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“Resort Vacation (The Hardcore Truth)”

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Acuarium Resort Hotel
Ranked #49 of 79 Hotels in Santo Domingo
Reviewed 24 May 2017

I booked this hotel through Government Rewards Vacations for family vacation 03-10 April 2017. We stayed at this hotel 03-07 April 2017 before moving to the J.W. Marriot 07-10 April 2017 to finish our vacation.

Not highly recommended for children as no real place in the hotel for them to eat and I would not advise letting them walk around the outside of the hotel if their Spanish and street knowledge are low.

This hotel best serves as a place to lay your head at night and catch a taxi to various tourist locations or attraction during the daytime, not a lot in the room. This is perfect for adults looking to do tourism on the cheap and swing high at the end of their vacation. Strong 2 ½ star hotel with very clean grounds and friendly staff.

Pictures are actual pictures of the property not photo shopped however; focused at specific angles that optimized the view. As most have mentioned the property is very dated, stuck in the 80s.

A good indicator of the hotel star rating for this property is the fact that the property is a hotel/residence (think what this means in the USA). No 4-5 star hotels in the USA are Hotel/Residences.

Amenities:
The cafe looks like the picture however; food service is very limited. Most of the meals are served buffet style in Chafer dishes without a menu. One day the breakfast was runny eggs with diced ham mixed into the eggs.

Bar looks like the picture however; very small. No more than what you see, that is the sitting area. Bar area is 12X12.

WiFi is centrally located in the quasi lobby area and extends to the rooms however; the farther away you are from the lobby the weaker the signal. I could only get WiFi in the balcony area of the room and sitting on the steps leading to the front door. I could not get WiFi in the bedroom.

The picture of the pool is an actual picture. The pool is inside of the hotel with an open ceiling. The pool is kept very clean and reminds me of a large backyard pool that goes from 3' to 6'.

The pictures of the room are actual pictures however; at angles that do not highlight the aged furniture and appliances. The air conditioner that you see in the picture of the room is the only cooling source for the bedroom, dining room, and bathroom. Most of the time I just closed the bedroom door so that I could come back to a cool bedroom at night and would just open the outer doors at night while I was awake to circulate the air. One television within the space and the television is a 1990 12". The shower is equivalent to a stall. Towel and maid service is scarce and the towels are aged, bring your own set of towels if you are looking for soft towels. At least 2 days went by that I did not have fresh towels delivered to the room. No microwave in the room and no real heating source to warmup food. Mini, and I do mean mini refrigerator that gave me to creeps to place anything inside without the magic of Lysol, good thing I carry with me as no close grocery stores.

Taxi/Shuttle Service:
They have a standby taxi driver service that is equivalent to UBER, ask how much the trip is before you depart and you have the option of having the driver return to pick you up at a specific time. Most of the time, the taxi drivers want the cost of the round trip upfront if you decide on that option. Just give them the pickup time and location, usually the drop off location. They are actually the best rate going, usually half the cost of tourist taxi drivers. I did not want to constraint my time so I paid the lower fee to go to my destination and paid the higher fee on the return.

Location:
You are close to all major attractions, Los Tres Ojos (1.5mi) Aquarium (.8mi) Colonial Zone (3mi) beach (.3mi) restaurants (.5mi) sex house/club (.1mi) Boca Chica (20mi) Airport (15mi). The area surrounding the hotel is Ghetto however; some good places to eat within walking distance stay on the main road and mind your business. You are in the middle of the Ghetto and the people around the area speak very little English. If approached most likely a sex proposition male and female. Tourist sex is popular for both males and females. If you are into the scene pass on the street sex and just go to one of many sex houses. A small store, bodaga, with very very limited items, mostly beverages is across the street from the hotel. The bus stops right in front of the hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Monty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 125 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2017

First of all, I requested a taxi or shuttle from the airport on the hotel's website (no taxi or shuttle was there when we arrived). Needlessly to say, we got a taxi for about $40 from the airport to hotel. Our first impression of the hotel was that it was in a poor neighborhood and it would be best to travel together. The hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating. We traveled to the Texaco gas station, local eatery and went across the street to see a fantastic view of the Caribbean Ocean. We visited local sites, and our tour guide was the best and the hotel was close to the city. Overall, we would stay here again for the local favor.

Room Tip: A/C unit = one was in the bedroom - rest of room cool by breeze
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  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kelvin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2017 via mobile

First of all, the pictures are deceiving. They need to update there stuff. I was here for 6 days, actually still here and leave on Tuesday. I have never been so disappointed in my life. They should tear it down and rebuild. It is stuck in the 40's. We have had no hot water, not even warm, when asking for things, they never have it. Three days in a row no pool towels. I would say 4 staff members out of everyone else was helpful and nice. Food and beverages over priced for being a shack hotel. Would never bring a family or kids here, they have female escorts/hookers coming in and out of the hotel making out with old age Caucasian men. It was awful, no respect for kids or family. Can't wait to go home.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank staccy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2017

If you go use the taxi driver Moreno. He was awesome. He speaks little English and points out historical points and points of interest while driving. The hotel Staff was awesome and were there all the time with someone that speaks English. Food was so good. We tried most of the dishes they cooked and the wines. We had a great time. The bed in the bedroom was hard but the cleaning service was there everyday and was awesome.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Armed Forces Vacation Club
1  Thank kochra1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2017

The people in Dominican Republic are great. I wish I had taken everyone's name at the resort. Everyone was wonderful, from the front desk, to the cleaning crew, to the security crew, to the bar and kitchen crew. I give them 5 Stars and then sum. The service is 2nd to none.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Armed Forces Vacation Club
Thank pambele24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Acuarium Resort Hotel

Address: Calle 11 No. 5 Ensanche Isabelita | Avenida España, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Santo Domingo Province > Santo Domingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 79 Hotels in Santo Domingo
Price Range: $64 - $122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Acuarium Resort Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Acuarium Suite Resort is a resort that is located on the Malecon del Este, the seafront of Santo Domingo, a city rich in history, music and entertainment. Free transportation via the Hotel's shuttles bus to the famous Boca Chica beach is available daily at established times. The Acuarium is composed of suites consist of one or two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. They are equipped with every comfort: air conditioning, cable TV, WI-FI. The property offers inside a magnificent tropical gardens, a swimming pool, jacuzzi, massage center, restaurant and pizzeria. The restaurant offers a wide selection of international dishes, Dominican and Italian. The Acuarium organizes for its guests guided tours to discover the wonders of the island: a visit to the colonial part of town where you can visit the house of Christopher Columbus in the excursion to Saona Island launches, a tropical wonder covered palm trees and inhabited only by a few fishermen, the nights out to have fun in the many cafes where you can dance the merengue and salsa. During the day you can relax on the white sand beach of Boca Chica, the beach of Santo Domingo where the Hotels offers complimentary bus Transportation at established times. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Acuarium Hotel Santo Domingo

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