A million light-years away from all other resorts in the country, we uncovered the Acaya, a charming little hotel with 20 guestrooms, a family-like convivial atmosphere and a grill restaurant, right on the seafront. Of course, there is no pool and very few amenities but you will just have to cross over the road where you will be able to make the most of heavenly Playa Bonita. Moreover, the surrounding area, host to the authentic little village of Las Terrenas and the waterfalls of El Limon, does not lack points of interest!
The Acaya stands on Playa Bonita, along a road out of the village of Las Terrenas, in the northwestern part of the Samana Peninsula, on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. A 50-minute taxi ride will take you to Samana airport but the buses take 2 hours because they have to follow a detour to avoid the narrow road.
The Acaya is run by Maxime, a Frenchman (there are lots of French people in Las Terrenas), who will really enjoy giving you advice on where to go and what to do in the area. The clientele consists of 40% locals, 30% French guests, the rest being American and Canadian guests. You will without a doubt meet Haiti: Maxime's dog and hotel mascot! Surfing and bodyboarding enthusiasts will love the fact that the Dominican female champion gives lessons at a nearby school! Also nearby to the hotel it is also possible to go horse-riding, mountain biking, ride quad bikes and play tennis (the first lesson is free). A computer is at the guests' disposal for free internet access and wireless internet is also available free of charge in the restaurant. The Acaya has a massage room.
The Acaya has been very warmly welcoming its guests since 1995, in the 20 charming rooms spread out in three one-storey colonial-style buildings. The entrance to the hotel is in the restaurant bar and grill, after you have walked across the garden. Guests enjoy relaxing on the lawn, where comfortable beach mats and a hammock have been set up, enabling guests to admire the splendid Playa Bonita across the road. The Acaya was renovated in 2010.
The Acaya's guestrooms are quite charming, furnished as they are with a four-poster bed fitted with a mosquito net, pretty bedspreads, a white wood ceiling and white walls. Amenities include a wooden desk topped with a mirror, a key-operated safe (free of charge, contrarily to big resorts) and an empty fridge. However, the rooms aren't air-conditioned (but a fan is available), there is no telephone and no television set (but forget about it, you're on holiday!). A large balcony fitted with two rocking chairs and a little airer give a wonderful view of the sea. This is a pleasant place if you want to relax to the gentle sound of the waves. The bathrooms are functional: a fixed shower, a toilet and hospitality products but no hairdryer.
The restaurant bar and grill is at the hotel's entrance, between the road and the garden, facing the sea. The day starts wonderfully with fresh fruit juice and pancakes and a view of the beautiful beach Playa Bonita (7:30am to 11:30am). After that, grilled food is served all day from 12:00pm to 12:00am in the local ambiance given by the straw hut and colourful Taino frescoes, the Tainos being the original inhabitants of the island, who no longer exist. Acaya is actually the name of a Taino Indian chief. In the restaurant, the Dominican chef prepares grilled meat and fish, seafood, lobster - to sum up, local and tasty cuisine, much better than the international buffets served by large Dominican resorts. And after a good meal, why not have a nap on the hammock?
The gigantic beach lined with a palm forest which stretches as far as the eye can see lies just on the other side of a small and peaceful road, a mere 25 metres from the hotel garden. Its utterly unspoilt beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the region: an exceptional sight! You will not find any beach facilities or life guards so be careful of the waves and the sometimes strong current. In any case, this is an excellent surfing and bodyboarding spot. Carolina, the lovely Dominican surfing champion, teaches people how to surf from 10:30am to 6:00pm.
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