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“Mixed feelings, but overall a great experience!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection

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Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Las Damas , Ciudad Colonial | Cuidad Colonial, Santo Domingo 11109, Dominican Republic (Zona Colonial)   |  
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Ranked #10 of 76 Hotels in Santo Domingo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
DC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings, but overall a great experience!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We visited Hostal Nicolas de Ovando (HNO) in late Jan 2013 and finally got a chance to seat down and share my experience; it's a tad long, but you might find it useful if considering this hotel when visiting this beautiful island and city.

HNO enjoys a great location, with historic architectural beauty, and a Four Star atmosphere. Most of their clientele is European or Argentinean and on business travel; therefore, you will not come across friendliness overabundance. Their breakfast buffet, while slightly overpriced; it's very good. Their a la carte breakfast is even better (pricy), but inconsistent. If one asks for an egg white omelet, with tomatoes and cheese one should get the exact same omelet every time; however, not the case here. I ordered three omelets on three different occasions, each time it was different. Their orange juice is exquisite, as well as their mojitos, order it with Imperial Rhum (Francisco makes a very good one).

Staff: The front desk staff does really well welcoming you into their hotel; very professional and polite service. I found the female staffers to have a higher standard of professionalism than the males. Whenever I phoned the front desk for service, if a male staff answered the phone, nothing was to get done. For example, on my arrival the room safe, containing all of my valuables and documents, would not open; I called the front desk for assistance around noon, wanting to get out of the room and enjoy the city, nothing happened for 2 hours. I called back, a female member answered and within seconds a technician was at my door for support. Something similar happed with the water heat and pressure, no assistance if a male answer the phone, ever. On a separate occasion, I called to extend my stay as I liked the hotel atmosphere and didn't want to venture to another; talked to a male member, "he" has nothing available and recommends to check online or the next day, I called back a few hours later and spoke to a lady (Mildred, I think - she was great!) and she added the nights without hesitation. Bottom line, the male members of the front desk staff need more training.

The hotel: The hotel pool is a nice option to your day; having breakfast and lunch by it was a nice change of pace. Their restaurants have limited meal options, but nice choices. Their room service never had pizza when we called and their 24 hour room service closes at 1:00 am, which confused me given their name. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. Their rooms are very different from each other some too small others quite spacious. We stayed in room 3021, which it was small, but typical size if you frequent NYC. This room has a small rest room; if you are tall, the toilet area will not work for you as they have built a column right in front of it, forcing you to get sideways to get anything done in there (hot water and water pressure were a problem, too). Then we stayed in room 3016, very spacious and beautiful windows and architecture. Unfortunately, there was a wedding right outside our room which made it difficult for us to rest. The different rooms where confusing since they were total opposites and we paid the same fee for both; which begs the question, what are we really paying for?

Extras: The hotel has great choices of Dominican rum and some good choices for Scotch and wine. They have no Bourbon and no ginger ale (both very rare in the whole island, which I found interesting). The town inflates their prices as soon as they realize you have an accent or look different than they do. The cab from the hotel charge approximately a 300% markup, if you are (or feel) adventurous, go down the Atarazana plaza and negotiate a ride there. Please, pay attention to your bill; if paying in dollars, you will notice they change the value of the dollar. For us, they change it from the standard rate of US$1= RD$40 to RD$35.00; pay attention and use your card if you don't have enough change. Also, tip is usually included at 10%; if you get great service, feel free to tip more. Unfortunately sometimes they try to tell you tip is not included, but you can see it on your bill.

More: The location is close to El Conde Street; a pedestrian mall with local art, eateries, and culture. Get there by leaving the hotel, making a left as you exit one block to your left; it is closest if you leave through the hotel’s restaurant. Try Sagafredo (the one on the left-hand side of the street) for some inexpensive deliciousness. Also, check out the Plaza Colon and the church, just down the Conde st. Leaving the hotel and making a right, you'll see the Panteon Nacional, a must in my opinion. Also, the restaurants down the Plaza Atarazana are pretty decent (all viewing Columbus son’s house). Try the goat osso buco at Pat'e Palo, but avoid their "staff meeting" in the middle of the day, which absorbs all of the wait staff. At Mamajuana, share the Pork. At Angelos, try their cheese pizza and salads. At Grillo Bravo try their seafood kabobs or their Fish and risotto plate. If you have the time, try each restaurant on different days. At night, try Pacuba, just down the street or take a cab to Adrians in el Malecon for some of the best Dominican Mofongo, also with good mofongo and away from all the “touristy stuff” is Lincoln Road, good food on a nice part of the island.

To sum up, great hotel staff (females), great location, with plenty of choices to eat and things to do; if you venture too far of a walk at night it can be a little "iffy" in parts, but that’s part of any developing country. You will enjoy your stay here, just be flexible...

Room Tip: Room 3016 has amazing finish and it is very spacious; however, during our stay, it was a little loud...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,
We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. It is always a pleasure to receive feedback wether it's negative or positive.

Thank you for the comment about the issue of inconsistency in terms of food productions, you can be sure that I will comment this matter to our new chef and place a training session to get every kitchen staff at the same level. It's great that you are able to mentions the names of the staff member that served you well, it help us to reconize them from time to time.

I would enjoy to read your suggestions about meal options that was for you missing.
In terms of the room service, the pizza is exactly unavailable lately for a problem of consistent supplies of main products. As a new menu is coming out in the next few weeks, the pizza will be taken out and I will make sure that the section of dishes available for 24 hours service will be clearer to everybody.
I'm very surprise about the absence of Bourbon, which is an a la carte product, I believe the bar didn't had it restock this day and I apologize about that.
For the Ginger Ale, your are totally right, it's a very rare beverage on the island, the only good one is the Canada dry version but reach the island once in while.
Be ensured that I will personally handle this matter with my team and that your feedback will help us to correct our failures not only in the restaurante and kitchen, but on the front desk service and get better as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.
In case you will be coming to Santo Domingo please do let me know about your arrival and I will have pleasure to welcome you in person.


Thank you again for sharing your experience with us, and we hope your next visit will be make fully satisfied.

Sincerely,

Erwan DAUSSY
Director of Food & Beverage
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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536 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

The hotel property and location is excellent. Service is spotty and uneven for this quality of hotel particularly in the restaurant. I speak Spanish so language is not an excuse for sullen behavior I would recommend additional training. when asking for a map of area attractions I was sent to three different locations only to find that they were out of information regarding the hotel.

Anne

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear Ms, Anne,

I really appreciate the time you took to comment about your stay in the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando.
I’m extremely surprised about the fact that you had to go to three different places to ask for a map, since we actually have three departments that can help you with that, I will definitely verify what happened.

Please allow me to express my sincerest apologies, since your experience did not meet your expectations, and I it is our hope to welcome you back in our hotel.

Sincerely

Thomas Simonnet
General Manager
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Kenmore, Washington
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

The Nicolas de Ovando hotel is an MGallery Hotel in the French Accor chain. It is well run, clean and absolutely beautiful. It is situated very near the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo and within walking distance to excellent restaurants and historical sights. It is between the Plaza D'Espana and the Plaza de Colon, the first church in the Americas and tons of local color. The breakfast is amazing -- fresh tropical fruits, croissants, eggs to order, smoked salmon and so much more. It is the best place to stay in Santo Domingo and very reasonable. Dinner in La Residence restaurant is magical -- an outside terrace surrounded by tropical trees and plants with excellent food.

Room Tip: Ask for a colonial room for a bit more space and enjoy the quiet, cool rooms with high celings and c...
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  • 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.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

Is an honor for us the time you took to express your comments about your stay at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando and the Colonial City. Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, 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,

Thomas SIMONNET
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Beautiful hotel in the historical center of Santo Domingo. The Standard rooms are nothing outstanding, but surly elegant. The bathroom is well equiped and has nice ameneties. Very comfortable beds! There is a nice pool to relax and breakfast is served in a beautiful yard. It is the perfect place to stay while exploring the past of Santo Domingo. A "don't miss" in the DR!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback from the bathrooms, beds, pool and service .

I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as pleasant as the previous one.

Sincerely,

Thomas Simonnet
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

Well there is not too many to say about this hotel. It is just everything you ever wanted for a Fair price. I know it is one of the top price hotels, but really it worth every single extra penny. Nice in every sense and the staff and people are really professional and nice. Just pay more to get a lot more.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Is an honor for us that you took the time to express your comments about your stay at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, 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,

Thomas SIMONNET
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My boyfriend and me stayed here two nights after our 8months trip thru america. This isn't just a hotel, it was the residence of the first gouverneur from the island (nicolas d.o.) and that's why it doesn't look like a normal hotel, it looks like a palace and you feel like houndrets of years ago... It's maybe the most comfortable bed we ever had and almost everything is excellent. The sencond two nights we were at hotel atarazana just a few meters away (it you like a small boutique hotel with just five rooms and excellent breakfast and roof top, this might be the better option). There just are a few things not ok:
- the breakfast is with 25$ per person absolutly overpriced, if you compare to the prices in the rest of the town
- the fitnessroom is horrible because it's small and there is no window to open and no air cond. so you can't really breath!!! Also there are no towels and the water tank was always empty.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback. On behalf of the Gym, probably that time it was on maintenance, because actually our gym has air conditioner, towels and water.

I will share your comments with our team. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as pleasant as the previous one.

Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection

Address: Calle Las Damas , Ciudad Colonial | Cuidad Colonial, Santo Domingo 11109, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Santo Domingo Province > Santo Domingo > Zona Colonial
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Santo Domingo
#2 Family Hotel in Santo Domingo
#4 Spa Hotel in Santo Domingo
#5 Luxury Hotel in Santo Domingo
#8 Business Hotel in Santo Domingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hostal Nicolas de Ovando Santo Domingo - MGallery Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the colonial quarter of Santo Domingo, set among remarkable buildings, stands the Nicolas de Ovando hotel, the former home of the Governor of the same name, a contemporary of Christopher Colombus. Built on the first paved street of the New World, where beautiful Spanish ladies strolled to display their rich costumes, the hotel's guests will enjoy an outstanding stay in a unique place where the stones, patios and fountains will take you back in time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Nicolas De Ovando-Mgallery Hotel Santo Domingo

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