Locals have long considered the white sand shores of tiny Cayo Levantado island in Samaná, Dominican Republic as some of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. Now, a new and imaginative refurbishment of the sole place to spend the night on the island – Cayo Levantado Resort – has transformed the island into a new wellness destination in the Caribbean.
Cayo Levantado Resort’s incredible updates set it apart as one of the best resorts in the Dominican Republic, but its wellness offerings make it something truly spectacular. Whether you’re a wellness expert up on all the newest treatments or are simply open to trying out something new, it’s a resort experience unlike any other.
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Cayo Levantado Resort
The Dominican Republic is better known for its unending chain of resorts on the beaches of Punta Cana, but the all-new Cayo Levantado Resort is something completely different. This private island resort hidden offshore of the laidback Samaná peninsula offers seclusion and privacy; it invites guests to disconnect with another level of rest and relaxation.
Cayo Levantado Resort’s total refurbishment and reimagination makes the experience of a stay at the island’s only resort a totally new one. The hotel now boasts six restaurants, eight bars, two stunning pools, and all the amenities that you could ask for at a luxury resort.
Even better than the sum of its offerings is the total rest and relaxation this wellness-centric resort provides, even for guests just looking for a place to sit on the beach.
Book Here: Cayo Levantado Resort
Wellness at Cayo Levantado Resort
Much more than just a destination with a spa and a fitness center, Cayo Levantado Resort offers a guest experience entirely centered around wellness. The resort’s holistic wellness experience is woven into every aspect of a stay on the island.
It’s anything but a one-size-fits-all experience. Personalized wellness “pathways” invite guests to refresh, restore, relax, or renew during their stay and include tailored wellness recommendations. Everything from meals at Cayo Levantado Resort’s restaurants to activities and sessions at the spa can be tailored to a guest’s wellness needs by finding the corresponding wellness path.
Follow your wellness pathway strictly throughout your entire stay at the resort, or enjoy mixing it up with a little bit of everything. Wellness at Cayo Levantado Resort is all about crafting the bespoke wellness experience you’re looking for.
The heart of a wellness-focused stay at Cayo Levantado Resort is an experience at Yubarta. Located in the center of the island and surrounded by lush foliage, the enchanting Yubarta space is where most of the resort’s wellness activities take place.
The space is anchored by an open-air whale-shaped structure that brings Yubarta’s name into focus. Yubarta is the Taino indigenous word for the whales, which breech and play just off the coast of Cayo Levantado as they visit the area to have their babies every year in the rich waters of the Samaná Bay.
It’s a space that honors rebirth and renewal for all who experience it. Yubarta is composed of numerous palapas dedicated to yoga classes, breathwork sessions, space for sound healing workshops, and more. Meet with trained and certified wellness experts for personalized consultations, and then pick what sounds good per their recommendations and your preferences.
While many of Cayo Levantado Resort’s wellness experiences, including access to the Yubarta space, are not included with a stay at the resort, you’ll be impressed by the number of activities that are included in the stay. There are fitness classes, yoga sessions, meditation, and more available for every guest, plus recommendations for extending the wellness experience at the spa, with nutrition-forward meals and even entertainment around the resort.
The wellness treatments offered at Yubarta are too numerous to name. From traditional cacao and mate tea ceremonies to different forms of yoga and breathwork and energetic sessions with crystals are among a range of opportunities for visitors to feel rejuvenated. Come for pre-scheduled activities with a group, or book your own independent sessions with experts to make the most of the experience.
Yubarta also has its own cenote, reminiscent of the naturally formed, water-filled sinkholes that dramatically pepper the landscape of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbean. Cenotes were considered by indigenous peoples to be spaces of healing and spiritual connection, making it a fitting space to be found in a wellness resort.
A hot pool offers another place to relax, with an adjacent bathtub used for daily cold plunges.
Even wellness “newbies” will feel welcomed at Cayo Levantado Resort. Wellness staff offer a beginner’s run down to the science and latest research into treatment methods and are extremely passionate about making everyone in the space feel totally comfortable, no matter their experience level.
As someone who was totally inexperienced with even the most entry-level wellness treatment, it was incredibly refreshing to feel so welcome, with questions, doubts, and all. It offered a fantastic richness to my Yubarta experience.
Cayo Levantado Resort Spa
Where the wellness experience of other resorts starts and ends at the spa, it’s just one aspect of wellness at Cayo Levantado Resort – though a memorable one.
The spa’s hydrotherapy circuit includes hydro-massage beds, a sauna and steam room, an experiential shower, and more, with recommendations for guests to choose different types of experiences based on their own wellness path. A menu of restorative massages, body treatments, and facials in the zen-like space complete the experience.
Cayo Levantado Resort Fitness Center
The resort also offers a state-of-the-art fitness center. Group classes and private training sessions with all the equipment necessary for everything from TRX to Crossfit make the experience a rich one, inviting guests to maintain healthy habits while on vacation or start new ones afresh and receive expert guidance along the way.
Accommodations at Cayo Levantado Resort
Both wellness-minded visitors and those simply looking for a memorable beach escape in one of the Dominican Republic’s most exclusive locations will fall in love with the beautiful design of Cayo Levantado Resort. Warm Caribbean colors and natural materials throughout the resort’s cohesive design give spaces a warm and inviting feel for travelers while remaining design-forward.
The hotel’s 218 rooms offer multiple layouts but are all exceedingly spacious and well-equipped for a dreamy stay in paradise. Accommodation options include beachfront villas and villas with multiple bedrooms. Many room categories offer a private plunge pool, a great addition to the spacious patio that extends the room and makes for a great spot to enjoy afternoons in earshot of the waves.
The resort also offers three Cayo Levantado Signature Villas. These palatial escapes offer dedicated living, dining, and kitchen spaces in addition to space for numerous guests. The resort’s two-bedroom villas and Cayo Levantado Signature Villas include the option of adding a personalized, nutritionist-prepared menu and private chef service for an additional charge.
Book Here: Cayo Levantado Resort
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Dining at Cayo Levantado Resort
Cayo Levantado Resort offers six restaurants and eight different bars across the island, meaning there are plenty of places to enjoy a drink and a bite throughout your stay. From buffet-style dining to Nikkei cuisine and local Dominican favorites, there are plenty of options for dining throughout the day, no matter what you’re looking for from a culinary experience.
Beach bars and the pool Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant Carey offer delicious bites that make it easy to spend the entire day at the beach and pool. Santa Yuca is another culinary highlight; a menu of slow cooking-style favorites includes healthy options with plates designed with the help of nutritionists. It’s perhaps the most delicious part of the wellness experience at Cayo Levantado Resort.
The resort’s Dominican-inspired restaurant, Senda, is a particular highlight. The restaurant offers a la carte options that highlight the best of the Dominican Republic, but the tasting menu is a true love story of local flavors and cooking traditions. Designed to transport diners on a culinary journey around the island, the tasting menu takes inspiration from the poem “There is a Country in the World” by Dominican poet Pedro Mir.
Manaya is Cayo Levantado Resort’s other restaurant not included in the resort’s all-inclusive dining plan. This steakhouse with a dark, moody dining room is perfect for a special meal. Like Senda, Manaya offers an incredible tasting menu that makes for an unforgettable dining experience.
Amenities at Cayo Levantado Resort
An additional amenity at Cayo Levantado Resort includes personalized ambassador service for every guest. Ambassadors organize every detail of guests’ stays, including informing guests about things to do around the resort and daily events and activities, helping coordinate meals, and organizing golf carts to facilitate transportation around the island.
The resort also offers plenty of opportunities to get off the island for those looking to explore. Group excursions or private day trips to Los Haitises National Park and other destinations in the area are popular. Explore Samaná by visiting popular spots like the stunning El Limón waterfall, or allow resort staff to organize transportation for a day of beach around some of the most impressive stretches of sand in the Caribbean.
Plan a Trip to the Dominican Republic
Long a favorite destination for a day trip to the beach from the Samaná Peninsula, the shores of Cayo Levantado are now more appealing than ever. Cayo Levantado Resort’s upgrades now make it a bonafide luxury wellness destination among the Caribbean’s most impressive spots for a restorative stay, among white sands and crystal-clear waters.
Be one of the first visitors to enjoy the new Cayo Levantado Resort experience; it’s a stay you won’t forget.
Book Here: Cayo Levantado Resort
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.