coast with fresh seafood. Guests board small wooden boats to explore the lagoon, mangroves, sea caves and stunning beaches.
DINING IN AND OUT: Executive chef Antonio Tridenti oversees organic menus in the oceanview restaurant and beach club, with loads of local fish in the offing. Try the red snapper cooked in banana leaf. Regional dishes include pasteles en hoja de yuca (spiced chicken in a cassava-leaf casing); leave stomach space for the baba juana with Dominican liqueur, caramelised banana, coffee and cinnamon.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Fancy a career change? Amanera staff can tee up a three-day cigarmaking course at a nearby century-old factory. Afterwards you’ll receive a certificate from the La Aurora Cigar Institute. Or you might prefer a simple factory tour and one-hour training session with master blender Senor Manuel Inao.
CHECKING IN: From $US950 ($1300) a night. More: aman.com.
ALSO TRY: Trisara, Phuket; The Nam Hai Hoi An, Vietnam; Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam; Amanyara, Turks & Caicos.
CHRISTINE McCABE Costa Rica’s Nayara Hotels is adding a yearround luxury tented camp to its inventory, the first of its kind in Central America; inspired by similar camps in Africa, Nayara Tented Resort, set high in the mountains, features 24 tented suites each with its own plunge pool filled from nearby hot springs • The big winners from the Marriott International/Starwood Hotels & Resorts merger, forming the largest hotel company in the world, are likely to be the members of the companies’ preferred-guest programs, who will eventually have access to 1.1 million rooms in 5500 hotels across the world • Swire Hotels, operators of Hong Kong’s The Upper House, will open another hotel next April as part of a $US2 billion development in Miami’s Brickell district; the EAST Miami will feature 352 guestrooms and residences, all with balconies and views of the city and Biscayne Bay • In NSW, Best Western has bolstered its Hunter Valley network with the addition of the recently upgraded Hunter Getaway in Rutherford, 40km from Newcastle; the $1 million makeover of all 62 guestrooms includes LED televisions and Nespresso machines and extras such as free Wi-Fi access.