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Where to Stay in Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo is a mesh of vibrant Caribbean culture and old-world Europe. As the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in the Americas, Santo Domingo is a treasure trove of historical sites and centuries-old architecture. If you want to be close to many of the city's top historical attractions, search for hotel rooms near the Colonial Zone. This is the oldest part of Santo Domingo, and it's full of must-see landmarks, including the Ozama Fort and the Alcazar de Colon, a 16th-century royal residence. For travelers that want to be close to Santo Domingo's Caribbean oceanfront, search for luxury hotels near Malecon. This waterfront boulevard is home to the city's largest high-rise properties as well as a number of casinos, restaurants, boutiques and cafes. Don't worry about spending too much for these lavish accommodations. Even Santo Domingo's most exclusive hotels won't bust your budget. Besides, because of the country's close proximity to mainland U.S., it's never to hard to find cheap flights to Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo Hotel Tips
The weather in Santo Domingo is warm throughout the year. Summers do tend to get a little steamy as moisture from the sea descends on the city. Still, temperatures rarely enter the 90s. In fact, the hottest months from May through October are some of the best times to find discount room rates in the city. The peak season for tourism is during the winter, from December through April. If you're planning on traveling around this time, make sure to book your reservations well in advance to beat the wintertime rush.
If you're planning a visit during the month of February, be prepared to face huge crowds. This is Carnaval in Santo Domingo, and the month-long festival culminates on Feb. 27 when the city celebrates Dominican Independence Day. If you want to partake in this giant party, make sure to book your hotel reservations multiple months in advance.
Santo Domingo Hotel Recommendations
The Hotel Santo Domingo, located in the Malecon district, blends classic European styles with contemporary features. The hotel is centrally located from Santo Domingo's main entertainment and commercial districts, making it a great stay for leisure or business travelers. The resort-like atmosphere is enhanced by the 14 acres of lush tropical gardens that surround the hotel. Amenities include tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and massage services. There is also a buffet-style restaurant, a poolside bar, a lounge and a nightclub that hosts live entertainment most nights of the week.
If you want a luxurious stay in Santo Domingo's historic Colonial Zone, check out the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. The five-star hotel rests inside a group of buildings that originally date back to the 16th century and served as the homestead for the city's founder. The grounds feature an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course and access to a private beach. The hotel also claims a cigar bar called Cibao Bar. Here, guests can enjoy a glass of signature rum and a Dominican cigar. There is also the acclaimed La Residence restaurant, which serves up international cuisine with a French twist.
If you're looking for a quaint, affordable hotel in the middle of the Colonial Zone, look into the Coco Boutique Hotel. This little bed and breakfast provides guests with sleek and contemporary rooms for prices that won't break the bank. Each guest room has a style and personality all its own, from the sensual Black Vanilla room to the bright Morning Dew room. Breakfast is served in the Patio Breakfast Room and includes fruit, coffee and pastries. The hotel also features a lounge bar where guests can relax in all-white rocking chairs.
Santo Domingo Transportation
Santo Domingo provides locals and visitors alike with a public metro system, which is known simply as the Metro. Much of the system is still under construction, but one line, which travels north and south throughout the city, is open to the public. Santo Domingo also claims city-run and private-run bus services. Private taxis and motorcycle taxis are also popular modes of transportation as well. If you want to rent a car, most major American rental agencies provide services at the city's main airport. Popular tourist destinations, like Malecon and the Colonial Zone, are easy to traverse by foot.