on January 1, 2008
Bettyes Guest House is the only proper hostel in Santo Domingo, and quite possibly the entire country. The owner, Betty, is an extremely accommodating, knowledgeable, and gregarious American expatriate from Tennessee. Her homey Guest House includes approximately 12 beds in two large shared rooms with one hot water-equipped bathroom for the hostellers, and one private room with bath for those guests seeking a bit more solitude. There is a full kitchen in the hostel area and a water cooler that one can use to fill up personal bottles before heading out on the town in the morning or for quick (and safe) rehydration after nights spent imbibing Dominican beer and rum. Betty provides a continental breakfast each morning at no additional cost. The typical fare includes cereal, rolls, orange juice, coffee, and tea. Betty has enabled a wireless network that laptop-toting guests can use to hop online or, if one asks her nicely, she will likely permit internet browsing on her laptop in the dining area. One will quickly notice Dominican artwork densely blanketing the walls of the smallish but functional lobby/dining area. That is because her establishment also doubles as an art gallery. That dual use adds an element of culture and flair to what would otherwise be a rather pedestrian residence. The Guest House is situated in a prime area of the Zona Colonial, which is the section of town most popular with tourists due to the abundance of historical sights, museums, restaurants, and drinking spots. Parque Colón, which is where the Cathedral Primada de América is located (the first cathedral built in the Western Hemisphere), and the shop-lined pedestrian walkway, known as El Conde, is literally 30 seconds walking from the Guest House. For guests with sensitive ears the one downside of the accommodation’s location may be its proximity to two particular shops directly across the street, where locals congregate and drink to blaring Bachata music until midnight or later. However, after just a couple hours in the country one’s ears should become acclimated to Bachata beats blasting from just about every bus, car, and shop. That will make sleeping through such ruckus noticeably easier. All things considered, Bettyes Guest House is a comfortable, safe, and clean place to stay while exploring Santo Domingo. Due to the limited number of beds it is wise to secure reservations before arriving to the capital.
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