The Dominican Republic is an often overlooked tourist location. It is a beautiful tropical island full of color, history, and breathtaking landscapes. Unfortunately, those that visit, tend to stick to an all-inclusive resort on the coast and never venture out to see anything.
Santo Domingo is the oldest city in the “new world” and is filled with amazing history. I can’t imagine a trip to the Dominican Republic and not spending at least a day exploring the old city. If you chose to stay in Santo Domingo I cannot say enough good things about Colonial 154H Boutique Hotel. The hotel is affordable, located in the heart of the Colonial district and has wonderful details that make you feel as if you have stumbled on somewhere special. Breakfast was outstanding and the hotel staff was friendly. There is some street noise but that is part of the charm of the location.
Assuming you are in the DR for only a quick trip but still want to spend a day or two at the beach, Boca Chica is a short drive from the capital and is where the locals go to get away. The area is not fancy, but it is beautiful and you can tell it is slowly developing. While there I stayed at Hotel Neptunos Refugio. These apartments are simple, affordable, comfortable, airy, quiet and just a block from the beach. They have a beautiful newly re-tiled pool and a wonderful patio for a relaxing breakfast. Rita the owner is engaging and her staff is helpful. Make sure to try the omelet for breakfast, it is outstanding! I’ll be back to stay!