When planning a Dominican Republic honeymoon, there are seemingly endless resort options—from the sandy shores of Punta Cana, filled with affordable all-inclusive resorts, to the verdant town of Las Terrenas, home to off-the-beaten path spots like Sublime Samana, to La Romana, on the island's southeastern coast, where you'll find the famed resort and residential community of Casa de Campo.
For a truly remote and luxe experience, however, in-the-known honeymooners head to Playa Grande and check into Amanera (rooms from $1,110), the first Aman golf resort and the brand’s second outpost in the Caribbean. (The first, Amanyara, in the Turks & Caicos, was voted number-one resort in the Caribbean in this year's Brides Honeymoon Awards). Here, we break down the top five reasons to plan your post-nuptial getaway at this luxe retreat:
1. It's easy to get to...
The Dominican Republic has five international airports (in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santiago, and Samaná), offering tons of daily flights from the U.S. Honeymooners headed to Amanera should plan to land at Puerto Plata, the closest hub, which has nonstop service from New York, Boston, Miami, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be greeted by an agent who escorts you through customs, fast-tracks you to the front of the line, assists you will collecting your luggage, and escorts you to your SUV transport for the hour-and-fifteen-minute ride to the resort. (And don't bother with airport vending machines: The car is stocked with cold bottled waters, fresh hand towels, and homemade dried fruit and granola.)
2. But still off the beaten path.
While resorts in areas like Punta Cana can be chockfull of spring breakers, Amanera sits directly on Playa Grande (“Big Beach”), a mile of undeveloped, palm-tree-lined sand. In other words, it's where you want to be if you're looking for a luxe, relaxed honeymoon in the D.R. This exclusive haven—within a 2,000-acre private preserve on the country's north shore—has unobstructed ocean views (you'll finally put your iPhone's Pano mode to work) and countless ways to stay busy (hiking, fishing, horseback riding, you name it). Expect to hang all day on the outdoor terraces at Casa Grande, the resort's main compound, or just stick to the privacy of your room. Each of Amanera's 36 casitas have a Zen, minimalist vibe, and many have their own zero-edge infinity pool and large shaded terrace with cushy daybeds.
3. The design is on point.
Every Aman resort is executed with obsessive attention to detail, and Amanera is no exception. Architect John Heah designed each space to blend into its surroundings and highlight resort's impressive vantage point: The main building, Casa Grande, sits on a cliff overlooking the ocean and has an infinity pool that seemingly extends into the horizon; each casita has a flat roof for green gardens that make them practically invisible from above; the upstairs lounge and main restaurant have full sliding-glass doors, creating an indoor-outdoor vibe (perfect for an alfresco romantic Italian dinner); and the spa is tucked away beneath Casa Grande and above the beach, allowing for maximum privacy and an ultra-relaxing setting with the sounds of crashing waves to lull you to sleep.
4. You can play golf.
Famed architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed the original Playa Grande Golf Course in 1997, attracting an elite clientele with its challenging sloping greens and cliffside fairways. Since then, it's been renovated by Jones’ son Rees Jones, creating a 7,085-yard, championship-level course that's been dubbed the “Pebble Beach of the Caribbean,” owing to its 10 oceanside holes. Whether or not you're both avid golfers, it's worth renting clubs and playing a round—if only for the honeymoon bragging rights that you've played on an original Robert Trent Jones.
5. The beach is epic.
Amanera is set on a mile-long stretch of perfect white sand—we challenge you to find a single rock or errant strand of seaweed—and the vibe is extremely peaceful and secluded. Couples can partake in every kind of complimentary non-motorized water sport, like surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Forgot sun protection? Don't worry, each suite comes with a sunhat, sunscreen, and beach tote for your exclusive use. (Also worth nothing that unlike most hotels, mini-bar beer, soft drinks, and snacks are all gratis at Amanera.) And when you're ready for lunch, you needn't return to Casa Grande—the beach-side restaurant serves every kind of indulgent option, from pizzas, tacos, and burgers to local Dominican cuisine.