Santo Domingo Hotels
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Most of the better hotels are on or near the Malecón, a short taxi ride from the Zona Colonial. But increasingly visitors want to stay in the Zone itself. The petite boutique hotels in the Zona Colonial are all reconstructions, some of architecturally significant colonial-era buildings. The five-star Hostal Nicolas Ovando, one of only two full-service hotels in the neighborhood, was built to resemble the residence of the city's first governor, Nicolas Ovando. Always make your reservations at the smaller properties as far in advance as possible, because the posh surroundings, good service, and favorable pricing keep them full.
The Malecón's high-rise hotels continue to offer a deluxe experience, at prices that are reasonable for a capital city. Seldom do you have to pay as much as $200, and that would be for the concierge level or a suite. Moderately priced American chains have made inroads into the country. They offer stateside amenities, even luxury bedding programs and in-city pools, for less than the Malecón majors. Although these chain hotels may not have the same glamour or the primo locations, they're good choices, especially for budget-conscious, cruise-ship passengers who must spend a night before embarking. The pre- and post-cruise business has increased the weekend occupancy of some participating hotels by 20%. In 2009 more than 500,000 cruisers came to the Dominican Republic, a large percentage of them to Santo Domingo.
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