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
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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.