To compare the three story Hotel Duque de Wellington to other hotels in the 'Malecon' (eg: Jiragua, Hilton, International) would be a disservice, as it is in a class by itself -- 'apart-hotel' would be more appropriate. Located on the bustling backside of 'Hotel Row' on one of the city's busiest thoroughfares, you will see everything: this is not the sometimes seedy 'anything goes' Conde -- but the neighborhood is what it is -- a mix of tourists and working people in a large Latin- American city: it has everything you could need (clubs, food, grocery, 'calmado', hardware store, pharmacy, taxis, transportation and more) -- all within walking distance from the Duque.
In the middle of all this hustle and flow, Emelio Baldi, the owner, seems to have taken his European concepts and experiences and applied them to this lovely, compact, 30 room people-friendly 'pensioni'. This hotel has a great international mix of customers: including all ages, persuasions and lifestyles. Beds are comfortable and ceilings are incredibly high giving even the smallest room (mine was a 'standard') a greater sense of spaciousness. Bathrooms are full-sized and do not "flood" after a shower as is so common with many hotels in the DR that seem to have had the same terrible fiberglass contractor; the Duque's are tiled. My only suggestion on the bathrooms is to install some inexpensive shelving for sundries as there was no medicine cabinet.
The rooms are all equipped with wi-fi and the room safe ($RD 100 extra per night) is large enough to accommodate a laptop. AC's are splits (not window units) so with the high ceilings there are fewer drafts. Maid service is very efficient, but any special requests (towels, toilet paper, etc) should be made before 6PM as desk did not have keys to supply the night I asked for more towels. Mini-refrigerators are available upon request.
I found Duque's Staff hospitable, professional and friendly; but since there are only three dedicated desk agents working day and night means that each one on their shift must: manage reservations, check patrons in and out, apply charges and credits and be the back-up for security by taking ID's for any guests ($RD 100 charge) that may accompany a patron to their room. (Note: That is their rule: the visitor will surrender their "Cedula" to the person in charge and not receive it back until the host states to the staff that all is in order or report any problems). In addition, with an extremely small parking-lot, the same staff person may have to jockey up to three cars around to allow a patron access to their car. If the Hotel could make an arrangement with the business next door for ten additional spaces, there would be less frayed nerves on the part of both the visitors and staff. My point is that if the Staff seems 'preoccupied' -- it's generally with good reason.
The Italian Restaurant next to the Hotel (actually within the building) is extremely friendly, well-run with three friendly people operating the kitchen and taking orders (the Hotel staff will help if needed). European breakfast of fresh bread, butter, jam and coffee is standard ($RD 140) -- lunch and dinner plates are well-prepared, fresh, generously large and reasonably-priced. All food and drink can be charged to your room and thus available for in-room service.
Having lived in the Dominican Republic for almost five years, I was more prepared for the traffic, noise and street activity than the casual tourist. For the first-time visitor, it might be better to take a room towards the back of the hotel where the noise-level from Avenida Independencia is lower; bring ear-plugs ('Heroes" NRR32) if you are a light sleeper as the car-alarm, at times, seems like the official mating-call of the Dominican Republic.
This was my first visit to the Hotel Duque de Wellington; I will look foreward to staying there again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.