If your flight gets into the Dominican Republic’s capital city late at night, the Sheraton Santo Domingo is a great choice. Polished and sleek, the hotel provides a high standard of professional service no matter what time of day you check-in.
I arrived around midnight, off an Arajet flight from Toronto. I was trying out the low-cost airline’s new route and planned to stay in the city for a couple of days to explore the historic Colonial Zone, then head to one of the island’s golf resorts.
I’m a culture vulture and the city founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher, had a magnetic pull on me.
Check-in was smooth, and I had a good night’s rest.
Sheraton Santo Domingo Rooms and Amenities
The next morning was spent exploring the hotel.
Most of the Sheraton Santo Domingo’s 248 guest rooms and suites have at least partial ocean views. Suites have private balconies and you can look out at the ocean and also the cityscape while sipping your a.m. or p.m. beverage.
Rooms come with one King bed or two Queens. Business travelers will appreciate the rooms’ work desks with ergonomic chairs. Coffee and tea makers are provided and Wi-Fi is free.
Fitness and Outdoor Activities
My first stop was the well-equipped gym. A 24/7 facility, it had elliptical machines, exercise bikes, free weights, stair climbers, strength equipment, and treadmills. An unusual (for most hotel gyms) but welcome feature in the locker area was sauna and steam rooms.
Another morning fitness option I’d advise is a walk or jog along the Malecon. The boardwalk is right in front of the Sheraton Santo Domingo and provides exquisite turquoise water views.
If a water workout is more your thing, the outdoor pool is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a separate children’s pool, plus a whirlpool for adults. For ocean swims, you can head to nearby Boca Chica Beach.
Sips, Snacks & Breakfast
The breakfast buffet in the hotel’s Café Basabe was sumptuous. There was an array of freshly baked breads and pastries, and hot dishes of meats, potatoes, and eggs. You could also ask for an omelet or go for a lighter breakfast of fruit and yogurt.
Café Casabe is also open for lunch.
The hotel’s other restaurant is Sushi & Grill, which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here you’ll find freshly made sushi, desserts, and pastries.
If you’d prefer a snack or bevvie while lounging poolside, the Pool Bistro offers snacks and handcrafted cocktails.
I had missed my welcome cocktail upon arrival since it was so late. Instead, I took a rain check and had one the next night at the hotel’s Lobby Bar. The signature drink is made with passionfruit and rum. Delicious.
For guests who upgrade to a Club-level room, there is a Sheraton Club Lounge that features complimentary breakfasts and all-day snacks and beverages, plus free Wi-Fi.
Weddings, Parties, & Special Events
I wasn’t there for a special event, but I noticed many people were. The hotel has 10 event rooms with a total of 1764 sq meters of meeting space. There is access to AV equipment, Wi-Fi, and computers. Plus, they can set up an outdoor tent that holds 900 people with climate control and a theater set up. Or events can be organized by the pool.
Walking by one ballroom, I noticed it was being decked out with swathes of creamy fabric and bouquets of baby pink roses. They were getting ready for a wedding.
Colonial Zone Highlights
Having finished my hotel exploration, I headed out to see the Colonial Zone. It was around a mile away from the hotel. I walked, but taxis were easy to get to the hotel.
The historic neighborhood is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the Americas. The cobbled streets and ancient buildings held restaurants, shops, and some fascinating museums including the Museo De Las Atarazanas Reales, which is the naval museum of the royal shipyards. It houses many objects retrieved from wrecks around the island including silver, glass, and porcelain salvaged from the depths. Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria was sunk off the coast of Haiti and the museum had a replica of it on display.
I learned later that the famous explorer’s bones are reputedly interred at the Columbus Lighthouse, a mausoleum monument in Santo Domingo Este.
Another fun stop for me was the Kah Kow Experience. I’m a big chocolate fan and the hands-on educational journey from cocoa bean to smooth, velvety deliciousness was worth an hour of my time.
Sheraton Santo Domingo Rates
Guest rooms with one King, Ocean View start at $129 per night. There are also lots of packages available including 2 Queens, ocean view, and breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids under 12, starting at $231. Check Expedia or Booking.com to see if you can get a better rate.
There is also a Romance Package with a full American breakfast for 2 in room, bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, Club access, strawberries with chocolate, 30 min massage (must make an appointment), 10 percent discount on F&B, 4 p.m. late checkout, and early check-in at noon, that starts at $164.
Hotel feature by Toronto-based travel writer Maureen Littlejohn. Photos © Maureen Littlejohn. Arajet arranged for her stay to promote new flights from Toronto. As always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.