2013-07-12 07.35.36You know those pictures of palm trees leaning tall over dazzling turquoise waters? Perhaps you sneak peeks at these beach scenes in a magazine or online while at work in your office. The sand looks almost like gold and you can literally feel its soft grains in between your toes. If you stare for too long, you catch yourself unknowingly taking your shoes off under your desk. Next thing you know and your imagination has transported you into the clear salty waters, soaking up that bright hot sunshine. Forget papers and files, deadlines and bosses…you know you deserve to be in paradise.

In my traveling experiences so far, the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to are in an area of the Dominican Republic called Samana. This past weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to stay right on a beach called Coson. It was a fun adventure to find as our group drove up and down the curvy roads that wind through thick green rain forest. Stopping to ask the locals for directions, we soon found our way to the Sublime Samana Hotel and Residences.

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The drive there was only a few hours from the capital city, Santo Domingo, and was on the newer toll road that cuts straight through the middle of the country. Just be prepared with cash for paying the tolls, which vary in price depending on the type of vehicle. In total, each way ranges around 1,000-1,200 pesos which right now translates into 15-20 USD.

Samana is a peninsula to the far north-eastern end of the island, that forms a large beautiful bay. Even today, it is not as crowded and is known as the place to escape to for tranquility and pristine beaches, while also giving you opportunities to visit and enjoy small villages for an authentic cultural experience of the friendly Dominicans.

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Freshly-made paella!

Our beach weekend was an amazing experience thanks to our dear family friend Marisol (Alma Maritza Olalla). She manages luxury properties at gorgeous beaches all over the island, including exclusive places like Casa de Campo in La Romana and mountain houses in areas like Jarabacoa. At a fraction of the price that it would cost to do everything on our own, she gets deals on the units and knows the local areas so well, that she brings to life the best “all-inclusive” experience I have ever had. Her cooking skills are amazing and she shopped at the local markets for our food and delicious meal creations such as the amazing paella dinner that we enjoyed in our luxurious two bedroom apartment.

2013-07-11 23.46.55Our accommodations that she manages and arranged for us at the Sublime Samana Hotel and Residences, was an ideal home-away-from-home. The full kitchen shares a welcoming open space with the living room, which flows out through expansive glass doors into a curved balcony. We spent a good portion of our time lounging in the cushioned chairs of this balcony that frames the entire unit. Each of the two bedrooms that frame either end of the apartment, also have tall glass doors that give access to the outdoor living space. To one end is a large hot tub with plenty of room for the whole party. Out on the beach, the resort ensures a fun time with their covered patio that has lovely table seating and a bar for the enjoyment of snacks and meals along with refreshing drinks and cocktails. Another restaurant is located within the center of the grounds and close to the pools, where we enjoyed a tasty breakfast with fresh squeezed juices and coffee.

Marisol created an amazing dinner of Spanish tortilla and salad with fresh dressing, all complimented with red wine!

2013-07-12 18.06.21We had a view of the entire center of the resort. The manicured grounds are kept lush and green, with stone and marble square paths leading through soft green grasses. They lead you around the series of pools that entice you to enjoy the gorgeous cool waters. Eventually, the path of pools lead you to the resort’s pride and joy, the peaceful beach that welcomes you into paradise.

Words cannot describe how stunningly gorgeous of a scene this beach is to behold. My eyes never tired of drinking in the rich green colors of the regal palm trees lively swaying in the tropical breeze, the clear gem-like shimmer of the expansive turquoise waters reaching up onto the soft sandy shores and, best of all, being a part of this entire rich scene that I found lulling me into deep relaxation. Laying in the sun, allowing every precious salty drop of water to evaporate in the heat, we spent times napping or talking and laughing together as we enjoyed our family time with our friends, all to the sounds of waves rhythmically caressing the beach and the shady leaves of palm trees rustling a music like raindrops in the soft ocean breeze.

Early mornings on the beach...

Early mornings on the beach…

I will continue to return to this part of the Dominican Republic. It holds for me an experience of tranquility and relaxation that can be hard to find when I have visited typical all-inclusive resorts. For me, this area’s remoteness is a gift. I love going to places that are not as crowded and less tourist-driven, so it is a wonderful match for enjoying the natural beauty, the local culture, and pampering myself in a fantastic, magical treasure of a location.

To enjoy more beautiful pictures, visit my online album: Beach Time in Samana, Dominican Republic

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My last morning at the resort…a wonderful gesture beckoning me to return soon!

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