Emily’s Birthday Trip to the Dominican Republic: Part 2 – Hotel Nicolas de Ovando in Santo Domingo

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Emily:  One of my best friends lives in Arlington, Virginia, so I don’t see her very often.  We met in college and have been friends ever since.  The first (and last) time we took a vacation together was to Barcelona, Spain in 2007.
Sofitel Santo Domingo
Emily’s Best Friend Kristen In Front Of The Sofitel Santo Domingo
Emily’s Birthday Trip to the Dominican Republic Index:
  1. Trip to the Dominican Republic – Introduction and Planning
  2. Santo Domingo Hotel – Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando
  3. Activities in Santo Domingo – Zona Colonial and Latin Dancing
  4. Activities in Santo Domingo – Casa de Orientación y Desarrollo Real (CODR)
  5. Eating in Santo Domingo
  6. Bayahibe – Isla Saona and Hotel Bayahibe
  7. Bavaro Hotel – Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
  8. Activities in and Around Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
  9. Eating in and Around Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
  10. Delta Flight back from Punta Cana
  11. Conclusion and Blog Giveaway

I thought it would be super fun to celebrate my 30th birthday with her in the Dominican Republic.  So we planed a trip to 3 locations, including Santo Domingo, Bayahibe, and Bavaro (near Punta Cana) over the course of one week.

Arriving In Santo Domingo  

Kristen and I got our tourist cards very quickly once we arrived to the Santo Domingo Airport.  We paid for them using automated machines, and then the attendant stamped our passport.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
We Bought Our Tourist Cards From ATM-like Machines!

The tourist card cost $10.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
It Costs $10 For A Dominican Republic Tourist Card

Outside the airport, we used the ATMs to get some cash.  It was very easy and there were 4 to 5 ATM machines.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
We Got Cash From The ATMs Outside The Airport

I booked a cab online (less than 24 hours before our arrival) through a website called Dominican Airport Transfers.  It was a flat rate of $40.  The guidebook said to pay between $24 to $40 for a ride to the city from the airport, but this was my first time to Santo Domingo and I wanted to avoid the long lines (but there were none!) and the possibility of getting ripped off.

Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando

I decided to splurge a bit since it was my birthday and booked a room at one of the nicer hotels in the city – the Hotel Nicolas de Ovando (a Sofitel hotel).  I paid ~$130 a night including tax for a Contemporary Room and booked it via Hotels.com to get it for the lowest price.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
We Splurged On A Room At The Hotel Nicolas de Ovando (A Sofitel Hotel)

The hotel was gorgeous!  It was also centrally located in the “tourist” part of town called Zona Colonial.  This is where the majority of the historical sites are located.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Emily Loved The Gorgeous Exterior Of The Hotel Nicolas de Ovando

The hotel is a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and the original home of the town’s founder, Governor Nicolas de Ovando.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Hotel Nicolas de Ovando Is An Unesco World Heritage Site

The architecture was so pretty.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Architecture Of The Hotel Was So Pretty

The hotel was once the governor’s mansion and dates back to the 1500s.  During our walk around the hotel, we saw some kids practicing skateboarding and le parkour.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Kristen Behind the Hotel

The hotel staff were very nice when we arrived and served us cold towels and fresh mixed fruit juice.  I booked a Colonial room and emailed them about my allergy and a possible upgrade for my birthday, but never heard a response.

I made sure to tell the employee that it was my birthday and how excited we were for our first time in Dominican Republic, but we remained in our basic room.

But it was a nice room with a canopy bed!

Kristen: Original walls were stuccoed over while arches reminiscent of castles greet you with an old world charm.

The Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando is a gorgeous relic of the old city and it is nicely updated for comfort whilst being inside a piece of history.

I truly appreciate the lush accommodations, first class staff, and such details as the wrought iron bed frame with chiffon half canopy.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Kristen Loved The Wrought Iron Bed Frame And Canopy
Emily:  The room was very warm and inviting.
Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Room Was So Warm And Inviting

It was tastefully decorated in natural tones that went very well with the old world architecture.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Room Complimented The Hotel’s Architecture

It was a tad small but well designed.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Our Room Was A Little Small

There was a small table and chair with lots of easily accessible outlets.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Outlets By The Table Were Easy To Reach
…as well as a stocked minibar.  We used it to stock our own (much cheaper) drinks and feed that we got at the supermarket down the street!
Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Minibar Had Lots Of Snacks!

The view outside the windows faces the Calle de Las Damas, the first paved street in the new world.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Our Room Overlooked Calle de Las Damas

Up the stairs was a small bathroom.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Bathroom Was Up A Flight Of Stairs

There was a sink with lots of counter space.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Bathroom Had One Sink But Lots Of Counter Space

and a fresh flower to accent the space.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Fresh Flower In The Bathroom Was A Nice Touch

We also received a selection of amenities each day.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
New Amenities Were Delivered Daily

And complimentary bottled water every day of our stay.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Free Bottled Water Each Day

There was a separate room with the toilet and walk in shower.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
A Walk-In Shower Was In A Separate Room

Across from the sink, there was lots of storage.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Storage Space

There was a safe and two sets of slippers.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Closet Included An In-Room Safe And 2 Pairs Of Slippers

Here’s a short video highlighting the room.

The rest of the hotel was gorgeous!  I loved the old world style.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Emily Loved The Hotel’s Old World Style

Some of the doors were so cute!

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Kristen By One Of The Munchkin Doors

The décor fit in perfectly with the hotel.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Kristen Relaxing in the Hotel

It was nice to walk through the green pathways!

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Kristen Enjoying The Vegetation In The Courtyard

It was so beautiful and green!

Sofitel Santo Domingo
Landscaping Inside The Hotel

There was also a small swimming pool.

Sofitel Santo Domingo
The Hotel Even Had A Pool!

Kristen and I loved the hotel because of its historical appeal, excellent location, and nice decor.  Stay tuned for more posts were we review the many things to do in Santo Domingo!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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