Cayo Levantado Resort Embraces Dominican Culture Through Its Architecture and Interior Design

Cayo Levantado Resort, located off the coast of Samaná (Dominican Republic), Cayo Levantado stands as a unique enclave in the country, renowned for its unique biodiversity. Blending luxury, sophistication, and sustainable innovation on a paradisical island, the resort embodies Caribbean traditions and allure to create a space like none other. In this context, the resort’s architecture and interior design are equally exceptional, meticulously conceived and executed by a team of Dominican talents, ensuring that every nook and cranny of the hotel reflects the island’s rich cultural heritage.

The essence of Dominican culture permeates every facet of the hotel, from common areas to individual rooms, and even the minutest details in the restaurants and bars, all thoughtfully curated to reflect the island’s authenticity. Leading the charge in the architectural and conceptual design of this masterpiece is Dominican architect Ramón Emilio Jiménez and his firm, Arquimilio. Together with local suppliers, interior designers, artisans, and artists, they have collectively transformed every corner of Cayo Levantado into captivating art.

Architect Ramón Emilio Jiménez expressed his vision, stating: “We firmly believe in preserving architectural identity and crafting projects that integrate seamlessly into their surroundings and positively contribute to the communities they inhabit. We understand that architectural identity and design should not only represent a place but also resonate with those who will experience it. Hence, Cayo Levantado Resort embodies the rhythm of our local culture. This project will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the country’s tourism development.”

The journey began with the concept of “Hidden Rhythm,” a vision through which Grupo Piñero aimed to elevate three fundamental pillars: honoring the natural rhythm through sustainable practices, celebrating the cultural rhythm by inviting guests to immerse themselves in the Dominican lifestyle, and nurturing the inner rhythm by fostering a unique wellness experience that connects mind, body, and spirit. The renovated Cayo Levantado Resort has brilliantly fulfilled this vision, transforming each guest’s stay into an unforgettable personal journey of well-being and transformation.

The Hidden Rhythm in Every Corner of Cayo Levantado Resort

Within its 218 rooms, encompassing junior suites and signature villas, innovative design elements mirror the beauty of the reefs and tropical landscapes. The concept is inspired by the natural splendor of the island’s flora and fauna, and it’s brought to life in four distinct environments or tiers: “Surface of the Sea,” “Under the Sea,” “Tropical Birds,” and “Tropical Flora.” The interior design of each of these spaces has been masterfully crafted by the renowned Dominican designer Andrés Augusto Aybar, CEO of El Estudio Proyectos interior design firm. 

Whale-Inspired Entrance and Poetic Dining

The iconic entrance, resembling a whale at Yubarta, the epicenter of the Cayo’s wellness experience, was designed by Bosques Urbanos. This handcrafted masterpiece is constructed from bejuco roots, authentic Caribbean endemic materials that can only be harvested during a full moon. This unique design aesthetic radiates the energy that defines this sanctuary of transformation. Additionally, the concept behind the Senda restaurant, inspired by the Dominican poet Pedro Mir and his legendary work, “hay un país en el mundo” (there is a country in the world), beautifully captures the lush explosion of vegetation that characterizes the island’s flora.

To authentically portray the Dominican way of life in every nook and cranny of the hotel, it was crucial to incorporate representative elements of the island. Grupo Palo and their team of artisans designed exclusive furniture and decorative pieces for the rooms, utilizing traditional Dominican Republic wood and wicker materials, evoking the typical architecture of the Caribbean.

Every aspect is impeccably presented. Exotic pieces, colonial design motifs, and colors reminiscent of the sea all come together to convey the beginning of an experience marked by relaxation and sophistication. The lobby, designed by José Manuel Ferrero of the Interior Design Studio Estudihac in Valencia, Spain, welcomes guests with its inspiration, extending to areas like the main buffet, Palma Real, which marries the ambiance of Dominican markets with a serene style. Similarly, the Manaya restaurant flawlessly blends the noble textures of wood and stone with the textiles used in the furnishings.

An interpretation of paradise awaits in the common areas of the Beach Club, Bar Jaiba and Restaurant Carey: an infinity pool with a view of the sea, delicate woven umbrellas, and towering palm trees provides the perfect backdrop for witnessing sunsets or basking in the sun. Designs such as the relaxed-style Santa Yuca restaurant and its lush landscape, or the Coffee Shop Molienda, which pays homage to the cultural significance of coffee to Dominicans, have all been precisely executed by the Investment & Construction team of the Group.

Celebrating Cultural Rhythms through Dominican Talent

Crafting experiences deeply tied to their destinations is synonymous with celebrating their cultural rhythms. Consequently, Cayo Levantado Resort has impeccably integrated the heartbeat of island life—the charisma of its people, its cuisine, its music, and its dance—into every space within the hotel. Achieving these required essential collaborations with Dominican artisans, such as Casa Alfarera, responsible for crafting lamps, sinks, table lamps, decorative sconces, and vases for the rooms. These pieces stand out for their design and authenticity.

The hotel’s walls are adorned with paintings by Johann Báez, a renowned Street Art artist known for conveying Dominican culture, the Vegano carnival, the waves of the sea, and the characteristic island breeze in his art. This wave of local talent also includes architect and artisan Nini Carela, who has designed exclusive pieces for the hotel’s Gift Shop, featuring figures that celebrate the roots of the Dominican Republic. A Dominican detail is always a cherished gift.

Without a doubt, the Victorian, relaxed, tropical, and bohemian-inspired style leaves visitors to Cayo Levantado Resort utterly captivated. It’s an accommodation that beckons guests to immerse themselves in the sublime surroundings, offering a design proposal teeming with character and identity.

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