Recently had the opportunity to attend the FCCA (Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association) Conference in beautiful and interesting Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It has been a few years since I visited this destination, and was again surprised at the improvements and quality of the restaurants on this historic island.
It was an easy connection via American Airlines and it was a difficult choice between AA and Jetblue. However, AA won out because as a platinum member I had a few benefits.
The arrival at the airport was a seamless and easy one, and from immigration to FCCA personnel, everyone was on top of their game and made you feel absolutely welcome. Vanessa representing the Tourism Department was phenomenal. The Dominican Republic is indeed fortunate to have such a passionate and gracious individual representing them.
With a population of over 8.5 million people, the Dominican Republic has it all. From great beaches, historic towns/buildings, restaurants, fantastic weather and while Spanish is the dominant language, it is easy to communicate and get around. The city has much to offer: Museum of the Royal Houses, documenting Santo Domingo’s rich history: Palace of Columbus, Museum of the Dominican Man, Museum of History and Geography, Museum of Larimer, explaining the island’s mining and jewelry industry: Amber Museum, Museum of Modern Art to name a few.
The Colonial City in Santo Domingo is a lover’s dream. With its cobblestone pathways/street, great restaurants, shopping, nightlife and parks, one could easily while away the day on a romantic jaunt. Great destination for a wedding or honeymoon. The cathedrals are simply awesome: the history, the beauty, the elegance, all added to create that forever bond – marriage. Santo Domingo boasts some very upscale hotels – from the intimate to the corporate. Visited the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando an elegant colonial contemporary decorated 104 rooms and suites. Each room opens to a garden, swimming pool or the famous Las Damas river. Next I visited the very, very romantic Hotel Frances. With 19 rooms and gorgeous outdoor space, it was a difficult moment to truly leave this place.
Shopping in Santo Domingo is an easy one, as you have the choice of a few ‘malls’ to provide you with the necessities. One such mall is called the Blue Mall – and serves the high end market. Of course one cannot leave this destination without buying its fabled Amber or Larimar Stone. And what better way to end your shopping experience in the colonial city but to dine at one of the great local restaurants such as Meson di Bari.
Thoroughly enjoyed Santo Domingo and looking forward to visiting the rest of the country. Again a great destination for a Caribbean honeymoon or destination wedding. For more information on the Dominican Republic, please visit http://www.MarryCaribbean.com