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“Beautiful surroundings but extremely poor service & a class divide”

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Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
Ranked #13 of 77 Hotels in Santo Domingo
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful surroundings but extremely poor service & a class divide”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I have stayed in the hotel twice, in November 2012 and this past weekend from 29th May to June 2nd. The first stay was good, with the concierge going out of his way to assist my girlfriend, who had arrived a few hours before me. On the basis of that first trip I would hav given the hotel a 4-start rating. However, on my second trip, the lustre faded. Issues: 1. On the Saturday night, I asked the male concierge to book a local restaurant for my girlfriend's birthday celebration. That night, we walked to the restaurant, to be told by the doorman that the restaurant was booked for a private event and there was no booking in our name. We then had to walk quite a distance in the dark to find an alternative place to eat. The concierge left no message for us in our room, and when we complained the next day the other concierge on duty just said sorry but did nothing to make up for an absolutely spoiled evening. 2. The day before, the female concierge had arranged a cab for us to visit the Blue Mall, which is a complimentary service, but she was quite insistent that we must visit the Cartier store (obviously she was on commission) and also she did not give us the ticket for the taxi driver, which led to quite an embarrassing situation when we arrived at the mall. She also made an inappropriate comment to my girlfriend, who was carrying a Carolina Herrera handbag, saying "you have a lot of money to buy that bag" 3. When I booked the room (on booking.com) I specifically requested a room above the ground floor, since the windows open onto Calle las Damas, a busy tourist thoroughfare. However, on arrival we were allocated 3007, which is adjacent to the room we had (also booked on booking.com) on our last trip. Therefore, our privacy was again compromised. 4. Our room was infested by flying termites. The morning after our first night, after the cleaner had been in, we had 6 insects in our sink and others in the shower. Over the next days we saw many in our room. in fact, when I wore a shirt that was stored in the wardrobe I felt bites and quickly removed my shirt and a termite fell out. I had 5 large marks (looked like large mosquito bites) on my neck, shoulder, stomach and arm. 5. We had room service on many occasions, and always after eating I immediately put the food cart outside our door to reduce any possibility of insect activity. However, the cart was still there more than 12 hours later on 2 occasions. We actually found this quite amusing, since throughout our stay we would be disturbed 3 or 4 times during the day, by staff wanting to check the minibar or clean our room before 09:30 when we were still sleeping!

My overall impression is that we were treated like second-class citizens. We were allocated a damp, insect-ridden room on the ground floor that opened onto a busy street, the concierges made inappropriate comments and ruined what should have been a special evening and our dirty dishes were not cleared up for many, many hours. I assume this lack of attention from staff is because we decided to save a bit of money by taking advantage of good rates through booking.com. However, having paid over $600 for 4 nights I expect to receive the same level of service as any other guest, especially as a repeat customer. Despite the fact that I work in Haiti and will be travelling frequently to Santo Domingo over the next 24 months, we will definitely not go back.

Room Tip: Avoid ground floor rooms on Calle las damas at all costs - damp, lack of privacy, termite problem
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank adventure-aid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Plantation, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

This hotel is just an oasis in the middle of this very busy town. It is located in the Zonal one of my favorite spots in DR. Well the hotel is just magical as the attention to detail makes a difference. The regular rooms are very comfortable but if you can afford get the colonial room. The breakfast is great as a matter of fact all the food here is way above average for the area. The common area is beautiful and you feel transported to another era.. Nice place to wear your panama and just hang out at the bar. But what really makes this place is the people that works there. Carmen in the front of the house, made us fell at home and she is efficient, professional yet very personable. The wait stuff is great and smiles were everywhere. Dont forget to get some bubble bath soap as their tubs are amazing. Top quality place.

Room Tip: Any room is good but we got a nice one in the 4th floor. Quiet and a little of the streets.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cfreitas9944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Dear Guest,

Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, is always a pleasure to receive positive feedbacks from our guests.
Is an honor for us the time you took to share comments about your stay in the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando, I will definitely share it with my team.

And it is our hope to welcome you back in your next visit.

Thomas SIMONNET
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I stayed here for this past Memorial Day weekend for 4 days. I liked the hotel aesthetic and thought that the room was decent for the most part. The service was pretty good too. Alexandra the hotel Guest Relations person was very helpful, so were the people at the front desk and concierge, they were all great. The grounds that the hotel are on are beautiful. Feels like you have been whisked away to another place in time, but with a new age twist...


Now, on to my complaint. Towards the end of my trip I began to notice red itchy bumps on the LEFT side of my body. My left legs and arms are covered with them, as I type this. I found this very strange, and as I continued to scratch them, they got larger and more irritated, of course. At first, I thought that they may have been mosquito bites. But as I packed to leave the hotel, I became more convinced that they were bedbug bites. I tend to sleep on my LEFT side. There is not ONE of these bites on my right side. Mosquitoes bite randomly. But these bites were in a LINEAR pattern, as I know bedbugs are more likely to attack in this way. By the time I returned home on Sunday night, I wanted to jump out of the window because they were itching so badly. UGH! I am not the only one that this happened to, as my companion had these same bites, as we both shared the bed. Between us we probably have at least 40 bites.

I would have given this hotel a 4 rating if this had not have happened.

Now I have had to quarantine everything that I took on the trip for fear that these things may invade my house.

MANAGEMENT: Please have ALL ROOMS checked THOROUGHLY for bedbugs. The mattress was very shoddy and I would NOT be at all surprised if you all were to find something.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DR_Tripster60763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I went there for business just for one night but that was enough to impress me! Neighborhood a bit scary but when they open the door you enter another atmosphere...
Amazing construction full of history, welcome drink and several small treats like the cool towels and weather forecast note with candy delivered at the door.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JuVedovato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
582 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 633 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

It's taken me a long time to get round to writing a review, but I'm now just kicking back in a hotel in Egypt and its remind me to post some reviews. We were staying for 14 nights in an all inclusive in Bavaro but to experience something a little different we escaped to Santo Domingo for 3 nights. The hotel reeks of history and is fantastically located in the old town. I didn't see any rooms but our own, but it was suitably historic, although a little strange as it did not have a window. The pool on the roof although small was a pretty neat touch. Some bad advice from the receptionist meant we missed the bus back to Bavaro (across half the country) but it turned into a great adventure (three buses, a taxi and moped ride of three people and a backpack on one old two -wheeler in the middle of the night through a forest) so I don't begrudge it.

Stayed December 2012
Helpful?
Thank krys_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, responded to this review, June 3, 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.

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,

Thomas Simonnet
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

So Beautiful in the Colonial side of town. I was ther for business but, I was left speechless.

The property is absoulutely beautiful! .. Exposed walls, wrought iron works. Old beautiful wood doors.
So romantic !

The personnel was so amazingly accomodating. Loved Fernando the Bartender with his gleaming white smile! Ready to serve you at any given time. The food was outstanding the "petite Dejunier"
( continental breakfast) was so delicious. Turn down service every night with a fresh lil tidbit of delight. sometimes a cookie other nights a lil piece of delectable chocolate. I slept like a baby in this bedroom.

The area it lends itself to be discovered. The small cafes on cobble stone roads right next to the Art Institute inpires you to be artistic in some way or fashion.

I was there for business but this place is definitely on my list of "I must come back!" and I mean soon!

Room Tip: Request to stay in the"Original " part of the hotel if you like the Old world charm.. you...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NinBusiness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Dear Guest,

Our team is in constant training for the improvement of our services, is always a pleasure to receive positive feedbacks from our guests.
Is an honor for us the time you took to share comments about your stay in the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando, I will definitely share it with my team.

And it is our hope to welcome you back in your next visit.

Thomas Simonnet
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

this was without a doubt the best hotel and location in santo domingo....start first with the service and the people, on arrival you are prented with a cool and refreshing tropical drink on ice, along with cool towels on a very hot day..we were then helped out so kindly by the concierge jose carvajal....he repeatedly when above and beyond the call of duty. he helped out on sightseeing, dinner and shopping suggestions..the pool was quiet and relaxing...the breakfast buffets was one of the best and most complete i have ever experienced.....i cannot wait for a return visit...best location for all the important sites in the colonial zone.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ciraldoa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomassimonnet, General Manager at Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
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, definetly Carvajal has an excellent service! 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.
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Additional Information about Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando

Property: Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
Address: Calle Las Damas, Santo Domingo 10100, 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
#6 Spa Hotel in Santo Domingo
#8 Family Hotel in Santo Domingo
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santo Domingo
#9 Business Hotel in Santo Domingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando 4*
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 Hodelpa 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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