BARAHONA, Dominican Republic — Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge is located on the edge of a biosphere reserve in the rugged and secluded southwest region of the Dominican Republic. It’s a challenging three-hour drive from the Santo Domingo airport (private transfers $210 each way for two people) however once you arrive at the lodge you may never want to leave.
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Casa Bonita’s 12 deluxe rooms and one suite feature simple palm wood and wicker furnishings, private balconies, and organic amenities. But why spend any time in your room?
Loll by the pool with magnificent views of mountains and the Caribbean, take a zip line through the forest canopy, go horseback riding on quiet trails, or indulge in one of many offerings at the Tanama Eco Spa. Situated in the woods, the spa utilizes indigenous elements like coffee, cacao, and pineapple in its treatments, including steam baths, body wraps, facials, and therapeutic massages on tables set in the river.
Top-notch cuisine, served in an open-air restaurant, features locally caught fish, produce from the organic garden, and locally made cheese, marmalade, and artisanal breads. The hotel arranges transportation to nearby beaches and eco-tours of Jaragua National Park. Deluxe room, $211, double occupancy; all-inclusive package, $340, double occupancy includes all meals and drinks.
CASA BONITA TROPICAL LODGE Km. 17 Carretera de la Costa, Barahona, Dominican Republic. 800-961-5133, www.casabonitadr.com