I recently stayed at the Occidental El Embajador in Santo Domingo while on a 4 day business trip. This was a new property for me, in a city that I frequent quite often. I booked a room on the Royal Club level, for an extra $20 a night to ensure that I received one of the remodeled rooms.
The hotel is in the heart of the city, about a 40 minute taxi ride from SDQ. I arrived Thursday at around noon and was pleasantly surprised that they had a room available within 10 minutes. The club rooms are located on the 5th and 6th floors with half having Parking Lot Views and half having Ocean Views. While the Ocean Views are about as bad as one can get, I was happy to have scored the latter.
The rooms themselves, while not fancy, are redone and clean, something that you don’t always see in the Caribbean. The bathroom was also redone, sort of… They had new tile and countertops but left the weird layout with a shower/bathtub combo and then an additional separate shower. Neither of which had been remodeled. The additional shower reminded me of something you would see on a boat. The bathroom could be very nice with a little reconfiguring but none the less it was perfectly fine.
I was very interested to see what the Club Lounge had to offer in the way of drinks and snacks. What I found was decent but definitely nothing special. The finger food available was the same all 4 days and the drinks were not free. The $20 I paid extra for this floor is not worth it based on the lounge alone so I am glad that I got a room with a better view.
On the other hand the breakfast buffet was fantastic with many choices of Dominican and American foods from Scrambled Eggs to Mangu to Lox.
Friday morning I played 18 holes with my customer at Guavaberry Golf Resort and Country Club, about 30 minutes outside of Santo Domingo. The greens were really slow but the layout was decent and the place was empty, making for a great time. Of course a round of golf in the DR wouldn’t be complete without 1 or 7 Presidente’s.
Friday afternoon I spent a few hours at the pool, and walking the grounds of the hotel. The back of the property has a terrific garden in which I saw 3 or 4 weddings take place over my weekend stay.
The pool area is very nice however I did notice one thing that made me wince. The lounge chairs have the removable covers, that are made from towel material. Every hotel that I have stayed at, in the past, changes these out as guests come and go. Most people use them to lay on and then their towel to dry off. At the Embajador, the employees walking the pool deck, would sometimes replace them but more times than not just smoothed out the wrinkles to appear as if fresh. Nothing like having back sex with the fat guy that just left.
While I wasn’t at the hotel much over the weekend, I did grab a bite to eat at the bar on Saturday night where they had a great selection of wines. The lobby lounge was nicely done with a variety of food items to satisfy whatever level of hunger you bring. I opted for the Avocado Salad and it was absolutely fantastic.
Overall my stay at the Occidental El Embajador was excellent. Besides the weird bathroom and the towels at the pool, I don’t think that I would change anything. If you like to gamble in the evenings, there is a casino on the property however it’s rather pathetic.
The Captain is an American Airlines Ex Platinum, whose work as an Export Manger, takes him to places far and many times remote. From Guyana to Palestine to UAE to Trinidad and everywhere in between, he loves to dive head first into the local culture though food, music, politics and traditions. Boarding Area readers will be able to take the magical journey, along with the Captain, through his words and pictures on Points, Miles and Martinis.