My OH and I have just returned from a 2night stay at the Coco Boutique hotel. I have submitted a review (along with a load of photos), but here it is for anyone who's interested in the meantime:
My partner and I, both 25, stayed at the Coco Boutique for 2 nights in July 2012. We booked the hotel primarily for the location, and colonial style. We were not disappointed with the style or location, but feel that some areas could have been improved, and I was torn between giving in 3/5 or 4/5.
Prior to arrival I had emailed the hotel and asked if they could arrange for a taxi to collect us from the coach station (we traveled by coach from Bavaro). They replied promptly, and a taxi was there to meet us with a board with our names on.
We arrived at around 11.30am. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we sat in the lounge area with a complimentary beer, which was nice. The lounge area was attractive, and there was a selection of books available for guests to borrow, including guide books, which was a nice touch. It was however a bit messy, with bags of things lying around, which was a shame.
The rooms are very nicely decorated, with a lot of attention to detail. We were given the choice between the Black Vanilla room, and the Eastern Spice room (see my photos of both), and choose the Black Vanilla room.
The wardrobe was a decent size, there were a total of 3 mirrors (one in the bathroom, one on the wall in the bedroom, and a full length one in the wardrobe) and though the bathroom was compact, it had storage space, and everything was fully functioning, with decent water pressure in the shower. Soap is provided, along with 3 large towels, and a bathmat. The rooms have AC, and a ceiling fan, and the safe is free of charge. The floors are a lovely polished wood, and, as I said above, the decor is very nice.
Now for the cons, and the reason I nearly gave it a 3/5: the room was extremely compact, and I tripped over a few times. The bed was an OK size for a short stay, but definitely not for a longer one, though the mattress was comfortable, as were the pillows. No hairdryer was provided; I think this is something they could include. Both the ceiling fan and AC could be temperamental, and didn't always work, and it could get quite hot. Also be aware that as it is an old building, with no double-glazing, sound obviously travels. This is not the hotel's fault, but be aware of it and bring ear plugs, as it was very noisy our first night due to music being played at the roof-top bar above. Finally, the safe was VERY small; just about big enough for our passports, cash, and phones; I had to lock my SLR camera in my case, which I don't like doing.
There is free WiFi throughout the hotel, and the connection and speed were very good IMO.
We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast, which was simple, but fresh and nicely presented. We had fresh fruit juice (I'm unsure what it was, but I think it may have been orange, mango, and passion fruit or guava, or similar), which was delicious, a choice of tea or coffee (the tea came in a lovely silver pot), fresh fruit (banana, melon, pineapple, and mango), then toast with butter, cheese, and ham. We were late rising (around 9am), but the table was set ready for us, which was another nice touch. You can eat either inside, or outside.
We used the roof-top lounge a couple of times. It was nicely decorated in aqua blue and shades of white, with lots of comfortable seating, and great views across Santo Domingo and out to sea. We found the drinks prices reasonable (as often hotels inflate them considerably), and the beers were ice-cold.
The area could obviously get hot, being on the roof, but plenty of shade was available, and the light decor helped it feel cooler.
This for us was where the hotel was lacking. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't dirty, and the rooms were clean; it just could have been better; there were a few cobwebs in the common areas, small stains on the table-cloth, minor things like that. I think a lick of paint, and a bit more attention to detail, would be great, and make it a solid 4*.
We found all the staff friendly, helpful, and polite. For non-Spanish speakers, you may find a language barrier; we got round this by using an app on our phone where you type something in English, and it translates to Spanish; this was very useful.
The location is excellent, right in the heart of the Zona Colonial. The small square in front of the hotel was very clean and well-maintained, and very pretty, and the hotel was within easy reach of shops, bars, restaurants, and the main tourist attractions.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay, and I would recommend the Coco Boutique for a short stay in Santo Domingo.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.