Best New Hotel
Amanera, Dominican Republic
The D.R. gets its game-changer: Bets are on Amanera’s arrival on the island’s quieter northern coast starting a trend of ultra-exclusive resorts and hotels. Just 50 miles from Puerto Plata airport, the resort opened in 2015 on sleepy Playa Grande, a broad sweep of sandy shore backed by more than 2,000 acres of jungle. With gorgeous rectilinear restraint, the main house and clifftop casitas face the Atlantic and allow onshore breezes to push through open spaces. Amanera is situated alongside a Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf course and has built a small, serene spa on a quiet corner of the property. Resort experiences deftly integrated with local culture, like cigar-rolling in the town of Cabrera or whale-watching day trips to nearby Samaná, mean the splendid isolation of the property never feels cloistered, but rather serves as the ideal base camp for immersive adventure. Rates start at $950.