Located 15 minutes from Punta Cana Airport, Eden Roc at Cap Cana feels worlds away from the sprawling all-inclusive resorts for which Punta Cana is known. The boutique luxury hotel, comprising just 34 villas — each with its own private pool — is a quiet, secluded getaway spot for visitors to the Dominican Republic who aren't looking for all-you-can-eat buffets and nightly stage shows.
The 3-year-old hotel, which is not associated with other Eden Roc resorts, is the flagship property of the privately owned Solaya Hotels and Resorts and is the only Relais & Chateaux property in the Dominican Republic. Solaya recently acquired the nearby Caleton Beach Club, through which resort guests currently have access to a beautiful white-sand beach as well as an open-air restaurant and spa facilities. The club is undergoing renovations and will be relaunched in 2016 as the Eden Roc Beach Club, complete with new dining facilities, a wellness center and an infinity pool, among other enhancements.
The hotel and beach club are situated within Cap Cana, an exclusive, gated development community that currently features a marina, golf course and adventure park, with numerous development projects in the works.
One of just a handful of hotels within Cap Cana, Eden Roc's central reception building overlooks the main hotel pool, complete with a swim-up bar, poolside restaurant and a large, natural grotto that is lit up at night.
The building is also home to the hotel's principal restaurant, featuring Mediterranean fare, and a piano bar. Guests can also arrange for private dinners to be held in La Cava, an intimate dining room surrounded by the bottles of wine from the hotel's impressive collection. Beyond the reception area, the hotel's villas are arranged in a horseshoe shape around an interior lagoon.
An 825-square-foot junior suite features a bathroom with a deep Jacuzzi tub, indoor and outdoor showers and French and Italian Riviera decor as well as a coral stone floor and brightly painted exterior that are a nod to the hotel’s Caribbean setting.
As a recent guest of Eden Roc, I stayed in one of the junior suites. At 825 square feet, with a back patio containing a gazebo and a small private pool overlooking the central lagoon, a spacious bathroom with a deep Jacuzzi tub as well as indoor and outdoor showers, there was nothing junior about it. Along with the other hotel villas, the interior decor reflected tastes from the French and Italian Riviera, while other details, such as the coral stone floor and the brightly painted exterior, highlighted the hotel's Caribbean setting.
As the hotel itself is not on the beach, each villa comes with a golf cart, in which guests can make the roughly quarter-mile trip to the beach club. Each morning during my brief stay there, I set out for the beach in my cart, making sure to avoid some sizeable iguanas sunning themselves in the road.
The road to the beach runs alongside the Punta Espada Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature course that consistently ranks as one of the best in the Caribbean.
The back patio of a junior suite at Eden Roc at Cap Cana. A gazebo and private swimming pool overlook the hotel’s central lagoon.
Despite the beauty of the beach, I spent a good portion of my time at the hotel enjoying the luxury of my private villa and pool. Each villa comes with an iPad through which guests can control the music volume and lighting for the pool, living room and bathroom area. The well-manicured grounds and hedges between villas provide a sense of almost complete privacy.
Sales and marketing manager Juliana Cordones said that this sense of privacy is important, as so many of the guests are couples: "It's a perfect hotel for celebration, for anniversaries or honeymoons, or a treat after many years without taking a vacation."
And while most guests are couples, the hotel has also made efforts to cater to families, especially those with younger children. There's a kids club with supervised activities as well as special packages for couples with babies, which includes a romantic dinner for the parents and in-room amenities for babies, such as waterproof diapers and snacks.
In addition to the junior suites, the hotel also features family suites and two bedroom suites that have plenty of room for families and groups. The largest villa, the nearly 6,200-square-foot Golden Shell suite, includes four bedrooms and four baths, a small gym and an infinity pool, and comes with a private chef to cook meals in the villa's kitchen.
For more information, visit www.edenroccapcana.com.