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Hotel Peninsula House Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Las Terrenas, République dominicaine Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Featured for the sixth year running on the Condé Nast Traveller Gold list, The Peninsula House is one of those luxury guesthouses that will transport you to a time passed while providing guests with all the expected modern-day amenities. With only six rooms, the colonial house is half-way between a maison d'hôtes and the home of the owners; art collector Marie-Claude Thiebault, partner Cary Guy and her grown-up son, Thomas Stamm. And we'd have to agree with Traveller - The Peninsula House truly is the best hotel in the country. The tropical Victorian plantation house sits on top of a hill looking out to the green exotic surroundings and the iridescent turquoise waters below, amidst well manicured gardens - and that's just the outside.

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    • Hotel Peninsula House

      Peninsula House   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Peninsula House

      Peninsula House   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 8.0 /10

    Located two and a half hours' drive from Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, at the entrance of Las Terrenas on the Samana Peninsula (east of the country), sitting atop a hill dominating the surrounding green fields and jungle gardens, the house is a short drive from Playa Coson, where guests have access to a fully equipped beach house including a restaurant, living area and bathrooms. Las Terrenas centre is a 10-minute drive away. Make sure to get exact directions to the house as there is no indication to the turning and for the drive up to the hotel, it is best to have a 4x4 as it's quite a bumpy ride, although, as Sophie, one of the managers of the house, told us, the drive up used to be done on horseback before a road was put in, so it's already an improvement when it comes to ease of access.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The house has six permanent rooms open to guests, but can adjust to eight during busy periods. And although there are only few rooms, getting to grips with everything inside the house takes a good few days. The rooms are adorned in more exquisite hand-chosen decorative objects, furniture and art - everything has been carefully studied, right down to the linen. Although the house is a recent build, no expense has been spared to make it feel like a genuine colonial home - and it works rather well.

    Each room has its own décor, style and atmosphere. All give onto the wraparound porch and all have an equally luxurious yet understated en-suite bathroom with L'Occitane products, a bath tub and separate rain shower.

    All rooms have a king size bed apart from one, with twin beds as well as flat-screen televisions and complimentary Wi-Fi.

    Overview 8.45 /10

    Marie-Claude decorated the entire house herself and has collected art since she was 12 years old and. From original Pierre Soulages paintings to Asian antiques, the house is brimming with objets d'art from all around the world. Stepping inside this tasteful Aladdin's cave is like crossing the threshold into a time warp where centuries come together in an overlap of history and luxury. Thomas, also a keen art collector, manages the house while Marie-Claude and Cary are away; his most prized possession is Napoleon's original ink holder - which sets the note for the rest of the house. The house is spread over two floors that unfold around a central open-roof courtyard. Atmospheric, cosy and chic, the house is the perfect haven to get break away from it all while not having to lift a finger.

    The Victorian house has a wraparound porch, where guests can sit and dinner and drinks looking out over the lawns to the infinity-edged pool by a chic African-themed pool house and out to the turquoise ocean. The Peninsula House has its own beach house down by the beach, which is a 10-minute drive away (downhill). For late nights at the house, there is staff on hand to serve you drinks from the impressive cabinet in the games room, where a full size billiard table serves to distract guests well into the early hours of the morning.

    Food and drink 8.45 /10

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the house, but guests must confirm with Sophie or Jérôme for all meals. Everything is prepared downstairs in the house kitchen, and although the house seems to have had some issues with keeping a chef since its opening in 2008, the food hasn't suffered. We heard that Cary is often found rustling up gourmet meals himself, although during our visit, we were left in Thomas' hands. We had a dinner of roasted pork and sautéed potatoes, while my colleague opted for the lobster and snacked seasonal vegetables. The wine list comprises an exhaustive selection of fine wines, and the candle lit setting along with friendly staff to wait on us transported us to the Dominican Republic's colonial past.

    For post dinner drinks, guests can choose to sit on the sofa of the living area set up on the patio overlooking groves of palm trees lining the ocean or inside the house either by the library or the billiard table - the latter would be rather strategic seeing as the bar is set up here. Guests can order what they like from staff who will put it on their tab.

    Spa

    There is no actual spa at the house, but Sophie or Jérôme, the house managers, can call a therapist for a treatment or massage in your room or in the garden.

    Beach 8.70 /10

    Playa Coson is just down the hill, about 10 minutes' drive away from the house. There are signs showing the way to the beach club, which is exclusively reserved for guest-use only. Guests have all the necessary facilities down here for spending the entire day at the beach, including a restaurant, bar, bathrooms and a living area. Staff is on call throughout the day to provide guests with whatever they may need and a driver is available to run guests between the beach and the house.

    To know

    The house is in fact the home of art collector, Marie-Claude Thiebault and Cary Guy, who have built it from the ground up with Marie-Claude's son, Thomas Stamm in 2007.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage

    • Swimming pool

    advantage

    • The idyllic tropical plantation setting.
    • The owners' art collection gives charm and soul to the house.
    • The tranquility.
    • Beautiful Playa Coson isn't far away.
    • The laid-back atmosphere of the house - staff and owners wear flip flops or walk around bare-feet.

    disadvantages

    • Some guests might find it a disadvantage that the house isn't right on the beach.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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