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“Hidden gem” 4 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
Worcester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

In the heart of the Colonial Quarter, right opposite the Mexican Embassy, though not easy to find if driving. Looks nothing special from the outside, but it is a little oasis inside, Lovely Moorish courtyard, insulated from Santo Domingo noise and bustle, where all meals are served. Small hotel car park directly opposite the main door was invaluable, and is always manned. Breakfast adequate, not special. Our room was a good size, with sitting area and well-fitted (and lit) bathroom. Bed and pillows were very comfortable. Walking distance to a range of restaurants, and though the streets are dark at night, it felt very safe.

Unless you have specific interests, Santo Domingo is not worth more than 2 days in our view. If we go back to SD this is where we would stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

Is an honor for us that you took the time to express your comments about your stay at the Hotel Frances. Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, and it is always a pleasure to receive positive feedbacks from our guests.

I really appreciate your words about your experience with us and waiting for your next visit as enjoyable as the previous.

Yours sincerely,

Marion te Winkel
Manager
Calle Mercedes, Esq Merino
Ciudad Colonial
10211 Santo Domingo
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210 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tampa, Florida
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

I made a reservation at hotel Frances a month in advance for 3 nights and paid in full. I decided to surprise my girlfriend with a romantic vacation on valentine’s day. It was her first time traveling outside the U.S. so I wanted to make it perfect. I was so excited because of the location, spacious rooms, and the reasonable prices hotel Frances has to offer. Especially with all the previous positive reviews that were submitted about hotel Frances I thought I couldn't go wrong. After getting off of my flight that was delayed for a couple hours I couldn’t wait to get to my hotel room and relax and see my girlfriends face when she sees the hotel. As I walk in the hotel I was given a check in sheet. I filled out my info and gave it to the guy at the counter. he pulled my name up and gave the computer a blank stare. He then got the manager. I asked the manager is something wrong he says it’s ok I'll put you in another hotel with no explanation. I asked why, he responded with the same answer, it’s ok I’ll put you in another hotel. At this point I was furious because my room was paid for in full and I was tired and wanted some rest. He got on the phone and said I put you in another hotel. After going back and forth on why I can't stay there for another 10 minutes he finally said we are sold out of rooms. I asked you sold my room. He said yes. The hotel he placed us in was a good hotel but not nearly the size of the room I would have gotten at Frances and the room we were in was the cheapest room there. Also the prices of everything was 10 times more expensive at bar and breakfast. He called a cab for us and told us we will be ok at the other hotel. I wasn’t offered any hotel credits or any compensation at all. I would never recommend Hotel Frances to anyone based on my experience last weekend. No one should have to go through that.

-Eric

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Sir,
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Hotel Frances. I am really sorry that you had to go through this experience and please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

Due to a technical problem in one of our rooms we could not accomodate you in our hotel. Certainly we try always to avoid this situation but unfortunately in this we had no other choice: We reserved a room for you in the Mgallery Hostal NIcolas de Ovando, which is a 5 star hotel of the same chain and same collection at 2 minutes walking distance. The hotel has some more facilities like fitness and swimming pool and 2 different restaurants.The rooms in the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando are at a higher standard level and certainly not smaller than the different rooms in Hotel Frances. There is a choice of 2 restaurants which has both a different carte with a large range of different price levels. I will take into consideration your comments about the way of communication at our reception; please note that your feedback is very important to us. I can rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to avoid the same situation in the futur and be able to react better in case of an overbooking. We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to stay in the Hotel Frances as promised in the futur.

Sincerely,
Marion Riffelmacher
Gerente
Hotel Frances
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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Recently stayed here two nights. It is within walking distance of all attractions in Colonial Zone. Restaurant is pricey but handy if you don't want to venture out at night. The breakfast at Mercure Hotel is much cheaper at only $10.00 per person including tax. So, you may want to walk the 3 blocks to the Hotel Mercure for Breakfast. Would have stayed at the Mercure but they have no parking.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest,
We appreciated that you took the time to write this positive comment about your stay in Hotel Frances. Like mentionned we are well located in an area with plenty of restaurants and near to all historical buildings and so easy and safe to reach by walking. Our chain Accor has 3 hôtels in the Colonial City and they have all three their specialty with corresponding rates. We are happy that you were able to combine the Mercure and our hotel corresponding your needs.
Hope to be able to welcome you again,
Kindly regards,
Marion Riffelmacher
Gerente
Hotel Frances
Calle las Mercedes, Esq Arz. Merino
Ciudad Colonial
10211 Santo Dominog
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Oslo, Norway
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

This cozy hotel (only 19 rooms) is perfectly located if you are interested in exploring the Old City of Santo Domingo. It has numerous nice restaurants and historic sites. Also, from here you´re only a short taxi ride away from the rest of modern Santo Domingo. No elevators, but it´s only over two floors so no big problem unless you rely on it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your kindly comment about your stay in our hotel. Our location gives the opportunity to appreciate the old colonial town as much as possible and I´m happy you did like it. Santo Domingo has the chance to combine the old city and a modern part where you find several luxury malls and from our hotel the modern part is easy and fast to reach by taxi like you mentioned. Our staff is there for all our guests to organise their stay to appreciate every moment of their stay in Santo Domingo.
Hope to be able to welcome you again with us in the future.
With kindly regards,
Marion Riffelmacher
Director
Hotel Frances
Calla las Mercedes, Esq. Arz. Merino, Ciudad Colonial
10211 Santo Domingo
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

We had booked one night at this hotel, which is situated very well in the Colonial.
We had an experience of an inefficient staff by both check in and out - every thing took very long time.
The hotel has a nice last century interior and we had a spacey and very nice room no. 207 - but what a night!
We stayed at the hotel a Friday night and the Disco situated just across the street was playing loud music until after 3 o'clock at night, and the most irritating about that was the extreme bass, that we could hear even using earplugs. The window at the room is with double glass but that wasn't enough to keep out the music which was turned up during night.
We had a nice and good breakfast before we left but the overall impression wasn't good despite of a very nice historic building with atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Hotel Frances. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.
I will take into consideration your comments about the noise of the discotheque in front of the hotel and I planned a meeting with the owner to avoid the same situation in the futur,
Concerning the inefficient reception staff I can inform you that we constantly train our team to be able to improve the level of service. Extra care will be given in the next meeting on this point to gurantee the level of service corresponding to our brand MGallery..
Please note that your feedback is very important to us. I can rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problems.

I hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future
With kindly regards,

Marion Riffelmacher
Gerente
Hotel Frances
Calle Las Mercedes esq. Arz. Meriño
Ciudad Colonial
10211 Santo Domingo
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I loved everything about this hotel! The location is smack bang in the middle of the Colonial Zone, just 5 minutes walk to the major tourist areas, parks and restaurants. The rooms and common areas are spacious and cool, a welcome relief from the steamy outdoors. The staff were very friendly and accommodating.

Some helpful tips that we discovered during our stay:
- Taxis between the hotel and the airport are a set price of $40 USD each way, plus tip.There are taxis waiting outside the hotel at all times, as well as more just 1 block away. Always confirm the price with the driver before beginning your trip.
- The hotel is very strict about their check-in and check-out times (3:00PM and 12:00PM, respectively). You can leave your bags with the front desk staff but they’re left in clear view of everybody that approaches the counter, so you’re better off sticking to their set times. If you arrive early, like we did, you can always enjoy a meal and a drink at the restaurant to pass the time.
- Most places accept $USD, but many don’t have much change so it’s easier if you use Dominican Pesos. The hotel front desk will exchange small amounts (up to $50) for you, and there is a Banco Popular ATM near the hotel (we were not comfortable using the outdoor ATMs, but there are plenty of those as well).
- Do not drink the tap water. You get a free bottle of water in your room each day, but we also bought a 5L bottle of water from a supermarket on Calle El Conde, which is the main street of shops and restaurants just off Plaza de Colon (Columbus Park), and that lasted us the duration of our 3-night stay.
- Be sure to select the complimentary breakfast option when booking. It consists of a spread of pastries, cereals, fruit, cooked vegetables, bacon, cheeses, meats and juices. At your table your server will ask if you’d like to select an egg dish to be cooked to order (fried, scrambled, or omelets), as well as hot drinks (like French press coffee) which they will bring to your table--all at no extra charge.
- The hotel restaurant is open all day, with some really great food and drink options. We really enjoyed sitting in the courtyard with a cappuccino. Later in the day, when you’re finished sightseeing, grab a drink and a good book and sit upstairs on the balcony overlooking the courtyard. Heaven!
- When planning our trip, we chose most of our activities based on this web site: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/santodomingo/, as well as this TripAdvisor list: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g147289-Activities-Santo_Domingo_Santo_Domingo_Province_Dominican_Republic.html. Definitely print a map to carry with you at all times, like this one: http://www.colonialzone-dr.com/CZ_Map_print.html. The Colonial Zone is small, but you can easily get disoriented without a map.
- Every evening, we walked down to the big open square that holds the Alcazar de Colon building just after dark--only a few minutes from the hotel. There is a row of beautiful restaurants with outdoor seating, and a cool breeze coming off the water. Lots of families come down to the square at night so the children can play, and some nights there is live music, so it’s a really lovely place to eat dinner and share a bottle of wine.
- All professional staff (including those at this hotel, as well as restaurant staff and other people in the city) move at their own pace. Be patient, and leave plenty of time for things like meals and check-out.

Overall, the hotel is fantastic. It’s the kind of place that, no matter how long you stay, you want to stay longer!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your very specified comments on your stay in our hotel and the Colonial City. We are delighted that you liked you stay here and with all the good research before coming over, you have been able to appreciate the town on all his splendour. Very kind of you to give so many good ideas for following guests and I´m sure that they will be able to see and live the city as much you did.
My team is constantly trained to give the best service and good comments are one of the best motivations to continue and to improve.
I hope you will be able to come back to Santo Domingo and to be our guest again; It will be a real pleasure for all my team to welcome you again.

Marion Riffelmacher
Gerente
Hotel Frances
Calle Las Mercedes esq. Arz Meriño
Ciudad Colonial
10211 Santo Domingo
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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Pros:
- Location in the Colonial Zone just a few steps from the main attractions
- The room was very clean
- Room size is huge
- Breakfast was good enough with diferent options of bread and some nice cold cuts
- The hotel is well maintained

Cons:
- Weak wi-fi signal inside the rooms.
- Shower could be better
- Read below.

The following comment can be applied to all locations I visited in Dominican Republic. It is also true regarding some aspects of this hotel:
When in DR I felt that things are overpriced and disorganized. Shuttles and Car Rentals are very expensive. Taxis will charge you with a fixed price if you are a tourist. They will look at your face and will give you a fixed price. You can work on it if you have patience to bargain. It seems the hotel front desk staff have their on network of tour agencies and taxi drivers and they might be rewarded for that (please do not understand this as a general rule).

Specific comment: At Mgallery Hotel Frances we've experienced the situation with front desk. They arranged a private tour including Faro a Colon, Los Tres Ojos and Botanical Gardens. We've payed about $75 dollars for the driver. That day we managed to arrange our transportation from Santo Domingo to Bayahibe with same driver ($40 dollars less than the hotel price).

The following day we asked the same front desk guy to call that driver for us because we would be checking out in a few minutes. He said that it wouldn't be possible with no explanation. We just went to our room to get our luggage. When returning to the lobby he told us that our driver had called him to tell that he was busy (on the day before, the same driver told us that he was completely free on that day and confirmed the transportation with us). Hotel staff member told us that we would have to go to Bayahibe with the hotel oficial taxi driver and explained that it would be better because it would be more reliable and safer. When he said the price would be more expensive, we said no and they equaled the price of the other driver. We were annoyed but accepted that. We just realized how uncomfortable and unsafe was the `Hotel's Official Taxi` just a few minutes after we got on the road. They put us on an old car. None of the panel instruments were working (No spedometer, no fuel marker). The hotel should take more care with that! I just felt that they didn't allow the other driver to come for us to allow their affiliated drivers to win some money. One interesting thing is that we asked about any group transfer leaving the hotel at that time. They said that didn't exist. We were SUPRISED when we arrived at Bayahibe and other guests from Hotel Frances arrived just at the same time with us with another 'Official Taxi'. We could have shared the car as it was big enough to all of us and our luggage.

My tip is... BEFORE you travel you should arrange all transfers on the internet and bargain for the best prices! Use tripadvisor forum to search about the right prices! People have this information!

  • Stayed December 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
    • 3 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.
H2137, Gerente at Hotel Frances MGallery, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear guest,
Is an honor for us that you took the time to express your comments about your stay at the Hotel Frances. Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, and the feedback of our guest is the best motivation for them.

We took in consideration all the different points you mentionned and can informe you that improvements has been made on them. The WIFI was a very special item while during your stay we had a defected device. This device was not available in the Rep Dom and so needed to be sent from US to us. This took unfortunately more time than wished and expected.

About your comment of overpricing and disorganisation I can just mention that is is difficult to compare different countries. Every country has his own particularities and some of them can be feeled like negative. We confirm that we do have taxi drivers which are dedicated to our hotels. They are all making part of an organisation which make serious controls on security and safety. I passed the information about your experience to this organisation to be able to work on improvements.

I really appreciate your words about your experience with us and thank you again to give us the opportunity in this way to improve our service
Yours sincerely,

Marion Riffelmacher
Gerente
Hotel Frances
Calle las Mercedes Esq. Arz. Merino, CIudad Colonial
10211 Santo Domingo
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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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