Author Topic: Amanera DR  (Read 860 times)

Offline tdb

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Amanera DR
« on: April 03, 2019, 04:01:37 PM »
I will make an attempt at writing my first trip report.

I generally only use points for booking hotels but for this trip i was looking to stay at an ultra luxury Caribbean resort most of which do not take points. I signed up for the Citi Prestige card so I would at least get the Fourth Night free. Ultimately I decided to book Amanera. Prior to making the reservation I emailed the hotel and asked them if they can accommodate Kosher Guests. They immediately responded that they frequently have kosher guests and sent a sample kosher menu and put me in touch with the Chef and sous chef. (I usually bring my own food and only eat fruit from hotels while on vacation in the Caribbean).   The Chef told me that he was recently trained by a kosher caterer who was at the resort  (it turns out lots of kosher guest come to the resort with their own private chefs) and they had a full stock of pots, pans etc that were set aside and only used for kosher. He told em if i Wanted he will use brand new pots for us. He  mentioned pomegranate and a place in Miami asked me to send him a list of what i wanted and he would have the hotel arrange through customs in the DR to have it imported. He said they do this all the time for their kosher guests. I told him I was fine with just eating fish, fruit and vegetables and would not bother bringing meat. 

I spent 2 hours on the phone with Citi Prestige in order to make the reservation I don't know why it took so long but the reservations desk was always slow in responding whenever i had to deal with them. I booked a pool casita with the Romance package which includes:

Daily breakfast for two guests per room
Welcome bottle of wine and petal turndown
One Couple's Fitness Session
60-minute Couple Massage with Palo Santo blessing per stay
One romantic bath during stay
One Amanera Candlelit dinner and romantic evening cocktails for two during the stay.

I was told that for my last night there i would need to switch rooms as the hotel was fully booked (only 25 room in the hotel). After making the reservation i was required sign some paperwork and send a copy of my ID to the hotel. Also included in the rate is expedited airport service both upon arrival and leaving through puerto plata airport.

As far as food i packed bread, cheese, lettuce, wine  and snacks and was hoping that the hotel would come through with kosher food. I flew UA on an old 737-800 and the flight was uneventful. the Airport in puerto plata is small and i was off the plane less (maybe a lot less) than 5 minutes after landing. I was met at the place with someone holding my name on a card. He brought me to a lounge for refreshments, bathroom etc. From there he escorted me through customs and outside the where a Mercedes from the hotel was waiting for us. In the car i was  offered refreshments and cold water. The transportation was $200 each way plus 18% tax. The hotel can also arrange a helicopter form the airport i thing for $1000 each way.  The Drive to hotel was at least an hour and it was on one road the entire time.

Upon Arrival at the Hotel I was met by the general Manager and her assistant. One of the hotel employees gave  a tour of the main building while my luggage was taken to the room I was given a welcome cocktail and then driven to the room by golf cart. Each room is a stand alone villa with a large outdoor area half the rooms have private pools. The check in process was done in the room i gave the employee my credit card, passport and asked her to give my bread, cheese and lettuce to the chef. The welcome bottle of wine was a Recanti 2012 Chardonnay.    The mini bar was complimentary and included Evian water, beer and soft drinks. It seemed like it was restocked twice a day.  The Grounds are large and depending which room you are in it can be a walk to get the the main building, beach etc but there are golf carts to take you.

I went to meet the chef to make arrangements for the kosher food and he and the sous chef could not be nicer or more accommodating.  He gave me a Tour of the kitchen, showed me the kosher pots pans and utensils, he already new i would have to turn the stove on etc,  I asked him to make dinner for that night i told him i Like raw fish, salad, vegetables and fish. When I arrived for dinner and he showed me the Salad i noticed that the lettuce was not mine. He said his staffed washed it 3 times as he was trained to do. He also told me that he makes fresh bread in a separate area of the kitchen in its own oven...  They served us on glass plates and bowls that is reserved for kosher guests.

Although the hotel was full you Hardly see anyone, The beach at 1pm was empty as was the main pool. Most of the time was spent at my private pool and i hardly felt the need to leave the room. I did spend a few hours at the beach but did not  spend  any time at all at the main pool. I am getting tired of writing. I will list some additional points and try to post pictures below.

* Hotel charges 18% tax plus 10% service
*Everyone seemed to know us, (for example the waitress asked would you like the same avocado toast you ordered yesterday?)
* Service is really amazing.
*after a meal or spa service there is no bill to sign you just get up an leave. I was curios  to know what the above mentioned dinner cost so asked the front desk the price was surprisingly reasonable.
*cocktails cost at least $25 each i ordered another bottle recanti it costs $120 Ouch!
* for the private dinner  included with the room they charged $35 to open my own bottle of wine.
* bottled water at breakfast or dinner is $10 i did not know this until i checked out.
* There is a beautiful Golf Course but you are not allowed on it unless you are golfing.
* The temporary spa is located a 3 minute drive from the hotel ( apparently they are building a new one on site.   

Overall it was a great relaxing experience. 

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« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 04:43:11 PM by tdb »

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 08:55:22 AM »
Very cool! Looks like a beautiful place. Can you share what it costs per night?

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 09:21:12 AM »
Thanks for sharing!

Offline tdb

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 09:28:24 AM »
Very cool! Looks like a beautiful place. Can you share what it costs per night?

check out the website. prices vary.

Offline kosherjid

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 01:31:35 PM »
Don't want to ruin your holiday, but I hope you checked the salad.
I had a similar experience.  I was told the Chef knows exactly all the laws of kashrut and so on.
After he checked the lettuce.  I decided to have a look.  Lo and behold, two creatures were crawling in it.

Hopefully 'just' the bread was baked in the oven.  In St. Moritz, Switzerland, everyone bought their bread
in the bakery.  Everyone knew it was kosher.  Until one day, last year, someone discovered that they were
baking Pizza in that oven too.

Offline zow

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 06:34:38 PM »
Looks amazing.
Thanks so much for posting.
Too rich for my blood, unfortunately.
Someday....


Offline marduk

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Re: Amanera DR
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 11:12:32 PM »
Nice view and scenery, it should worth every penny.