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“Clean, Safe, Fun and Helpful”

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Foreigners Club Hotel
Ranked #30 of 67 Santo Domingo B&B and Inns
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Clean, Safe, Fun and Helpful”
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Really great atmosphere at this B&B. Good vibes, relaxed, fun. High quality, good price. Authentic DR neighborhood. Great location close to Colonial Zone, the Ocean and Gascue area. Great Breakfast included!

Room Tip: Rooms were very nice & affordable. Booked a small room for $35: Comfortable, modern, simple, had...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Arela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wichita, Kansas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2011

I really loved my stay at the Foreigners Hotel . It was very close to El Conde street and all of the stores and restaurants. I liked the added security at the front which made me feel very secure with all of my belongings. The staff was very helpful and Alberto gave us a ride to Boca Chica beach and hung out with us for a day there which was very nice and helpful since it was a first time visit there. They helped us on where to go and things to do also. At the Foreigners Hotel I felt completely safe. They also provide a safe in the rooms which was nice. I will definitely come back to Santo Domingo and i will stay here again without a doubt. Alberto and the rest of the staff nice and made my stay that much more welcoming, making us feel like we have been there and they are like friends we've had for a long time.

Room Tip: I had room 8 and it was very nice , very cool A/C
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zürich
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2011

I spent one week in the Foreigners Club Hotel and liked the location (close to "el conde"-street) and the friendly, helpful staff (the owner, who was there too, was ok but, as it seemed to me, not a born host). It's a familiar atmosphere in the hotel which I really liked as a single traveller. Big further plus is also the safety.

Prizes for rooms are not cheap as the interiour design of the rooms is nothing special. As I was told some rooms will be renovated soon. I was in room 7 which is spacious and has a balcony where you have a wonderful look on the street life. It's quiet after midnight but can get noisy in the morning (bring earplogs). Breakfast is simple, but ok.

Conclusion: I recommend this hostel and will book it again. Would appreciate better interior design of the rooms.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Stefan801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2011

First I must say that I am not a very finicky traveler. I am not into protected resorts. I like to get an authentic experience of the place I am visiting, even if its for a short time. My stay at Foreigners Hotel did just that. Its location is ideal in that it is close to El Conde and other popular tourist sites, but the street its located on is non-touristy. You can get a real sense of the locals. I loved taking long walks along the streets near the hotel. Everything is so untouched, by Chase Banks, Starbucks and Rite Aids. It was so refreshing.

The hotel itself is nothing fancy, but oh so comfortable. I looked forward to waking up every morning and seeing the friendly staff. Alberto is amazing. Talking with him is a true pleasure and he made me feel like I was staying with a close friend. Hilda and Raul are very mindful of making the guest feel safe. Security is awesome. If you bring a guest to the hotel that might be unsavory they won't let the person in. There is a gate that is locked at all times. This might sound scary to some, but it add to the experience, The reality is that you are visiting a country with plenty of poverty which can lead to crime. At the Foreigners Hotel I felt completely safe. They also provide a safe in the rooms. I saw several of the rooms and they all had their own distinct charm.

I felt so content here that I extended my stay a couple of nights. If I can afford it I plan to go back again in May.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Karl1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2011

March 1, 2011

I never reviewed a hotel before. So here goes.

First thing I would want to know is who’s talking to me. We’re a 60-ish couple from the USA, long time married. We’re more travelers than we are vacationers. We’re not the typical guest at the Foreigners Club. We came to the Dominican Republic to get warm and to see what’s there.

The Foreigners Club Hotel was the perfect place for us. It may not be for you.

We wanted to meet and see the people who live in the Dominican Republic and, of course, you can’t do that; you can’t meet 30 million people in four days. We did meet many people in a small subsection of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, and then within the small subsection of Santo Domingo which is the Colonial Zone.

After 700 miles on the interstate, we enjoyed coming into a Hampton Inn where everything is known and is as expected; we also enjoyed the Luther Hotel in Palacios,Texas, the Hotel Congress in Tucson, and the Amargosa in Death Valley Junction. Look them up; see what they are. They are different than the Hampton Inn; if you will freak out if things are not as expected, the Foreigners Club is not for you.

The Dominican Republic has many all-inclusive resorts where you stay in a controlled environment and rub elbows with a social economic class similar to yours and get tan while drinking drinks with umbrellas under an umbrella around the pool. The Foreigners Club is not this.

The Foreigners Club is like an all-inclusive resort, except that you are the guests of the people of the Colonial Zone and the Colonial Zone is your all-inclusive resort. The Foreigners Club is your hotel room. If you live in the Foreigners Club like we did, you step out the door and the barber across the street and the shopkeepers in the little shop at the corner are your neighbors and your friends. We spoke no Spanish, and for the most part Santo Domingo natives speak no English, but we smiled and greeted everyone and they all greeted us back with a smile and a hello.

To be a little more specific, the Foreigners Club Hotel is approximately a 10-room hotel within the heart of the older section of Santo Domingo called the Colonial Zone. It’s a delightful place to stay. It is by far not the most deluxe and by far not in the fanciest neighborhood you’ve ever been in. It is said that the Dominican Republic is a third-world country; it is not. It is really a 2-1/2-world country and has parts of the third world and parts of the first world. You can find cards for your digital camera and there are dogs sleeping on the sidewalk. There are Swiss-designed, high-suspension bridges and trash in the gutter. We drank bottled water and never got sick. The food in the restaurants was fine. The bananas from the street vendor for two U.S. cents apiece were delicious. We did not eat lunch or dinner from the street vendors.

A stay in the Foreigners Club is really a stay in the home of Alberto, the hotel’s manager, and you visit with him and all the other guests. Alberto makes the hotel. Alberto makes the hotel . If Alberto leaves the hotel and is not there for your visit, completely disregard this entire review.

Your stay begins by being greeted at the airport by Alberto and his smiling face holding a sign with a picture of the hotel along with your name on it. As he drives you into town, he acts as your tour guide and gives you some of the history, culture, etc. of the town. Once you arrive, he shows you to your room, and once you get settled, you are greeted in the tiny parlor of the hotel and watch through the open doors, which are gated, life in this particular tiny neighborhood within the Colonial Zone pass you by on the sidewalk three feet away as you sip coffee. Alberto and the other guests tell you what’s around the corner, what to see, and you take off on your morning or afternoon jaunt going east, west, north, or south from the four corners on which the hotel is located. And each block and each plaza you pass has something interesting. You are in the middle of the neighborhood and there are barber shops and tiny grocery shops and tailor shops and laundries and florists and warehouses and schools (incidentally all behind iron gates) as you walk the sidewalks and the streets and look around and see and greet everyone and just enjoy your day.

We made no attempt in our five days to see everything there is to see or the “big five,” in African safari terms, or what you “should see” when you visit Santo Domingo. We saw what there was to see that day. From the presidential political rally to Sunday mass at the cathedral , built around 1510, to the independence day celebration and the concerts in the main square in the evening; we saw and sort of participated in the events of the day and of the neighborhood and its surrounding area, all within walking distance of our hotel.

It appears no one in the Dominican Republic has ever been confronted by a USA building inspector enforcing a handicapped ordinance; people in the region really have no conception of the need to provide access to the handicapped. The bathrooms in the fanciest restaurants could be up 20 stairs, with no elevator, around a corner, and through an 18” doorway to a bathroom that’s 4’ by 4.’ This is in the finest restaurants of Santo Domingo.

The sidewalks have potholes and missing covers every 20 feet and must be walked over with great attention, particularly at night. There are no ramps at the curbs; in fact, there are ditches and gutters that run along the curbs of every sidewalk. There are zero provisions for anyone in a wheelchair or handicapped. Well, this is not true. We did stop and watch a young man assisting a very elderly lady across a very busy four-lane street with traffic flying by in every direction. And as we stopped to watch them cross, we noticed he was carrying something which looked like a big stick. It wasn’t. It was a shotgun. He was a bank guard for the bank on the corner and he stopped what he was doing to assist this lady across the street. We saw this or things like this many times in Santo Domingo.

If the details of the Foreigners Club are real important to you, you should stay somewhere else because the details are so far overpowered by the friendliness of the place and the assistance given the traveler by Alberto and the other staff members, Patricia and Raoul. The owner, an American, lives on site, but he is shall we say far less involved. The details of the Foreigners Club are: it is a small two-story hotel with around 10 rooms. We stayed in the most deluxe room, Room #6, on the second floor, and it overlooked the corner of the intersection. Room #7 is larger. The photos shown on the internet are the most amazing use of Photoshop I’ve ever seen in my life. If I ever were to become single again, I would hire this artist who retouched my picture for the dating game. No plans to do so.

The Foreigners Club sits up to the sidewalk on one of four corners at a very small intersection within a neighborhood, approximately three blocks out of the Colonial Zone. It’s more in a regular neighborhood than the other hotels of the area are. There’s an 8’ x 8’ barber shop on the opposite corner, a tiny two-man grocery store on another corner, an 8’ deep by 20’ long stand on the sidewalk walk-up restaurant on the fourth corner, behind which is a large high school. The neighborhood comes and goes, up and down, around and through, this intersection and you can sit and listen and watch what happens or you can, as I did, grab a plastic chair from the tiny grocery store across the street, buy a cold beer for $1.80 in a paper bag, lean your plastic chair up against the edge of the building, and watch the flow of people and things through the intersection. There may be eight other people sitting out near you in their plastic chairs, listening to music from the open windows of a car parked in the street beside you, blasting away with Latin music. Every few minutes when a car comes too close to the car parked on the other side of the street, reverberations set off the too sensitive alarms and it screams for 30 seconds, morning, noon, and night. Cars will rumble, stop, and screech and blow their horns as they go in and through the intersection. If you look up overhead, you’ll marvel at how any electrician could possibly make any sense of 500 or so wires of the intermixed telephone lines and electric lines on the poles above your head as life passes before you in and out of this intersection.

Within the Foreigners Club, there are half a dozen rooms on the first floor and another half dozen, maybe, on the second floor, which is reached by a narrow, winding, steep, concrete staircase , (with handrails thank God ) , you pray every time up and down that you don’t fall and break your neck. The hotel is clean and neat and non-deluxe. If you stayed in a similar hotel along I-75 on your way to Florida and you paid more than $29.95 a night for a room, you would think you overpaid. But you’re not buying a bed to sleep in along I-75; you’re buying much more than that. Again, on the internet, they did a masterful job of photoshopping the rooms. But our room was clean and pleasant. The night air blew through it. The sights and sounds, noises and smells, were lovely, and the blaring car alarms didn’t keep us up for one second. The A/C worked (A/C was included , other tourists said they paid $10 extra for A/C at other hotels We only used it for a few minutes. The water was hot in the shower, after an appropriate waiting period. The bed was comfortable. We slept like babies in a double bed, even though we have a queen-size bed at home. We locked our passports in the “real safe” in the office and left all our other valuables in the $1.29 metal box with a lock, referred to as a room safe. We had no problems. We had no problems anywhere and felt comfortable walking around, even walking home at night down many long blocks that were virtually pitch black. Of course, we’re from Detroit and we know enough not to wear fancy jewelry and walk into stupid areas. But the gates and the shotguns must have a reason.

An interesting part of our trip was a taxi ride around all of Santo Domingo arranged with the help of Alberto. We wanted to have some clue as to what the other three million Santo Domingo citizens who don’t live in the Colonia Zone live like. Alberto called his friend, Chema , a taxi driver, who spoke no English, who hired us a guide, Charlie, who was well in his 80s who spoke some English and off we went for a tour of the city. There are 3-1/2 million people in the city of Santo Domingo. Some are rich and some are very, very poor. Our ride took us through the neighborhoods where you can be “hit on the head” for a peso, into the neighborhoods where you can be hit on the head for half a peso, and “the police chief doesn’t come here even with 50 men,” then through the industrial zone of the city, and through neighborhoods of high-rise, million dollar apartments and beautiful parks and long beaches. This two-hour ride greatly enhanced our limited understanding of the city.

As we sat downtown at a small corner sidewalk restaurant after our trip, having Dominican coffee with Chema and Charlie, Charlie said the people passing by three feet away lived in all areas of the city. It put a human light on what we had just seen and were seeing.

All in all, if you are interested in seeing something different than what you already know, and would like to be warm in the winter time, this is a great place to go, a thousand times more interesting than Florida. If you are flexible and reasonable, I could not think of a better place than the Foreigners Club Hotel.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank JACKELAINE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2011

This is a solid hostel. It is not a hotel. But I, unfortunately, did not get the same level of service that others describe. If I got treated like family here, it was like I was the annoying little brother to the FCH staff.

Alberto was late picking my girlfriend and I up from the airport (our flight did arrive a bit early, but all the other drivers were there and waiting), and when we asked Patricia about how to get around, she repeatedly discounted our desire to figure things out in advance - making me feel silly for asking questions.

The FCH deserves credit for keeping its prices low for many of its rooms, but after finishing a recent multi-night stay there, this place really is just average. I've stayed in better, similarly priced (or cheaper) hostels in Israel or Europe. Although I can't vouch for comparables in the DR.

SPECIFICALLY:
1) SOUND: Bring earplugs. It is located on a busy corner just outside the Zona Colonial, and there were sirens, motorcycles/scooters, and just loudness throughout the night

2) FOOD: They provide a sufficient breakfast, but please do not be mislead and think it's "ample". An example of breakfast would be a plate of ham, a box of cereal/milk, toast/jelly, and coffee. All of this is placed atop the hotel's counter that you check-in on. Again, it's fine - but please understand that it's fine by hostel levels - not hotel levels.

3) SECURITY: Hotel gets a plus here. Since the hotel is on a street corner, they have a gate to enter the main lobby area, which is kept closed all day. With safes in the room, I didn't feel like we were in any danger.

4) LOCATION: Pretty well situated, and a close walk from El Conde (main shopping strip), and the Malecon (busy commercial center). But it's also in kind of an industrial part of downtown, so the hotel and the area around it is not aesthetically pleasing from the outside.

5) ROOMS: All of the rooms have cable tv, lockbox, air conditioning, and a fridge. Again, these are solid. I guess I hoped that the hotel would at least include getting my sheets changed daily. nope. They are in the process of upgrading the room furnishing to more modern "IKEA" design, but it is not necessarily more function-focused.

6) COST: I agree with the 11/20/2010 reviewer that this place is overpriced. And the photos are indeed out-of-date on tripadvisor; the FCH is clean, but it is not glowing.

7) TAXI: The FCH was helpful in calling Taxis. But remember to have them confirm costs in advance. Unless your girlfriend is a freakin genius, or you speak fluent Spanish, the cabbies may try to take advantage of you.

In the end, it comes down to expectations. For the top ranked B+B/Inn in Santo Domingo, for paying about $70 a night (including taxes), and from everyone else's glowing reviews - I just expected more. This is not a bad place, but just BE AWARE, because I had much higher expectations based on what I had read from others on TripAdvisor.

Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank MrGreen2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2011

I am going to miss the Foreigner Club Hotel it was my first time to Santo Domingo I was so nervous going to the Santo Domingo by myself. Alberto, Raul, Patricia made my trip so wonderful and they accept me as I was there family. All the staff at the hotel are loving people and they accept you as family. I whether would stay at the Foreigner Club Hotel thin at the a big resort. Patricia took me China town to eat. Alberto took me out to the club and Raul was laughing all the time with his funny self and nice smile. I cried in my room because I know they do so much for the hotel guest without get paid alot because of economy in Domican. They taught me alot about the culture in Dominican. I look at life now that I would never knew that people in Dominican dont have that much like in the USA but one thing I got to say they Love and Giving Heart. I would never forget Alberto, Patricia, Raul I love you guys ..You are my new family I will see in you in August or September.

Love You,
Normando Propst
Atlanta Georgia.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AtlantaNormando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Foreigners Club Hotel

Property: Foreigners Club Hotel
Address: 102 Canela St., Santo Domingo 00000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Santo Domingo Province > Santo Domingo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 67 B&Bs / Inns in Santo Domingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Foreigners Club Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Foreigners Club is a 10-room bed and breakfast hostal & hotel. We have affordable clean rooms of different sizes. From budget rooms for hostal travellers to spacious rooms with high ceilings and private balconies.WiFi; A/C (air conditioning); Fans, fridge,Cable TV are all included. Centrally located at the foot of famous "Calle El Conde" which is the heart of the hostoric and safe Colonial Zone and 3 blocks from the Caribbean Ocean. ... more   less 
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