Hostal Nicolás de Ovando Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo
Tel: 800 763 4835 (toll-free)
Tel: 809 685 9955
Concierge.com's insider take:
Located on one of Santo Domingo's oldest streets, this hotel's stately, fortress-like main building is an important piece of the island's history. Built in 1502, it was the home of Nicolás de Ovando, the Spanish explorer who made landfall here on Hispaniola (the island that encompasses the DR and Haiti) and subsequently became its first governor. The original building has been expanded and modernized, but it still has a gracious elegance. The 104 rooms, with their soaring wood-beamed ceilings, Spanish terra-cotta floors, and mahogany poster beds, seem to call for candlelight rather than electricity. Happily, though, this place isn't a museum, and has all the modern conveniences a 21st-century bigwig could want—including Wi-Fi, dry-cleaning service, marble showers (in slightly too small bathrooms), and luxury bedding. Expect to see D.R.'s movers and shakers congregating in the excellent on-site restaurant, La Residence; around the pool; and in the clubby, wood-paneled Cibao Bar.