When we first arrived in the Dominican Republic our flight arrived in Santo Domingo but we immediately caught a taxi to Bavaro/Punta Cana. Then we had a whole week of hearing about how dangerous, dirty, and boring the capital is. Good thing we had already made our reservations and that we are strong willed!
The people were completely wrong about Santo Domingo!
First of all, our hotel was gorgeous, very central, and had very friendly staff. We stayed at the Hotel Dona Elvira, and I highly recommend it to anyone who plans on going to Santo Domingo. Breakfast was included and they had a Happy Hour for two for one drinks (we didn’t try it though). There was plenty of hot water, free drinking water, and a staff available to answer all of my questions and to arrange a taxi to take us to the airport Easter morning.
We were there for two nights, we walked around at night, during the day, in the morning, and we had no problems at all. In fact the local security guards/police allowed me behind a locked gate AND a locked door one time to use the bathroom. Another time a policeman was our personal escort for a few blocks because he felt like chatting me up. I don’t mind talking to people in Spanish and hot guys in suits never bothered me either. Hahaha
Everywhere we went we saw gorgeous buildings, cobblestone streets, and friendly people ready to answer any questions we might have had. Santo Domingo is a very walkable place, so with a map in hand and a guidebook I had mostly memorized, we were able to navigate it on our own.
We never really found good food until our last night in Santo Domingo. The first night we had made reservations for Pat’e Palo’s because they had an “All You Can Eat” seafood dinner advertised. We arrived at Pat’e Palo’s at 6PM, which was before the dinner rush so we were able to choose our table that we had reserved the night before. Syeeda thought ahead and brought bug repellent with her to ward off the nasty critters so we could sit alongside the Plaza and people watch.
We signed up for the All You Can Eat Seafood Dinner for 777 pesos + tax. We were not happy that the only water option was 175 pesos water imported from Italy. It was a little confusing at first because we had three waiters serving us. One waiter said that we can order any dish from the 10-item seafood menu that we wanted. Another waiter just wanted us to work our way down the list of 10 dishes.
Finally we just decided to eat our way down the list in order. About midway through my friend wanted to order a dish again but one waiter told her that she could only get it once. After we finished all 10 dishes we learned from our other waiter that we could get another dish if we wanted because it was “All you can eat”.
Finally, we left Pat’e Palo’s at 9 with bellies happily full.