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Billini Hotel 4.0

Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo Province, Dominican Republic

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In Zona Colonial -- walk to bars, restaurants, and Playa Montesinos
  • All rooms feature contemporary decor, original colonial accents, and balconies
  • Rooms feature bedside tablets, Bang & Olufsen Wi-Fi radios, and Smart TVs
  • Rooftop infinity pool offers city views and poolside drink service
  • Free continental breakfast with local fruits and fresh juice
  • Castil restaurant offers all-day dining and 24-hour room service
  • Wellness center with menu of therapeutic services
  • Free in-room Wi-Fi, bottled water, and soft drinks
  • Free self- and valet parking in a secure, gated lot
  • Beautiful, original 17th-century architectural elements

Cons

  • Tiny fitness center with limited equipment
  • Extra charge for hot breakfast items

Bottom Line

With a beautiful terrace restaurant, ultra-modern lobby bar, and rooftop infinity pool with panoramic city views, the Billini Hotel offers an upscale city oasis. Set in the heart of Santo Domingo’s tourist-friendly Zona Colonial, the smartly designed property feels worlds away from the downtown urban hustle, but it's still within walking distance of many of the city’s restaurants, bars, shops, and Playa Montesinos. Its 24 rooms seamlessly blend modern design with original 17th-century architectural details and offer private outdoor spaces, free minibars, and a list of high-tech amenities. Guests looking for a resort-like luxury alternative may wish to consider the nearby Occidental El Embajador.

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Scene

Chic boutique hotel with contemporary and historic charms

Billini Hotel is steeped in history. The property has served as a convent, an armory for the French army, a school, and then a private home. Today, the hotel is outfitted with sleek white and red furniture alongside original architectural relics and polished concrete flooring. Every inch is a clever blend of Scandinavian, modern, and industrial design motifs paired with architecture that reflects this hotel's complicated Spanish Colonial history.

The avant-garde lobby opens to a quiet, four-story, modern-meets-Mediterranean courtyard of brick, tile, stucco, and glass. Castil restaurant and a modern bar serve as the property’s prime social hubs by day, while the rooftop bar and infinity pool offer live music and a vibrant nightlife scene after dark. As with many hotels in Santo Domingo, the grounds are relatively quiet during the week, especially during low season.

Location

On a bustling, downtown street in the heart of Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial

Map of Billini Hotel

The Billini Hotel is situated on a side street near the southern edge of the Santo Domingo’s historic, UNESCO-recognized Zona Colonial. Dozens of shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions are all within a short walk of the hotel. The Basilica Santa Maria Cathedral of the Incarnation is just five minutes away on foot and Christopher Columbus’s former home, the Alcazar de Colon, is a 15-minute walk. Additionally, Playa Montesinos beach is just three blocks away. Although it offers no public facilities, the beach does provide have some lovely city and sea views and the water is calm enough even for young swimmers.

By car, the hotel is a 40-minute drive from Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport. Alternatively, the hotel can arrange private shuttle services to and from the airport for an additional charge. With larger groups, this can prove to be a more affordable option as rates are typically determined on a per-vehicle basis. Private taxi service is readily available between the airport and hotel, however, rates can run high.

Rooms

Modern and stylish rooms feature high-tech amenities and private balconies

The rich, modern-meets-vintage simplicity of the lobby and common areas is evident throughout the hotel, including the guest rooms. The chic, retro-inspired design scheme is crisp and contemporary, with mod-style laminate furniture, vintage fashion photography on the walls, beige tile flooring, and splashes of bold color throughout. Every square foot feels meticulously designed with purpose, and the largely white and oak color scheme looks fresh and light.

Each of the 10 room categories has noteworthy high-tech features including flat-screen Smart HDTVs, Bang & Olufsen Wi-Fi radios, multi-port USB charging hubs, and bedside tablets for ordering room service or browsing the city’s nearby attractions. A sleek touchscreen LCD panel near the door allows guests to request housekeeping or laundry service. Additional in-room essentials in a hotel of this caliber -- free Wi-Fi, cordless phone, air-conditioning, and coffee making kit -- are all included. The free in-room minibar includes juice, bottled water, and soft drinks. 

Private balconies or terraces offer courtyard or garden views in all entry-level rooms. Executive and Deluxe Suites offer lovely views of the city or adjacent Iglesia de Regina Angelorum. The exclusive Owner’s Suite features a private rooftop terrace, pool deck, kitchenette, living room, dining room, and an excellent view of the Zona Colonial.

All guest rooms have private bathrooms with high-end features like sleek raised sinks, glass and travertine shower stalls with rainfall showerheads, polished wood countertops, and premium L’Occitane bath amenities. Modern chrome fixtures, handles, and accents complete the professionally designed spaces.

Features

Rooftop infinity pool, wellness center, and free parking

The Billini Hotel offers many of the features of a modern, big-city hotel in a boutique atmosphere that’s surprisingly lavish relative to other Santo Domingo accommodations.

The rooftop pool is among the city’s most beautiful and offers lovely, sweeping views of the entire Zona Colonial, including its most noteworthy cathedrals and historical attractions. The accompanying, multi-level terrace provides several distinct areas for lounging, relaxing by the pool, or enjoying tapas at the rooftop bar. Here, the hotel routinely hosts live local music acts every Friday.

Rounding out the amenities list, the basement is home to a small wellness center and fitness area. The former offers a full-service spa menu, including manicures, pedicures, hair styling, and full body massage -- in-room services are also available. The latter is located in a tiny, doorless room with limited equipment that appears to be an afterthought.

Valet and self-parking are both free to hotel guests and provided in a secure, gated lot. Guests without a car can also request the hotel’s shuttle service to nearby restaurants and attractions in the Zona Colonial. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. 

Food

Free continental breakfast, alfresco restaurant, and a lively bar

The property offers a single restaurant, Castil, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner both indoors and alfresco in the hotel’s courtyard. The decor is sparse, with a focus on clean lines and polished surfaces alongside tasteful, centuries-old architectural elements. The restaurant is well-regarded for the quality of its diverse menu. Room service is available.

Continental breakfast is free and includes a typical selection of local fruit, fresh juice, baked goods, fresh jams, and coffee. For an additional charge, guests can upgrade to a full breakfast which includes all of the above, plus cereal, omelets, pancakes, and more gourmet a la carte options. Lunch and dinner are heavily inspired by Dominican and Caribbean fare with a distinct focus on local seafood.

The small +Bar, adjacent to the hotel lobby, is awash in chic monochromatic decor reminiscent of an upscale Manhattan lounge. Bold red walls provide a backdrop for polished, dark wood and leather furniture and a handful of eclectic accents, such as a wall-mounted stag skull and oversized Victrola on the bartop. The bar offers a selection of high-end cigars, wines, and single malt whiskies. 

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Address

Calle Padre Billini #256 - 258, Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo Province 60000, Caribbean

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