Santo Domingo

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Santo Domingo, is home to the Dominican Republic's oldest, and most beautiful colonial buildings - this was one of the first places settled by Europeans in the whole of the Americas, so it's not just beautiful, it's also laden with a rich, and living patchwork of history and culture. And despite all these exceptionally good reasons to visit, it remains relatively un-touristy. The best places to stay in Santo Domingo tend to be small and boutique, certainly with a uniqueness about them that's reminiscent of the city itself.

Santo Domingo is very much a living city, as well as a beautiful and historic one. It's full of noise and movement, from people playing merengue music from their cars and possibly mounting the pavement - so be careful, to people haggling over the local semi-precious stones, larimar and amber, to the sound of dominoes and coffee cups on formica.

The Colonial Zone, at the centre of town, is where you'll find many of the highlights, including the best of the 15th and 16th Century architecture, the Ozama Fort, the cathedral and the Alcazar de Colon, all built within Colombus' lifetime. Unless you're looking for sun and fun, in which case try the waterfront, or Malecon, where you'll find the casinos, bars, palm-lined boulevards and grand monuments.

The Dominican Republic covers around two thirds of the large island of Hispaniola, sharing it with Creole-speaking Haiti to the west. As well its the vibrant traditional cultures, the DR also has some spectacular beaches, and it's big enough to actually explore - from the beautiful colonial towns to the dense jungle.

During peak season (November to March) the best places to stay in Santo Domingo can get very busy. So if you want to ensure that you bag one of the best beds in town, get organised and book early.

Best Places to Stay in Santo Domingo

For a city break

  • The Billini Hotel is a luxurious, contemporary hotel with a spectacular roof terrace and a collection of rooms - from simple rooms to opulent family-size suites, some with private balconies and hot tubs. It's also got two excellent restaurants and two bars.

For great value

  • Hotel Dona Elvira is a charming, 12 room boutique hotel with rooms starting from just £60 per night. Set around a lovely inner courtyard with a large pool and hot tub, there are also two bedroom apartments available.
  • The Dominican Republic also has five star options for under £100 a night - like the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. This hundred room hotel is in a Heritage Listed building, built on the very first cobbled street in the New World. Romantic, with a well respected French restaurant.

Still undecided?

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The best hotels in Santo Domingo

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  • Hotel Dona Elvira

    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    A charming little boutique hotel with a variety of accommodation for all budgets. Rooms, suites, and a two-bed apartment (to be rented weekly) have stone walls, attractive throws, and DVD players. Beautiful inner courtyard with pool and hot tub. Ideal for families or those on a budget.

    12 rooms from $98
    Value chic
    Sights nearby  -  House of Tostado, Cathedral of Santo Domingo, and Parque Colon.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
  • Hotel Frances

    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    A beautiful boutique townhouse in the city centre close to the National Palace. Romantic bedrooms in ochres with wooden beams and elegant furnishings. A striking balustraded courtyard and gourmet French restaurant. Very chic with lots of character, good value too.

    19 rooms from $127
    Luxury  -  A beautiful four star hotel.
    Romantic Break
    Sights nearby  -  The Cord House, Parque Colon, and Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
  • Hostal Nicolas de Ovando

    Santo Domingo,, Dominican Republic

    A stunning Five Star hotel on Las Damas, the First Cobbled Street of the New World. Boutique chic in every way with romantic bedrooms, a Spanish-style courtyard with balustrades, and an excellent French restaurant. Swimming pool, spa, and massages to top it all off.

    104 rooms from $149
    Foodies  -  La Residence serves fabulous French cuisine.
    Architectural  -  Listed as a World Heritage site by Unesco.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Romantic Break
  • Billini Hotel

    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    A luxury Five Star hotel with contemporary chic interiors and a spectacular roof terrace. Rooms, family suites, and suites decked out in creams and light wooden furniture, some with private balconies and hot tubs. Two excellent restaurants, two bars, and a pool on the roof top with stunning views.

    24 rooms from $171
    Foodies  -  Castil Restaurant serves excellent international cuisine and El Higuero Dining Terrace serves lighter fare.
    Views  -  Stunning views from the roof top out to sea and over the city.
    Roof terrace  -  A terrace with pool, views, and the wow factor.
    City Style
  • Casas del XVI

    Santo Domingo

    Laid back Caribbean hospitality in an elegant old colonial home. Contemporary bedrooms and a number of relaxation areas with gorgeous Dominican artifacts and beautiful carved wooden furniture. Enjoy the tropical garden and courtyard, among sprawling ferns and palm trees. Great restaurants nearby.

    7 rooms from $220
    Local exploring  -  The perfect location for exploring the Old Colonial City
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the heart of Santo Domingo's Colonial Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Local markets  -  Visit Santa Domingo's local markets
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
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