pool, lounge by the sizable pool or just relax in the shade of a potted tree in the indoor courtyard.
Bed and Bath
Downstairs, the library, the pool room and the salons are appointed with Turkish carpets and French settees; upstairs you’ll find rooms with four-poster beds, antique nesting tables from France, Louis XIV chairs, framed Tibetan prayer book pages and 19th-century Balinese puppets hanging on the walls. Large mahogany soaking tubs and rainfall showers are highlights of the bathrooms. All the rooms have French doors leading to second-floor balconies – throw them open to let in the refreshing trade winds.
The property’s Argentine chef creates what may be the best food to be had on the peninsula. At breakfast, which you can eat in the dining room or outdoors, guests choose from a selection of fresh fruit, bread and hand-squeezed juice. Dinner is a more elaborate affair and often showcases fish caught just offshore. Guy, who lives on-site, is always happy to recommend area attractions, from the best deserted beaches to waterfall hikes and restaurants in town, but Peninsula House is such an idyllic setting, don’t be surprised if you’re perfectly happy going nowhere.
How to Get There
The Peninsula House is a very private, gorgeously decorated (French antiques), quiet hotel that discreetly provides anything you could want throughout your day. You eat your meals on the veranda; the table is set with fine European china and silver and the owner checks in on you. You can sit by the secluded pool surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea and admire the view or you can ask for a ride to the beach (5mins) which is totally deserted and flanked with palm trees. They have a tiny beach club with a lovely Brazilian manager who will bring you a drink or tell you when your lunch is ready.
Don’t worry about the 2 hour ride from the airport, Victor will be waiting for you and it goes by fast.
Call them now, this hotel won’t stay this beautiful forever.
The rooms are large and to say that they are tastefully decorated would be an understatement. Incredible art is ubiquitous but the ambience is not cluttered. Say yes to eating breakfast and dinner at the House: creative and tasty dishes (e.g. gazpacho with mustard ice cream). Cocktail hour is a fantastic experience--panoramic view of the beach while sipping the freshest and best mojito of my life. The house is on a hill but the manager drove us to and from the beach club at our whim. Luca's beach house restaurant is also amazing. If you are in a hurry to eat you are out of luck--the pace is definitely Italian (but what's the hurry?). I can endorse the Langostinos with pasta made with his mother's recipe.
As a traveler fortunate enough to often visit the very best hotels in the world, i must tip my hat to the owners of The Peninsula House- one of the most special, charming, elegant, romantic, intimate and beautiful hotels I have ever experienced. From the moment of arrival through a tropical jungle-like forest and you first see the majestic property from their perfectly manicured grand front lawn dotted with magnificent palm trees, you know you have arrived at a magical place. We were greeted by the lovely Nicole as if we were special guests at a manor home. The immediate impression of the interior is of great taste thanks to the owner's gorgeous collection of all kinds of art- classical, folk and modern which all blend together perfectly. There are only 6 junior suites in the Peninsula House- each individually decorated- one lovelier than the next. Ours faced the magnificent view down to the ocean and had two doors opening up to the veranda so that the refreshing sea breezes could cool our room (there is also a/c). The room amenities in the bathroom and linens on the super comfortable four poster bed were top of the line. There is a small tv with many cable channels and a dvd player for in-room diversion. The Peninsula House has its own beach club with restaurant and Nicole was happy to drive us down the hill for the quick ride. Lunch on each day there was tasty and was enhanced by local musicians playing live music. There are lounge chairs, towels and a changing room to enjoy the almost deserted beach. Back up at the house (where there is an inviting swimming pool and cabana parlor), we told the delightful and chic owner Marie- Claude that we were celebrating our 33rd anniversary that night and would be dining there (actually we ate at the hotel every night). In the evening we were greeted by the charming and dapper co-owner Thomas who hosted us for a most memorable meal (and generously surprised us with unexpected anniversary gifts as well). The meal was served outside on the terrace under candlelight with fresh flowers and the most exquisite china and crystal. To say this was one of the most romantic settings I have ever experienced is an understatement. It was truly out of a movie. The cuisine was of the quality of a Michelin starred restaurant. I could go on and on about our unforgettable stay at The Peninsula House as I really can't rave about it enough. If anyone wants to find the most special place to celebrate a special occasion (anniversary like us, proposal setting, honeymoon, birthday, family reunion etc etc), this is definitely the place to go. Cudos to Thomas ( he knew everything about the DR and directed us to the best place in Las Terrenas to watch the gorgeous sunset on the beach with a sun downer cocktail in hand) and to the rest of the staff. We feel so fortunate to have found such a magical place. We will highly recommend it to everyone we know and will definitely return soon. Thank you, Peninsula House, for an anniversary trip filled with sublime and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!
This is my second review of the Peninsula House, I do not know what happened to my first so I will write this again.
The Peninsula House in Las Terrenas is absolutely wonderful. The area is much quieter than the Casa de Campo area so if you are looking for 100's of tourists, all inclusive resorts and not so good food, don't come here.
The drive from the airport is a beautiful drive through the lush hills and valleys of the Dominican, don't let the drive scare you, you will thoroughly enjoy it.
The house sits on a hill overlooking the ocean and while they say it's a 10 minute drive to their beach restaurant and beach, it's not, it's about five minutes.
Upon arrival you will be met by Nicole and probably one of the family members who live at the house. We met Thomas and Cary. The house is large and very open allowing you views of the mountainside or ocean from all areas. We were warmly welcomed and shown to our rooms. The rooms are very large, very comfortable and well maintained and all have views of the ocean or hillside. The two front rooms are the ones with the ocean views and I would try and request one of those, they are exceptional.
The matriarch of the family has tastefully decorated the house with antiques and artwork from around the world and she has done a fantastic job.
We were given a private table on the porch and this is where we ate breakfast every morning and most evenings. The food is wonderful and made to order. We got fresh fruit, croissants, cakes and coffee every morning with our choice of eggs etc. For dinner, we were told each morning what our choices were and we needed to let them know if we would be eating at the house or going out. We ate most dinners at the house as it was such a beautiful setting and the food was great. We did go out a few nights into the small bustling village and had some good meals there as well. The service at our meals was perfect!!!! In the late afternoons we requested cheese and crackers with cocktails and were brought a huge tray to satisfy the hunger of 6 adults while we sat on the porch enjoying our cocktails while enjoying the sunset.
Staying at the Peninsula House was truly like how it was 50 years ago when you took vacations and were taken care of and every need was met.
There is a pool on the property and spent some nice afternoons relaxing poolside. But, the best kept secret is the family's beach restaurant a short drive down the hill. Wow!!!!! The food was excellent, the service was great and its attached to their own private beach. I know they say no beaches are private on the island but the only people ( 4 other people) on the beach were all guests of the Peninsula House. So, I'm stating that it's a private beach, and it was as peaceful and beautiful as you could imagine. You do not need a car as the family will drive you back and forth to the beach and there are cabs for going into the town. We did have a car as we like exploring but it's not necessary.
Do yourself a favor, this is the best place to stay in Las Terrenas, and I looked at them all. It will cost you more, but you will find it well worth it. Please say hello from us to the family, and let them know we will be back.
It always amazes me when I see another person's dream made into reality. I believe this evening was about creativity and life's potential. I never met the woman who had the vision, but I met her son, a very gracious host. My experience at The Peninsula House on all levels was perfection and grace. The dinner was extremely flavorful and presented beautifully. Thank you so much for such a nice evening.