The most fun to be had at the beach, besides being a baby building sand castles and being slathered in sunscreen by my parents, is being a grownup and hanging out at some of my favorite beach clubs for the day. It’s all fun and games until the sun goes down and it’s time to call it a day. Eden Roc has solved my end-of-day emotional moment of detachment. The suites they have built at their beach club are everything. First things first. It’s bright blue here! The colors are vivid and crisp but not jarring, and we are not describing Mother Nature’s handy work alone. The design of Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s newest suites blend right in. This Relais & Chateaux offering, appropriately named The Beach Club experience has almost stolen the show. The original portion of the hotel is made up of boutique suites more closely resembling villas, with private pools and golf carts that guests can use to explore the expansive grounds and get them to the golf course. They are nestled among lush gardens and have a European glamour interwoven with a Caribbean twist. The inspired colors of each of these suite’s exteriors come from the original houses in the Dominican Republic. Vivid and vibrant interior and exterior colors of pink, green, yellow and more, play off the color of the surrounding foliage. These boutique suites offer the ultimate privacy and intimacy with their garden and lagoon views.
There’s one spectacular view down at The Beach Club. That view takes in everything from the rolling sea coming ashore on the club’s crescent beach, to the infinity edge pools whose spilling sounds pale in comparison to the gently breaking waves only feet from the excessively large patio. It’s really the only view you need. As the first guests to stay in these suites, with their exclusive beach butlers and concierge, there seemed little need for the iPad that allows guests to control the entire spacious suite from any part of the suite. I was as happy as a baby building sand castles. I could stroll around in my birthday suit, after walking up to my suite straight from the beach. I could peer out and see the beach bar without anyone seeing me. It is these little things in life that make me so happy. Here I have privacy and luxury…redefined. There are only 34 of these suites and each is designed for complete privacy. There’s a full kitchen, but who needs that when Blue Grill & Bar has also just opened and serves a breakfast with everything from the traditional staples to crepes; totally unexpected in the islands, or at least on this one. Not thinking about my bikini body at this meal, or any other for that matter, I dig in and am completely satisfied. At night, where the challenge comes in, is not just selecting items from a menu that’s chock full of tempting dishes, but in selecting which restaurant’s menu you’ll be studying for the evening meal. My best recommendation to counter this quandary is to stay a minimum of six nights, don’t worry, there’s a gym and plenty of other activities to work off the added calories. You’ll thank yourself (and maybe me) for making your stay at least this length. Yes, for the helicopter tours, equestrian center, golf, beach and on and on, but mainly so you can manage to have two nights at each of the three, restaurant offerings. Blue, the restaurant I already mentioned to you at breakfast, dishes out on a Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu and plates it perfectly. Robatayaki and Nikkei cooking techniques are used to create memorable dishes in a stunning setting. You’ll need two evenings here, to not miss a dish or cocktail that catches your eye. Remember, there’s always a long walk on the beach following dinner. Let me back up to the cocktails. The Riva bar, themed around the design of a boat, where even the staff wear uniforms reminiscent of well-tended to yacht, is as smooth and charming as an actual ride down a body of water. There’s a piano tucked in the corner, so although there is a veranda option here, I opted to stay in the cool of the bar area and listen to the sounds that captured my imagination even further. This bar is right across from Mediterraneo, so pre-dinner cocktails are an easy decision. This restaurant features delectable Mediterranean specialties, as one might imagine, and an extensive wine cellar in the back of the dining room. The Caribbean always offers an outdoor dining option, even at the fanciest of establishments and that rule holds true here as well. One night we dined inside the wine cellar and managed to keep each other warm by sitting quite cozily together. The Second night we went alfresco and enjoyed the balmy breezes while taking in a different view from down at our beach club suite. Here we faced the village accommodations with their vividly painted exteriors, visible even at night. Listening to the breeze rustle through the palm fronds and the crickets awaken as evening falls is a fantastic backdrop to an evening of fresh seafood and what can only be explained as a Fred Flintstone sized steak, bone in. Letting that meal sink in and pending the day taking a ride to a deserted part of the island were exactly what I needed. I think that Eden Roc cast a spell on me. I never wanted to leave the resort for even an hour but had I not, I fear I would have sat at the beach bar and ordered the freshly made Piña Coladas. Well, you know the say about no matter where you go, there you are sort of thing? Holds true for me. Helicopter arrives, scoops us up and off we go, seeing the resort from above and much of the island as only the birds have seen it. We land on a narrow strip of sand. Water behind the tale and our nose grazing the hedges in front of the chopper. Brilliant maneuvering on the part of our pilot and I am sure, this dramatic perch has been perfected over the years. He was good and the landing was memorable. There’s a path made from bits of wood that lead us to the broader entrance to our afternoon playground. We threw our beach bags on the chairs by the lunch table and skipped down the sand to the water. No sooner had I backed into the sea, smiling and still skipping, did I see an ominous cloud approaching. Before it could turn my smile into a frown, there was a local at my side with a pineapple in hand. This could only mean one thing. “Si señor!” I am always in the mood for a fresh frozen delight, rain or shine. The thrill of taking a helicopter to grab a freshly made, in the pineapple, Piña Colada was greater, almost greater, than the joys of stepping off my verandah and sidling up to the beach bar back at Eden Roc. A little diversity is always a good thing.
As appear to levitate from our landing spot on the beach, it’s a perfect takeoff and we are head back home to The Beach Club, already starting to think ahead to dinner. The third dining option, one we were yet to try, is right on the water’s edge and serves seafood prepared to perfection. I had the entire fish, head to tale. Ask for the Boca Chica style and your fish will be prepared in this traditional fashion with fried plantain and avocado salad. Listen to the waves rush ashore and enjoy the seaside dinner. This is usually an activity done at lunch at a regular beach club. The one where you need to leave at sunset. Not here. Eden Roc at Cap Cana has ensured you feel right at home in The Beach Club. This is luxury redefined in the Dominican Republic. The size of the boutique resort allows for intimacy and detailed service while the expansiveness and space of the overall property give a feeling of never-ending freedom to wander. The beach club experience is everything it sounds like. Now you no longer have to imagine spending longer than an afternoon at a beach club, you get to live it for as many days and nights as your heart desires, butlers included.
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