exteriors, kids, travel
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Getting Away: Design in the Dominican Republic

A view of the beach from a Casita at the Sublime Samana hotel.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping it’s a stellar one for all of us, full of fun, excitement, and adventure.

Speaking of which, we just returned from a lovely vacation in the Dominican Republic. We’ve been once before and stayed in the rather heavily trafficked Punta Cana area; this time we opted for the quieter Samaná Peninsula. We spent a week lazing in the sun, riding mules to go see gorgeous waterfalls (Cascada El Limón) and boating around Los Haitises National Park. It was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered.

What I really wanted to share though were some pictures of our accommodations. You’ll know from my last post that I’m always on the look-out for holiday accommodations that aren’t the standard from a architecture and design perspective. So I was pleased to happen upon the Sublime Samaná, a modern hotel just outside of the small town of Las Terrenas. It is comprised of multi-bedroom rooms and suites, each with its own fully-equipped kitchen and outdoor jacuzzi. And in front of each of the casitas runs a beautiful, long and narrow wading pool, extending from the main building all the way to the beach. For small children these pools are perfect playing grounds, and adults can comfortably watch their children while relaxing in the lovely wooden palapas you seen in the photo above. For a family holiday, the set up they have going is pretty ideal.

What I really liked though, was how nicely the architecture and landscaping fit into the surrounding area. In some respects, whole thing looked like something right out of the more wealthy parts of the Middle East, like in the Emirates. And funnily enough, since they were balanced by the palm trees, extensive pools and simple curtained palapas, it wasn’t jarring at all to see these beautiful modern structures right on the beach in the Dominican Republic. The sleek, modern design instead creates a beautiful and inviting scene, despite being such a departure from the traditional architecture of the area and the region more broadly.

Sublime 3Next time you’re designing a hotel, or maybe just designing a house from scratch in a warm climate, you might just look to the Emirates and to the Dominican Republic for some inspiration for architecture, landscape design, and great pools.

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