This is a update from October 2006. We went went back to spend a little bit of time in the beautiful DR and of course landed again at our familiar favorite Hotel Colonial. This place just gets better and better each year! Lazero and his father Victor are the perfect hosts, attending to your needs as if you were family. They have made many improvements over the last few years and are also building a new addition. There is new updated charm in the rooms with new bedding and window coverings that are really quite nice. The food at the hotel continues to be excellent Dominican fare and delicious and safe for the average American gastric apparatus. In fact, this hotel has become increasingly popular with university students from the states. Before you run away on that note.....these kids are by and large service learning groups that have come to learn about the culture and give of their time. The interest in wild parities is almost non-existent and the hotel would not allow this behavior anyway. If you need a clean, friendly home base in Santiago this is it! Still very very reasonable prices and lots of stores to walk to and gua gua's right outside! If you want to know the real Dominican Republic...start here!
We stayed at the Hotel Colonial in Santiago as a stopover since whereas our destination was Punta Cana by rental car, our JetBlue flight arrived a bit past midnight, when all of the rental car agencies were closed and we needed to wait until 7 the next morning.
We booked the hotel by phone one week prior. The staff was very accommodating to our late arrival, having two staff members wait up for us at night. We arrived at the hotel by taxi (US$15 from the airport at late night; RD$350 back to the airport during the day). The three of us stayed in 2 rooms, each with a double bed. The bed was comfortable, and the room was clean, equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fan, cable TV, and a full bathroom. The room is small (10' x
10') but served its purpose very well. Hot water was available in the bathrooms. The total cost for the two rooms was RD$1014 for that one night. This was in the "new" portion of the building. It is not a luxury apartment, but for the cost, it does quite well.
There is a restaurant attached. The hotel lobby changes money as well, offering a better rate at the time than did the banks or ATMs. Parking was on the street but readily available. The staff was very helpful in giving directions and making our stay comfortable. We would all definitely return to the hotel in the future.
While in the DR, I was fortunate to stay at the Hotel Colonial in
Santiago. For the adventurous spirit, this is a super place to stay
if you are interested in what the real DR is like. Be honest with
yourself,complainers and the average tourist may not do well here.
Hot water is a definite maybe and top blankets must be asked for (you
are provided with sheets), but the rooms are comfortable to sleep in.
This is your basic clean safe room and decent food at a very
reasonable cost. Room =$15.00-22.00 American.The food is traditional
fare and bottled water is the norm. Meals are extra, and the cost is
minimal. Meals include such things as beans, rice, veggies and meat.
Vegetarian meals are not a problem for these local cooks. Juanna's
yellow rice and beans are fabulous! The management is incredibly warm
and accommodating and as they "know everyone" around ...you feel safe
and looked after. My favorite place to stay in Santiago!