My Epic Beach Stay at Unique Exotic Hotel in El Valle, Samana, Dominican Republic.
Updated: Jan 21
The Island of the Dominican Republic is home to some of the best Caribbean beaches. We found the fishing town of El Valle in Samana to be one of our favorite towns to travel to in the Dominican Republic; the views were drop-dead gorgeous, and the rural isolation was what we were looking for. It's no wonder why director M. Night Shyamalan decided to get epic and shoot the 2021 film "Old" at Playa El Valle; El Valle Beach is one of the world's most epic, isolated beaches. We got to spend a couple of nights at this amazing beach with bungalow accommodations that made us feel Zen, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
I've never seen so many coconut trees together! There are hills and mountains filled with them in Santa Barbara de Samana, far too many for the human eye to count! I found myself surrounded by nature, like a hermit-content, and at peace with myself.
Marvelous Isolation and seclusion from the rest of the world. I am waking up in paradise!
Welcome to the Jungle
We took an early flight from JFK, departing at 6 am, and landed in Santo Domingo (the capital) at 9:03 am. It's Dominican tradition to clap once the plane lands safely, and prompted by all the zealous passengers, itching to get up from their seats, we began to clap with a release of joy in expectation of the journey to come. I always love arriving early at a destination; it makes me feel I have the entire day ahead of me. We rented a car right outside the airport and began our 2hr 31min drive towards the Samaná Peninsula. The road was beyond scenic; all we saw was an unpolluted raw jungle.
Staying at Unique Exotic Hotel in El Valle, Samana
Unique Hotel is located outside the main town of Samaná, towards the beach area. They have several accommodation options depending on your budget and preference. From camping grounds, shared hostels, hotel rooms, and a two-floor beach house with a private kitchen and chef, what's not to love? All accommodations are Eco-Friendly, which means no AC and a cold shower if the electric power is out. But do not worry, that also means a night sky full of stars and sharing stories via candlelight dinners with a group of newfound friends.
We stayed in the central hotel with a minimalist room offering a balcony with epic jungle views.
Every morning, we woke to the sound of rain, some of the perks of staying inside the rainforest! The rain would only last a couple of hours, cooling down the grounds and opening the skies for new adventures to come.
Most Rooms offer complimentary breakfast. Here we're having a traditional Dominican breakfast- Mangú (first boiled, then mashed green plantain), Salamí (deep-fried), and pickled onions. Another version of this Dominican breakfast is "Los tres golpes," adding fried eggs and local white cheese deep fried. To drink, we're having black coffee and fresh passion fruit juice.
I Love dominican breakfast, and being Dominican myself grew up eating it all the time! A variation (my personal favorite) is substituting the green plantain for a ripe yellow one. The flavor is sweet and melts in your mouth; I find it the perfect balance between sweet (the plantain) and salty (the salami.)
Unique Exotic Hotel oozes major boho, tropical vibes. At night the mood changes to a more upbeat festive atmosphere with live music, food, and drinks. Ready to leave your room? El Valle beach is a short 5 min walk away, or if lodging at the epic beach house, right outside your room. See? I was not kidding when I said you would have the entire beach to yourself!
Who is Unique Exotic Hotel Best For?
looking to disconnect from the world. I recommend staying at the main hotel, it's safe, and you will have common areas such as a bar/restaurant for interaction with other guests if desired.
Looking for a second (or first) honeymoon. I recommend staying at the beach house. You'll be secluded from the rest of the other guests, plus you'll have your private kitchen and chef upon request for a romantic candlelight evening dinner full of nature and stargazing.
The beach house can perfectly accommodate 1 or 2 family groups, so gather your family and friends! This beach house is perfect for family reunions.
Due to its budget-friendly hostel and camping grounds!
Check out the trailer for "Old" filmed at El Valle Beach in Samana, Dom Rep.
If You go to El Valle in Samana
I recommend contacting Sun Sand Spirit DR. They can host your group and coordinate all activities during your stay. Traveling solo to Samaná can be a bit more challenging than, let's say, Santo Domingo (the capital) or Punta Cana. Remember that this is a legit jungle. There are barely any lights or signs in the streets, English is not commonly spoken in the town, and the GPS/WIFI will not always work. Getting lost in a country with which you're not very familiar can be overwhelming. Sun Sand Spirit DR can help you plan your stay so you can relax stress-free! Zaira being Dominican herself and a true islander can offer locals insight with tips and guides on maximizing your time there. Please give her a holler and say hi for me.
Thanks for reading! I hope you add this epic beach to your bucket list! Till next time!
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