Santo Domingo – Where To Stay

Santo Domingo Where to Stay

Santo Domingo – The “Capi”

Santo Domingo, a city of deep historical roots and vibrant culture, stands as a testament to the rich heritage of the Dominican Republic. This city, where the old meets the new, offers travelers a unique glimpse into the colonial past alongside modern amenities. For those wondering how to navigate the journey to this enchanting city and where to find the best places to stay, this article serves as your comprehensive guide.

Getting to Santo Domingo

By Plane

The gateway to Santo Domingo for many travelers is through Las Américas International Airport (SDQ), positioned conveniently for access to the city. Upon arrival, visitors have several options to reach their final destination. For budget-conscious travelers, Guagua buses offer an economical choice at RD$70, providing a local experience from the upper level of the terminal. Taxis present a faster, albeit pricier, alternative at around RD$1,000. Some may find solace in the complimentary shuttles provided by many major hotels, blending convenience with cost-effectiveness.

By Car

For those venturing from Punta Cana or nearby areas, the journey by car unfolds along route 3, tracing the southern coast’s scenic views directly into the heart of Santo Domingo. The route from the airport is equally straightforward, with rental services like Avis and Thrifty facilitating a smooth transition to the city’s bustling streets.

By Bus

Bus travel offers a seamless connection from various points such as Punta Cana and Santiago, with services like Expreso Bávaro leading travelers right to the city’s core, near Joaquín Balaguer subway station. This mode combines efficiency with an opportunity to engage with the local landscape and its people.

Where to Stay in Santo Domingo

Zona Colonial – The Heart and Soul

Zona Colonial, or the Old Quarter, is the essence of Santo Domingo’s charm. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts narrow cobblestone streets and colonial buildings that tell tales of centuries past. It’s an ideal base for history enthusiasts and first-time visitors seeking an authentic Dominican experience.

Zona Universitaria – Vibrant and Economical

A stone’s throw from the historic quarter, Zona Universitaria is known for its youthful energy and more affordable lodging options. The presence of the oldest university in the Americas adds to its vibrant atmosphere, making it a magnet for those looking to experience the city’s nightlife.

Boca Chica – Beachside Bliss

For beach lovers, Boca Chica offers the best of both worlds: proximity to Santo Domingo’s cultural sites and the serene beauty of white sandy beaches. Its location near the airport makes it a convenient choice for travelers at the beginning or end of their journey.

Gazcue – A Cultural Hub

Gazcue stands out with its rich architectural heritage and proximity to key cultural institutions. It’s a favored spot for business travelers and those looking to delve into the Dominican Republic’s artistic and historical narratives.

Malecón – Upscale Seaside Promenade

The Malecón is synonymous with luxury, offering upscale accommodations, dining, and shopping. This waterfront boulevard is a favorite for evening strolls, showcasing the Caribbean Sea’s mesmerizing sunsets.

santo domingo la Palacio

Accommodation Highlights

  • Budget-Friendly: Hostal La Colonial by The Oxo House provides a secure, wallet-friendly option in Zona Colonial, with easy access to major attractions.
  • Mid-Range: Casa Sanchez by The Oxo House, located in the heart of Zona Colonial, offers a boutique experience with a pool and rooftop café, perfect for those seeking comfort at a reasonable price.
  • Upper-Mid-Range: Luca Hotel by The Oxo House combines elegance with historical charm, offering amenities like a rooftop bar and private jacuzzi, encapsulating the essence of upscale Dominican hospitality.

Santo Domingo, with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, invites travelers to explore its many facets. Whether arriving by plane, car, or bus, and regardless of where you choose to stay, this city promises an unforgettable experience. From the historical allure of Zona Colonial to the beachside serenity of Boca Chica, Santo Domingo caters to every preference, making it a must-visit destination in the heart of the Caribbean.

Recommended Hotels in Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, a city brimming with history, culture, and Caribbean charm, offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs. From luxurious retreats to budget-friendly stays, here are seven highly recommended hotels in Santo Domingo, each providing unique experiences and top-notch amenities.

1. Hotel Villa Colonial

Located in the heart of Zona Colonial, Hotel Villa Colonial offers guests a serene and elegant stay amidst the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo’s oldest neighborhood. With its colonial architecture, beautiful courtyard pool, and proximity to major historical sites, it’s perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s rich history.

2. Billini Hotel

This luxury hotel, also situated in Zona Colonial, blends modern amenities with historical charm. Billini Hotel stands out for its rooftop pool, exquisite dining options, and rooms that offer a blend of contemporary comfort and colonial elegance.

3. El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

For a stay that combines luxury with panoramic views of the city, El Embajador is an exceptional choice. Located in a more residential part of Santo Domingo, this hotel offers a tranquil escape with its lush gardens, spacious rooms, and state-of-the-art facilities.

4. Casa Sanchez Boutique Hotel

Tucked away in Zona Colonial, Casa Sanchez strikes a balance between coziness and boutique luxury. With a rooftop pool, on-site fitness center, and intimate bar, it provides a personalized experience in a vibrant neighborhood.

5. Luca Hotel

This boutique hotel offers a unique stay with its beautifully preserved colonial architecture and modern amenities. Located in Zona Colonial, Luca Hotel features a rooftop terrace, elegant rooms, and a prime location that makes exploring Santo Domingo effortless.

6. Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel

For those seeking the comfort of international standards, the Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel offers stunning ocean views, a magnificent outdoor pool, and easy access to both the Malecón and the city’s business district, making it ideal for both leisure and business travelers.

7. Hostal Nicolas de Ovando

A blend of history and luxury, this hotel is housed in a historic building dating back to the early 1500s. Located on the famous Calle Las Damas, the first paved street in the New World, Hostal Nicolas de Ovando features elegant rooms, a charming courtyard, and a location that transports guests back in time.

Each of these hotels offers a unique perspective on Santo Domingo, ensuring travelers can find the perfect match for their preferences, whether they seek the comfort of modern amenities, the charm of historic settings, or the allure of luxury.

Recommended Hotels in Santo Domingo – Newest Additions

Santo Domingo continues to expand its hotel offerings with several new and luxurious accommodations. These establishments promise to elevate your stay with modern amenities, exquisite designs, and prime locations. Here are some of the latest hotels opening or recently opened in Santo Domingo:

  1. Wyndham Grand Torre Everest Santo Domingo (Opening Spring 2025)
    A towering addition to Santo Domingo’s skyline, this 22-story luxury hotel will feature a world-class rotating restaurant with panoramic views, marking a novel luxury experience in the Dominican Republic. It aims to become one of the most lavish hotels in the country, boasting 252 lavish rooms and suites​​.
  2. Hyatt Centric (2024)
    The first Hyatt Centric in the Dominican Republic, located in Santo Domingo’s modern business district. This hotel promises 130 guestrooms and suites with nearly state-of-the-art amenities, catering to the needs of both leisure and business travelers​​.
  3. Aloft Piantini (Opened December 2023)
    Bringing a fresh, contemporary vibe to Santo Domingo, Aloft Piantini is designed for the next generation of travelers. With its signature urban style, it offers a vibrant, tech-forward experience​​.
  4. Courtyard by Marriott (2024)
    Known for its comfortable accommodations and convenient amenities, the new Courtyard by Marriott in Santo Domingo is set to provide guests with an impeccable stay, tailored to the needs of business and leisure travelers alike​​.
  5. Marriott Hotel Piantini (2024)
    This upcoming hotel is expected to blend Marriott’s renowned service with the unique charm and history of Santo Domingo, offering a refined and culturally rich stay in one of the city’s most upscale districts​​.

Each of these new hotels in Santo Domingo is designed to offer a unique experience, blending the rich cultural heritage of the city with modern luxury and convenience. Whether you’re visiting for business or leisure, these establishments promise to make your stay memorable.

FAQs: Traveling to and Staying in Santo Domingo

How do I get to Santo Domingo from Las Américas International Airport?

You can take a Guagua bus for RD$70 from the upper level of the terminal for a budget-friendly option. Taxis are also available but cost around RD$1,000. Some hotels offer free shuttles, so check with your accommodation in advance.

What is the best area to stay in Santo Domingo for first-time visitors?

Zona Colonial, also known as the Old Quarter, is highly recommended for first-time visitors. Its UNESCO World Heritage status, colonial architecture, and proximity to major attractions make it an ideal base for exploring the city​​​​.

Are there budget-friendly accommodation options in Santo Domingo?

Yes, there are budget-friendly options available, especially in Zona Universitaria, where you can find accommodations at significantly lower prices compared to the more touristy areas. Hostal La Colonial by The Oxo House in Zona Colonial also offers budget-friendly rates​​​​.

Is Santo Domingo safe for tourists?

While Santo Domingo is generally safe for tourists, especially in resort areas and popular neighborhoods like Zona Colonial, it’s always wise to stay vigilant, avoid less touristy areas at night, and follow general safety precautions​​.

Can I easily find English-speaking people in Santo Domingo?

English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, knowledge of Spanish can enhance your experience, especially when venturing into less touristy areas.

What is the best way to get around Santo Domingo?

Public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Uber are available for getting around Santo Domingo. The city also has a metro system, although it does not connect to all tourist areas. Walking is a great option in pedestrian-friendly zones like Zona Colonial​​​​.

What are the top attractions to visit in Santo Domingo?

Top attractions include the historic Zona Colonial, the Malecón for its seaside promenade, the National Botanical Garden, and the Mercado Modelo for shopping​​.

Is it advisable to rent a car in Santo Domingo?

Renting a car can be convenient for exploring at your own pace, especially if you plan to visit areas outside of Santo Domingo. However, be prepared for heavy traffic within the city and ensure you’re comfortable with local driving conditions​​.

What kind of food can I expect in Santo Domingo?

Santo Domingo offers a wide range of culinary experiences, from traditional Dominican cuisine to international dishes. Every type of restaurant can be found in Santo Domingo a booming crowded Caribbean metropolis. Seafood is particularly popular, alongside local specialties like sancocho (a hearty stew) and mofongo (mashed plantains)​​.

When is the best time to visit Santo Domingo?

The best time to visit Santo Domingo is from November to March when the weather is more comfortable, and the risk of hurricanes is lower. However, the city enjoys a warm climate year-round​​.