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“CENTRALLY located. It doesn't get much better than this” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Boutique Hotel Palacio

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Boutique Hotel Palacio
Ranked #13 of 79 Hotels in Santo Domingo
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
100 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“CENTRALLY located. It doesn't get much better than this”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2010

Palacio is a nice little pension/hotel. It's very centrally located to the main tourist spots (walkable). Clean and seems to have a lot of security, both around the zona colonial, and at the hotel (@ night) -- enough to make the fears die down and actually enjoy walking around at night. There's an in-room safe, and the rooms are large. The rooftop pool is a little on the cool side - but overall, the place is clean, well maintained. We'd stay there again.

Tips:

1. bring enough cash with you, since the hotel doesn't always have enough for exchange - (the airport is a total rip off for currency exchange).

2. If you get desperate, there's a hard rock cafe about 2 blocks away (cheaper than the maison de bari and a lot of the other tourist traps) and a whole strip of cute little restaurants on that same main "drag". btw - there are actually a lot of coupons for restaurants that are in the little 1/2 page sized local guide, for places where we ate (noticed the coupons a few days after we left Santo Domingo and were trying to figure out how to match the pictures to the sights).

3: We did take a cooking class in Santo Domingo, at a place called Cookers and Friends (just excellent - arrange in advance) - it's a cab ride, but well worth it.

4. Also, another very authentic Dominican restaurant was called Restaurante Conuco (El) - Calle Casimiro de Moya No. 152. The food was pretty good, but the dancing (to watch) was really quite something.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SKI_Road_Warrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, NC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2010

We stayed here from Jan 1st 2010 through Jan 4th. We liked the location- it was very easy to walk to nearby restaurants and sightseeing. The streets of Santo Domingo are a bit chaotic, and we enjoyed the quiet and well landscaped courtyard at the end of the day. Our room was very clean, although small (it was the least expensive in the house), and we really appreciated the clean, modern bathroom, the stocked minifridge, and strong wifi signal. The continental breakfast was okay...I generally just got coffee, juice, and cereal. The overall atmosphere at this hotel is excellent. We found the staff helpful. Only downside to the location is true to the entire Colonial Zone, a bit tricky to navigate given the one way, rather narrow streets. Once you are there, the pedestrian experience is quite enjoyable. If you like to travel a bit off the beaten path, this place is a gem.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ariel0505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CARY, NC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2010

I went in following the good reviews here. we liked the location of the hotel. It is smack
right on Av.Duarte, close to El Conde where the action is. The monuments are all close
by. The pool at the roof top was nice to chill off. The staff spoke English and were always
helpful. We had the breakfast plan built into our price. They even packed us the breakfast
when we had to leave at 6am one morning to go to Island Catalina for a tour. Of course,
we requested for it the prior evening. The hotel has a car parking underground and is
fully secured. Everyone was helpful. The maid made the beds everyday and cleaned the
room. The breakfast is nice with eggs, waffles, mangu, breads, cereals, yogurt, juices etc. We were afraid that we were not staying at the Malecon. However, i would not worry
much about it. We saw tourist police stationed on all the streets. We even walked from
El Conde (Hard Rock Cafe) to the hotel after 9pm and did not feel unsafe. Just keep
all valuables in the hotel safe and have a low key profile anywhere you travel on the island. If one stays as a lawful tourist and practises common travel precautions, one will
be just fine. If one gets into the activities of the underworld, trouble will come to you fast.
We drove all over the Island from Santiago to Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo and we
managed it without knowing spanish. On the average, people are nice and laidback.
Also the hotel has 2 computers at the lobby where one will need to toss in 5peso coins
for every 2 minutes of internet access. The front desk will change the money for you.
We found that the exchange rates in Santo Domingo are much better than Santiago and
Puerto Plata, where they rip you off at 35 pesos to the Dollar versus Santo Domingo, where they use 36 pesos. Could be due to rate fluctuations during our trip - i am not sure. we took travellers check with us as a back up just in case we got robbed or mugged and lost all cards and cash. We had no need for it. We also took a GSM phone
and purchased a Claro SIM card for use during our trip. I would be very wary of the tour agencies. Shop, Shop, Shop. They will sell you a tour that is high priced and will not fit
your plans. I found it the hard way, too late. A travellers time is precious and they don't
respect it. I had a bad taste with Colonial Tours, recommended by the hotel. Call multiple tour agencies. Ask questions before making a committment. Reject the offer
for providing guide services at ALL tourist locations, monuments etc. In the zona colonial,
we used one of those horse drawn carriages to go around the town. We had little ones
and it was helpful to avoid the walking in the humid sun. Negotiate down the price for
every service in this country. That is one aspect i hate about. It is such a waste of time.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kumarkrishna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgefield, CT
Level Contributor
34 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2009

I spent Thanksgiving weekend with my wife and 2 boys at the Palacio, 4 nights. I chose this hotel because it has a pool and, although I wanted my kids to have a little history and culture in Santo Domingo, I realized that the pool would be necessary between activities.

The Hotel: This is a very good hotel located in a large old colonial house with a central courtyard. The pool is located on the roof. It’s not big, but it’s a pool. Our room was very big, as was the bathroom. It’s clean. There is a safe and wifi. The only complaint might be noise. Because it’s one of those old, open houses you can hear everything. If you had people in the adjoining rooms who were even a little bit noisy, it would be bothersome. Fortunately, we did not have this problem.

Location: Perfect. Only a few steps from the middle of El Conde. You can walk everywhere and it’s very safe right up until midnight when everything closes. There is a supermarket right on the corner of El Conde and stores all around. If you turn left on El Conde you pass the park with the old Cathedral, El Conde restaurant and a Hard Rock Café. A couple more blocks lands you at the Calle Las Damas.

Breakfast: I don’t recommend the hotel breakfast because it’s too expensive: $10 for a very small, simple buffet is too much (especially X 4 people). Instead, I took the advice of a previous contributor and walked around the corner to El Cafetero. This is a great local diner with ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. They will also make you a plate of eggs, toast etc. if you ask. There are four guys working behind the counter, and you have to sort of bark out your order, they don’t approach you very well. The cafe con leche and fresh squeezed OJ are great, and you can also take it to go. If you eat in, sit at the bar instead of the rickety tables in the back. When it’s time to check out, walk to the register and tell them what you had. The guy punches it all in on a calculator then shows you the number. No paper. It’s cool.

Restaurants: The hotel is one block from the well known Meson de Bari and its more low key, less expensive competitor, Meson de Luis. They are both good, but I prefer Luis. There are many restaurants on the big plaza and a few near the old Cathedral. They are all good.

Some other activities I have written about in the “Things to Do” section for Santo Domingo: Baseball at Quisqueya Stadium (Awesome!); Boca Chica for a day; Tres Ojos Caves; Colombus Lighthouse.


UPDATE: CREDIT CARD FRAUD IN SANTO DOMINGO

Two to three weeks after coming home to the US someone charged over $1,000 to our credit card ($500+ two consecutive days) at a local store called Ferreteria Americana, which is like the Dominican version of Home Depot. Apparently, our info was stolen somewhere where we used the card. The actual card was not stolen. Although the hotel was likely not involved, l I reported it to them so that they could warn future guests and they were VERY diligent about investigating it and felt very badly.

I don’t know for sure which of the places I went stole my card info, but I see a post from Coon_Rapids_Traveller from February 2009 and the same thing happened to him. He used his card at only 2 other places, including Meson D'Bari Restaurant and a jewelry store. Of course, I can't be sure who stole my number (or his), but the point is to be careful and monitor your charges when you get home.

Other than the hotel, these are the ONLY FOUR PLACES I used my card during the 4 days I spent in the DR:

1. Meson D'Bari Restaurant.
2. Rita's Cafe (One of the restaurants on the plaza by the Diego Colon House Museum).
3. Hotel Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando (we had drinks there).
4. I tried to use the card at the Anacanoa restaurant near the old Cathedral (next to Hard Rock) but it wouldn’t swipe and I had to give them a Mastercard instead. Therefore, they, too had my card in their possession.

Although I cannot say for sure, I suspect that it was one of the restaurants' employees who took my number.

Finally, I see that only Meson D’Bari prints the entire credit card number on the receipt they way the merchants in the US used to do years ago. The others only printed the last four digits. Perhaps this makes it easier to steal since the waiter only has to memorize the special 4 digit code while handling the card and can sort through the receipt later for all of the other info. Who knows.

Good luck and be sure to check your card carefully when you get home.

Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank JJH3d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2009

Just a wonderful place, centrally located. very cozy. owner is very nice, always around and his staff very helpful. can definitely recommend it after 5 stays there

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MotormouthChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2009

I absolutely recommend this hotel to EVERYONE! The service, the cleanliness and location can not be beat. I have stayed at this hotel many times over the last 5 years and this is my second review. Although I stayed at the Hilton as well on this trip, this hotel is more personal and attentive to your needs... and being single they are guest friendly. Something important to many solo travelers to the DR.... and I LOVE IT!! Can't wait to return. S McDonald

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FAFINI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2009

I have stayed in this hotel about 5 different occasions. I have stayed in 5 different rooms there. Each room was different. The manager of the hotel is german or swiss, very good guy. The workers are professional. I left my electronics (laptop, IPOD) out in my room and never had a problem. There are digital safes in each room, included in the room rate, most times I never used them.

The air conditioning works good in the rooms. There is free wifi internet access. Some rooms have a cable for the internet.

There is a small clean pool with lounge chairs on the fourth floor. An inside courtyard with tables, chairs and large umbrellas to block the sun. The hotel has two elevators. If you have a car there is a small inside parking area.

Having stayed at this hotel for over ten nights on different trips, I am familiar with most of the workers there. Very friendly people.

This hotel is in Zona Colonial, if you drive to this hotel, the streets in Zona Colonial can be a little confusing. This hotel is located about 60 feet from El Conde, which is a pedestrian only street with stores and restaurants. The first Cathedral in the New World is about three blocks from the Hotel Palacio. Also there is a Hard Rock cafe near the Cathedral. Around he corner from Hotel Palacio is a small old coffee shop, named La Cafetera, you can get cappuccino or regular coffee to drink there or to go. They also serve sandwiches and fresh squeezed juice.

On my last stay at this hotel, July 2009, I was given room 124. This room had high ceilings with large wooden beams in the ceiling. Outside this room was a table with chairs.

I have stayed in numerous hotels in Santo Domingo, Hotel Palacio is one of my favorites.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NY_Oak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Boutique Hotel Palacio

Property: Boutique Hotel Palacio
Address: Calle Duarte 106 | Colonial City, Santo Domingo 10211, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Santo Domingo Province > Santo Domingo
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Santo Domingo
#7 Best Value Hotel in Santo Domingo
#9 Family Hotel in Santo Domingo
#17 Business Hotel in Santo Domingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Boutique Hotel Palacio 3.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Palacio, located only two blocks from the Cathedral Primada of America and right in the center of all historical and cultural attractions of the first city ever built in the New World. The monuments, museums, classical and modern art exhibits and concerts will add interest to your stay in this magical city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palacio Hotel Santo Domingo
Palacio Santo Domingo

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