El Valle Lodge
, Carretera El Valle km 1, El Valle, Dominican Republic.
Carolina and her family came to the Samana peninsula in 2015, looking for a little slice of undeveloped paradise. They found it in El Valle where they created an eco hotel that is totally in harmony with its surroundings. El Valle Lodge is a simply stunning cluster of thatched wooden cabins nestled in tropical forest just 50 metres from a tropical paradise beach.
El Valle Lodge is a beautifully back-to-nature hotel, with winding paths drifting between the trees and a lazy river burbling down past the rooms to the beach. This is a different sort of luxury where rooms are cooled by nature and not air-conditioning, walls are built of local timber and not concrete, the sounds are of birds and not traffic, and the food-miles are almost zero.
The Gitana restaurant on site highlights the value of local and fresh seasonal produce. All the fish is purchased locally, fruit comes from the trees, vegetables are grown organically in the hotel’s garden and eggs come from the free-range hens. The menu changes weekly and always includes vegetarian and vegan options. The owners are Argentinians though so you also be assured of some meaty choices too. Breakfast is naturally home-cooked and includes power smoothies, homemade granola, fresh fruit, herb omelettes and toasted coconut bread. Gitana compares favourably with any of the glitzier restaurants anywhere on the island, but you shouldn’t miss out on the beach bars on Playa El Valle either.
Each of the guest bedrooms is a separate cabin built with locally sourced materials. They all have semi-open bathrooms and a private verandah to sit out and contemplate the jungle experience. Each room has a kingsize double bed or twin beds, a ceiling fan, bathrobes, organic toiletries and, as a nod to the 21st century, wi-fi. There’s a family suite too, with two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with four single beds.
Carolina’s passion for hospitality, good food and kindness towards the environment shines through in every aspect of El Valle Lodge. There’s everything you could need at El Valle, from strolling through the forest paths, swimming off the pristine white beach, sipping a cocktail while watching the sunset to exceptional food.
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Eco Tourism at its very best.