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Visitors choosing hotels in Santo Domingo will be immersed in the fascinating history of the Dominican Republic, a country which shares the island of Hispaniola with the country of Haiti. Santo Domingo is the oldest European city in the Americas and it is important to remember this a tourist destination in the Caribbean. Visitors who choose to visit this city will find luxury hotels with first-class facilities, elegant dining rooms and glamorous nightlife. Santo Domingo is also a city steeped in history. Its "Colonial Zone" was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unrivalled historic firsts: the first cathedral in the New World, the first fortress, the first university, the first palace and the first monastery. It is also a city of contrasts where the skyline of modern skyscrapers rises up alongside the small, 15th-century buildings. All that plus access to some of the best beaches in the world, there can be no doubt that Santo Domingo is a very alluring holiday destination indeed.
The hotels in Santo Domingo include everything you need for a comfortable stay: rooms with Wi-Fi, restaurants, swimming pools and service staff able to organise excursions to the main points of interest. The first item on the agenda for many visitors is a walk through the colonial zone. The tour starts at the Catedral Primada de América with its stunning facade of gold and coral tones. Inside, vaulted ceilings and Romanesque arches rise to a lofty heights. It is definitely worth visiting its 14 chapels. At the confluence where the river Ozama flows into the Caribbean, Ozama Fortress is the oldest military structure in the New World. Its stone tower topped with solid battlements rises up like a memorial to the history of the invaders of the Dominican Republic. Spain, France, English, Haiti and the United States have all raised their flags here. You can climb to the top of it for some amazing views of the river and the sea.
The Museo de las Casas Reales is a Renaissance building that houses a huge amount of artefacts, including treasure from shipwrecked Spanish galleons, weapons and indigenous Taino artefacts. It is a must-visit in the colonial zone. The Alcázar de Colón Museum was once the home of Christopher Columbus' son. Its reconstruction is a masterpiece of historical authenticity. You can see artefacts that belonged to the Columbus family, including a carved-wood four-poster bed. Calle El Conde is the pedestrianised street through this zone, running from the cathedral to Independencia Park. It is the ideal place to relax, have a coffee or buy amber, ceramics, textiles and silver at traditional markets.
After taking in so much history, most visitors opt for some relaxation on the beach or in the swimming pools of their hotels in Santo Domingo. A glass of local rum and an evening meal of regional dishes such as sancocho, meat stews, Yuca and bananas makes the perfect end to a day of sightseeing.