Old World Opulence Flanked by Tropical Rainforest and Caribbean Sea
Peacocks parade across columned porticoes accented by stone statues of Ganesh, and onion-dome pinnacles cap whitewashed walls. New arrivals at The Palace at Playa Grande might easily suspect they've breached the palace walls of an Indian maharajah. Despite the estate's architectural tributes to Mughal India, it remains a distinctly Caribbean hideaway on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. The glistening golden sands of a seasonally available private beach beckon to sunbathers, and a lush tropical rainforest buffers the resort from the bustle of winding highways and pulsing nightlife in the island's metropolises.
Each deluxe room comes outfitted with an antique four-poster bed draped in colorful, diaphanous silks. Fresh tropical breezes waft in from the patio, which looks out on the surrounding gardens. In the villa's pool, guests paddle to a swim-up bar and use their foam noodles as swizzle sticks.
The Palace's skilled chef crafts a regularly rotating menu using local ingredients to deliver Dominican flavors in dishes such as beef empanadas and roasted green-mango salads. This package includes a meal plan covering daily breakfast, lunch, and gourmet four-course dinners with nonalcoholic beverages—all of which can be enjoyed beachside, in-room, or on the ocean-side terrace beneath a canopy of stars.
Playa Grande, Dominican Republic: Marine Adventure on Caribbean Shore
Steps from the villa, the Atlantic stretches to the horizon as sunbathers loll on 1,000 feet of pristine, private beachfront tucked into the mountainside. The resort loans snorkeling gear to those seeking an up-close peek at the Caribbean's colorful marine life. At a local dive school, instructors certify amateur scuba divers and lead expeditions into the watery depths, where coral reefs, shipwrecks, and underwater mountains await exploration. Surfers head to nearby Playa Grande Beach for its consistent breaks and swells. Giant leatherback sea turtles also frequent Playa Grande and can be glimpsed during nesting season, when they come ashore to discuss time-shares.
Forty minutes away, shoppers browse the vibrant market and jewelry shops of Cabarete. Perpetual wind gusts rushing southbound from the Atlantic make the area a popular destination for windsurfers and kiteboarders, who hit the waves on vessels powered by wind-driven sails or kites. After nightfall, Cabarete comes alive as salsa dancers flock to rollicking nightclubs pulsating with lights and music.