It takes only a few days of Canadian winter for warm weather to lure. The Dominican Republic—long known as a popular destination—is having its moment in the sun thanks to new, unprecedentedly upscale accommodations. The DR (as it’s known for short) is the Caribbean’s second largest country (smaller only than Cuba) and a region of enormous cultural significance. This is where the colonial era originated upon Christopher Columbus’s arrival to the island; and where Santo Domingo rose from the soil as the first European city in the Americas.
A relatively new addition to the island’s north coast is Gansevoort Dominican Republic, close to the historic town of Puerto Plata. Its sleek, contemporary design is the first sign that you are far from the cookie-cutter all-inclusive resort scene. The Gansevoort Dominican Republic is a rethought condominium project and thus, an all-suite hotel. A series of five-storey whitewashed stone, steel, and glass buildings contain just 48 suites ranging from one- and two-bedroom lofts to a collection of four-bedroom penthouses with rooftop hot tubs and unobstructed ocean views. Floor-to-ceiling windows blend the outdoors with the indoors while modern interiors provide standard amenities, like kitchens with marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.
The centrepiece of the resort is a three-tiered cascading pool overlooking the crescent-shaped Playa Imbert beach, where use of non-motorized watersports equipment (kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, snorkels, hobie cats) is complimentary, while the private beach provides solace for those of a more languid disposition. Oversize ride-on inflatables for young and old dot the pool, which is surrounded by black-frame cabanas and queen-size chaises. Pool time is a lively scene with a DJ spinning tunes, taking music requests. A second, adults-only pool offers more peace. There is a side of sexy to the Gansevoort―a scene in Sex in the City was filmed at the Gansevoort New York, in the heart of Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, which Gansevoort enthusiasts continue to mention with envy.
Sundown sees suite balconies populated as all eyes fixate on the paradisiacal sunset; loungers are front-row seat of the Atlantic Ocean. Dining at Baia, a lounge and al fresco restaurant, features Mediterranean specialities and Asian-inspired fare executed by chef Giancarlo Fiori (who once worked at world famous El Bulli in San Sebastian, Spain) while at Aguazul dim sum and (quite remarkable) sushi is afternoon fare in addition to the dinner service, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.
The Spa by L’Occitane is now open at the hotel, established to bring French sophistication to the tourist playground of the Dominican Republic. The Gansevoort’s newest outpost in the Caribbean brings a Miami sensibility to the DR—über-cool, look-at-me digs.
Gansevoort Dominican Republic Playa Imbert, Calle Bruno Philip No.5, Sosúa 57000, Dominican Republic, +1 877 248 9850.