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Hotel The Bannister Hotel Yacht Club Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Samana, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Nothing in the Dominican Republic says 'Miami' like The Bannister Hotel. Located just outside Samana town in a gated complex called Puerto Bahia, the four-star hotel is part of the Small Luxury Hotels label. Built on a harbour, the hotel makes for a good pit stop for a day or two for guests planning on going on excursions leaving from Samana town, like to Los Haitises National Park and the Limon waterfall. As the hotel isn't a place people tend to stay at for very long, there is a temporary atmosphere, which isn't the most relaxing. However, the rooms are comfortable and the sunset bar on the other side of the marina is worth stopping at for a quick dip in the infinity edged pool and a couple of cocktails.

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    • Hotel The Bannister Hotel Yacht Club

      The Bannister Hotel Yacht Club   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel The Bannister Hotel Yacht Club

      The Bannister Hotel Yacht Club   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 7.75 /10

    The Bannister is located just outside the town of Samana, the capital of the Samana Peninsula. It is about two and a half hours to Santo Domingo, the country's capital, via the highway.

    The Bannister isn't easy to find if you don't know what you're looking for - considering that it is one of the few luxury hotels in the area it was surprising that very few people had heard of it. Make sure you ask for Puerto Bahia and not The Bannister Hotel. The hotel is located on a marina on the water's edge a few minutes' drive from the closest beach.

    There isn't much to do in the immediate surroundings, but Samana town is a popular port of call for tour groups taking whale-watching boat excursions or going to Los Haitises National Park.

    Accommodation 8.45 /10

    The 32 apartment rooms are all similar and vary mainly in size. All comprise an open plan kitchen, dining and living area with a separate bedroom. The kitchens are fully equipped with everything guests need, from a microwave to a blender. With all that space however, we were at a loss for a kettle and were horrified at having to make a cup of tea with the coffee machine - the tea ended up tasting like lukewarm coffee.

    The apartments are simple and while they aren't fancy, they are comfortable and contemporary. The beds were particularly cosy and the bathrooms well appointed, although do make sure you pull the tap towards you to turn on the shower head. The toiletries are of the up-market Italian brand Aqua di Parma.

    A standard one-bedroom apartment sleeps two adults and two children - as well as a king size bed, there is a sofa bed in the living room.

    Overview 8.45 /10

    The hotel is a common place to stopover for boat owners who dock in the marina, so there is a temporary atmosphere. On the other side of the marina the Café del Mar serves drinks and snacks in the day and dinner in the evenings. The restaurant has an infinity edged pool looking out to the turquoise waters, which is a great place to come for a sunset cocktail. There is also a second bar in the main hotel building on the terrace leading off the reception area to the marina. Breakfast is taken in the main building of the hotel (where there is a second pool out on the terrace).

    In terms of other facilities there is a gym and spa, a pizza bar and private parking as well as a small supermarket selling all sorts from French cheeses to fruit and vegetables. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

    The hotel itself is well appointed and has pleasant ocean-inspired interiors. The neutral palettes of sandy browns and beiges is soothing and relaxing, and the staff at reception is approachable and helpful.

    Food and drink 8.20 /10

    There are actually three restaurants and a bar onsite. Breakfast is served in the main building and is an à la carte facility. The food here is very average and the atmosphere non-existent. Café del Mar across the marina, which sits on the water, is a pleasant option for lunch or dinner, but for the quality of the food on offer, we found it to be overpriced. The third restaurant is the pizza bar just along from the lobby bar with a view of the marina - the pizzas here are fairly average, and guests need to be aware that as this restaurant isn't actually run by the hotel, the bill here can't be put on your room tab. There is also room service.

    Spa

    The two-floor spa, Ni, meaning 'water' in Taino (the aboriginal language of the country), is located in the main building and has three treatment rooms upstairs and a double rooms downstairs. The space looks a little like an office due to that ubiquitous temporary feel and lack of permanent fixtures.

    Beach 8.70 /10

    The hotel is not on the beach although it has a marina and is on the water. For the nearest beach guests must exit the Puerto Bahia complex and cross the road - there are several small coves hidden behind local houses on this side of the road.

    To know

    Although The Bannister Hotel officially has 32 rooms, it is part of a larger residential complex, so guests shouldn't expect a small intimate boutique hotel atmosphere.

    Equipment

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

      sauna, spa, keep fit, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, tennis, fitness

    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms

    advantage

    • The rooms are comfortable.
    • The marina views.

    disadvantages

    • The temporary impersonal atmosphere.
    • The lack of quality food options onsite.
    • No beach.
    • There is nothing Caribbean about the décor - you could be anywhere in the world.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10