As the Intercontinental in Santo Domingo, this Hotel was a favorite for us for years, and we expected no less because of the name change to Crowne Plaza. The Club floor rooms have always represented additional security by preventing people who are not Guests on the Club Floor from gaining access to the Floor, they have beautiful views of the Malecon and balconies for privacy. The Club Room on the 14th floor was always a quiet place to relax and enjoy breakfast, afternoon coffee or a light snack and fine selection of quality liquor at happy hour.
We paid $270 per night for a king bed room on the Club Floors and included the cost of the downstairs Breakfast Buffet, because we have always enjoyed the food. We arrived and were immediately upgraded to a 12th floor Suite, nice, but unnecessary as we really only sleep in the room when we're in Santo Domingo. We discovered that only one bed side lamp worked, the other being wired for a European socket that didn't exist, the bathroom phone was barely hanging on the wall with wires exposed, some repair one renovation had left screws barely above tile level, sufficient to rip my foot on, the 1/2 bath toilet had a ring around the interior which clearly had never been cleaned. The lock that was supposed to prevent the door being forced when the room was occupied hung limply by the door and was unusable. Normally this would not be a great concern on the Club Floor, but we had noticed a number of people entering the elevator from lower floors and happily pressing the Club Floor buttons without the need for a room key as we returned from Dinner, so we were not happy to discover that the lock that should stop the door from being forced was broken.
The Main Restaurant evening Menu had been altered to fancier fare, at extremely high prices, and although the staff were as friendly as ever, this did not make up for the food, which, when it arrived, was bland and tasteless.
Having spent 1/2 a day traveling by bus from the North Coast, we settled into our bed early and can happily say that it was a comfortable as we remembered, and we did get a good nights sleep.
When I asked at the front desk why people had access to the Club Floors without the room key being necessary, they told me that (a) they were working on one of the Elevators and (b) they had Conference Rooms on the 14th and 15th floors being used by a conference of Epidemiologists, so the Floors were not locked.
I was stunned that they would be so flippant about security issues! Traveling as we do so often to Santo Domingo, and currently living in Cabarete on the North Shore, we are well aware of the dangers of robbery and their attitude was completely careless.
The easy answer was to leave the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and one of the room keys in the outlet that powers the a/c, lights and other electronics while we were out that day, which meant that the room wasn't cleaned but at least we were not likely to have an unexpected intruder while were were out.
As this was only a 2 night stay for us, it wasn't worth making a big deal out of the things that didn't function, and there was no point in asking more questions or putting up with the disturbance that would have come from the hotel repairing the thing that were wrong in the room - but we will think long and hard before returning to this Hotel, and will certainly be calling the Hotel direct if we decide to stay again to establish whether the Club Floors will be secure, as they should be.
If this is the new standard for the former Intercontinental under the Crowne Plaza banner, then it was a very disappointing one!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo puts you in reach of the New World's fascinating history and the city s modern culture and nightlife. You can walk to the Colonial Zone, the Cultural Centre and the business district, and the main shopping areas are also close by. A 35-minute drive will take you to the Caribbean s best beaches. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Santo Domingo
- Santo Domingo Intercontinental