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“Wonderful experience every time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Frances MGallery

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Hotel Frances MGallery
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Las Mercedes, Esq Arzobispo Merino | Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo 10211, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 75 hotels in Santo Domingo
Berkeley, CA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience every time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

I have stayed at this hotel many times over the last 12 years, and it always a pleasure to return. The colonial zone of Santo Domingo is worth a two or three day visit, and this hotel is like returning to a cool oasis after sightseeing.

The rooms are decorated in a traditional (Spanish?) style and look out on a beautiful courtyard full of Bougainvillea and other plants and flowers, including orchids. The rooms themselves are cool and a little dark, a great respite from the afternoon sun!

The breakfast (which used to be included) is decent, a little overpriced for what you get, but the pleasure of sitting in the courtyard over breakfast and a pot of coffee to start your day makes it all worthwhile.

Room Tip: There is no pool or fitness center. This is a small, boutique hotel. I ask for a room on the second...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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Dominican Republic
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Charming small hotel with excellent service. Very friendly staff. Private parking was very appreciated.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

After landing at the airport I was greeted by the shuttle service who drove me into the heart of Santo Domingo's and to my hotel in the Zona Colonial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Frances and the Nicolás de Ovando, sister hotels within a few blocks of one another offer the finest in accomodations in The DR's capital, Santo Domingo. Personally I prefer the charming courtyard of the Frances to the pool.

Formerly the home to the Royal Treasurer it has been converted to a two-level hotel with a beautiful courtyard full of lush tropical plant life. Dining is available in the court yard in the afternoon and evening with a sitting area to the side for drinks, and perhaps a notorious cigar from the Ciabao region. The food is fantastic, and the doting staff will accommodate your every request with a smile, and unfailing patience at my horrible gringo Spanish. The rooms are spacious, particularly for those familiar with living accommodations in the colonial era, or much of the developing world.

AIR CONDITIONING. I was so happy to see not only was there air conditioning, it worked like a dream. I was able to get my room ice cold in a matter of minutes. In-room dining offers the same menu as in the courtyard, and late hours as well, but do your self the favor of spending a little time gazing up at the stars and with a good meal, a drink, and often music.

Outside the hotel is the Zona Colonial. Just a short walk to Fortaleza Ozama, the Alcazar de Colon, Calle el Conde, the Plaza Espana, and Parque Colon. Be mindful of people hocking wares of all types. If you're a gringo expect to be near harrassed by everyone. Poverty and income inequality is widespread in the DR and many folks are trying to get by any way they can.

Though it's quite a ways away I recommend a visit to la Cueva de los Tres Ojos, while a bit of a tourist trap, it is a really interesting and beautiful place.

Room Tip: there are no bad rooms, but I'd recommend the second floor, it will allow you a good view into t...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

We stayed at this hotel as part of a large group (attending a wedding that took place at Frances).
I guess that the best thing about Frances is that it is in the colonial part of Santo Domingo and that the venue itself is an old, but nicely restored building. The inner courtyard is very green and offers a nice refuge from the city. We strongly recommend having breakfast there (rather than in the dining room) because it is very relaxing and nice. The continental breakfast was included and offered a sufficient variety of food not to get bored with everything on the first days. Guests can also order omelettes from their menu (as part of the included breakfast), which was a nice surprise.
The room we stayed in was a little small, but they do have larger rooms. It was clean and cozy, maintaining the nice colonial look (wooden beams and blinds). There is free wi-fi both in the rooms and in the courtyard/lobby.
Finally, the hotel is within a 5-7min walk to most of the historic sites. The staff at the front desk was also helpful with arranging cabs, exchanging money and giving us general tips on what to visit/see.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor are somewhat quieter.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White River Junction, Vermont
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

I had just arrived in Santo Domingo from a 3-week stay in the much more modest Cibao region of the Dominican Republic. Living among the locals of Cotui exposed me to the value of simple living, joyous people, and pride in making do with what you have at hand. I learned to feel unperturbed by cold showers, unpredictable losses of power and internet access, and technologies that failed to perform. Instead of honing my American tendency to rate and review amenities according to how they may disappoint, I had developed the skill of appreciating the value of the genuine smile, the confident demeanor (unconnected to material wealth), and significant human interaction.

How does this related to my delightful stay at Hotel Frances? To be frank, I was concerned that a relatively "fancy" hotel in the heart of the lovely Colonial Zone that caters to tourists who expect hot showers, wifi in their rooms, and excellent food, would leave my inspired experiences of the "real" DR deflated at the end of my trip.

I spent the last two days of my visit to the DR in the best of all worlds by staying at the Hotel Frances. I had my hot shower, air-conditioned room, delicious meals, and an ambiance that rivaled previous vacations in Zurich, Paris, London, and Munich. The room was elegant, the common areas, interior courtyard, and Patio restaurant were charming and worthy of artistic photography.

More to the point, however, was my experience with the people who worked there. Even 'tho I knew that my nightly rate was more than some probably earned in a month, and that the places within walking distance of the hotel sold trinkets that cost more than what it cost a family of 6 to eat for a week, I did not feel as though I were a step above those who waited on me. I felt the same genuine, human connection with those who "served" me at the Hotel Frances as I felt when I lived in the humble homes of the families who took me in while in the mountains of the country. In very broken Spanish, I conversed with the waiter about the mission I'd had in the mountains. He helped me communicate, and when we were finished, he looked in my eyes, smiled, and gave me an appreciative hug. That sense of belonging in a culture that I know I do not come from is what I wanted and needed to take back home to the US with me.

I see that many 4 and 5-star reviews comment about how well the remote control worked, how easily the staff accommodated their whims and needs, and the convenience of Hotel Frances location. I have no quarrel with those reviews, but I want to be sure to convey a deeper appreciation for why I will definitely return.

Room Tip: I was more than happy with what they gave me. I was on the street-side, and was aware of the normal...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Volcano, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

Hotel Francés contains 19 rooms in a nicely restored 16th century building. It has a beautiful courtyard for outdoor dining, a small bar adjacent to the patio, and a dining room adjacent to the lobby. The hotel is located in the Zona Colonial about three blocks from the El Conde shopping street, and is convenient to several banks.

We stayed two nights upon our arrival in Santo Domingo and another three nights prior to our return to the U.S. Both of the “standard” rooms with queen beds were rather small but decorated with excellent understated taste. The tiled bathrooms were very nice. The air conditioning was effective and not too noisy. Unlike most hotels—even the most modern—the room had very good light for reading.

The rooms are on the ground and 2nd floors, but there is no elevator. There is a free computer (with printer) in the lobby for hotel guests. Although they will cook your eggs to order, the limited buffet breakfast is very overpriced at $16USD.

The hotel staff were friendly and helpful.

During our stay in Santo Domingo, we also stayed at the Hotel Palacio. It would be our first choice if we returned. But if on-site dining is important, the Frances is very good.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Frances MGallery

Address: Calle Las Mercedes, Esq Arzobispo Merino | Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo 10211, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Santo Domingo Province > Santo Domingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Santo Domingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Frances MGallery 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Frances invites you live a memorable experience.Their golden stone architecture and the warm inside make this Spanish residence a unique place full of history and beauty.Since XVI century it is being witness of the passage of innumerable personalities and in present time is one of the emblematic places of the Colonial City, declared Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Accor Santo Domingo
Sofitel Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo Sofitel

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