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Mercure Comercial Santo Domingo
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Reviewed 5 May 2013

We looked at three rooms on two floors before leaving and checking into a nearby hotel.
This hotel has a serious mold problem. Every room smells like mold, bleach, and perfume. We decided paying for another room was better than subjecting ourselves to the known health hazards of sleeping in mold-infested rooms.
The staff can't do anything beyond showing you other rooms filled with the same mold problem.
The hotel is a health hazard. Avoid at all cost. Paying more for a room elsewhere will save you money in medical costs down the line.

This hotel ought to take this problem more seriously. Bleach will not solve this problem. THey need industrial treatment. It's wrong to continue renting out rooms that are literally dangerous to their patrons' health.

Room Tip: Avoid the hotel.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NYny466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
H2974, Director General at Mercure Comercial Santo Domingo, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2013

Dear Nyny466,

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment about our hotel.

We admit that there is at this period humidity problem in a part of the hotel. Now, it is only humidity and not mold. We just had a health administration inspection, this institution is very careful with those kind of problems, and all analisis and reports indicate that like many properties in the Caribbean, the problem is humidity at this period of the year.
There is no health issue here! You can be sure about it.
I recognize that some persons cannot stand the smell and we found a solution coming from oversea soon, which can make you understand that we take your comment very seriously.

We are sorry for the inconvenience, hoping to meet you during your next stay in Santo Domingo.

Best regards,

Pierre Bignalet
Director.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2013

I booked one room lastminute because I got no other choice and was to late on evening, so I decided to book a worlwide famous outstanding brand: Mercure. Our first surprise was that on check-in they asked me for a deposit for the minibar. Maybe I was checking out without settling my bill. I went back to my reservation and I show to the receptionist (was late, around 10:00PM), that on my booking it didn´t say absolutely anything regarding a deposit, even more, was writed “deposit no required” (booking.com), therefore I refused to pay this amount of 1.500 DOP=38$USD=30€. The receptionist told me that they have this inconvenience everyday and he was very sorry but if we wanted to check.in we must pay. I ask him to wake up the GM or almost let me speak to him,…..imposible. Next morning as soon as I wake up I went to speak to the GM, and after a 15 minutes discussion, he accepted that I was right, the information on the reservation was wrong, but he was very sorry but it was a corporate decision so there was nothing to do. He added to this last sentence as well, that he was very bussy and he could not expend any more time with me. What kind of customer service is this one?...and we are not speaking about a receptionist or a housekeeper, we are speaking about the leader, the General Manager. I think Accor should take care of this issue.

Regarding the hotel I can only say that Mercure Comercial is not at all a Mercure. I know very well this company and I stayed in many of their hotels. This is an IBIS. Small rooms, old building, old bathrooms, poor maintenance, poor breakfast. Once again, i´m not saying is bad hotel, i´m just saying that please don´t expect a proper 4 stars Mercure. Definetly I will not go back and I will never recommend this property. If you want to stay in something similar to Mercure I highly recommend Intercontinental Santo Domingo, Nicolas de Ovando, Holiday Inn…etc

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank CmansoA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
H2974, Director General at Mercure Comercial Santo Domingo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2013

Dear Sir,

Indeed I remember our meeting. The first thing, is that I am sorry that you took my departure this way. I had an important meeting, it is true and I unfortunately could not dedicate you more time. It is not that I did not want to, but sometimes, as you will understand, we have emergencies.

Nevertheless, I could explain to you about the deposit policy and I have no problem in dedicated this moment to explain again as it is important to make clear this common process ; usual in the USA but not in Europe. For instance, a familiar stayed in Miami in another hotel chain few days ago and they asked for the very same process with a garantee of 60 USD. As for Dominican Republic, ALL hotels have the same policy.

The policy is clearly stated on all the website, it is important to notify it. Despite, I truly believe that explaining, things become more acceptable. The deposit is not charged on your credit card, this is only an authorization. If the deposit is made in cash, it is fully refunded at the end of the stay if there is no consumption. This deposit is to garantee payment in case of charges in the hotel outlets. It is unfortunate to have to apply this policy, I agree with you but it is necessary and one again, most of the hotel are doing it.

It is usually not a problem to Guests from the USA, they never complain because they are used to. Indeed, European Guests might be chocked initially and it is our task to explain it well. I hope I did it better this time and I stay at your disposal if you have any doubt.

Best regards,

Pierre Bignalet
Director

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Reviewed 8 April 2013

We stayed 3 nights in this hotel. We found the location to be really good as it is located in the Colonial Zone and close to everything. However, the service in the hotel (Reception and restaurant) was very slow, and most of the staff avoided eye contact with the guests.
The room we stayed in was very basic, a bit run down but was clean, spacious and with built in wardrobe. Not a memorable hotel, but we would definitely stay there again due to the great location and reasonable price.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 2100cph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

I just came back from Santo Domingo yesterday :) We stayed at the Mercure because it seemed like a great deal for its location (in the heart of the colonial zone).

Checking in:
Before we were in Santo Domingo, we were up in Puerto Plata - so I decided to call down from there to the Mercure and ask some logistics questions (I like to be prepared). One of my questions was how much was our deposit. The receptionist said $75 ($25/night), which was consistant with our reservations confirmation e-mail. He said that it was due at check in and would be given back at check out. When we actually arrived there, the receptionist tried to charge us $100 for the deposit. When I told him I called and SHOWED him their policy in writing (I printed it out off the internet - expedia) he changed his tune and charged us the proper amount. We thought that that was really shady, but decided to let bygones.

Accommodations:
When we got into our first the moldy smell hit us. We had had a long day so we immediately ate at the restaurant (which took like an hour for a gross burger and gross grilled cheese sandwich) and hit the sack. I'm a early bird so I woke up first to use the restroom. Like most women on a public seat I squat and that's when I saw it...poo on the side of the toilet. I couldn't get up fast enough. I screamed and my friend woke up. Upon further examination there was poo on the side AND front of the commode. It was insane - so I took pictures of it. We looked around the bathroom and then saw all of the mold - BLACK MOLD (the kind that makes you sick). Got photos of that too. In our pajamas, at about 8am, we went to the front desk and told them about the condition of the room. The receptionist (the same one who tried to cheat us the night before) did not seem at all phased (like this was a normal complaint) and gave us a key to go preview two other rooms. No apology. The first was on the 2nd floor the second was on the 5th floor [side note: floors 1-3 are smoking 4-5 are non-smoking]. The first room smelled like mold too - hot mess. The second room was perfect. We didn't see or smell any mold. We were still very cautious though, we cleaned the room ourselves with clorox. The new room was much better so to be fair I took a picture of the bed and sink :)

Money and policies:
So we bought through expedia. On expedia they charged us for taxes and fees. When you actually get to the hotel there's this menu of prices with taxes fees and other stuff. After a pooey toilet there was no way in hell were were paying anything extra - not even a tip. Seriously, Nothing. The receptionist will give you a map for exploring the colonial zone, but then they will recommend that you take a guide from the hotel at $25usd/person. That's a personal choice you'll have to make. I'm from NYC, you can put me anywhere and I'll make it happen - so no guide for me. In fact, we were walking down El Conde and met a cool dude who ended up taking us around and showing us stuff (it was all in Spanish, but I speak Spanish) - we tipped him and it wasn't $50. So basically how you get around and the amount you're willing to spend to explore is a personal choice. Ok, other fees - when you check it they make you sign a paper saying that if you have a guest the hotel will charge them $20/night - even if you have an extra bed in the room (which we did). Once again hot mess. I was reading a review on here where this guy was charged for his wife. I was charged for my boyfriend. I guess I get it, the hotel probably just wants to deter its guests from bringing like prostitutes and seedy people on the premises but damn you can't even bring your significant other? It is what it is - they charge it to your room and when you check out you have to pay. They also charge tax on that fee so it comes out to about $24 a night.

There was GOOD stuff too:
Ok, so I gave the hotel 2 stars (really more like 2.5) because it wasn't all terrible. I like that when we wanted to switch rooms they were fast. At some places it takes them like a half a day to make stuff happen. I liked that there was free wi-fi because I used the vonage app to call the US for free. I like that there was a computer in the lobby so I could check e-mail and stuff (it was slow as hell, but it turned out to be a lifesaver for us). I liked that if you need to call local for free you could do that in the lobby. I liked that the hotel had a restaurant downstairs. The food was gross and overpriced, but the drinks were good. I liked the overall ambiance of the hotel they had Dominican candy sitting out on the front desk as well as fish. I loved that there was 24hr security. During the really late times of night 3amish they completely lock the front doors. I liked that they had a courtyard inside of the hotel for smokers (my friend smokes and I do not). I loved that the receptionists spoke English fluently (although I speak Spanish - being a translator for my friend can be mentally taxing). I liked that the staff was very friendly including the maids and maintenance. They were also quick, like when we didn't have towels they got them to us quickly. The best thing that this hotel had going for it, again, is its LOCATION. Although, they tried to trick us with the money/fees and had some rooms that were gross/moldy - when I go back this summer I might stay there again. The location is PERFECT - it's safe (police everywhere), it's near food (pollo rey), it's near tourist attractions (chu-chu), it's near shopping. For the price, it's a win.


So, when you are planning your trip to the RD consider all that I've said. It comes down to what you are willing to compromise on. I have a lot of information in here, but if you still have questions you can contact me via TripAdvisor. Good Luck and please rate my review as helpful :)

Room Tip: So, if you get a street-facing room beware it is LOUD. A loud chess game happens every night until about 10pm. On the weekends (Fri, Sat night) Forget about it. Parties galore until absurd times of the night. None of this is the hotel's fault because they can't control the neighborhood. Bring earplugs with you or go out and party with the locals ;)
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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12  Thank Br0wnb0mbshell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
H2974, Director General at Mercure Comercial Santo Domingo, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Dear Brownbombshell,

Thank you for your comments trying to be as objective as possible!

To begin, there is one thing which must be understood be all readers, and it is about the stars. I do not think that many people understand how Tripadvisor works. Indeed, the given stars in the comments do not match the real hotel stars but should be understood as a ratio quality/price. Most of the time, people rate all the hotel as if they were a 5 stars and obviously, it does not match what it should. I enjoyed the opportunity to clarify this point which I think is not so clear in Tripadvisor ; in this case, you had a wonderful promotion at 25USD/night and you would never get this in a "leading hotels of the world".

When you get at the front office, with a reservation, you must show you reservation otherwise, other rates apply. This is like this in hotels, airplane companies and other similar business. Indeed, there are several rates in a hotel according to where you buy it. This way of selling born in the 70s in the USA and in used all over the world.

Another important point is that if you have a reservation for one person, it will not be the same than for two persons. It is true, the hotel policy charges 20USD for additional Guests. In a plane, one ticket does not give two seats. This is the same.

The taxes in Dominican Republic are addtional. In Europe, for instance, all prices include the taxes but like the USA, here the taxes are on top. Now, the burger in the hotel is at 6.19 USD (7.92 USD with taxes and service) ; is it overrated? The burger weights 150 gr, bacon, tomato, cheese, pickle, sauces of your choice... fries or salad. It sounds to me very affordable.

As for the guide, it is up to you. The guides we recommend are certified, knowns by us, clean (in legal terms) and we are in Dominican Republic. If you want to follow someone in the street, it is up to you but the hotel will never recommend such a way of knowing the city as it can be extremely dangerous! I strongly recomment everyone reading this comment to be careful on this point and not to follow your recommendation for security purposes (the hotel does not get anything from the guide service ; it is only for Guests´safety). Indeed we have an excellent service of security!

Now, I am extremely surprised and concerned about the "poo". This is not normal and indeed unaceptable. I wish you could send me the picture through my e-mail to be able to check what happened with the team. The mold also because we redid 2 months ago all the borders in the bathroom and this one must have been forgotten then. Please, help me with the pictures and your real name for me to be able to trace this problem.

The humid smell. It is true at this time of the year in some spots of the hotel and we are working on several solutions. It will be fixed soon and I apologize for the inconvenience without explaining the technical reasons (in the tropics, it is unfortunately a big issue not only here).

Do not hesitate to contact me if you come back to Santo Domingo, there is always more to see!

Best regards,

Pierre Bignalet
h2974-gm@accor.com

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Reviewed 4 April 2013

I booked this hotel through a well-known website that provides discounts, and where you pre-pay for the room/stay. We booked two rooms. When we arrived, all seemed well. Waiting area looks nice, clean and accommodating. There's even a computer for your use.

When we went to our floor, we immediately noted a moldy smell in the rooms, in mine, in particular, it smelled extremely strong. The floor and the rooms smelled moldy and exactly as if there had been a flood some time before, however that it had not yet dried, due to the fact that the room windows do not open and the A/C is on 24/7.

After inspecting my room further, I also saw there was body soap but no shampoo (no biggie). I wasn't keen however, on how the dispensers in the shower for the soap and shampoo appeared crusty, possibly from soap scum. Also, there were no travel sized, individual soaps, just dispensers in the shower, like you would find in the shower stall at the YMCA.

I asked for my room to be changed, which they did, however the smell remained, only to a lesser degree. In the new room, there was no body soap but shampoo (strange). I asked about that on two occasions, realizing that if I wait in my room, nothing happens. I decided to wait at the front desk for what I needed. They finally took the soap from my old room and placed it in the new one.

I learned during the stay, that if we wanted anything, like towels etc, it was best to stand at the front desk until it was done, or else nothing would get resolved.

This was the case with the room housekeeping. We would leave in the morning and return late afternoon to an unmade room. This happened 3 times out of a 4 night stay. At that point, I bypassed the front desk and went to find the housekeeper myself. I noticed that she was the only housekeeper for an entire floor of MANY rooms. Which (possibly) explained the situation: She didn't have enough time to get to everyone.

A tray of breakfast had been left outside another room and was there for 2 out of the 4 days we were there, making the hallway smell like stale coffee. Who knows how long it had been there prior to our arrival.

One particular concierge, who was the one who was often there whenever we were, regularly feigned shock/surprise and stated that he would take care of our requests, including missing towels, soap, lack of housekeeping and hallway/breakfast tray, but only did so when we stayed at the front desk, staring at him until it got done.

We never ate at the restaurant, however we did have a drink. We tried. We ordered two Caipirinhas, and didn't get them until 30 minutes later, because after that time elapsed, I asked about the drinks. The waiter made a gesture to himself about forgetting, then brought them out 3 minutes later. No explanation, no apology.

I kept my cool the entire stay, until when we tried to check out (the night before our departure, so as to avoid complications that would make us late to the airport).

We had kept close count our minibar and restaurant purchases, however when we were given receipts, for our "expenses" EVERY SINGLE ONE of them was INCORRECT. The charges were for items we didn't even drink or eat. The receipts seemed arbitrary as well, since the items were random. The same concierge encouraged us to "check out tomorrow" as my frustration increased.

Heck. No.

It was getting resolved with him right there. Also, he never apologized, and simply pushed off responsibility for the mistakes to some anonymous someone else.

One receipt had my name on it, but had been signed by some other person, for 2 coffees at the restaurant. I don't even drink coffee. That's unacceptable.

I was extremely disappointed by the hotel. We all know pictures from hotels don't always match reality, but in terms of this hotel, the rooms look nothing like their photos. An extremely-wide angle lens was probably used to make them appear bigger. And possible photoshop to make them appear cleaner and brighter.

There were two good things about the hotel however: The location (Zona Colonial) and the free Wifi. Bravo for that. Everything else? Not worth it, even for the discounted price.

I hope Accor Hotels Group makes regular visits to their partner hotels to assess the standards more often.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Jojomotion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
H2974, Director General at Mercure Comercial Santo Domingo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2013

Dear Jojomotion,

Thank you for taking the time to describe your experience at the hotel. I am deeply sorry to see that you had problems one after another. Even if it is usual to say that thunders do not fall twice at the same place, in the hospitality industry, it is unfortunatly the case.
I will not discuss all the points you mentionned as you described them in detail but I will only apologize for such a bad experience. I wish I fixed this during your stay, it is allways much better but you "suffered" the bad moments in silence without asking for an explanation, or much better a solution.
I can ensure you that, would you rely on my words, you next stay will be much better and I would take care myself of your wellness!
Do not doubt to contact me in the future directly at h2974-gm@accor.com

Best regards,

Pierre Bignalet
Director

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