Santo Domingo is a stunningly beautiful place, the first Spanish city of the New World, the capital of the current Dominican Republic and the largest metropolis among the Caribbean states. According to various sources, at least 3 million people will live in the city limits of Santo Domingo. people, and no less – in the adjacent suburban agglomeration. A significant part of the population are refugees from Haiti, a neighboring state that is constantly in crisis.
The Spaniards chose the place for construction for a reason: Santo Domingo is located on the southeastern flat coast of the island of Haiti in a bay convenient for navigation, into which the Osama River also flows. Naturally, there are two huge ports in which cruise and cargo ships stop. However, the main flow of tourists arrives on the island by air. Not far from the city there are two international airports: domestic and for exclusive charters La Isabela and the usual busy international airline Las Américas.
Santo Domingo is not only a historical and cultural center, but also a modern convenient city. There are hundreds of boutiques, dozens of shopping centers and many less pretentious shopping arcades with local handicrafts, galleries of classical and modern art, nightclubs and museums, theaters, parks and even casinos. The city has public transport, including the metro, there are international taxi operators (for example, UBER, which is not available in the rest of the country).
There are several areas in Santo Domingo, and the safety of a visitor largely depends on how quickly he will understand where it is better not to go. Safe areas for tourists:
- The Colonial Zone, an old district full of architectural sights and historical monuments, is under the protection of UNESCO. Lovely quiet and very expensive area.
- Malecon Avenue is an area that stretches along the city embankment. The center of the tourist life of the city: it is here that restaurants, hotels, clubs are located. The embankment itself is not ennobled, there are no beaches, it is categorically not recommended to go down to the sea – rocks, garbage, various waste products, stray dogs and drug addicts.
- The business center (Naco, Piantini, Paraiso) unites the central part of the new city with business centers, new residential complexes, shopping centers, hospitals, banks. Elite real estate is sold here and premium class apartments for businessmen are rented.
All other districts, and this is more than 70% of the city’s territory, are disadvantaged and categorically not recommended for visiting. There’s nothing to watch there, and getting hit on the head for sneakers, a phone and 20 bucks is quite real.
Before the landing of the Spaniards on the island of Haiti lived the Taino tribes. In 1493, Spanish ships entered the bay, and almost immediately on the site of the present Santo Domingo, the settlement of La Nueva Isabela appeared in honor of Queen Isabella I (it is believed that his first stone was laid by the younger brother of Christopher Columbus Bartolomeo). In 1495, the town was renamed Santo Domingo in honor of St. Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers and one of the most revered saints in Spain.
- 1 Sheraton Santo Domingo
- 2 Hodelpa Nicols de Ovando
- 3 InterContinental Real Santo Domingo, an IHG Hotel
- 4 Casas del XVI Boutique Hotel
- 5 Barcelo Santo Domingo
- 6 Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
- 7 Billini Hotel, Historic Luxury
- 8 JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo
- 9 Monaco Residences Piantini
- 10 Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino
- 11 Selection of hotels Santo Domingo on map
Hotel Sheraton (the budget line of the famous Marriott network) is located almost in the center of tourist life, right on Washington Avenue: the Colonial zone is two kilometers away, next to the park area, the Ministry of Culture and medical centers (by the way, everything is very good with medicine in Santo Domingo). The hotel is ideal for business trips:
- convenient location (close to the metro, there is always a taxi);
- free underground parking;
- comfortable conference halls, lobby;
- in the room work desk, excellent Internet;
- The hotel has a fitness room.
The pride of the hotel is an outdoor swimming pool and a small but functional spa with a sauna. The hotel has a signature restaurant (Buffet breakfast and à la carte dinner). On one of the floors there is a souvenir kiosk with a standard set of trifles that you can bring with you from a business trip.
In total, the hotel has 248 rooms and suites, most with views of the Caribbean Sea and a small furnished balcony. To see the sea and get away from the worldly bustle, it is better to book rooms above the 5th floor (the elevator works). Regardless of the category, each room has a large comfortable king-size bed with an orthopedic mattress.
Maria, Naberezhnye Chelny: “I liked the hotel, quickly settled, the staff is very attentive. The room is comfortable, clean, bright, but right there were rooms on the floor that had not yet been renovated. It’s certainly not so good there.”
A trip to a beautiful place should be beautiful from all sides: what is the point of staying in a faceless hotel with tedious Ikea furniture, if there is a Hodelpa Nicols de Ovando in Santo Domingo? The hotel is located in the historic center of the city on the first cobbled street in the New World in a restored mansion (the former governor’s house) and is decorated in a colonial style with a slight touch of Dominican flavor. It’s a truly amazing place for a couple of nights or a full vacation.
In total, hodelpa Nicols de Ovando has 92 standard rooms and 4 suites, each of which embodies the eclectic colonial heritage of the Dominican Republic. Original design elements – bare brick, wooden ceiling beams, whitewash, arched doors and windows, shaded blinds – harmoniously complement modern appliances and high-end furniture.
The best part:
- mandatory bath accessories (bathrobe, slippers);
- in the rooms of the highest category as a gift cosmetics L’Occitane;
- the best Wi-Fi in Santo Domingo;
- standard set in each room – climate system, capsule coffee maker, safe, kettle.
According to reviews, the hotel has very tasty and not greedy breakfasts. The restaurant serves pan-European cuisine with Dominican nuances on the menu, there is a room service. On the ground floor there is a stunning cocktail bar La Taberna del Mojito – a delight for the eyes and taste buds.
Even among Dominican hotels known for surprisingly friendly service, Hodelpa Nicols de Ovando stands out for the better. The staff here is not just attentive: everyone, from the administrator to the maid, is set up to work so that the guest returns and recommends the hotel to friends.
Intercontinental Real Santo Domingo, a state-of-the-art luxury hotel from the renowned IHG chain, offers travellers comfortable rooms decorated and equipped to the highest standards. It is located in the heart of the business district on a busy avenue. Just a few steps away are popular shopping centers and restaurants, but you need to get to the Colonial zone by taxi (taking into account the mandatory traffic jams, a 7-kilometer trip will take half an hour).
- soundproof windows with blackout curtains, good noise insulation;
- excellent bed linen;
- enough sockets;
- in the rooms – a mandatory supply of water for coffee and tea;
- large bathroom with cosmetics and toiletries;
- professional cleaning according to the standards of the network.
On the 4th floor there is a long narrow infinity pool, the terrace next to it is open until 22 hours. Nearby there is a small bar with ice cream and drinks. There is also a steak bar, an à la carte restaurant and several lobby bars.
Max, Chelyabinsk: “The hotel is wonderful, we will definitely come back. But there are a few points. Firstly, not all the staff speak English, and secondly, breakfast for such money could be better. Thirdly, order a taxi, and do not get into those cars that are waiting at the entrance. The difference in price is sometimes twofold.”
Casas del XVI is not just a hotel, it is a hotel ecosystem in the historic center of Santo Domingo, united by the common idea of creating a comfortable environment for the most demanding guests. This is a quiet and beautiful place that will appeal to connoisseurs of truly exclusive interiors and service.
This place is not for everyone, it is expensive, but flawless.
In fact, guests are offered two options for check-in:
- Double rooms in the main building (with one double or twin beds) and a full range of services. Guests can relax in the shared lounge or sit out in the garden.
- Designer villas – renovated with the preservation of the historical style of the houses with several rooms and a separate entrance. There are seven houses in total, all different in size, each is absolutely unique.
Casas del XVI offers guests opportunities for a private party or a solemn event – a wedding, anniversary, any other intimate event. The administration guarantees service and complete confidentiality, so the hotel is often chosen by celebrities for a small personal holiday.
It offers businessmen conference rooms, catering, car and equipment rental services, accompaniment and transfer.
No history aside: in the heart of Santo Domingo’s business district is the modern Barceló Santo Domingo 4* hotel (part of the Barceló budget chain), which guarantees a relaxed atmosphere and unobtrusive service in elegant avant-garde interiors.
The hotel includes 218 new rooms with a light universal design. Also in the hotel there are:
- outdoor swimming pool and gym;
- the excellent Urban Hair Spa and Beauty Salon;
- cigar cabin;
- free underground parking.
There is also a casino, there are several restaurants (according to reviews, B.Delicious is especially good, which serves the menu until 23.00) and bars with a wide selection of local rum.
The versatility of the hotel is its main problem. It is quite noisy, the rooms are worn out due to high traffic and initially not too high quality furniture and plumbing, it can be unpleasant to “lucky” with neighbors or, conversely, “lucky” with dampness and slightly spoiled carpets or towels. However, the staff tries to correct the shortcomings and always goes to meet the guests.
One of the largest hotels in Santo Domingo – Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino – belongs to the international hotel chain Palladium and causes a not always unambiguous reaction from guests. On the one hand, it is located in a quiet and very peaceful place next to a supermarket, a park and a whole scattering of catering establishments for every taste. The rooms up to the fifth floor have small balconies-smokers, all that are higher have balconies-terraces.
On the other hand, the hotel administration clearly saves on maintenance and repair (the sin of all budget hotels on the island, lower 4 * to 3 *). The staff, forced to constantly catch the crumbling infrastructure in the jump, naturally feels the irritation and broadcasts it to the guests.
Disadvantages of Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino:
- worn and sometimes moldy carpets;
- uncomfortable furniture, including very medium beds;
- persistent smell of mold in some rooms;
- in the gym you need to take your towels;
- bottled water on request.
The hotel has a sports center with a tennis court, next to it a spa (saunas, massages, wraps) for extra money. Despite the fact that the hotel has its own restaurant, there are bars and even a rooftop lounge, it is better to eat in the city – cheaper and tastier.
The small but lovely and authentic Billini Hotel is located in the historic part of Santo Domingo, within walking distance of the market, the port and the seafront promenade. It differs from all others not only in size (only 24 rooms, all suites), but also in its cramped wall-to-wall placement in urban areas, and a special design, very different from sterile networkers and from pathetic “historians”.
Billini Hotel opened recently, in 2014, and, despite the high prices, immediately became popular. Its design and service is designed for demanding guests who have seen the best boutique hotels in Paris and traveled a lot to different countries of the world. The hotel is aimed at independent travelers who have arrived in Santo Domingo for a few days to see the sights.
- rooms in a cute Spanish colonial style;
- all equipment (appliances, bedding, utensils) – exceptionally high-class;
- in the bathroom cosmetics Loccitane, in the living room – appliances Bang & Olufsen;
- proactive concierge service;
- an internal shady courtyard decorated with columns;
- small rooftop pool with sun lounger.
A single word (and even a whole paragraph) is worthy of the local restaurant Castil. It employs a chief who does not accept halftones and compromises. The hotel serves only Caribbean cuisine – shellfish in crispy batter, frozen rum, fresh salads, kuku with okra and flying fish, salted cod, pork with pigeon peas and everything else no less exotic and exactly the same insanely tasty.
An expectedly pleasant hotel from the global marriott chain – JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo – is located in the business district of Piantini. To get to the Colonial zone, you can call a taxi or walk – a walk through the well-groomed streets will take from the strength of 40 minutes. Guests who entrust their vacation to a recognized hotel brand will receive services according to confirmed standards, unobtrusive rooms and the absence of unpleasant surprises during breakfast or dinner.
The JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo is not a new hotel, it was opened in the early 2010s. Naturally, the huge popularity of the rooms played a cruel joke with the hotel: polished and glass details were covered with scratches, some decorative elements and functional details (for example, plumbing accessories) should already be changed. However, the networker keeps the brand:
- king-sized beds with orthopedic mattresses;
- round-the-clock fitness center + spa;
- outdoor infinity pool (open until 22.00);
- free water and in-room coffee capsules.
The hotel has several lounge bars (especially Vertygo 101, which serves signature cocktails) and the international restaurant Winston’s Grill & Pati (even cheeseburgers are served here).
It just so happens that most often in Marriott stop businessmen who are not turned to local attractions, but are interested in effective service. For them there are specialized services – business lounges, catering, transfers. The hotel does not smoke and does not accept guests with pets.
Monaco Residences Piantini is not a hotel of the usual type, but an upscale apartment in a new building, which is located on the outskirts of the business district of Piantini. The high-rise building is located in the middle of an ordinary area, so do not expect gorgeous views from the windows, a safe closed area or exclusive services.
In the complex there is neither a concierge service nor a restaurant: to eat, you need to cook yourself or go down and find a suitable tavern. It’s the same with taxis and other services. On the other hand, this is a plus: the hotel does not impose affiliated contractors, there is a choice and it has a positive effect on the wallet.
Guests are offered two types of apartments:
- with one bedroom (2-bed);
- with two bedrooms (each with a 2-bed).
The apartments are fully equipped and equipped, including bed linen, but consumables (toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water) will have to be bought independently. For common use there is an outdoor swimming pool (of course, on the lid), a terrace, a guarded parking.
The main contingent of guests are medical tourists who are guided by local high-quality and inexpensive plastic surgery.
A surprise hotel for those who want to get a normal service without unnecessary caution and not to overpay for design is the new Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino on Malecon Avenue (the Renaissance Hotels & Resorts chain belongs to the global company Marriott).
The hotel is large, new, there are many rooms and they are divided into several categories. The size of the room and equipment suffers a little from lowering the status, but the bed – linen, mattress and large bed – is always of the highest quality.
What sets Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino apart from the rest:
- a huge outdoor garden with a swimming pool and decorative waterfalls behind the main building;
- a large parking lot through which you can access the city streets;
- cleaning every day;
- prices in hotel cafes at the city level.
Of course, there are also disadvantages – for example, too compressed menu, smiling, but poorly fluent in English staff or a slightly noisy casino, but the advantages are many times outweighed.
Santo Domingo is a place worthy of the closest attention of a tourist. The choice of hotels here is huge, but in order not to make a mistake, you need to focus only on the location: no matter how interesting the offer is, you can settle only in prosperous areas. For tourists who came to get acquainted with the architecture and history of the first city of the New World, hotels with a Dominican flavor are suitable: the delightfully authentic Hodelpa Nicols de Ovando and Billini Hotel will leave a unique impression. Business people focused on service and the speed of reaction of the staff, it is better to choose an offer from a hotel chain: for example, in the Intercontinental Real Santo Domingo silence is provided (you can sleep even during the day), there is no casino, but there is an excellent steakhouse and an impressive assortment of lobby bars.