29 Best Boutique Hotels in the Dominican Republic & Places to Stay

A beautiful swimming pool area surrounded by trees and with a view of the sea in the Dominican Republic

Our beautiful Dominican Republic offers an abundance of stunning hotels, resorts, and home rentals to choose from. You could easily just plan your Dominican Republic itinerary around these gorgeous accommodation stays. But several beautiful towns in the Dominican Republic offer distinct attractions for different travelers. So, here I’m listing the best hotels in the Dominican Republic by region + nearby attractions.

Table of Contents

I. Finding Beautiful Places to Stay in the Dominican Republic

Using Expedia, Booking, or home rental platforms like Vrbo and Airbnb, are excellent ways to base yourself out of a cool Dominican city or charming town. I love both staying in Dominican boutique hotels and sometimes the nicer resorts, but this list is going to focus on our cutest lodging, rentals, and boutique hotel gems. These types of accommodation can offer:

  • More space than just a bedroom because you can get extra amenities such as a kitchen, living room, private pool, etc.
  • Other forms of extra personalized attention.
  • Better value for your money.
  • Your business to the local community.
  • Access to places across the Dominican Republic that are more unique such as mountain towns, coastal communities, hidden gems, and natural wonders.
  • And lastly, you can connect to the local culture/locals in a more meaningful way while hearing local advice on what to do in the area.

Pssstt… You can also read my list of the best resorts in the Dominican Republic here if you are undecided on which route to take.

II. Samaná Region: For Beaches & Lush Jungle

Samana is beaming with larger-than-life waterfalls, whale watching, zip lines above the forest, jaw-dropping Parque Nacional Los Haitises, beautiful Dominican beaches, and jungles. Not to mention one of the best places in the world for humpback whale-watching tours like this one. However, driving across the Samana peninsula can take over two hours, so carefully choose which part to stay. Here are the top Samana areas:

Las Galeras: This is at the far end of the Samana Peninsula, so it takes more time to arrive, but it does offer a quieter experience. Most notably, Las Galeras is the launching point for a lot of boat tours that take travelers to some of the most unique and lush beaches in the Dominican Republic. I did sense a tad bit of tigeraje here from the men, so if you’re a solo woman traveler, ojo! From here, one of the biggest attractions is a boat tour to Fronton Beach and Madame Beach.

Las Terrenas: I think Las Terrenas is a hit or miss for different travelers. Some love how there are tons of hostels, bars, and restaurants all along walkable strips. Others feel like it’s almost entirely colonized by the French. So much so that I find myself speaking more French than Spanish here! This has also sadly resulted in a slew of racist anti-Dominican expats running the town. And the streets are constantly frequented by the roar of ATVs. I loved Restaurant Luis in Playa Coson for seafood. Ziplining is also huge here.

El Valle: This is a more remote area, so it’s a bit harder to get to, and you have to commit to the area at night. But it is also located by some hidden gems like Playa El Valle, Playa Ermitano, and Los Pozos de la Herradura.

1. Saman Boutique ★

Saman Boutique Hotel is one of the newer hotels in the Samana peninsula. The staff here is lovely, the space is creatively decorated, and the pool area is gorgeous. The restaurant has amazing food, as well. So if you can’t stay here, consider popping in for a meal.

  • Location: La Terrenas, Samana Peninsula
  • Cost: $$$

2. Casa Paraiso ★

Can’t decide between the jungle or beach? Casa Paraiso gives you both plus an infinity pool. The bedrooms have open-air views facing the ocean, ideal if you’re traveling solo, with friends, or for couples. Coming will feel like you’ve been transported to Bali and that’s because DR truly does have it all! This is one of the most unique boutique hotels in the Dominican Republic for nature lovers!

3. El Valle Lodge

El Valle Lodge is located minutes walking from El Valle Beach. This is the perfect getaway to reconnect with nature. The lodge also offers an on-site restaurant, pool, and relaxing garden. Some accommodation includes a private terrace. You can go hiking, biking, or head to local waterfalls all nearby.

  • Location: El Valle, Samana, Dominican Republic
  • Cost: $$$$

4. Takuma Boutik Hotel

Located just minutes from Punta Popy Beach, Takuma Boutik Hotel offers cozy and sleek accommodations. There is a beautiful outdoor pool to enjoy. And a continental breakfast in the mornings. It’s close enough to the downtown while still providing a secluded quaint feeling.

III. San José de Ocoa: Desert Mountain Gem

The San Jose de Ocoa area is a hidden gem. Almost entirely frequented by locals at this time. It is a mountain paradise offering some of the best hikes in the Dominican Republic.

5. Sleek Cabin Overlooking the Southern Dominican Alps ★

Bet you never considered bringing cold weather apparel to the Dominican Republic, but for this mountain cottage, you just might. Perched within the mountains in El Naranjal, this sleek cottage comes to life with polished cement walls, stone floors, tall majestic doors, and high ceilings.

Guests can enjoy the private garden, covered patio, full kitchen, and bedrooms – each with queen beds and a private bath. And most impressively? The views! Wake up to the Dominican Alps just like Mariela la Duarte (pictured above) did on her road trip through the Dominican Republic.

IV. The Dominican Alps: Mountains, Waterfalls, & Hiking

The Dominican Alps run along much of the country, including the towns of Jarabacoa and Constanza. In this region, you’ll find pinewood forests, mountainous green landscapes, lush waterfalls, coffee production, and the famous Pico Duarte (highest peak in the Caribbean).

Jarabacoa: This is a special destination for Dominicans who want to relax and leave the city behind. The mountain town is said to have healing properties and is the focal point where rivers, mountains, and the unique campo culture meet. There are so many things to do in Jarabacoa, you can either use this town as a launching pad or for a staycation.

Constanza: This is a unique Caribbean region for its cool weather and mountain outdoors. In the winter, the weather can below freezing! Constanza also offers a strong economy based on temperate crops like potatoes, strawberries, garlic, vegetables, and flowers. And, it’s also home to some of the most wonderful waterfalls in the Dominican Republic, as well as crystal-clear rivers and natural pools.

6. Hotel Gran Jimenoa ★

Hands down, my favorite place to stay in Jarabacoa. Hotel Gran Jimenoa is located at the foot of the Jimenoa River so you can enjoy your breakfast every day, overlooking the gorgeous mountain river. The rooms are comfortable, the space is gorgeous, and they have delicious food in the restaurant. Best of all? It is so affordable to stay here! We love affordable luxury!

7. Villa Pajon in Valle Nuevo National Park ★

Want a change of scenery from the hot tropical? Head up into the Valle Nuevo National Park for mountains, pine trees, and fresh chilly weather. Here you can discover the park, swim in the river, go for hikes, or just have a staycation in Villa Pajon’s bucolic cabins. Many of their cabins are equipped with full amenities such as a quaint fireplace to gather your friends and family around for game night over hot cocoa.

8. Quintas del Bosque Guest Suite

Picture this: bonfires with a glass of wine while firing up the BBQ grill. This hilltop guest house is located within the Quintas del Bosque project and comes with its own private jacuzzi (say what?), BBQ area, and gorgeous mountain views. Guests also have access to a shared Club House with a shared pool.

9. Chulavista Cabin (4,800 Feet Above Sea Level)

Views upon views in the Chulavista Cabin! Come check out the Dominican Alps from above the clouds by heading up to the majestic mountains of Constanza. A spectacular homestay that blesses visitors with views of the valley, the sunrise/sunset, and the clouds as they move below.

Chulavista Cabin uses solar energy and a spring water reserve to keep it flowing impeccably. Perfect for bird watching and spending the day BBQ’ing or just cozying up in the hammock with a book at the end of the day. We also see this as a dream come true for fauna and flora lovers. Fits up to 4 guests.

V. Southwest Dominican Republic: Desert + Beach

The southwest Dominican Republic is arguably the country’s best-kept secret among locals. This desert-like region is studded with cactus trees and bright blue beaches, among many other natural wonders. Here you can climb sand dunes, swim in open caves, go hiking along beautiful waterfalls and a zillion other things. If you love culture, quiet nature, and desert landscapes, then a southwest Dominican Republic road trip is a must!

10. Glamping in La Cueva

The prize at the end of a beautiful road trip is Bahia de las Aguilas. It’s one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic (and the world) with bright cyan-blue waters and fine white sand. There are no resorts here so the landscape remains virginal. As such, the nearest place you can stay is in La Cueva on the same coastline (just a 20-minute boat ride from Bahia de las Aguilas Beach).

In La Cueva, you can go glamping right on the beautiful beach, eat fresh seafood, and admire the night sky over a bonfire. There is a beach-side restaurant and the tents are equipped with mattresses, a fan, and other modern amenities that differentiate camping from glamping.

  • Location: Bahia de la Aguila

11. Hostal Dona Chava

Hostal Dona Chava is my favorite hotel in the Dominican Republic’s southwest town of Pedernales. Look, it’s humble and on the smaller side. But it’s adorable, very affordable, local family-owned, and it’s perfectly located in the best part of this sleepy town.

From here, you can explore all the best of the Southwest Dominican Republic. Such as Bahia de las Aguilas, Laguna de Oveido, and much more. I feel safe here each time.

  • Location: Pedernales

12. Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge

Sigh. Casa Bonita. As soon as you step foot into this place, you feel the quiet peace of the arid yet lush jungle around you. You can sit by the bar or the pool, and sip on coconuts or a green juice. Or enjoy your private pool outside your lodge.

This place is dreamy. On top of that, it’s perfectly located at the foot of several Barahona highlights. From hidden gem hikes (like La Plaza) to the Los Patos Beach and more. Staying in Casa Bonita will be the cherry on top of your Dominican Republic vacation.

VI. Santo Domingo (The Capital): For Culture & History

Did you even visit the Dominican Republic if you didn’t stop by Santo Domingo? For history buffs, cultural enthusiasts, and foodies, Santo Domingo is a must-visit. It was the first European city in the Americas and thus is home to the first European: hospital, university, customs house, and cathedral in the American continent.

It was also the place where early European invaders like Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortez lived for some time. And also where Antonio de Montesinos and Bartolome de las Casas actively defended the natives from the torture and genocide of the Spanish invaders. It’s dripping in important history!

As the biggest and most populated city in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo offers a world of things to do. With so many opportunities for cultural, historical, political, nightlife, and gastronomical experiences, Santo Domingo is one of my favorite places to live in the Dominican Republic.

La Zona Colonial: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the oldest European neighborhood in the Americas. It’s home to historical landmarks, museums, top restaurants, artistic events, and bustling nightlife. It is where both tourists and locals hang out. And one of the best areas to stay in the Dominican Republic. Hands down.

13. El Beaterio Casa Museo

El Beaterio Casa Museo was a 16th-century convent converted into an elegant guesthouse. This is rated as one of the best places to stay in Santo Domingo not just for its beauty and service but because the location is in the heart of the historic Colonial Zone.

14. Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando

Sadly, this hotel is named after one of the most brutal European murderers in Caribbean history: Nicolas de Ovando. Yikes. But it is also one of the most popular hotels in the city. Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando is conveniently located in the heart of the colonial zone featuring a luxurious historical building and outdoor pool. You can choose from a twin room to an entire suite.

15. Villa Colonial

Villa Colonial offers a stunning outdoor pool, tropical garden, and a cute patio. It is also located in the heart of La Zona Colonial which means you can walk just about anywhere for food, bars, shopping, and entertainment. Breakfast is made fresh to order.

16. Casas del XVI

Casas del XVI Boutique is one of the best hotels in Santo Domingo. It is beautifully decorated within a centuries-old house with a lovely garden. Perfect for those who love to stay in boutique spaces that offer artisan details. Free parking and breakfast are provided here.

VII. Cabarete: North Coast Town for Wellness & Water Sports

We’re a sucker for outdoor activities and Cabarete is filled to the brim with them. Famously nicknamed the water sports capital in the Caribbean, it’s got ideal conditions almost yearly around whether you want to kite, surf, windsurf, snorkel or dive – this is the spot.

If this doesn’t interest you, Cabarete also offers a wide range of other pursuits like horseback riding on the beach, checking out the Taino caves and lagoon in the Callejón de la Loma, taking yoga lessons, spas, restaurants, bars, and weekend artisan markets. El Choco National Park is great for hiking too!

Cabarete Downtown: This is the easiest area to base yourself out of. It’s close to all the taxis, restaurants, beach, banks, and more. This town feels very safe because of the community.

Encuentro Beach: Just 5 minutes driving from Cabarete downtown is Encuentro Beach. Famous for its multiple surf peaks, surf schools, and surf competitions, this beach/area is great if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path. It has cool little hotels, a yoga studio, beach restaurants, and more. A great place where everyone in the family can learn how to surf, or just go to escape the hustle and bustle from central Cabarete. Here, everyone knows each other: you see familiar faces at the peak, or in your breathwork class, or at the beach bonfire. Awesome for sunset/sunrise tranquil beach walks and picnics too.

Here are the nicest places to stay and hotels in Cabarete:

17. El Encuentro Surf Lodge Studio ★

Just a few minutes walk down the beach, El Encuentro Surf Lodge Studio comes with a king-size bed, a lounge area, its own private entrance, full kitchen, terrace overlooking the tropical garden, and a (shared) salt-water pool. The stay includes a complete breakfast, Wi-Fi, free parking, and a little library in case you want to catch up on some reading while sunbathing by the pool or at the beach, just down the road. Fits up to 4 people.

  • Location: Encuentro Beach

18. Ultravioleta Boutique Residences

Every time I try to spend some nights at Ultravioleta Boutique Residences, it is fully booked! But I know from their bar area, walking around, and the reviews from fellow travelers, that this is by far one of the nicest condos to stay in Cabarete. And it is actually right on the beach, unlike many other places that market “beachfront” but aren’t. Perfect for travelers who want more modern comfort and have higher budgets.

19. Seawinds Ocean-Front Penthouse Apartment

This Seawinds penthouse is pretty close to downtown Cabarete: wellness and active lifestyle community in the Dominican north coast. There is so much to do in Cabarete, and you can easily walk there from the beach facing this Seawinds penthouse which faces the ocean, just steps away from the sand and waves.

There’s also a big pool and a restaurant (there’s another one next door and most businesses here offer delivery anyway). Much more opulent than your regular beach apartment since it comes fully equipped with all the state-of-the-art amenities to make your stay super pleasant.

20. The Luxurious Sea Horse Ranch

Located between Cabarete and Sosúa, this beach villa is in the luxurious Sea Horse Ranch. This is a gated residence with several private homes. This space is nice for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle but still be on the beach with a horse ranch and many other activities.

Guests get access to the tennis club, equestrian center, shared pools, a beach club, and more. Some of these villas are so big they can host up to 14 guests. There are different ones rented out by different owners. For example, this is one of the most luxurious ones.

If you’re not rich (or have a big enough group) yet to stay here, that’s OK. You can get a peek at life here by stopping for drinks or dinner at their restaurant. Or you can book a horse riding excursion.

21. Oceanfront Villa by El Encuentro Surf Lodge

Wake up to glamour and comfort every day at the Encuentro Surf Lodge’s Oceanfront Villa. Then head off to the beach to ride some waves or do a quiet meditation. Located in front of The Left (a cool surf spot close to the surf schools), this villa is the ultimate relaxation + outdoors dream.

The villa offers big comfy beds, private bathrooms, a jacuzzi, pool, and a lush garden. The villa is fully renovated and modernly designed with a surfer touch. If none of this sells you the idea, guess what? It comes with its own treehouse! Ideal for big groups and fits up to 14 guests.

  • Location: Encuentro Beach

VIII. Punta Cana: Most Tourist Place to Stay in the Dominican Republic

Did you know that 50 years ago, Punta Cana was just wild vegetation and virgin beaches? Foreign investors arrived and consequentially turned the region into the most visited resort destination in the Caribbean.

By now you’ve probably heard of the white sand and crystal clear beaches of Punta Cana. And it’s no wonder the region has become a main tourist attraction in the Dominican Republic. Today, it is famous for its nightlife, spectacular beaches, and national parks, Punta Cana offers an international airport, shopping centers for souvenirs, and several outdoor excursions.

22. Pool-Front Condo in the Luxurious Cap Cana

Looking for the perfect family getaway? Cap Cana is a high-end gated neighborhood in Punta Cana offering caves, beaches, shooting ranges, and much more. This modern condo apartment (located within Cap Cana) can comfortably accommodate up to 6.

Enjoy a cold beverage on the balcony while watching your kids in the pool view! As well as other benefits like free parking, Wi-Fi, A/C, concierge services, and the surrounding restaurants and beach club.

23. Dreamy Ocean Front Hut in Uvero Alto, Macao

Waking up to an ocean view is priceless! But don’t take my word for it. Close to Macao, is this idyllic hut in Uvero Alto, which comes with a little bit of everything. It’s got a deck, palm trees and sand surround it, and the interior design is made up of mostly locally crafted pieces, great for beachy boho vibes.

24. Villa with Private Pool in Tortuga Bay

Can you imagine playing tennis in the morning and taking a dip in the pool by lunchtime? We sure do! This sleek contemporary beautiful villa in Tortuga Bay is located in the exclusive gated community of Punta Cana Resort Golf and Club, with its white sandy beaches, and a golfers paradise.

Works great for a group since it comfortably fits a maximum of 8 people, has various restaurants within walking distance, offers an equestrian center and a tennis club.

IX. Rio San Jan: For Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury

25. Ani ★

Welcome to the ultimate tropical modernism on the sea at this Ani designer villa. Infinite pool, waterslide, BBQ, kiosk, bar, billiards table, and more. Located close to the golf course, this spa-like retreat is heaven on earth and comes with a stewardess, chef, and butler! It also offers services like daily massage, cooking classes, and a travel designer to fit all your needs and expectations.

Sea views are always available from the tropical modern terrace, the place is decked with extra fine contemporary furniture to make this elegant estate a top-notch space to wake up to.

X. Santiago: Second Biggest City in the Dominican Republic

Santiago is the second biggest city in the Dominican Republic and the heart of the Cibao region. Welcome to Ciudad Corazón. Not sure what to do? Walk up and down Calle del Sol checking out all the shops, go watch a baseball game in Estadio Cibao, hop in a carriage ride around the Monumento, go on a Dominican tobacco/cigar tour, check out the cultural museum & art center of Centro León or go out for a nice dinner overlooking the city in Camp David. We recommend timing it around Carnival so you can even just sit tight and watch the parade pass by.

26. Perla Negra Ecolodge

The remodeled shipping container craze meets the Caribbean at the Perla Negra Ecolodge! This shipping container turned mountainside Airbnb is the most picturesque place to stay in Santiago if you want a private swimming pool and a modern, luxurious, and affordable sleeping arrangement. 

So, we hope this clears out why Airbnb is a great way to experience my beautiful country. Location is a key element, and depending on where you want to stay, you’ll want to know if you need a car to the destination or if it’s close to public transportation.

Remember, places further from main tourist hotspots will be cheaper, and sometimes just an easy bus or Uber ride away. And if you’re more into adventures hop into that voladora bus and let’s ride!

XI. My Other Dominican Republic Blog Posts

Again, it’s amazing that you’re venturing out into the Dominican Republic and better supporting the local economy. Instead of just hiding out in a resort. Here are my other Dominican Republic travel guides:

XII. About the Author

Adriana Badía Paulino is a journalist and photographer based in the Dominican Republic. She studied Social Communications (PUCMM) in her hometown of Santiago. Her life-work experience has taken her around the island where she’s been active in various media projects including magazines, photography, translation, tour guide, social media, video, and movie productions. Nowadays, she’s a full-time mom and continues to write about her love of travel, nature, and culture.

Follow some of her adventures in @adrianabadiaphoto 

XIII. About Dominican Abroad

Dominican Abroad educates, inspires culturally immersive travel, empowers cultural heritage preservation, supports community values, amplify local voices around the world, and encourage diversity in travel (from cities to mountains). Founder, editor & writer: Gerry Isabelle. Follow me @DominicanAbroad

XIV. Pin Me for Later!

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