I cannot say enough good things about this property. From the accomodations, to the staff, to the food, to the great facilties (pools, beaches, gym, spa). I tried them all and will absolutely be back.
Reading other reviews, let me clarify some of the negatives (that had me concerned before arriving). The big one is the "hill". Yup, it is a very steep climb - took me all week to be able to walk to the top without being left breathless, and I work out. But that is the price you pay to be in a secluded cove with two (!) private beaches. If mobility is an issue, please let the staff know when you book that you prefer an upper apartment.
The apartments are very comfortable, especially the beds. I agree that there are some minor issues with the quality of the furniture, but the staff is aware of this and are happy to fix/replace items when they know about them. Having a full kitchen to cook in and a washer/dryer is a HUGE plus in my books. Took full advantage of both. There is a small store that is in the pool/restaurant area that sells pretty much everything you need (including laudry soap). If you need dish soap, ask the maid and she will be happy to provide some. For bigger food purchases there is a large supermarket in Santa Barbara that can provide pretty much everything. Don't forget a cigar clip if you want to enjoy some local product.
The staff was wonderful and managed two difficult and stressful situations for me with grace and function. For that I am sincerely grateful. Like anywhere in the Dominican, you should learn some basic Spanish or carry a translation/dictionary app to communicate what you need. Work with them, and trust me, they will work with you.
The gym is a bit run down, but functional if a workout is part of your daily schedule. Free weights, two stationary bikes, a treadmill, and a universal machine are available, They are not up the standard of a North American fitness gym, but this is a rarity in the Dominican and I was easily able to adapt my workout with what was available.
The restaurant produced consistently good food and has a reasonable wine selection at every price point. Being able to dine al fresco while watching the sun go down each evening was a highlight and something I wll long remember. Thanks to Humberto, Miguel and Jose for the attentive and professional service.
Finally, do take the opportunity to use the spa. They offer basic treatments and mostly massage. The three massages I had with Freddy were incredible. He correctly identified existing stress and previous injuries on the first visit and adapted his techniques to help work out these areas. I was amazed. This man is a complete professional and a bargain for the prices for his excellent service. Cannot recommend this enough.
Of note, while this is a quiet time for the hotel, it was evident that the staff was working very hard to get everything ready for the busy season that starts with Christmas. Hot tubs were being tested and repaired, new paint everywhere, and inventories taken of all the units. This is a management team that cares about your time here and the impression they leave. Let them know that you appreciate it.
As a local told me "I dream of the day I can hold my wedding at Vista Mare". I hope for him that day comes soon and in the meantime, I will dream until my next trip back to this magic spot in Samana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vista Mare is a place where style and service converge in such a way that it will forever change the way you view the word vacation. The resort is located on Samana - Las Galeras Road (RD 5), just 55 minutes away from El Catey International Airport, and 30 minutes away from the soon to be opened golf course Las Terrenas Country Club. At Vista Mare you will enjoy of luxurious accommodation with spacious bedrooms, bathrooms, private terraces and many other amenities such as concierge services and personalized attention at the swimming pool area, to assure you have plenty of time to relax. Vista Mare is the best in modern hospitality. 87 ocean view residences, fully equipped, divided into 1, 2 and 3 Bedroom Apartments. Designed to be ideally located on a hill site of breathtaking views of the private beach, located in a secluded bay of turquoise waters. Amenities and facilities in the hotel: A la Carte Restaurant, Bar Lounge, Mini Market, Gym, Concierge, Swimming Pool, Two Beaches of Exclusive use, Cable TV, Internet, Beach Club, Kids Club, 24/7 Security, WIFI Internet available in common areas and mini bar in each accommodation. Vista Mare features an A la Carte menu with the best local and International meals prepared by our skilled chefs. Fresh from the ocean seafood and imported meats combined with our tropical atmosphere to make your dining an enjoyable and unforgettable experience while choosing your preferred dish from our varied menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at El Cayo Restaurant.The location is ideal for outdoor activities such as sailing, excursions, trekking, sightseeing and one of the most spectacular attractions in the Caribbean, the yearly whale watching season. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vista Mare Samana Hotel