Sivory, Punta Cana
Tel: 809 552 0500
Concierge.com's insider take:
Opened in winter 2005, this resort prides itself on being ex clusive rather than all-inclusive. The emphasis here is on the finer things: pick-up from Punta Cana's airport via private helicopter, an 8,000-bottle wine cellar, two of the island's finest restaurants, and spa packages for couples that might tempt you to leave the kids at home. The 55 suites here are housed in 12 villas, all centered around a huge swimming pool on a breezy stretch of beach. They range in size from Junior (650 square feet) to the almost obscenely spacious Grand Suite (2,250 square feet). All have stone-tiled floors, Indonesian-inspired teak canopy beds, woven rattan couches and tables, and plasma-screen TVs with cable and satellite (so you won't have to miss Top Chef—this is paradise, after all). Some suites have double showers; others have Jacuzzi tubs built for two (and the bottles of Etro bath products are big enough to share with your, uh, roommate).
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:This 55-suite newcomer stands out among Punta Cana's mega all-inclusives for its understated elegance and restorative tranquillitythere's not an activities board, kids club, casino, or swim-up bar in sight. Even the small gym, tucked away beside the spa, is positioned so as not to induce stress among guests by suggesting that they should actually use it. And the formula seems to be working: The pool area and private beach are typically as animated as the surrounding shrubbery, an occasional swat at sand flies notwithstanding. Rooms have all the requisite high-tech toys, and bathrooms are a sybarite's dream. The resort's three menus, created by chef François Bouvet, who helmed a Michelin-starred restaurant in Brittany, specialize in French, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisine, and the 8,000-bottle wine cellar is especially strong in Spanish varietals. 2006 Hot List
When to go: November through February.
Which room to book: Any with plunge pools, so you're just steps from your palapa (doubles, $266–$313).
Amenities: Pool, Spa, 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym