During the cold months, there are several wonderful places to visit that are great for a weekend jaunt, cost-effective and gorgeous weather. This 4-Part Article Series will chronicle the culture within the Dominican Republic and all of its beautiful Caribbean culture of the delicious cuisine, fabulous art scene, hotels/bed & breakfast stays, and the Haitian Diaspora.
As a native New Yorker, I would agree, many fall/winter newlyweds often look for a place to honeymoon that is tropical and seems less commonly visited… Although, the fantasy and allure of being a trendsetter with finding a perfect getaway hotspot can be somewhat challenging and expensive, it can work out well traveling to the nearby Dominican Republic.
Visiting the gorgeous Caribbean can offer an array of optional stays at great boutique hotels, AirBnB, and all-inclusive resorts; so be prepared to plan your trip according to what experience you wish to have. Be sure to check all travel websites for customer reviews and call properties for clarification of travel from airport to the property.
Top 5 ‘Must-Haves’ for trip:
2. Dominican Pesos (Inquire with your US bank)
3. WhatsAPP download (Phone App for free international texting)
4. Spanish Phrase Booklet
5. Language Translator App (Phone App)
First stop was the Colonial District of the Capital City, Santo Domingo.
Having never traveled to the Dominican Republic, I was armed with several levels of excitement; hopeful that I would get to experience most of the great things within the land’s Latin-Caribbean culture! Filled with beautiful people, shops of local art, chocolate, pastries and other great restaurants and cafes, I was eager to get to my hotel…
Hotel Saint Nicholas, Calle Merino N. 266, Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo
KEY FACTS: 12 Rooms, Perfect For Wedding Party or Bachelor/Bachelorette Party, Free Breakfast, Must be 18 Yrs, Free Wifi in all public area, Check-In 2pm/Check-Out 12pm
The Hotel Saint Nicholas accomplishes the execution of boutique lodging to PERFECTION! The quaint juxtaposition of Art Deco and Nouveau riche flavour makes for a comfortable and safe and affordable honeymoon getaway. A boutique hotel full of delightful splendor with its own restaurant that serves a magnificent breakfast included with your stay is definitely a diamond amongst so many other jewels.
Just minutes from Calle El Conde (El Conde), named in honour of Count Peñalba who defeated the English in the 17th century. This infamous promenade begins at Parque Colón, continuing to El Conde gate acting as the pedestrian epicenter of shops, financial institutions, restaurants/cafes, and make-shift art exhibits for tourists; also a lovely way to pick up all of your needs and gift items whilst stopping for a bowl of the ‘OH SO GOOD’ Sancocho.
Chef Rodney LoveJones is one of Brooklyn, New York’s most promising “breakout” confectionery and comfort food talents. Noted especially for his creative spin on vintage recipes, Chef LoveJones captured the attention of many notable clients like President Bill Clinton, Celebrity Makeup Artist Sam Fine, Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Senator Vincent Hughes, Vanessa L. Williams and Model Mogul Tyra Banks. With his creations of such palate pleasers as Amaretto Pound Cake, Sweet Potato Cheese Cake, Haute ‘Chok-Lit’ quad Layer Cake and a Pecan Tart that does not disappoint true dessert connoisseurs.
Inspired by his beloved grandfather, William Samuel Jones, who conjured up extraordinary delectables, LoveJones mixes his own dessert repertoire with great personal style. Motivated by his grandfather’s mantra, “know your worth,” this urban-fashionisto switched gears in summer 2005. LoveJones departed a career in magazine publishing to create BILL JONES EPICURE—a brand devoted to those with refined taste, then creating a highly successful catering company.
Spring 2012, LoveJones switched gears, relocating to Southern California and joined forces with Diana Benedek, PhD of 2GOOD2B Bakery & Café located in the township of Encinitas. This synergy has created amazing Gluten-Free foods that served the same purpose: yummy treats! Whilst focusing on culture, bright flavors and style, he combines culinary business skill he will flourish in a new realm of conscience and healthy choices of eating.
Now LoveJones continues on his upward and forward journey by introducing you our readers to the great gastronomy around the globe one country at a time.
Chef LoveJones is an alumnus of the Institute of Culinary Education and studied Hotel & Restaurant Management at New York University; he resides in San Diego, California.