Ani Villas, a secluded, 14-suite private resort that commands its own dramatic peninsula, has opened its doors in the Dominican Republic.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the four-acre estate trades on spectacular vistas.
Twelve of the resort’s 14 suites front the ocean with great banks of windows opening onto sunken terraces and unobstructed views of coves and beaches along the stunning north coast of the island.
“It’s one of those locations that really makes you wonder if you’ve ever seen any place as beautiful,” said Ani Villas founder Tim Reynolds.
“This one’s been a long time coming.
“We spent three years on environmental impact studies alone.
“But some things are worth the wait.”
Designed by local architects at Estudio Sarah Garcia, the estate cleaves neatly between two villas – one with eight suites, the other with six – that can either host a single group across both villas, or two parties, each in their own private space.
The ten 1,200-square-foot master suites feature lofty, pitched ceilings and screens of backlit onyx, each slab a host to a one-of-a-kind art installation.
A medley of South American hardwoods and local travertine cultivate an ambiance that references Bali, but is Dominican through and through.
Deep soaking tubs anchor interior bathing spaces, and enclosed outdoor gardens do double duty as al fresco showering hideaways.
Each villa coalesces around a massive, 6,000-square-foot open-walled living and dining area.
A billiard table competes with a neighbouring shuffleboard table for players while a staffed and fully stocked bar quenches thirsts close by.
The spaces flow onto tanning decks and infinity pools, each with shallow soaking areas and great half-moons spilling over to the Caribbean just beyond.
While the villa pools inspire passive water play, a third pool rectangles out from a waterslide fit for a theme park.
However, inviting the freshwater, the resort’s signature experiences are to be had on either of two private sand beaches perched atop the peninsula’s edge with stepped access to the sea.
Dining at the resort does not require a trip to a restaurant.
A team that includes internationally trained chefs of local origin customises menus based on guests’ preferences and dietary requirements.
Where the private estate does look a lot like a traditional resort is with the infrastructure of its spa, where an entrance lobby, changing room, steam showers, two treatment rooms and fitness centre stand as a lure to wellness.
Three dedicated spa therapists are on hand with a range of complimentary treatments from deep tissue massage to hot stone therapy.
Cybex fitness equipment includes everything from upper and lower body presses to treadmills, bikes and arc trainers.
The resort lies a few minutes from a Robert Trent Jones clifftop golf course reminiscent of Pebble Beach.