A nod to nature
The resort spans 43 acres of pristine verdant peaks and lush jungle with centuries-old trees and royal palms stretching for a few miles of the Atlantic coastline. Water has been elemental in inspiring the design of a hotel that draws its name from the Sanskrit word for peace, and with 'era' representing 'water' in the language of the Taino people. Engaging guests with nature, whether it's on the medicinal herb walk, when the power of every plant is explained on this trail, with experienced guides explaining the importance of protecting ecosystems, or the benefits of gathering green waste from the landscaping to make compost, the team endeavours to share inspiring stories.
Environmental impact and community outreach
As well as Amanera's guided treks through protected jungle reserves for guests, local high-school children are hosted for activities aimed at developing an enthusiasm for looking after the landscape. This remote island corner boasts nature reserves, beautiful sands and dramatic waterfalls, with beautiful mangroves within reach. One regular activity sees dozens of Amanera team members and locals come together for an exceptional beach clean. At the Gri Gri Lagoon and Caleton Beach, hundreds of bags are filled, engaging the entire community – including the boat tour operators who help cleaners access mangroves to retrieve the hardest-to-reach items of trash.
Housekeeping with heart
In recent years, guests have demonstrated so much support for the drive to save water, energy, and spare the seas of detergents through less laundering, that Amanera regularly sees more than three-quarters of guests acting on the encouragement to reuse towels and linens. Each time a guest elects to do this, the hotel donates to a chosen charity, and this has meant thousands of dollars each year directed to doing good thanks to this initiative. Every year, the housekeeping team also saves less-than-perfect sheets, towels, and make uniforms to donate to organisations in need.
Philanthropy with its roots in the Tree of Wishes
Amanera’s much-loved Tree of Wishes come alive in the festive season, and guests scribble heartfelt notes and donation pledges, which hang from the branches and lead to gifts for those in need. Thanks to the generosity of Aman's guests and the Tree of Wishes, the orphanage in Nagua has received toys and clothes, and special beds have been provided for the elderly in local nursing homes. One of Amanera's most loyal guests has even helped support the community by financing the building of a school in a nearby rural area.
Nurturing local talent
A dedication to nurturing local talent and investing in the team means that Amanera doesn't just practice hospitality, it encourages a way of life that is very much a two-way cultural exchange. The people of the Dominican Republic will proudly tell you they are naturally suited to providing a warm welcome. Since most of the guests speak English, Amanera holds language classes for those who want to improve their skills. Every Friday, Amanera hosts English-practicing conversations with the aim is to take this approach to local schools in the future. Amanera’s authentic Dominican spirit is also greatly helped by 85% of the team hailing from the immediate communities, Cabrera and Rio San Juan.
Dancing for joy, and gifts that keep on giving
Bachata music is the home-grown soulful dance from the Dominican Republic that combines the cultural heritage of Spanish guitar with indigenous Taino and Sub-Saharan African rhythms. Engaging guests with this music and the dance moves is one way that the team celebrates their cultural heritage.
Amanera's turndown gifts also convey tales of the island's Taíno heritage, from hand-carved wooden keepsakes and delicately painted butterflies made from coconut shells to a sampler of cacao treats from local social enterprise Kah Kow. Complimentary Bachata and Dominican merengue lessons are offered, and if it’s not beach weather, there are dominos tournaments and Mama Juana workshops — this local drink is made by infusing rum, red wine, and honey, with a herb-enhanced essence of tree bark and herbs.