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  1. #1171

    Excellent review

    Quote Originally Posted by Kman1  [View Original Post]
    To give credit where credit is due, this is a great report on Santiago hotels. Hodelpa Centro is my choice after reading this and Jaosousa's reports from 2012. Camp David looks great but looks a little distant.

    And FlbMac31's responses on PM makes me really looking forward to my STI trip. Thanks man.
    Well done report. I live just a few blocks from Century Plaza; but family are in and out of there too often to maintain any kind of discretion. That's why I prefer to go a little further out of town on the autopista.

    I have thought about some trips out to La Vega but have not seen any reviews for the area.

    Let us know how it works for you.

  2. #1170
    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro1257  [View Original Post]
    Camaro's Santiago Hotel Guide.

    Gentleman I am about to complete my first long term trip to the Dominican Republic. Although I now live on the north coast I plan to spend time in Santiago frequently therefore I decided to take an extensive look at the Santiago to include monger friendly hotels and the general monger scene.

    This is not a complete list of all Santiago hotels just the hotels I visited during my stay. I listed the hotels in descending order according to my personal preference. Although Camp David and Hotel Holdelpa are high end hotels at close to $100.00 per night I preferred them because of their unique customer service and amenities. Neither are for the budget monger. I have not included prices on hotel rooms because they vary you can consult the hotel web sites for specific prices and availability.

    Below I have listed my notes for your review.

    Camp David Ranch.

    Camp David is a hotel, restaurant bar that is 3000 feet above sea level which provides a picturesque view of Santiago. The view reminds me of Medellin, Colombia and I prefer both views at night with the natural night sky above and the city lights below. The property is reported to be one of the former homes of ex-President Raphael Trujillo. There are vintage vehicles on the property that are reported to have belonged to Trujillo. It should be noted there is some debate about the Trujillo report.

    I have stayed at Camp David 3 times and have enjoyed each stay. It by far is my favorite hotel in Santiago and I intend to return in the future. It is out of the way because of its location but the property is quite and serine. The rooms are spacious with king size beds. The WIFI and cable work well but cell phone reception is spotty depending on where you are on the property.

    Every time I have been the staff has been excellent. This hotel is on par with Hotel Odelpa and is not for the budget monger.

    Camp David Restaurant.

    The restaurant has great food however the view is what takes the cake for me. You can eat inside or outside on the balcony. I enjoy the view better at night. Breakfast is included in the basic rate and the dinner menu includes everything from high end lobster and seafood for 1000 pesos to low end salads for 500 pesos. You can easily drop 3000 pesos for dinner and drinks for 2.

    *The one challenge about Camp David is because of its elevation it can be cool especially if you are sitting on the restaurant balcony so depending on the time of year you might need a jacket or sweater.

    Hotel Hodelpa Centro Plaza. Santiago.

    There are 3 other Hodelpa hotels in Santiago, the Hodelpa Centro Plaza is downtown next to Hotel Aloha Sol. These are super luxury 4 star hotels at $100.00 per night and I must admit the accommodations are excellent. The WIFI and TV work well and my room was freezing when I arrived. The room was immaculate with modern furnishings. There is an extensive mini bar which includes candy chips & alcohol.

    There is also a restaurant and gym in this facility. So far this looks like the nicest Santiago hotel I have stayed in. One problem with Hotel Hodelpa Centro is it located downtown Santiago in a very busy area therefore during the day there is a lot of street noise. My other complaint would be the receptionist seemed like she had a STANK attitude when she checked me in. Pero lo que sea.

    Vista Bar & Restaurant.

    The Hotel Hodelpa has a restaurant on the top floor, when you arrive you see why it is called "Vista Bar & Restaurant" because it has an incredible view of Santiago including the Monument. The waiter staff was great and very attentive the menu had items that ranged from 200 pesos Sanchoco to 1500 pesos steak and seafood.

    This restaurant was a definite compliment to the hotel experience. I had a date and she was as impressed as I was. Our dinner with drinks came to just over 1500 pesos. Breakfast is included with your stay which makes for a well-rounded hotel experience. '.

    Hotel Platino & Casino.

    This is my second time staying at Hotel Platino. My first impression was of a good hotel with small windowless rooms that had the potential to make you feel claustrophobic. On my second visit the staff showed me the different rooms and there are suites that are bigger than my apartment with living room areas and king size beds. I chose the larger room just under the suite and it was very comfortable especially the king size bed. The air-conditioner made you feel like you were in a refrigerator, the cable worked well however the WIFI was intermittent.

    Hotel Platino has a very small bar and restaurant and buffet breakfast is served daily, and there is also a casino on the property.

    Vitolas Cigar Club & Restaurant.

    Vitolas is not a part of Hotel Platino but it is next door in the same shopping center. It deserves an honorable mention because the restaurant, food and service is excellent. In fact, dinner at Vitolas with dessert at Hotel Platino makes a perfect date in Saniago.

    *It should be noted the primary reason I like Hotel Platino is because of the nexus with Vitolas they fit together like hand in glove.

    Hotel Matum Casino Complex.

    The Hotel Matum Casino Complex next to the Monument that is known for its freelance action. All that is required is look for women who maintain extended eye contact. I have listed the following venues on its property:

    Casino.

    Club Pure.

    Tabu.

    I checked all the venues and they were very slow but I believe I was there at the wrong time of the week. Santiago often doesn't get cranking until after 1 am.

    Hotel Matum.

    Hotel Matum is within walking distance of the Monument. It is a complex with hotel casino and 2 night clubs. I booked a double so if I have a guest she should be able to sign in with no charge, however extra guest are charged an extra fee. I believe this is because Hotel Matum is known for having freelancers work the casino and 2 clubs.

    The room was decent and clean with good WIFI and air-conditioning. The cable was intermittent with certain channels, but then again I am not here to watch television. The hotel was dated but comfortable and centrally located.

    Originally I booked for 3 nights because I was going to use the hotel as my base for Santiago and La Vega operations but the guest fee encouraged me to find another Santiago hotel option.

    Hotel Matum Restaurant.

    Hotel Matum has a restaurant upstairs on the second floor. It is a small restaurant with less than a dozen tables. Breakfast is included in the hotel rate. The breakfast is comida tipica with mangu salami fruit etc.

    Hotel LOS Jardines.

    Hotel LOS Jardines reminds me of Hotel Platino because it is a small hotel with small rooms. The staff is very friendly you a greeted by the bellboy who handles your bags and brings you a soft drink as a welcome.

    The room was dated but clean and nice. There were 3 towels which is better than some hotels that don't give you enough in the event you have company. The bathroom had a closet with hangers which I have never seen before. The cable and WIFI worked well.

    Hotel LOS Jardines-Las Orqudeas Resturante.

    Las Orquedeas Resturante is the restaurant for Hotel LOS Jardines. It is only open in the morning for breakfast and in the afternoon and evening for dinner. There is a very light complimentary breakfast that is served; eggs sausage pancakes etc but very small portions. I usually like drinking jugo de chinola for breakfast but this time I tried jugo de tamarindo which was good although I like the flavor of chinola better.

    Hotel Aloha Sol.

    Aloha Sol is right around the corner from Hotel Hodelpha Centro Plaza and what a difference between night and day. Aloha Sol is a 2-3 star hotel and Hotel Hodelpha is a 4-5 star. The ambiance, staff, furniture and total experience is different. Many of the rooms in Aloha Sol do not have windows which leaves you with an incarcerated feel. The room has a small flat screen and a mini bar that just has beverages no candy chips or various types of alcohol. The room was very basic but it will get the job done.

    The Aloha Sol has a small restaurant next to the lobby and complimentary breakfast is served.

    Hotel Century Plaza.

    Hotel Century Plaza is an upscale hotel with fancy lobby waterfalls and restaurant attached. I got a basic room that wasn't much larger than the rooms at Hotel Platino and Hotel LOS Jardines. The room was comfortable with an array of items in the mini bar including small bottles of alcohol. The cable and air-conditioning worked well. The WIFI was terrible in my room connecting and disconnecting. Apparently there was a router problem because the WIFI worked well in the lobby.

    Hotel Century Plaza Restaurant.

    Hotel Century Plaza has a restaurant connected and breakfast is included. I ate breakfast which was a self-serve typical Dominican breakfast with mangu, eggs, fruit and salami. I did not eat any meal in the restaurant other than breakfast but the dining room had a very elegant ambiance.

    I saw several Mercedes and Range Rovers in the hotel parking lot and the clientele seemed to be people of above average means. In addition I saw a couple of elderly gentleman with strikingly gorgeous young women. I wonder what the deal was?

    Aparta Hotel Jardines Metropolitanos.

    The Aparta Hotel Jardines is very difficult to find because there is no signage to identify the hotel; it is in the Residential Matilde complex and you will miss it if you do not know what you are looking for.

    The hotel reminded me of Apart Hotel Lormar in Puerto Plata, this is a 1 star dated property. After spending time at Hotel LOS Jardines & Hotel Matum this is a gross disappointment in appearance. The room is and studio style with a mini kitchen dining room table & chairs and a queen size bed. For me this is a place to sleep not a place to entertain company.

    The WIFI and air-conditioner worked well but the remote control for the TV did not. The staff was friendly and it will have to do for 2 nights.

    Aparta Hotel Jardines Metropolitanos. Restaurant.

    The Aparta Hotel Jardines has breakfast included in their 2nd floor restaurant that is a very basic dining room and kitchen. When you arrive the receptionist ask you what you want for breakfast from a limited 4 item menu and it is prepared for you at a specific time. I was sleeping and someone came to my door to let me know that my breakfast was ready. The breakfast was basic Desauyno Americano and the eggs were folded like an omlet instead of scrambled well done. Breakfast was light and hit the spot.

    Closing thoughts:

    My favorite hotels are Camp David Ranch because of the view and the staff, Holdepa because of the appearance and restaurant and Platino because if its location and adjoining restaurant Violas. The aforementioned hotels make great date options because of what they have to offer.

    My worst hotel experience was at Apart Hotel Jardines not because of the staff but after being at some of Santiago's finest hotels it just could not compare.

    Although I did not bring chicas to all of the hotels I believe all are chica friendly especially if you book for 2 persons.

    Depending on what your objective is in Santiago apartments might be a better option, especially if you are pursuing civilian non pros. Apartments give more or the appearance of legitimacy for date-like experiences and you can cook or have food brought in for a different vibe. There are apartments all over Santiago for different prices and can be sought out on the internet the same way you can find hotels.
    To give credit where credit is due, this is a great report on Santiago hotels. Hodelpa Centro is my choice after reading this and Jaosousa's reports from 2012. Camp David looks great but looks a little distant.

    And FlbMac31's responses on PM makes me really looking forward to my STI trip. Thanks man.

  3. #1169

    Local Referals

    Still looking for some local referrals outside of the agency box. Three UTRs that seem to cycle off every three weeks ruins all great plans.

    Solution, increase the contacts.

    Prefer name, Whatsup contact and general area where they live in the area. Out of centro ciudad preferred.

  4. #1168

    Good report

    Quote Originally Posted by FlbMac31  [View Original Post]
    I live here in Santiago and have a preference for the Hodelpa brand. You need to be more clear about your request for chica friendly locations. I summise something has happened here in DR as the Hodelpa front desk clerks are meticulous about checking out the cedula or passport. I personally hate the practice but understand that the desk staff will hold the cedula or passport if there are any issues with a chica in your room. And it is also not uncommon if the chica comes to the front desk to request the card on departure the front desk will call the room and ask how you stay has been. You missing anything, any problems, etc. That means they will call the police and give the card to them if you don't accompany why our guest to the front desk or clear them. For overnight guests or a short visit from the casino girls, it's a great security practice. Since the girls don't want that their card withheld or given to the police, you can pretty much count on a nice time without any concerns.

    Now the practice can also be a hassle if you just happen to be traveling with a family member. My wife and daughter go berserk when they ask for their card because the practice makes them feel like the hotel sees them as a streetwalker.

    HOdelpa Gran Almirante is a favorite of the Hodelpa brand. It's a little pricey. Want to have a good show then go down to the lobby area and grab a seat before the casino opens. The chicas hang around the front door and in the lobby hoping someone will escort them into the casino. Free buffet and they can get a drink, negotiate some cash to gamble and can go through the guest only door at the back of the casino as there is often no cedula check ro required if security is not there. I always go through the front entrance, and if there are objections, well, adios.

    The girls in the lobby usually dress very elegantly in apparent expensive wardrobes. If you want to P4P you are going to be talking about a higher rate as expectations are usually an all-night party.

    For me when I want some discrete time, I just give the security guard at the front door a nice tip and ask if he has a suggestion. They know who the problem babies are and can keep you safe at a reasonable P4P rate.

    Smooth sailing and let us all know how it went.

    Cheers.
    Santiago looks promising after reading your report.

    Just some questions. Is Gran Almirante the largest Casino in town and does it have a good selection of chicas all nights of the week? If so its a one stop shop for me and I won't mind the price.

    Do the Centro hotels (Aloha Del sol or other Hodelpa) also have chicas on site or any around the area streetwalkers etc. I know I should read the forum more.

    You mentioned Almirante Casino opens at night. Are there any open during the day? If I remember right Matum was open during the day.

  5. #1167

    Apartments

    This chick that I mess with in Santiago is now selling apartments. They are in urbanizacion Jardines del Norte. Two bedrooms and sell for US$32,000 (1.5 million pesos).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG-20160511-WA0002.jpg‎   IMG-20160511-WA0005.jpg‎   IMG-20160419-WA0018.jpg‎  

  6. #1166
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempoecorto  [View Original Post]
    I never knew of this. However, this is more appropriate for someone that travels light and is familiar with the territory. For someone with big luggage, this option will only add to grief, not to speak about the impossibility of fitting in a suitcase in the trunk of a carro de ruta from Pto Pta to Sosua given the LPG cylinder, I would think.
    No, you are quite right, I just wanted to offer something different from the usual ideas. The real question is if you want to arrive in Sosua at 7:30 am Or make other plans.

  7. #1165
    Quote Originally Posted by Frannie  [View Original Post]
    Another option is to take a taxi direct from the airport to Navarrte, then public taxi to Puerto zPlata Hospital for 100 pesos, then another to Sosua for 50 pesos.
    I never knew of this. However, this is more appropriate for someone that travels light and is familiar with the territory. For someone with big luggage, this option will only add to grief, not to speak about the impossibility of fitting in a suitcase in the trunk of a carro de ruta from Pto Pta to Sosua given the LPG cylinder, I would think.

  8. #1164
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempoecorto  [View Original Post]
    By the time, you pick up your luggage and granted that the flight is not late, which happens more often than not, you are getting there at an excellent hour. As someone has stated, in the morning the availability of taxi to Sosua is higher which increases your negotiating power and should you want to pay in US dollars, I once negotiated $80 and that was for a night ride. Indeed 3500-4000 pesos as suggested here, are a most likely price during the morning hours. The present exchange rate is 45.60 pesos to a dollar.

    If you wish to take the bus to Sosua on the other hand, again, morning is a great time. Take a taxi to bus station ($25) - either Caribe Express that has more frequent services (and has a currency exchange office on its premises) but drops you a few miles out of sosua, or Metro which has fewer rides but takes you smack into Sosua. Both Caribe and Metro are practically next to each other at the Bus station area in Santiago.
    Another option is to take a taxi direct from the airport to Navarrte, then public taxi to Puerto zPlata Hospital for 100 pesos, then another to Sosua for 50 pesos.
    Last edited by Frannie; 05-09-16 at 13:21. Reason: duplicate

  9. #1163
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempoecorto  [View Original Post]
    By the time, you pick up your luggage and granted that the flight is not late, which happens more often than not, you are getting there at an excellent hour. As someone has stated, in the morning the availability of taxi to Sosua is higher which increases your negotiating power and should you want to pay in US dollars, I once negotiated $80 and that was for a night ride. Indeed 3500-4000 pesos as suggested here, are a most likely price during the morning hours. The present exchange rate is 45.60 pesos to a dollar.

    If you wish to take the bus to Sosua on the other hand, again, morning is a great time. Take a taxi to bus station ($25) - either Caribe Express that has more frequent services (and has a currency exchange office on its premises) but drops you a few miles out of sosua, or Metro which has fewer rides but takes you smack into Sosua. Both Caribe and Metro are practically next to each other at the Bus station area in Santiago.
    Another option is to take a taxi direct from the airport to Navarrte, then public taxi to Puerto zPlata Hospital for 100 pesos, then another to Sosua for 50 pesos.

  10. #1162

    Santiago sosua

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanqui69  [View Original Post]
    If you arrive early, you can take a cab to the Caribe Tours bus stop and buy tickets for Sosua. The bus is very cheap. Cab, guessing would be $25 US.

    You may be able to change dollars at the bus stop, but not sure what time the place opens.

    You can check the schedule online, not sure when the first buses leave.

    Last option, a taxi to Sosua from Santiago would be close to $150 US.
    Cab fares are under pressure here in sSantiago to drop due to the introduction of a Uber-style cab system. We took a can last Thursday to the airport for 700RD. I have never paid more than that, so suspect if you tell the driver you want to go to Caribe Tours it would never exceed 1000RD. That is not to say they won't try for more, but an empty cab at the end of a line will jump if they think you will just use another cab. They are having trouble filling cabs with passengers so negotiate.

    Busses leave Caribe On the half HR starting at 830 for 160 pesos each way. Just under $30. A competitor line is Metro bus which is slightly higher and offers a more business class clientel.

  11. #1161
    Quote Originally Posted by Gzilla  [View Original Post]
    My cousin and I will be flying in on the 21st into Santiago at 5 am.
    By the time, you pick up your luggage and granted that the flight is not late, which happens more often than not, you are getting there at an excellent hour. As someone has stated, in the morning the availability of taxi to Sosua is higher which increases your negotiating power and should you want to pay in US dollars, I once negotiated $80 and that was for a night ride. Indeed 3500-4000 pesos as suggested here, are a most likely price during the morning hours. The present exchange rate is 45.60 pesos to a dollar.

    If you wish to take the bus to Sosua on the other hand, again, morning is a great time. Take a taxi to bus station ($25) - either Caribe Express that has more frequent services (and has a currency exchange office on its premises) but drops you a few miles out of sosua, or Metro which has fewer rides but takes you smack into Sosua. Both Caribe and Metro are practically next to each other at the Bus station area in Santiago.

  12. #1160
    Quote Originally Posted by Manizales911  [View Original Post]
    When I lived in Pto Pta I used a guy that charged me 3500 pesos, that was last year so maybe the price went up but I would bet that if you speak spanish and tell him 3500 take it or leave it he would take it, PM me for his number, he speaks a LITTLE english and is overall a great guy, he operates out of Pto Pta so no good for local Sosua business. AND ALWAYS NEGOTIATE IN PESOS,not dollars,regardless of the situation or person..
    Nice! That guy could have a LOT of business, shuttling people to / from STI.

  13. #1159
    Quote Originally Posted by Frannie  [View Original Post]
    If $90 is close to $150, then yes. But taxi to bus station plus bus will be $25 anyway. Arriving at 5:00, you can relax, get a leisurely breakfast in the airport, then continue by taxi and bus, but what time can you check in to your hotel in Sosua? I would go to a cabana near the airport and sleep until midday.
    I could be wrong. $150 to Sosua was an estimate.

    I once missed a connecting flight due to American Airlines usual incompetence, and had to to swap to a flight to STI from my intended POP.

    Arrived around 9 pm. A taxi that night cost me about $125 to the POP area. I estimated Sosua would be about $150.

    If one arrives in the morning, the bus is the better option, but if for some reason a cab was needed, I presume one's position for negotiating a price would be a lot stronger early in the day, when other options are available, versus a late night cab ride.

    At night, there was no bus option, so it was a cab or spending the first of my five nights in Santiago.

  14. #1158
    Quote Originally Posted by Yanqui69  [View Original Post]
    If you arrive early, you can take a cab to the Caribe Tours bus stop and buy tickets for Sosua. The bus is very cheap. Cab, guessing would be $25 US.

    You may be able to change dollars at the bus stop, but not sure what time the place opens.

    You can check the schedule online, not sure when the first buses leave.

    Last option, a taxi to Sosua from Santiago would be close to $150 US.
    When I lived in Pto Pta I used a guy that charged me 3500 pesos, that was last year so maybe the price went up but I would bet that if you speak spanish and tell him 3500 take it or leave it he would take it, PM me for his number, he speaks a LITTLE english and is overall a great guy, he operates out of Pto Pta so no good for local Sosua business. AND ALWAYS NEGOTIATE IN PESOS,not dollars,regardless of the situation or person..

  15. #1157
    Quote Originally Posted by Yanqui69  [View Original Post]
    If you arrive early, you can take a cab to the Caribe Tours bus stop and buy tickets for Sosua. The bus is very cheap. Cab, guessing would be $25 US.

    You may be able to change dollars at the bus stop, but not sure what time the place opens.

    You can check the schedule online, not sure when the first buses leave.

    Last option, a taxi to Sosua from Santiago would be close to $150 US.
    If $90 is close to $150, then yes. But taxi to bus station plus bus will be $25 anyway. Arriving at 5:00, you can relax, get a leisurely breakfast in the airport, then continue by taxi and bus, but what time can you check in to your hotel in Sosua? I would go to a cabana near the airport and sleep until midday.

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