There is an exhilarating feeling in planning a new trip, booking a plane ticket, and researching where to go. Sometimes, however, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to stay. Thankfully, there are platforms like Airbnb, boutique hotels, and ecolodges that have revolutionized the accommodation aspect of the travel industry. And while finding the best places to stay in the Dominican Republic can be tricky since it’s the land of all-inclusives, in recent years, there has been a drastic change in how people travel to the Dominican Republic OUTSIDE of the resorts!
We’re going to show you a bucket list round-up of the best Airbnbs, lodges, boutique hotels, and other cool places to stay in the Dominican Republic categorized by some of the best regions to visit.
Finding Beautiful Places to Stay in the Dominican Republic
Using Expedia, Booking, or home rental platforms like Vrbo and Airbnb, are excellent ways to really enjoy a new city or town. And we highly recommend staying in accommodation like this, especially as an alternative to the resort scene. No shade to resorts, but sometimes they can often feel more industrial and disconnected. Boutique hotels, eco-lodging, and home rentals can offer:
- More space than just a bedroom because you usually get extra amenities such as a kitchen, living room, pool, etc. all to yourself, among 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.
Our Other Dominican Republic Blog Posts & Travel Guides
- Things to Know Before Traveling to the Dominican Republic
- All About Dominican Culture & Traditions
- Iconic & Traditional Dominican Food to Try
- Read all of our Dominican Republic travel guides
Samaná Peninsula: A Lush Region to Stay in the Dominican Republic for Beaches & Jungle
Larger-than-life waterfalls, whale watching, zip lines above the forest, jaw-dropping Parque Nacional Los Haitises, beautiful beaches, jungles, need we say more? If you’re down for adventure time, Samaná is the place to be. Not to mention one of the best places in the world for humpback whale-watching season.
Pssst… Samana is also home to some of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic!
El Valle, Samaná
1) Dominican Tree House at El Valle
This beautiful open-air Dominican Treehouse is tucked within a lush jungle in El Valle (the valley), a small fishing village just outside of the town of Samaná. The Dominican Tree House Village is also just minutes from the beach, a river, and a waterfall with a swing rope. If that’s not enough, the property offers a zipline, a bar/restaurant, free bikes for riding, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.
A great place to disconnect from everyday life. Come here to relax or use it as the perfect launching pad between adventures and excursions. CHECK PRICES HERE.
2) 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. Check prices here.
Las Galeras, Samaná
3) 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.
Las Terrenas, Samaná
4) Saman Boutique
Saman Boutique Hotel is located in the popular town of Las Terrenas. The best destination for those who love a bustling beach town of bars, hostels, and several beach activities. If you’re more peaceful and love to connect with culture, perhaps this is not the best town for you so keep scrolling! If you do love the sound of this, here is one of the cutest places to stay there. Check the rates here.
Unique Areas to Stay in the Dominican Republic: San José de Ocoa
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. CHECK PRICES HERE.
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.
Great for hiking, 4-wheeling, mountain biking, and fishing. Fits up to five guests. Or you can book the one-bedroom for up to two guests.
Jarabacoa: Relaxing Place to Stay in the Dominican Republic (AKA the Dominican Alps)
The Dominican Alps run along much of the country including the town of Jarabacoa. In this region, you find pinewood forests, mountainous green landscapes, lush waterfalls, coffee production, and the famous Pico Duarte (highest peak in the Caribbean).
Jarabacoa 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.
Best Hotels & Airbnbs in Jarabacoa
6) Japanese inspired Villa with Deck Hot Tub
As if we needed any more reasons to daydream about teleporting to the Dominican Alps, this Japanese-inspired villa is designed to make you feel zen. The home comes with spacious appliances and furniture perfect for a friends retreat or for a family trip.
There are so many things to do in Jarabacoa, you can either use this as a launching pad or for a staycation. Bring a swimsuit for the jacuzzi on the outside deck which overlooks your own kiddie playground for the kids! CHECK PRICES HERE.
7) 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. CHECK PRICES HERE.
The perfect place to relax after hiking the tallest mountain in the Caribbean: El Pico Duarte!
8) Red Door Panorama Villa
Modern rustic decor, this Red Door Panorama Villa offers views of the Cordillera Central, the highest mountain range in the Dominican Republic and all of the Caribbean. These Dominican Alps run through the heart of the entire Hispaniola island including Haiti. Heavenly! The villa offers a private jacuzzi, wooden deck for sunset watching and is connected to the main house through a wood and glass bride.
Here, you’ll feel secluded at the top of the mountain in a private community and yet the villa is not far from Jarabacoa town. Fits up to 8! BOOK/CHECK PRICES HERE.
9) Family-Owned Cabin Retreat Overlooking the Yaque del Norte River
This river-side cabin is perfect for budget travelers who want beauty, nature, and affordability! Fall asleep to the sounds of the river flowing by outside your window as you relax and recharge. Locate along the beautiful Yaque del Norte River, this spot comfortably fits 6 which is ideal for families or a group of friends, and comes with a BBQ area by the river pavilion so you can eat while soaking your feet in the cool waters.
This place is fabulous for a family that wants to spend some quality time splashing in the pristine waters of the longest river in the Dominican Republic. Also an excellent spot for white water rafting, parasailing, and hiking. Send us a postcard when you go! BOOK/CHECK PRICES HERE.
Chilly Mountain Areas to Stay in the Dominican Republic: Constanza
The Dominican Alps is one of the best destinations in the Dominican Republic for intermountain valley eco-tourism. Constanza is unique in the Caribbean region this is the best for mountain sports. Here, we can find some of the lowest temperatures and at times it has reached 0 degrees C. Constanza also offers a strong economy based on temperate crops like potatoes, strawberries, garlic, vegetables, and flowers; it’s also home to some of the most wonderful waterfalls, rivers, and natural pools, with characteristically cold and crystal clear water.
Best Lodging & Home Rentals in Constanza
10) 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. BOOK/CHECK PRICES HERE.
11) Chulavista Cabin at 4,800 feet Above Sea Level
Views upon views in this 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. BOOK NOW/CHECK PRICES HERE.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Places to Stay in the Dominican Republic: Bahia de las Aguilas
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 among a zillion other things. A southwest Dominican Republic road trip is a must!
12) Glamping in La Cueva
The prize at the end of a beautiful road trip is Bahia de las Aguilas. 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. BOOK NOW/CHECK PRICES.
Where to Stay in the Dominican Republic for Culture? Santo Domingo!
Santo Domingo, the capital, was founded in 1498 by Christopher Columbus and became the first European settlement in the Americas. Today it is home to the first European: hospital, university, customs house, and cathedral in the Americas. It was also the place where early colonists Antonio de Montesinos and Bartolome de las Casas defended the natives from the torture and genocide of the Spanish invaders.
As the biggest and most populated city in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo offers a world of things to do. It’s bursting with opportunities for cultural, historical, political, nightlife, and gastronomical experiences and insights. It’s also one of the best places to live in the Dominican Republic.
The Historic Center’s Best Airbnbs in Santo Domingo
The Zona Colonial 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 a bustling nightlife.
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. Click to check rates and book your stay.
14) 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. Check prices/book here.
15) Casas del XVI Boutique
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. Click here to check prices.
16) Historic Residence in a Colonial Building Surrounded By a Spaniard Patio
This remodeled colonial residence offers apartments and bedrooms in a secluded space located smack-dab in the middle of Santo Domingo’s historic center. It also offers a pool, a beautifully kept patio garden with an Andalucian-inspired fountain, and touches of post-colonial decor with a touch of minimalist elegance. A charming little kitchen is also part of the deal so you can prepare and enjoy your dinners al fresco in the courtyard. Can we move in today? BOOK HERE.
17) Zona Colonial Artistic Studio
Digging the artistic vibes from the historic Santo Domingo district and everything it has to offer? This artsy studio is giving us fresh eclectic vibes with splashes of color and trippy decor. Well located in the heart of the zone, keeping you within walking or bike distance from all the quirky bars and restaurants in the area, as well as the malecón – superb for sunset walks. Affordable, perfectly located, and beautiful!
From here you can even catch a bus nearby by famous Boca Chica Beach which is just 30 mins away, make it happen! CHECK RATES HERE.
Cabarete: Best Town in the Dominican North Coast 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, spa’s, restaurants, bars, and weekend artisan markets. El Choco National Park is great for hiking too!
18) 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. CHECK RATES HERE.
19) Villa Ataraxia Beach Mansion at Sea Horse Ranch
Located between Cabarete and Sosúa, this beach mansion was designed by acclaimed local architect Sergio Escarfullery. A unique vacation rental sitting on nearly half an acre with full-on oceanfront views, Mexican terracotta tile floors, mahogany woodwork, a massive chandelier, and granite countertops. Not to mention it’s own lap pool, a full state of the art kitchen, a formal dining room, terrace, 5 bedrooms (and 11 beds) with en-suite bathrooms, and a post-colonial decor with one-of-a-kind art pieces. Phew!
You can find this mansion in the very exclusive Sea Horse Ranch, offering Ataraxia’s guests access to the tennis club, equestrian center, shared pools, a beach club, and concierge services to make your stay even more enchanting. CHECK RATES HERE.
Encuentro Beach for Surfing & Relaxing (10 min from Cabarete)
Famous for its multiple surf peaks, surf schools, and surf competitions this beach 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 (which is just a 5 min bus/moto drive). Here, everyone kind of 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.
20) 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. CHECK THE RECENT PRICES HERE.
21) El Encuentro Surf Lodge Superior Studio
Just a few minutes walk down the beach, the 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. BOOK HERE.
Punta Cana: Most Popular Place to Stay in the Dominican Republic
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. Famous for its nightlife, spectacular beaches, and national parks, Punta Cana offers an international airport, shopping centers for souvenirs, and several outdoor excursions.
Did you know? : 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.
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. BOOK HERE.
Punta Cana Solo Travelers! Consider Bávaro, Punta Cana. Named by UNESCO as one of the top beaches in the world, Bávaro Beach began as the place where Punta Cana workers would sleep and live. However, these days parts of Bávaro have grown into communities of locals and travelers who don’t all stay in resorts (such as Los Corales).
23) Connect with Locals & Explore Beaches in Macao
Dreamy Ocean Front Hut in Uvero Alto, Macao
Waking up to an ocean view is priceless! But don’t take our 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. RESERVE/CHECK PRICES HERE.
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. CHECK PRICES ON AIRBNB HERE.
Unique Places to Stay for Luxury in the Dominican Republic: Rio San Juan
25) Designer Waterfront Villa With a Private Infinity Pool
Welcome to the ultimate tropical modernism on the sea at this 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. Perfect for a big family trip or a group of friends; fits up to 12 people. MORE INFO/FIND RATES HERE.
More Cities to Stay in the Dominican Republic: Santiago
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.
27) Luxurious Skyscraper Apartment with an Infinity pool
Are you into city life? Get inspired with the sights that beautiful Ciudad Corazón has to offer. Cozy and well decorated, this luxurious skyscraper apartment offers a funky yet trendy style and comes with all the commodities; such as: a gym, rooftop infinity pool and little private patio. It’s also close to Santiago’s cool restaurants, bars, shopping malls, and more! CHECK RECENT PRICES HERE.
So, we hope this clears out why Airbnb is a great way to experience our 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!
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Contributing writer: 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
About Dominican Abroad LLC: educating, inspiring culturally immersive travel, empowering cultural heritage preservation, supporting community values, amplifying local voices around the world, and encouraging diversity in travel (from cities to mountains). Founder, editor & writer: Gerry Isabelle. Follow me @DominicanAbroad