The Peninsula House Brings European Flair To Samana Peninsula
Dominican Republic’s first small luxury hotel opens
LAS TERRANAS – Pure luxury, world-class service and unparalleled elegance have risen to a new level in the Dominican Republic with the addition of an exceptional new hotel de charm, The Peninsula House, which opened its doors in late February 2008.
The only hotel of its kind in the country, The Peninsula House provides discriminating travelers with a chance to experience five-star amenities while enjoying a relaxed and private ambiance reminiscent of visiting a friend’s Caribbean home.
The architecture of The Peninsula House evokes the traditional 18th century Caribbean plantation house as carefully researched by owner Thomas Stamm of South Africa. He then brought on board renowned French architect Serge Robin who has been named as one of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designers and Architects. The result is a stunning, 18,000-square-foot estate sited on a 15-acre bluff overlooking the Atlantic and the pristine 12-mile Coson beach of the Samana Peninsula.
“We are thrilled to welcome guests to The Peninsula House,” said Stamm. “Our goal was to create an exceptional five-star experience in an untouched Caribbean location where one can truly feel as though they are escaping, yet still surround themselves with touches of elegance, sophistication and creature comforts.”
Upon arrival and after guests are through gasping at this young hotel’s exterior beauty, they are led up grand staircases to six spacious junior suites outfitted with dramatic high ceilings and crown moldings, hardwood floors and four-posted king beds draped with Frette linens. Oversized bathrooms feature mahogany soaking tubs and walk-in rainforest showers. Sitting areas are complimented by French doors opening onto expansive verandas with views of the ocean and gardens. All accommodations are appointed with flat screen TVs and DVD players, satellite and WiFi. Additionally, there are Bose docking stations and, for those traveling without tunes, a selection of fully loaded iPods is available to satisfy personal musical tastes.
Of particular charm at The Peninsula House is the museum-quality art and antiques collection, which Stamm’s mother, Marie-Claude Thiebault, a native of France, has nurtured during her years of traveling the world. Purchased in galleries and flea markets around the globe, the collection features works by Seruchi Chang, one of India's top painters from Bombay; Louis 15th chairs; 18th century Burmese and Indonesian marionette puppets; a Chinese artifact dating from BC; and drawings by famous Greek artist Fassianos illustrating poems of French poet Paul Seghers, among many others. Considered works of art in their own right, a total of 21 antique crystal chandeliers hang throughout the hotel, with at least one in each suite, and Turkish carpets adorn the floors.
The meticulous design elements inside are carried outside as well, where lush gardens and an infinity pool grace the hillside of the estate. Here guests can enjoy a lounge area with fully-stocked refrigerator, as well as WiFi for those needing to check in with the office in between laps and sunbathing. Also located poolside is The Chapel, an intimate structure where guests receive pampering massages. Full body and facial treatments are also available in the comfort of the guest’s suite. A full-service spa is planned for the property in 2009.
Included in the nightly rate is a gourmet, alfresco breakfast where freshly baked croissants, breads and pain au chocolate are complimented by juices made with fruits harvested from the hotel’s organic gardens. Hot breakfast items, fresh fruit plates and a selection of fine teas and coffee are also served.
Lunches are taken at the hotel’s Beach Restaurant located directly on a secluded section of Coson Beach. Menus here blend French with Caribbean and utilize fresh fish, locally raised beef and game.
In the evening guests have the option to dine on-property and enjoy the talents of Chef Cary Guy who invites curious food lovers into his kitchen to sip wine while he prepares artisanal delicacies. Menus change nightly and include dishes such as semi-cured manchego cheese soufflé and ceviche of dorado, tournedos Rossini on a bed of rosti potatoes and roasted quails with a caramelized onion and raisin sauce followed by freshly baked desserts and imported French cheeses. To complement the cuisine, the hotel boasts a world-class wine cellar featuring bottles of Château Neuf du Pape, Chablis Premier Cru and Salmon-Billecart Rosé, to name just a few.
Nearby activities include whale-watching excursions, horseback riding, island tours, kite and wind surfing, surfing and deep sea fishing. In the evening, guests can venture in to Las Terranas village where old fishing shacks have been renovated into beachfront lounges featuring live music, revolving art exhibits and the perfect ambiance to enjoy a tropical sunset cocktail.
The Peninsula House is accessed by commercial flights via Aerodomca airline from Santa Domingo or by private plane from Santiago. Both arrive at Portillo Airport, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Additionally, the estate is equipped with a private helicopter pad. American Airlines also plans to service El Catay International Airport, a 45 minute drive from the hotel, via direct flights from Miami beginning later this year.