The Best Hotels in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Its a choice between a poolside lounger or comfy pod at the Renaissance in Santo Domingo
It's a choice between a poolside lounger or comfy pod at the Renaissance in Santo Domingo | Courtesy of Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel and Casino / Expedia
Claire Dodd

Villa retreat, historic hotel, vibrant resort: Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, is blessed with some excellent places to stay. Here are the best hotels in Santo Domingo – all bookable with Culture Trip.

Established soon after Christopher Columbus landed here in 1492 is the near-perfectly intact walled central neighbourhood, Zona Colonial. It’s here you’ll find galleries, cafes and chic restaurants among the Unesco-protected relics of Spanish rule. Step beyond the walls, and you’ll be hit by the chaotic throb of traffic in the busy city, where the business district rubs shoulders with streets and squares, where men sit on plastic chairs playing dominoes in the street.

1. Billini Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Sun loungers on the rooftop of Billini Hotel, with a view of city buildings and trees in Santo Domingo
Courtesy of Billini Hotel / Expedia

In the old colonial zone of Santo Domingo, Billini Hotel makes for a great base to explore. There are 24 well-appointed rooms with modern and functional interiors. However, exposed stone walls reveal the history of the building and add to the charm. There’s an expansive wine cellar, a 24-hour concierge, a spa and a gym, but the highlight is a rooftop infinity pool with sublime city views. There is also a restaurant on the rooftop that shouldn’t be missed: try the crispy cornflake shrimp with creamy passion fruit sauce.

2. Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino

Hotel

Couches and wicker armchairs in the lobby area of Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino

This colossal oceanfront property sits amid extensive gardens, just a 25-minute walk along the coast from the Zona Colonial. It may sit within the business district, but the main tourist spots in the city are within easy reach, including the National Botanical Garden, Catedral Primada de América and El Conde Street. Rooms have a bright and breezy feel, with high ceilings and cool earthy tones, and all gaze out over the sea or city. If you’d like a balcony, specify when booking. Want the VIP treatment? The Executive Club allows access to a dedicated lounge that looks onto the Caribbean Sea and comes with customised service, food and drinks, and an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch. Head down to a poolside cabana, featuring striking graffiti walls.

3. Hodelpa Nicolás de Ovando

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel

Leather and velvet armchairs in a sitting area, with stone arches, chandeliers and a wood beam ceiling, at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
Courtesy of Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando / Expedia

Step back in time with a stay at Hodelpa Nicolás de Ovando. Housed in a building dating to 1502 and sitting on the first paved street in the Americas, it is the only hotel in the Dominican Republic declared a Unesco World Heritage site. As you’d expect from a building this age, right in the heart of the colonial zone, many of the 92 rooms and suites display original features, including dark wooden beams, shutters, stone arches and brickwork. Be sure to book a room in the historic section of the hotel. Deluxe rooms include access to the Imperial Club Lounge, which offers all-day hot and soft drinks, as well as spirits and snacks in the afternoon.

4. Catalonia Santo Domingo

Hotel

Two massage tables, with a bathrobe hanging on the wall, at Catalonia Santo Domingo
Courtesy of Catalonia Santo Domingo / Expedia

Find uninterrupted sea views at the Catalonia, which sits on the Malecón promenade fronting the Caribbean Sea, a 40-minute walk from the Zona Colonial. Making the most of the waterfront spot, most of the key facilities face the ocean, including the Filigrana Restaurant, terrace bar and lounge, gym and outdoor pool. Be sure to book a window seat at the Filigrana, where most food is prepared over a charcoal grill.

5. Crowne Plaza

Hotel

Transparent plastic bar stools lining the outside bar at Crowne Plaza, next to the outdoor pool and with a view of the ocean
Courtesy of Crowne Plaza / Expedia
A high-rise on the seafront, the Crowne Plaza is only a short walk from the Zona Colonial yet also manages to feel secluded. The pool, hot tub, patio area and outdoor bar sit on a rooftop, away from the street noise, and seem to hover above the sea. All the rooms have balconies that look over the ocean as well as Zona Colonial and the wider city. Top-floor suites have floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the views.

6. El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Hotel

A tree with lanterns hanging from the branches, and an outdoor sitting area lit up at night, at Occidental El Embajador
Courtesy of Occidental El Embajador / Expedia
Find a slice of calm at this understated modern high rise, which sits back from the city and is framed by lush gardens and a swimming pool. You can view the bustling streets below from the comfort of the slick rooms and rooftop lounges. Close to the Santo Domingo financial district, the hotel is a favourite among business travellers but also attracts a fair share of tourists. The interiors are stylish, with neutral tones and warm lighting running throughout. The chic spa sits apart from the rest of the hotel in a separate building, with a rooftop infinity pool overlooking manicured gardens. Opt for the jetlag recovery treatments.

7. Casas del XVI

Hotel

Tables and chairs, potted plants, a wood beam ceiling with fans and brick arches leading to an outdoor courtyard at Casas del XVI
Courtesy of Casas del XVI / Expedia
Maximalism rules at this hotel in the heart of the Zona Colonial, which is comprised of numerous individual houses, some dating to the 16th century. The homes (currently there are seven), which are dotted across the old city, each retain original features, including art deco railings and traditional courtyards. The interiors are awash with modern artworks, antiques, bold colour schemes, intricate tiling and furniture. Rent a room or a whole casa. Some houses have pools – others plunge pools – in courtyards filled with lush vegetation. An attentive concierge service is accessed via iPhones and iPads, which are on loan, with a daily maid service and private butler also on hand. For a fun experience, there are clay-sculpting sessions and meet-and-greets with local artists.

8. Boutique Hotel Palacio

Hotel

Wood tables and palm trees in the courtyard at Boutique Hotel Palacio in Santo Domingo
Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Palacio / Expedia
Conveniently located in the colonial zone, Boutique Hotel Palacio is a great place to stay. The traditionally decorated rooms are equipped with air conditioning. Other amenities include wifi, flat-screen TVs and refrigerators. The courtyard is a lovely place to relax, and this is also where the breakfast buffet is served. If you’re looking to keep up your fitness routine while away, there’s an outdoor pool and an on-site gym.

9. Courtyard by Marriott Santo Domingo

Hotel

Seating in an indoor/outdoor area at Courtyard, with a path leading out to a grassy area with palm trees
Courtesy of Courtyard / Expedia
In the centre of the cultural district, Courtyard by Marriott is a convenient place to stay. Upon arrival, try an authentic Dominican meal at Centro, the on-site restaurant, before retreating to one of the spacious rooms. Amenities include complimentary wifi, flatscreen TVs, ergonomic workstations and views of the city. When downtime arises, keep up your routine at the fitness centre, or take a dip in the outdoor pool.

10. Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel

Hotel

An aerial view of the outdoor pool, surrounded by sun loungers and trees, at Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel, with a view out towards the ocean
Courtesy of Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel / Expedia
Book a room at this Sheraton outpost to enjoy your morning coffee with Caribbean Sea views. Rooms follow the Sheraton style, with soft furnishings in neutral tones and simple dark-wood furniture. If you want to push the boat out, book a presidential suite, which offers large balconies with ocean vistas.

11. El Beaterio Guest House

Hotel

Sunbeds, chairs and tables on a balcony with potted palms at El Beaterio in Santo Domingo
Courtesy of El Beaterio / Expedia
This house-museum offers you the chance to sleep in a former 16th-century convent. Grand stone arches, interior courtyards, beamed ceilings and exposed brickwork speak to the history of the building. Rooms, which range from double to family-sized, feature wrought-iron furniture and a moody palette of reds. There’s no swimming pool at this boutique, but being in the middle of the most historic part of the city means it’s a good base for exploring the history and culture of Santo Domingo.

12. Casa Naemie

Hotel

A bed in a hotel room, with sliding glass doors leading out to a balcony with seating and potted palms, at Casa Naemie
Courtesy of Casa Naemie / Expedia
To get to the soul of Santo Domingo, you can’t go wrong with the budget-friendly Casa Naemie. The hotel sits in Zona Colonial, a three-minute walk to the 16th-century riverside castle Fortaleza Ozama. Once you’re done touring the Unesco-badged attraction, return to your functional (yet comfortable) room, some of which have sea views.

13. Hotel Villa Colonial

Hotel, Villa

The outdoor pool, with sunbeds and trees, at Hotel Villa Colonial in Santo Domingo
Courtesy of Hotel Villa Colonial / Expedia
Hotel Villa Colonial dates to the 1920s, with original features including characterful floor tiles still intact. The rooms have a homely feel, with dark wood furnishings and local art hanging on the walls. Don’t miss the complimentary continental breakfast, which has a spread of local products on offer. When it’s time to chill, head to the verdant backyard or swimming pool.

Fancy more plush hotels? Check out our guide to the best hotels in the Dominican Republic for every traveler, bookable with Culture Trip

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Sophia Mills Francis.

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