Warm and hospitable people and incredibly beautiful sandy beaches with rolling clear waters that gently dance against shoreline-facing resorts are the principle banners of the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo. Both the city and island nation present so much more to enable you to discover your adventurous soul.
There is an abundance of stuff to do for enjoying any day in Santo Domingo. If you like to party, the nightlife is described by many locals as over the top, “way over the top.” There’s exquisite fine dining, world class shopping, golfing, water and city walk excursions, zip lining and even fishing for deep sea anglers. There is also ample opportunity to do absolutely nothing should you choose to “just chill” and allow the day to blissfully pass you by.
Lush accommodations are all around in Santa Domingo. This time around, we stayed at the Real InterContinental Santo Domingo. The beautiful alluring and thoroughly modern high-end 21-story hotel is located in the heart of the entertainment, business and shopping districts. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously decorated. If an incredible night’s sleep is what you seek, you’ll find beds that seem to mold to your body as you rest atop fine quality Egyptian cotton sheets. The service by the staffers is swift and remarkably courteous. The more than 220 rooms have ocean and city views that can be mesmerizing especially around sunset and in the evenings. Just steps from your room, dine in or carry out meals from the property’s surrounding restaurants that include the NAU Lounge, The Market and the Factory Steak & Lobster serve wonderfully delicious meals.
Santo Domingo is a place like few others on the planet, featuring astounding natural settings and beauty, a history of colonial America and cultural experiences: music, art, museums, a massive botanical garden and unique and colorful local festivals.
A getaway to the city should include a sampling of its delicious foods and a local baseball game; you just might see a future Major League Baseball star. Also, be sure to add tastings of sugar cane rum, chocolate and coffee, which may give you the urge to dance the merengue.
If you enjoy the taste of rum, local cabbies suggest a stop at the Ron Barceló Distillery, located just a short drive outside of Santo Domingo. You’ll not only get to sample fine rum made from sugar cane but you can take a tour of how it is made in the Caribbean region. Tour guide and rum aficionado, Otto Flores, says, “Rum made with sugar cane, compared to rum made with molasses, has a smoother taste, similar to fine tequila.”
Spain made Santo Domingo its first seat of colonial rule in what was called the New World by Europeans. It is technically the oldest city in the Americas which is home to the first tavern built more than 500 years ago. Today, locals and tourists know it as Pat’e Palo Restaurant. A few original furnishings and artifacts are on display for guests and it is said that 90 percent of the dishes enjoyed there can’t be found anywhere else in the capital.
For more information to plan your visit, go to http://www.santodomingotourism.com.
Photo credit: Paul and Teresa Lowe