Design your ultimate private Caribbean holiday at ÀNI Dominican Republic.
Villa Larimar on the eastern side of the peninsula offers breathtaking sunrise vistas.
After cruising down the main road on the Dominican Republic’s north coast for about 90 minutes—our car weaving in and out of buzzing little beach towns and past jungles with clusters of towering palm trees—I’m beginning to wonder if we’re lost. We finally turn onto a winding gravel path occupied by grazing chickens, dogs and horses.
Ocean View Suites feature private terraces overlooking the dramatic Atlantic.
A few moments later, an unassuming gate reveals itself at the end of the road. It’s the entrance to ÀNI Dominican Republic. We’re greeted by smiling staff, ready to unlock the doors to our own private piece of the island.
Personalized meals served at Villa Larimar pair with magnificent views of the sea just steps away.
This ÀNI Private Resorts property is one of just four around the globe (others are in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Anguilla). The ultraluxe, all-inclusive resort sits atop 4 acres of a private peninsula surrounded by picturesque 270-degree views of the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range, endless flora and the glittering Atlantic below.
The setting is spectacular, but what truly sets the resort apart—and makes it an A-list favorite—is that it offers absolute privacy: The entire property is exclusively reserved for a single group of up to 28 guests. Each of the 14 suites embraces the area’s breezy, tropical aesthetic with soaring, vaulted pine ceilings; coconut wood accents; neutral-hued fittings; and little luxuries like an outdoor shower, private terraces and garden courtyards overlooking the sea.
The spa houses two intimate treatment rooms.
Whether here for an intimate wedding, an over-the-top group getaway or a multigenerational family holiday, you’ll be able to explore at a personalized pace thanks to a custom itinerary curated by the property’s general manager. Babysitting and daily children’s activities, such as cooking classes, soccer and kite-making, keep the young ones occupied while the adults can head to the tennis court to volley with ÀNI’s hitting partners or unwind at the spa (each guest can book up to 12—yes, 12—treatments per day). Indulgence also is on the menu, as guests can participate in the cigar-rolling and rum-tasting experience in the lofty common area as the sun sets and the drinks flow. And, each night, elaborate tablescapes illuminated by string lights, lanterns and the stars set the scene for dinner courtesy of executive chef Juan Gilberto Mena, who craft s memorable culinary experiences featuring fare ranging from traditional Dominican to Mexican, Italian and Greek.
Cocktails and canapes are highlights on the sunset cruise
Central to the ÀNI experience is cultural immersion. The staff of more than 30 locals offers authentic Dominican warmth and plenty of side-by-side guidance for adventure— think private whale-watching expeditions, cliff jumping and exploring hidden coves. Activities like guided hikes through town, folklore dance classes and a traditional hearty Dominican meal offer plenty of opportunities to explore the DR’s culture at your own pace and on your own time.
Two natural coves on either side of the peninsula offer secluded swimming bays.
But ÀNI’s mission goes beyond helping guests create a perfectly curated escape. Each ÀNI resort funds a local art academy via nonprofit ÀNI Art Academies, which provides an intensive, multiyear art education to aspiring creatives at no cost. ÀNI Art Academies Dominicana is a vital institution that’s shaped the community’s cultural identity and prepares students to become full-time working artists, graphic designers, art teachers and more. During a stay, guests have the option to visit the academy and chat with the students they’re supporting in what is one of the ultimate immersion experiences a resort can offer.
No matter what kind of Caribbean escape you desire—whether it’s dancing with friends until the sun rises or lounging poolside with a freshly squeezed lemonade in hand—ÀNI’s staff prepares every detail before guests touch down in the sunny DR. Staying here is all about doing everything—or nothing at all. And if soaking up the sun is just too sweet to slip away for your next activity? Scratch those plans, because, as they say at ÀNI, “It’s all yours.”
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF ÀNI PRIVATE RESORTS