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Catalonia Santo Domingo 3.5

Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo Province, Dominican Republic

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Seaside Santo Domingo setting, close to the Colonial Zone
  • Outdoor pool and bar overlooking the Caribbean sea
  • Comfortable rooms with minibars, coffeemakers, and beautiful sea views
  • State-of-the-art meeting and events facilities 
  • Superb gastronomic fine-dining restaurant, Filigrana
  • Excellent buffet breakfast (at extra charge)
  • Home to chic outdoor lounge bar, Pearl 
  • Spacious modern fitness center
  • On-site casino
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Room decor is dated and doesn't match public spaces
  • On-site dining can be costly

Bottom Line

The seafront Hotel Catalonia is an upper-middle-range property catering to both the business and vacation set, with a solid list of on-site amenities, and exceptional, state-of-the-art meeting spaces. Though dated and out of sync with public spaces, its 228 rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable with huge windows framing gorgeous sea views. Guests appreciate the overall quality on offer here, with consistent praise for the breakfast buffet (though it costs extra), the spacious modern gym, solid casino, and chic Pearl lounge bar. Filigrama, the hotel's fine restaurant, caters well to gourmets, and families seem to love the pool. The central location, a short drive from the Colonial Zone, is also a highlight. Travelers seeking similar amenities with more contemporary rooms could try the nearby Renaissance. 

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Scene

Conservative seaside property catering to families and business types with chic public spaces

Rising 21 stories high, Hotel Catalonia dominates its seaside location with its glass-fronted facade. Past two wide revolving doors, the lobby is a shiny modern affair. With marble floors below and exposed-glass elevators whizzing above, it's somewhat reminiscent of a high-end department store. The vibe, however, is more business-like, highlighted on the second floor where the seriously huge meeting rooms are located. The scene becomes more of a resort vibe by the pool, where families splash about in the water; and the bar -- a white timber hut -- serves pina coladas in fresh pineapples. The mood changes yet again in Filigrana -- a decadent space full of rich, designer accents -- which could hold its own visually, and culinary wise, in any cosmopolitan city. Just outside, a more hip, coastal feel emerges in the chic cocktail lounge bar, Pearl. It’s a sprawling terrace with white umbrellas shading circular lounges and white stools that light up at night, with stunning sea views, and spectacular cocktails. All in all, it’s a solid balance of business and pleasure here. 

Location

A seaside Santo Domingo spot, a short drive from sites, restaurants, and the Colonial Zone

Map of Catalonia Santo Domingo

This property sits in a convenient Santo Domingo location, right across the street from the Caribbean Sea, in reasonably close proximity to sites. The Colonial Zone is close by, where restaurants, bars, and shops are in abundance; it takes around seven minutes to reach by car. There’s a casino on the property, and other nearby highlights include the National Palace, Larimar Museum (both around nine minutes by car), Independencia Park (six minutes), the National Pantheon of the Dominican Republic (10 minutes), and the National Museum of Natural History (eight minutes). The drive to Don Diegeo Terminal is six minutes by car; Sans Souci Cruise Terminal takes around 10 minutes; and Las Americas International Airport takes around 20 minutes.

Rooms

A range of spacious -- albeit dated -- rooms and suites with beautiful sea views 

Unlike the uber-modern and chic common areas, guest rooms reveal the hotel's age and look tired. The decor is conservative with matching, antique-style headboards; furniture in dark wood; and fabrics in mustard or burgundy -- all of which feels rather dated. That said, rooms are spacious, well-maintained, and guests frequently praise their comfort factor, which particularly extends to the beds. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the gorgeous sea views over the road, a major highlight. Beige granite bathrooms are generously sized, too, with lovely big mirrors, shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and a good selection of free toiletries. All rooms feature cable flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, minibars, coffeemakers, work desks, irons, ironing boards, and safes. Executive Rooms and suites upsize layouts (suites have separate living areas), and they also get access to the Executive Lounge where free snacks and drinks are provided. 

Features

An exceptional restaurant and lounge bar, pool, fitness center, and fantastic meeting rooms

While rooms may fall short of the hotel's advertised four-star status, features raise the bar back up, starting with the outdoor pool. Located on the seventh floor, it's framed with deck chairs and overlooks the sea across the road. A pool bar serving cocktails and snacks shares this space, and the modern fitness center is also located on this floor. The latter is a good size and contains a decent selection of cardio- and weight-training equipment along with a small massage room. 

For dining, Filigrana restaurant serves up cutting-edge gastronomic cuisine. Quality dishes are presented with fun theatrics (like dry-ice fog) and a photo-worthy presentation. Just outside, Pearl Urban Lounge overlooks the sea from an expansive open-air terrace. It’s a trendy lounge bar with quirky cocktails and more theatrics in the presentation -- a popular spot for locals, particularly on weekend nights. Aromes cafe serves espresso coffee, cakes, and snacks in the lobby. It sits opposite 500 Snack Bar, which essentially serves as an upmarket sports-meets-lobby bar. A breakfast buffet is also on offer to guests each morning, and though it’s not free, guests are consistently impressed. Rooms service is available 24 hours, too.

Business guests appreciate the array of state-of-the art meeting rooms on offer, equipped with huge theater-like screens and impressive audio visual capabilities. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Other perks include  an on-site casino and plenty of parking (for a fee).

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Address

Av. George Washington No. 500, Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo Province 10104, Caribbean

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