Choosing a hotel is a significant decision, since we are selecting a place that will become our home during those days of stay. When choosing a hotel, people think about factors such as: security, cleanliness, food, service, location, among others.
Hotels are normally classified with stars, but this classification varies according to the country and its customs. According to the criteria of requirements on the quality of accommodation in the country, so will be the stars awarded to the hotel.
In some countries the additional activities offered by the hotel are more important than the bedroom, and in others food and culinary care are more important, for example: the correct use of oils, cleaning the utensils in which food is prepared, such as crockery or glasses, and innovation in the kitchen.
In the Dominican Republic there are also certain requirements for a hotel to earn its stars. To classify a hotel there are specific laws or otherwise all hotels would have the classification of five stars. According to the Regulations for the Operation of Hotel Establishments, certain quality requirements must be met in order to have the necessary stars.
In 1969, Law 541 of December 29, Organic Law of Tourism, states in its article 29 that: “Lodging establishments, restaurants and similar businesses must register with the National Tourism Directorate to be qualified in the corresponding category. In the Dominican Republic, the law that regulates this classification has gone through several changes. In 1984, in Regulation 2115 of July 13, the Ministry of Tourism established parameters for the classification of hotels by stars, but the process was never completed.
In 1999 the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) took up the issue again to classify the hotel quality of the country taking into account the structural point of view, but this classification perspective was not very well received by the hotel sector. In 2003, Regulation 2115 was modified, thanks to the Executive Power and Decree 818-03 of August 20th of the same year, but the changes were not evident either, due to disagreements.
By 2007 there was no specific law to address the issue, designs were made to apply them to the hotel regulation law and they were not used. Between 2008 and 2015 the change was made in order to categorize the hotels to be classified, with stars; taking into account the quality and service offered.
As of 2015, the criteria taken into account for the classification of a Dominican hotel with 4 and 5 stars are in the report “Hotel Classification System: Recurrence of Criteria in 4 and 5 star Hotels”; a document that provides the most useful guidelines for the classification of hotel quality.
Even taking into account the hotel classification system, the Dominican hotel sector is established by the Reglamento Normativo del Funcionamiento de los Establecimientos Hoteleros, under decree 818-03 of August 20, 2003, which is the law that finally regulated it; and it classifies the stars as follows:
In the one-star hotels are very economical, the rooms are simple, with little space and without much decoration. Comfortable, with air conditioning, and usually some services such as TV and telephone are in one room, so that all guests can use them.
In these hotels, apart from the comfort that the hotel must offer, it must have air conditioning, its walls must be painted and structured with good quality material. It must have good cooking utensils and quality dishes, it must provide meals although with some time restrictions.
Accommodation in a three-star hotel allows the rooms to have more personalized services, quality, care and comfort. The space is usually large and the hotel structure is made of good quality materials, sometimes with a swimming pool, gym, bar, bellboys and bilingual reception service.
These hotels are first class, the staff is highly trained, has floors and walls structured with high quality materials and harmonious with the composition of the place. These hotels offer extended room service, more than one restaurant, bar, minibar, hair dryer, bath products, and an efficient air conditioning system. They have a good view of the place, luxury suites, Jacuzzi, laundry and small conference rooms for the use of guests.
They are the so-called luxury hotels, with the best attention and services, aimed at providing high quality standards and comfort. This type of hotel has large conference rooms, nurseries, live music, suites and at least 5% of the rooms have a private room. It has a gourmet restaurant and 24-hour room service, spa, mini-golf course, gym, shows, events and live music.
Among the services offered by a hotel, gastronomy is very important, since it covers a fundamental need of the guests.
The restaurants that are part of the hotels, make the gastronomy advance because they can experiment and create new recipes to please the guests, without leaving aside the regional dishes.
The more stars a hotel has, the better the gastronomic experience. Ideally, the cuisine in these hotels should reflect the country in which they are located. A good dining experience can complement a guest’s expectations and a satisfied customer can come back and bring other customers with him.
With the advance of technology, tourists prefer to use their social networks to publish photos of the place, this works well at all levels not only for the hotel but also for those who work there. Proof of this is that many important figures in the culinary sector use their accounts to make themselves known nationally and internationally.
Dominican cuisine varies according to the region but, it is characterized by a Creole menu composed of stews, and different uses of food, such as bananas, which is one of the most consumed by Dominicans. The so-called tostones will be the most proposed in the kitchen of this country, that’s why care must be taken in the oil used for its preparation.
The food usually has more starch and meat content than dairy or vegetables, providing a wide variety of typical dishes of the country and a great cultural experience.
The hotel industry, benefits from the tourism of the island, the qualifications of the hotels are important and those that the guests leave too, because thanks to them other people can consider the place good and could stay there in the future.
Another factor that can influence the rating of a hotel is whether it is part of a hotel chain. Hotel chains seek greater reputation, profitability and control of the sector, they usually position themselves within the high quality standards with 5 stars and they are usually chains formed by national or international hotels. The best thing about a Dominican hotel is the cordiality of its service, the cultural value and the beauty of its beaches.
This type of distinction can be of an international type to make comparisons in the market making the hotels and restaurants more adapted and useful for tourist consumption. Although each country has its own standard of classification, bases and requirements to be met by the sector, many of them are similar both geographically and categorically.
If you plan to enjoy a good vacation in a Dominican hotel read these recommendations:
• Choose the hotel of your preference according to the needs of your stay.
• Check the prices, if possible call the hotel directly to get accurate and reliable information.
• Check the accommodation catalogue carefully, so you know what they offer within the activities of the place and what you are entitled to as a client of this hotel. Some hotels offer tours of the city and they do not necessarily have to be 4 or 5 star.
• If you are a food-sensitive guest, it is good to prevent any complications during your stay.
• If you wish, you can talk to someone from the kitchen staff so that they can balance your diet if necessary. You can ask to speak to the Chef or Sub-Chef.
• Check out websites that talk about the place you are planning to stay, so you can look at the ratings and opinions of people who have already enjoyed your stay at that hotel, see photos and learn about the place.
• Make more than one hotel search, so you will have more possibilities to choose according to prices, services, comfort and quality.
Finally, the hotel industry of the Dominican Republic is connected to large economic sectors of the country, generating high income, and has a wide range of hotels that can accommodate your economy, taste, needs and variety of activities to live and enjoy an unforgettable experience on the island.