Casa Real by Hodelpa is a stately 16th century colonial mansion that was one of the most important places to stay in the first city of the Americas, Santo Domingo. Its regal architecture and dimensions correspond to the homes of the most exalted members of the colonial oligarchy. Significant social and political events have taken place in its walls over the centuries.
These walls have been graced by many of the great governmental powers of centuries before, as well as visionaries of the artistic world including the great Hollywood star, Maria Montez. Recently restored, it hosts generous arcades and columns that frame its large interior patio, which is typical of the period. Galleries and balconies of more recent styles add charm to the architectural ensemble while the Century-old wooden ceiling beams and original stone walls are still well preserved in the building. Surrounded by the magic of the Colonial City, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Casa Real by Hodelpa is the ideal space for the most significant events and celebrations.
Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial is a delightful mix of history and modern Dominican life. Crumbling 16th-century ruins scattered between wonderfully restored colonial buildings are a constant reminder of this city's incredible history. Founded by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s, this first city of the New World is where Columbus lived and is buried. Today, the entire colonial district, Zona Colonial, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many of the historic buildings house museums, restaurants, and hotels. The area is relatively compact and easy to explore on foot, but with so much to see, it's easy to spend a few days here sightseeing and soaking up the atmosphere.
After Christopher Columbus's arrival on the island in 1492, Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World.
Exploring the Colonial City—the first European settlement of the Americas and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990—is a recommended experience for all travelers. This historic neighborhood consists of a pedestrian-friendly maze of narrow streets brimming with 16th to early 20th century architectural wonders. They lead toward colonial buildings turned museums, shops, hotels, restaurants, and sidewalk cafés. Hop on the Chu Chu Colonial train for a 45-minute tour of the area, hire a guide who will walk you down the first paved road of the Americas while sharing tales, or rent a bike and meander on your own.
Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) is the main port of entry, only 25 mint , located east of the city center, while the cruise ship port sits just 5 minutes from the Colonial City.
At night, the Colonial City comes alive with its solid concentration of casual bars along its multiple narrow, romantic streets, as well as dance spots. Along the length of Calle Hostos and Calle Isabela La Católica are a string of popular watering holes, offering happy hours as well as live music and dancing. Lounges and tapas bars line parts of Arzobispo Meriño and Arzobispo Nouel streets. Nearby on Plaza de España, on the steps beside the illuminated Alcázar de Colón palace, a free folkloric dance show takes place every Friday and Saturday evening (8pm-10pm), courtesy of the talented National Folkloric Ballet of the Ministry of Tourism. On Sundays, catch the electric Grupo Bonyé performing live salsa, son, and merengue on the ruins of San Francisco, with a free outdoor concert from 6pm-10pm. Over on Calle Sánchez and Calle Mercedes, lounges and dance clubs get going after midnight.Read More +