At the very heart of Playa Grande beach in the Dominican Republic, lies Amanera, a picturesque getaway to say the least.
Playa Grande is one of Dominican Republic’s most beautiful beaches. On its western end, perched atop 60 feet high cliffs is Amanera a picturesque getaway offering the most to-die-for views.
In the most geographically diverse Dominican Republic, between Carbera beach and Rio San Juan, nestles the crescent-shaped Playa Grande beach which is overlooked by the Amanera resort. The layout and design of the resort has been inspired by the many surrounding water bodies offering a singular experience.
Designed by Heah&co, the London based renowned design and architectural firm, Amanera is the island’s first Aman resort and is being touted as a preferred holiday destination in the Americas. Founded in 1988, Aman is a bouquet of quiet retreats that are a reflection of the hospitality and warmth of the natives extending into private residences.
‘Not only is this our first fully-integrated golf resort, but it is one that unusually presents ocean vistas from every opening,’ says Vladislav Doronin, Chairman of the Board of Aman.
Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Aman’ for peace, and ‘Era’, water in Taino, the language native to the people of the Caribbean, Amanera spreads across two thousand acres and is the first golf-integrated Aman and is continuous with Playa Grande Golf Course’s verdant greens and rolling fairways.
The Cordillera Septentrional mountain range looms over one side, while the rest of the area is made up of lush woods with old trees and royal palms extending over the seven-mile stretch of the seacoast. The region is sparsely populated and naturally picturesque with panoramic views of stark deserts, beautiful waterfalls and quaint towns.
The resort sits atop lofty cliffs of over sixty feet and is nestled between the golf course’s sprawling landscapes and the beach. It has been designed in a manner that even the minutiae contribute toward augmenting the property’s natural beauty. There are twenty five Casitas, signature villas exclusive to Aman resorts, complimenting the area’s organic setting and reflecting the Caribbean’s relaxed and positive aura.
Every Casita is a beautifully laid out living space that perfectly captures the island’s warmth and intimacy, and is built from natural materials sourced locally – stone from nearby quarries, native handmade Aguayo tiles, and indigenous knick-knacks and art. The bio-diverse roofs of the Casitas are designed specifically for lush, green gardens that serve the dual purpose of reducing the difference between residences and the surrounding woods, as well as help to maintain a cool temperature.
The Casitas have a winding pathway that runs through private gardens. Thirteen Casitas have their own 10-metre private pools. While the one-bedroom Casitas, with their high-ceilinged living rooms and bedrooms, have breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean from their terraces, the two-bedroom ‘Bay View Casa’ overlooks the majestic cliff-side with stunning views of not just the ocean but also of the beach. With leisure seating in the outdoors, lounging areas, and infinity pools that stretch across the terraces, the Casitas are a marvelous rendition of opulence and luxury.
Low steps lead up to the Casa that open up to glass-walled living and dining spaces. With overhanging eaves covering the lounging and outdoor-dining area, one can experience what can only be described as seamless living. The Casa’s central area opens to an opulent private garden on one side, with twin reflection pools; the other side opens to the ocean and pool.
The living area is flanked with a bedroom on either side and further opens to exotic views of the ocean. Each bedroom also has spaciously appointed en-suite bathrooms which serve to add to the overall luxury of the Casa.
Situated in the heart of the Amanera is Casa Grande, ‘floating’ above a three-level water display, with breathtaking panoramic views. It houses an open-air lounge and bar with intimate seating that overlooks infinity pools. Upping the luxury quotient is a cigar bar that opens to the resort’s signature restaurant that has both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant overlooks swimming pool cascades that curve down and around the dining areas.
Intimate daybeds at the water’s edge complete the picture of luxury in tranquility. A separate pavilion for private functions and gatherings, a library and a reception complete the magnificence of this signature Amanera structure.
The resort also houses the Aman Clubhouse and Aman Spa that offers holistic methods of healing that incorporates traditional shamanic remedies. Club de Playa, the resort’s informal club is situated in a sandy cove on the Playa Grande beach itself and offers everything from lounging and unwinding under coconut palms to water sports. A fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment, sauna and steam room, and a personal training studio is open to all guests.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Amanera is the state-of-the-art Playa Grande Golf Course. Originally designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., his son Rees Jones, popularly known as the Open Doctor in the world of Golf, renovated the course that spreads across 370 acres. The 10-hole course with its rugged landscaping is said to be the largest in the western hemisphere.
‘Green Coast’ as the Dominican Republic’s north coast is popularly known provides an idyllic setting to Amanera with its ample foliage and raw topography that is relatively untouched by commercialisation. The water bodies play a significant role in making Amanera the perfect getaway indeed!
Text By Priyanka Menon