Honeymoon There: Dominican RepublicWords by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
Photos courtesy of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
If your ideal honeymoon includes Caribbean breezes in a hip, urban setting teeming with history, high-end hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightclubs, consider Santo Domingo. It’s the capital of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew, Santo Domingo has a charming cobbled old quarter packed with important monuments, such as the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Santo Domingo also boasts cafés, shops and sun-dappled squares. It has a chic business district, where the newly-open InterContinental Real hotel can serve as your base. Sleek, creamy-white and dripping with glamour, it has ultra-luxurious rooms and suites with panoramic views over the city. It also sports a roof-deck infinity pool that rivals almost any beach, with pitchers of fruity sangria and luscious Blu Bar nibbles at your fingertips.
The hotel has a full gym and pampering spa which offers scrubs, massages, facials and a sweet treatment for chocolate lovers complete with mouth-watering cocoa-based scrubs and lotions. To taste the real thing, stop by Kah Kow in the old quarter. It’s a museum, chocolate store and café where you can learn the history of chocolate, tour the on-site chocolate factory and indulge in scrumptious Dominican Republic chocolate bonbons and sweets.
Back at the InterContinental, dining options abound, including Factory Steak and Lobster. The Market restaurant offers more casual fare, including craft-your-own pastas, salads and burgers. To get your sushi fix, head to the trendy Nau Lounge, where a DJ spins tunes every night. There is also the hushed Van Gogh Lobby Bar, specializing in cocktails and Spanish tapas, like ceviche and serrano ham.
A short walk from the hotel brings you to the BlueMall, featuring designer brands ranging from Cartier to Longchamp. More stores, bars and fancy restaurants surround the InterContinental, which has its own sweet little gift shop in the lobby. There you can treat yourselves to baubles made from larimar, a baby blue stone only found in the Dominican Republic, that can mark the start of your new life together in a memorable and beautiful way.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Santo Domingo – hanging out by the hotel’s infinity pool, strolling the historic streets arm-in-arm or savoring sunsets over sparkling cocktails – the destination of Santa Domingo offers authentic scenery with an urban vibe. Add plenty of sun, luscious food, romance and fun and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a memorable honeymoon.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2017 issue. You can order a copy here.
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