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Casas del XVI — A Santo Domingo luxury hotel review

We recently stayed at Casas del XVI during a long weekend in Santo Domingo. Casas del XVI is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Zona Colonial with a unique room structure and slew of personal services In this post, we’ll start by explaining this hotel and its service offerings before getting into our own personal experience and feedback. Keep reading to hear more about Casas del XVI.

The basics

Casas del XVI is a unique hotel in many ways, starting with its physical layout. The hotel comprises multiple buildings, houses and rooms around a city block. Depending on the size of your party, you can book individual rooms or an entire house.

Guests staying in a private room will share a common dining space, living room and pool area with other guests staying in that same larger house. The rooms are still very private and separated within the larger house, as you’d expect with any hotel room.

If you have a large travel party, you can reserve one of seven full houses where you have your own private dining, sleeping and lounge spaces, and in some cases a private pool. Each house has a unique architectural and design theme, with unique features and amenities.

While some of the houses are connected to staff, guests only have access to the house in which they are staying. Guests cannot explore the entire property. I specifically note that because the photos and analysis in this post is limited to the house and room we had access to.

Beyond its design and appearance, Casas del XVI earns its status through its services offerings. Guests enjoy personal butler service, 24/7 concierge service via Whatsapp and private chef services. (More on that later.) They also offer spa services, private tour guides and personalized local experiences.

The hotel website states it is a five star hotel, but Google has it placed at four stars. Regardless, it most certainly falls in the luxury hotel category with regards to its design, service and of course (relative) price.


Casas del XVI is located in Zona Colonial, the historical center of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. You can find the hotel’s main address here, but you will actually check in at your specific room or house, which will likely be a slightly different location.

Reception will contact you prior to your arrival to confirm your exact location prior to your stay.

Room Types

Every room at Casas del XVI is different in terms of design, layout and theme. You will have the option to select your general room type (parties of 2-4) or your specific house (parties of 6 – 16) when you book.

Parties of 2 to 4 will have the choice of the two room types below. Beyond the bed configurations, these rooms also have a closet, dresser and full bathroom with a tub. Guests in these room will have access to a shared dining room for meals, a shared pool and possibly additional shared seating areas within the larger house.

  • Luxury double: room includes a king or queen bed and sleeps two adults (plus one child under 2)
  • Luxury 2 queens: room includes two queen beds and sleeps up to 4, including children

Larger parties (up to 16) can reserve an entire house (or casa). Each house is different in terms of size, amenities and theming. You can read more about the architecture and theming of each house here. You will be able to select your specific house when you book.

  • Well House (Casa del Pozo): Includes 6 beds, 6 baths, a private outdoor patio and private pool. Sleeps 16.
  • Designers House (Casa del Diseñador): Includes 2 beds, 2 baths, terrace and private pool. Sleeps 6.
  • Tree House (Casa del Árbol): Includes 4 beds, 4 baths and outdoor patio. Sleeps 10.
  • House of Maps (Casa de los Mapas): Includes 3 beds, 3 baths, living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. Sleeps 6.
  • Macoris House(Casa Macorís): Includes 3 beds, 3 baths, living room, dining room and private pool. Sleeps 6.
  • Antillean House (Casa Antillana): Includes 3 beds, 3 baths, living room, outdoor dining room and private pool. Sleeps 8.


Guests staying at Casas del XVI will enjoy a collection of personal services offered by their expert and professional staff. All of these individuals are fluent in English and Spanish and are available anytime of day.

Here are the services you can expect. In each case, you will receive a contact number in WhatsApp to reach them directly.

  • Butler Service: The butler will primarily coordinate and serve all of your meals. They are also available to answer any questions, help you around, coordinate excursions you planned with the concierge, and serve as your main point of contact in the hotel.
  • Concierge Service: This service is available to help plan and coordinate anything you want to do at the hotel and beyond. They can help book a car service, make a dining reservation, schedule hotel spa services and more. Anything that requires translating, they can do for you.
  • Reception Service: This will typically be the same contact as the concierge. They will help you prepare for your arrival, but they can also help throughout your stay with things like scheduling housekeeping.
  • Private chef service: The hotel has full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus prepared by a private chef on property. Breakfast is included and lunch and dinner items are available for purchase. You can order anytime by texting the butler. Meals will be served at a fully set table in the dining area in the house where you’re staying. In-room dining is also available for smaller meals and snacks.


Let’s start with the room, which was stocked with all the basic amenities you’d expect at a nice hotel.

  • The closet had quality robes and slippers, an ironing board, a safe, and actual hangers that aren’t locked down. There was also a bag for a laundry service.
  • Between the dresser and two night stands, there was ample counter space and storage.
  • The bathroom had a large tub and separate rain shower. It was stocked with soaps, shave kit, sewing kit, shoe polish, shower cap and lotion. There was also a hairdryer.
  • Boxed waters and glasses were provided and refreshed regularly or on demand at no extra cost.
  • Free wifi was included, and was sufficiently fast.
  • Cribs are available by request.
  • The room also had a safe, luggage stand, lounge chair and TV.

Beyond the room, we also had access to the other common spaces in our house. This included a small outdoor terrace with a fountain and seating, two dining areas, a large and beautiful lobby space with seating, and a small plunge pool with a few chairs.


The standard rate for basic rooms which sleep 2-3 is about $450 USD per night. Prices dip to as low as $235 if you book in advance and/or are willing to book a no-refund rate. The larger single rooms with two beds run for about $570 per night with very little wiggle room.

Pricing for full houses is standardize and does not fluctuate by date. Houses start at $2,800 per night and go up to $4,000 per night, depending on the house.

Be sure to also budget for tips for the butler, housekeeping any other services.

For context, other Google 4-star hotels in the area (such as Luca Hotel and Billini Hotel) run for about $100-$200 per night.


You can book your stay at Casas del XVI direct through their booking portal. This is the best way to ensure you can see the most accurate list of available room types and is overall a very smooth experience. The hotel is also listed on, and Expedia if you prefer.

Our Experience

We recently took a long weekend trip from New York City to Santo Domingo for two days and three nights. Our travel party included two adults and our 2.5-year-old toddler, Zoe. We decided to stay at Casas del XVI because we wanted to stay in Zona Colonial, it had great reviews, and we really liked the idea on-demand dining. Here’s how our trip went.

Booking & Pre-trip

We booked our stay through three months prior to our trip. Sometimes we prefer to book hotels direct, but sometimes booking through a third-party is easier or better for one reason or another. There wasn’t a specific reason in this case, Booking was just the website we went with at the moment.

The total cost for three nights in a Luxury Double room for two adults and one child came to $1,102 USD, including taxes and fees. We racked up another $276 in charges between car services and dining.

We used our Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for our stay, and were able to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit to offset the cost. We also used the same card for incidentals. Since all chargers from this hotel code as “travel,” we earned 3x points on our total spend.

A week before our trip, we worked with the concierge via Whatsapp to book our airport transportation and car service to Los Tres Ojos. We needed a car seat, and this was the best/only option for us since we didn’t want to bring and carry around our own car seat. This took more back and fourth than we would have like, but they were ultimately able to get everything arranged for us.


After we arrived at the airport, we easily found our driver who was holding a sign for us just outside of customs. He didn’t speak English, but he was still able to get across to us that he’d go get the car and then pull around to pick us up.

A few minutes later, we were in the car. The van was fine and there was in fact a car seat, but it was not installed correctly. It also wasn’t in great shape, and it was really difficult to install and then adjust the straps to fit properly.

The driver also immediately zipped out of the parking lot before any of us were even seated, let alone secured in the car seat safely. This wasn’t ideal, but I think it was pretty cultural there, given car seats and seatbelts are not required there. I’m sure he’d have waited had we asked him too. He was very kind and helpful.

The ride itself was fine after that, despite hitting very heavy traffic around Zona Colonial.

We arrived at the hotel, he got out our bags, and the butler was standing by with fresh squeezed juice. Unfortunately, we were at the wrong house. There was some discussion with the butler and driver, and then ultimately they figured out where we were supposed to be. We piled back into the van and drove around the block.

Once we were at the right place, everything was smooth. The butler gave us our drinks and carried our bags to our room while the receptionist explained the hotel and amenities and took care of check in. It was probably about 15 minutes from the time we first got out until we were in our room.

Room & Amenities

We were thrilled to walk into our room and discover the crib was already set up. (By comparison, it took two hours to get a crib the night before TWA Hotel.)

The room was clean and absolutely beautiful. It was very spacious, even with the crib and our luggage out. The large windows let in a ton of natural light. That said, the shutters were not black-out. Even closed, the room was bright midday.

The TV worked and offered a handful of local channels, including a kids channel which our child loved immediately. Unfortunately the TV was a bit small and didn’t work well. The screen would frequently glitch and freeze, enough that even our toddler would say “oh no!”

We were happy to find that the room was stocked with boxed water. Waters were replaced when our room was serviced and upon request at no extra charge. You’re not supposed to drink the tap water in Santo Domingo, so this was helpful.

It was warm outside, but our room was perfectly chilled when we walked in. (And that’s coming from an American who loves her AC.) The temperature was controlled by a remote, and there was one ceiling unit the main bedroom, but not the bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom, it was huge with plenty of counter space, a freestanding tub, a rainfall shower, and a nice selection of products. The shower was pretty, but had inconsistent pressure and temperature. We also didn’t like that it didn’t have a door or divider.

The room was also loud. Ours backed up against the street and had very little soundproofing. We heard every dog, car and loud conversation that passed us. I’m a light sleeper, so this was not ideal. My kid slept through it just fine, though.

House Amenities

In addition to our private room space, we had access to the rest of our house. To the best I could tell, there were two rooms in our shared house. We only crossed paths with other guests once.

The outside door opened up to the main seating area. This was akin to a hotel lobby, with lots of cozy chairs, stocked bookshelves and decorative art and decor. We didn’t spend much time in here, but it was nice.

Then there were two dining rooms. The larger had a wooden table that sat four and was more formal. The smaller dining area also sat four, but around a much smaller table with views out to the pool. There was also a small outdoor terrace with seating for two adjacent to our room.

All of our meals were served in the large dining room. We actually really loved the private dining option and enjoyed having a space to eat outside of our room.

The pool and terrace was small, but sufficient. The pool was about four feet deep with a bench seat along one side. The space was tight and surrounded by the rest of the house, so there was very little direct sunshine on the pool area. There were a handful of seats around the pool and you could enjoy tea or breakfast out there.

We had a pleasant afternoon in the pool. The water was chilly — I’d guess 68°F. Combined with the lack of sunshine, I was freezing. Due to strict Toddler Code, my purple-lipped 2-year-old who was visibly shaking, refused to admit that it was too cold and stuck it out a full hour.

Personal Service

The personal services at Casas del XVI is one of the things that sets this hotel apart from other nice hotels in the area. We were treated to 24/7 butler service, private dining, and reception services, which we took full advantage of.

The main takeaway was that service was mostly good, but often slow and at times unreliable. Here’s a look at our experiences with the personal service staff at Casas del XVI.

Arranging Car Service

We loved that we could easily communicate with reception and concierges via Whatsapp. We used this service to set up our car transportation (with a car seat) to and from the airport and round trip to Los Tres Ojos. It took a few follow-ups, but eventually the cars got booked.

Two of the three trips were on time and smooth. We had the same driver both ties, who didn’t English but was still so kind, always on time and so friendly to our toddler.

However, our final transport to the airport was delayed by a full 45 minutes. It was also a different driver than we’d had during our two previous trips. At the end of the day, it was the butler who helped us track down our driver and get us on our way. Fortunately, we had planned for delays and still made it to the airport in time for our flight.


Breakfast was included in our stay, plus we could order other meals a la carte at anytime. We were told to text in our breakfast order and meal time the night before and order any other meals whenever we wanted them.

We were at the hotel for three breakfasts. The first was scheduled for 8 AM because we had a 9 AM pickup for Los Tres Ojos. The butler didn’t come get us until 8:20, but we were still able to enjoy our breakfast with time to spare.

The second breakfast was a mess. We texted our order the night before — the same way we ordered the previous day — but it got lost somehow. Our scheduled meal time came and went, and we waited for 45 minutes before giving up. We texted the butler and said we had to leave, and he told us he didn’t have our order. It came with an apology and an excuse that “someone else” was supposed to take care of it, but didn’t. Who knows.

For our third breakfast, we texted our order to the butler but then also texted reception and emphasized that we needed it to be on time because we had to leave for the airport. That day, our breakfast was served about 5 minutes after it was scheduled. Not bad.

We also ordered a lunch, which took about an hour to be prepared and set up for us. One night, we also ordered hummus and milk to our room, which also took a full hour to arrive.

All in all, the meals were delicious when we got them, but were very slow and sometimes non-existent.

Pool Issues

Like all kids, our toddler was most excited about the pool. Of course, the one afternoon we wanted to use it, it was getting cleaned.

We messaged reception and asked if there was a different pool we could use. They responded quickly and said yes, there was another pool available. Great! We were told someone would arrive in five minutes to walk us to the other pool, since we our keys only worked to our house and we had no idea where to go.

Unfortunately, 5 minutes became 20 and no one came for us. We only had another hour left of pool time, so I took matters into my own hands. I asked the people cleaning the pool if they were almost done or if we could swim while they finished up. They didn’t speak English, but we bumbled our way through the convo and settled on, “Sure! Your kid can swim while I wrap up.”

We let reception know we’d resolved the issue ourselves, but this was a bit frustrating.

Overall Experience

Casas del XVI was undeniably beautiful. I loved the setup of the private rooms and the shared houses, which felt authentic to Santo Domingo. The loud and bright rooms were annoying, but that is what comes with a lively old town, so I can’t complain too much about that.

The personal service, while slow and inconsistent, was still really nice to have. The people themselves were so kind. Plus, in a city where there is very little English, it was so nice to have someone who could translate and coordinate things for us.

The private chef on premise created a beautiful menu and all of the food we enjoyed at the hotel was amazing. I’m still dreaming of the cheese croquets and the caramel sauce that came with my waffle! Unfortunately, the slow/late service was frustrating and difficult for feeding a toddler.

Overall, I enjoyed our stay, I’m glad we stayed there, but I’m not sure I’d book it again.

So was Casas del XVI worth it?

The value of Casas del XVI honestly comes down to what you’re comparing it to.

If you’re comparing prices against other hotels in Santo Domingo’s old town, the price of this hotel seems very steep. You’ll find plenty of standard and boutique hotel options priced at $50 to $100 a night. I find it hard to justify spending an extra $300ish dollars a night for the added services we received.

However, if you’re comparing Casas del XVI to hotel prices in other major destinations, the pricing isn’t as startling. We personally spend a lot of time in Walt Disney World, where $450 will barely get you a night at a deluxe resort and you will have absolutely no extra amenities, services or meals included with that. Similarly, $450 is pretty close to the prices you’ll see at a nice-ish hotel in Manhattan, again with no added services or amenities.

If you’re used to spending $400 on hotel rooms, then yes — Casas del XVI is worth it. It’s probably the nicest hotel you’ll find in Santo Domingo and you do get a lot of personal attention and perks baked into that price.

However, if you’re not used to spending $400 on hotel rooms, don’t start now. This is not a hotel you need to splurge on.