Originally founded as the ‘Gateway to the Caribbean,’ Santo Domingo could very well be a representative of the region. It’s where you’ll find the oldest European settlement in the Americas, but the city holds more than just historic intrigue. You’ll also find colonial-era cobblestone streets and stunning white-sand beaches dotting this lovely city. What’s more, Santo Domingo is one of the Caribbean’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities. Despite a deeply religious Catholic population and die-hard machismo pride, attitudes towards sexuality are slowly but steadily loosening here. It’s evident in the profusion of gay hotels in Santo Domingo, and across other Dominican Republic towns such as Punta Cana. Most of the best hotels, as well as gay bars, clubs, and attitudes, are centered around the city’s crown jewel – Zona Colonial. Not only does it have a host of rainbow flag-flying establishments but it’s also amongst the Top Must-Visit Places Visit In Dominican Republic.
In fact, Zona Colonial is home to a structure that dates back to the 1550s, and features a Gothic Cathedral that’s the first cathedral to have been built in the “New World”. Right at the center of Zona Colonial sits Parque Colon, one of the liveliest places in the city and amongst the Top Things To Do In Santo Domingo. It’s also where the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade is held, as well as the biannually held and truly spectacular Draguéalo Parties.
Santo Domingo’s gay scene might still be slightly underwhelming and not-so-evident, but it’s there – and it’s blossoming and thriving. So pack whatever hot clothes you own and head to this amazing gay Caribbean hotspot. To that end, stay at one of the top 11 gay hotels in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Casas Del XVI
Right in the heart of Zona Colonial sits one of the most romantic gay hotels in Santo Domingo, Casas del XVI. Featuring a number of gorgeous colonial houses, the hotel is surrounded by the city’s sizzling gay nightlife, with the Apollo sauna just one block down. Choose from a host of 19th-century casa-townhouses, complete with beamed roofs, wooden floors, local tiles, and lovely interior courtyards. Haitian art and antique maps will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world, while the service is incredible.
When you check-in, the hotel gives you a phone and a very attentive concierge who’ll arrange just about anything for the two of you, whether it’s a honeymoon-worthy meal or a romantic couples massage. What’s more, every ‘casa’ comes with a chef who’ll whip up lavish meals for you and your partner at the drop of that hat. If that wasn’t enough, the pinnacle of decadence is the plunge pools in the interior courtyard with two sunbeds and surrounded by lush foliage. You’ll love the rest of the casa too which feature swanky mod-cons and swish granite bathrooms and sprinkled with vintage items and antiques. If this isn’t a unique gay stay, we don’t know what is.
If you’re looking for an excellent gay hotel, Santo Domingo Dominican Republic’s stunning Billini Hotel is where you should be. Tucked in the heart of Zona Colonial, this culture-centric hotel sits ironically in a restored convent. One of Zona Colonial’s oldest structures, the hotel features contemporary art on its ancient walls and is a veritable sanctuary. The best bit is that most of the city’s best gay bars lie within a two-block radius of the hotel – how cool is that!
Discerning LGBTQ travelers will love the hotel’s coral-rock arches and exposed 15th-century brick aesthetic. Bohemian Haitian pieces, Dominican artwork, and a touch of scarlet hues are peppered throughout the hotel. The best place is the rooftop pool, around which sit plush sun loungers to relax. Settle comfortably in your perch after a swim and sip on cocktails from the lovely bar. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel’s basement has a treatment room, a gym, and an ancient wine cellar! Moreover, you can tuck into delicious meals, including a hearty breakfast, at the on-site restaurant.
Choose from 24 characterful and bygone-era suites, all of which feature gorgeous black-and-white prints of Santo Domingo. You’ll find handy tablets that provide all information you need about the hotel and the city. The best part is that while some rooms have terraces, others have whirlpool tubs. Are you looking to meet someone in the city’s gay scene? We’d suggest the rooms with the tubs.
Island Life Backpackers’ Hostel
Gay life in Santo Domingo doesn’t get any more exciting than at Island Life Backpackers’ Hostel. One of the most exciting gay hotels in Santo Domingo, this socially buzzing hostel right in Zona Colonial is a great place for gay travelers, especially single ones. The epicenter of all fun in the hostel is the swimming pool, where all the beautiful people hang out all day long, given the city’s sun-kissed penchant. It’s a great place to meet people, relax, and even have meet-cutes! After a swim, you can retire to the more private hot tub and relax. In the evenings, the barbeque is a great place to enjoy dinner along with other travelers in the outdoors. Later at night, conversations can continue in the games room or the shared lounge.
Taking the experience of meeting people further is the dorms, which are spacious and come with fans, plush beds, and individual reading lights for book lovers. Dorms are a great way to take the nightlife even further, especially after coming back from a night of revelry in Zona Colonial. Since going out in Santo Domingo can be slightly daunting, staying at this amazingly social hostel is just the place to break the ice!
Casa Sánchez by The Oxo House
LGBTQ travelers who want an authentic living experience in the city will love Casa Sanchez, a lovely gay hotel in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic’s Zona Colonial. What’s even better about Casa Sanchez is that it’s adults-only, and also it’s gay-owned as well. The chic hotel exudes vintage vibes with its original mosaic floors that are just about everywhere, right from the rooms to the terrace. The terrace restaurant is the best place to begin the day with a made-to-order breakfast, which you can also enjoy by the pool. The long and languorous blue pool runs the length of the hotel and even has a hot tub by the side, making it the perfect place to unwind.
Later on, you can work out in the gym before relaxing on the property overflowing with vibrant bougainvillea. In the evening, begin your Zona Colonial revelries right at the lobby cocktail bar, which serves delicious cocktails. Rooms are slightly small since it’s a historic structure, but they’re no less exceptional. They all have cable TVs and chic private bathrooms with bespoke bathroom products.
JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo
Those who want an exclusive stay in Santo Domingo should head straight to the JW Marriott Hotel, one of the swankiest and most luxurious gay hotels in Santo Domingo. This uber-chic hotel sits in the exclusive Piantini district, which is about a 20-minute taxi ride to Zona Colonial. Marriott is not only extremely LGBTQ-friendly, but they’re also one of the sponsors of LGBTQ events and pride parades everywhere. There’s a lot that gay travelers love about this hotel, the best of them all being the beautiful rooftop infinity pool. With gorgeous city views and lots of gorgeous people for company, it’s the perfect place for elegant eye candy. The sky-high fitness center, similarly, is a great place to work out, while the restaurant is the perfect place for s sundowner before diving headlong into Santo Domingo’s gay life.
Travelers will love the elegant suites at this hotel. The spacious and lavish bathrooms even have a bathtub, making for some romantic moments in the comfort of your room too.
How would you like to stay in a place with a rooftop jacuzzi that overlooked all of Zona Colonial? That’s what we thought! Welcome to the gay-friendly Luca Hotel, which is one picturesque offering in the heart of Zona Colonial. The modern villa is peppered with geologic rock art and zen décor, with the best feature being the rooftop Jacuzzi. Dig into fusion cuisine at the on-site restaurant, which begins with an American or continental breakfast. During the day, relax in the lush garden or head out on a concierge-recommended tour. Finally, in the evening, enjoy an aperitif in the bar before stepping out to enjoy Santo Domingo’s gay nightlife.
All accommodations at this four-star hotel enjoy views of the lush garden. Original stone floors from the historic structure bring about the old-world air, while modern additions include plush beds and minibars. What’s more, they also have coffee machines, flat-screen TVs with cable, and swish bathrooms with toiletries.
Hodelpa Nicolas De Ovando
Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando makes for an amorous place to stay, melding old-world heritage and luxurious creature comforts. Aside from being one of the Best Hotels in Santo Domingo, it’s also one of the most unique and romantic gay hotels in Santo Domingo. Nestled in the heart of the gayborhood of Zona Colonial, it lies just steps away from its pulsating gay nightlife. So, whether you’re single or traveling as a couple or in a group, you’re going to love these digs.
That said, this place is a haven for culture and history-loving gays. Three 16th-century homes make up the hotel, which is peppered with vintage curios such as cabinets and bureaus. Spend all your time on the property at the stunning outdoor pool, which comes with not only sun loungers but also a pool bar! With wonderful views of River Ozama, it’s a great place to swim and sip drinks. What’s more, you’ll find lots of cozy and lush nooks all over where you can read, drink, or even have a quiet or romantic conversation. For those interested in sensuous times, we’d highly recommend the hotel’s “love spa.”
The entry-level rooms might be excellent, but we recommend that you get the colonial rooms. Comfy beds and spacious bathrooms aside, they feature excellent port and river views, ceramic tiles, and hacienda-style shutters. Last but not least, they get you a free 30-minute massage and access to the Imperial Club lounge with afternoon tapas.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo
The extremely gay-popular Embassy Suites by Hilton sits in a huge glass-and-steel structure which is about a 10-minute drive from Zona Colonial. What makes the Hilton so gay-friendly is the absolutely divine rooftop infinity pool, which often hosts pool parties and live DJs. In fact, it hands out day passes and is very popular with gay locals and tourists both, so you have lots of eye candy right at your doorstep. Equally divine is their morning breakfast and fun evening cocktails at the on-site restaurant and bar. Workout fanatics will love the swanky gym and sauna, which has quite a reputation for getting cruisy. Finally, everyone makes it back for the evening two-hour reception of free snacks and drinks.
Of all the rooms, the higher-level ones boast a modern design and spectacular views. Mod-cons such as flat-screen TVs and fully equipped kitchenettes make your stay all the comfortable. Wrapping up the features is the private modern bathrooms with complimentary toiletries.
Sheraton Santo Domingo
Where in Santo Domingo will you find a high-end international property with a cruising reputation? That’ll be the Sheraton Santo Domingo, whose well-known sauna has a very discreet cruisy reputation. So, stay here and you might just end up getting lucky! The beachfront hotel lies conveniently midway between downtown Santo Domingo and Zona Colonial. So, you can explore the city as well as delve into its gay nightlife. You’ll love the spacious and elegant rooms with mesmerizing views over the Caribbean from floor-to-ceiling windows. Free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs, and cloud-like beds make up the rest of the comfortable room.
It’s not just the sauna you’ll like about the hotel. For instance, you’ll fall head over heels for the relaxing outdoor pool and jacuzzi, which has sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea. After a swim and a soak, relax in the large club lounge or the lush tropical gardens. Plus, all meals are taken care of by the on-site restaurants, including a hearty complimentary breakfast.
Hotel Villa Colonial
The boutique Hotel Villa Colonial is a hidden gem of a gay hotel in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. Set in a historic 1920s townhouse in Zona Colonial, this Spanish architectural gem is surrounded by the best of the city’s gay nightlife. In fact, Esedeku is two streets down, as is the cruisy Apollo Sauna. It’s no surprise that it’s amongst the Top Gay-Friendly Hotels In Dominican Republic!
That said, you’ll love everything about this century-old property, which sits around a lush garden courtyard. The crown jewel of this delightful space is the lovely blue pool which is surrounded by shaded sunbeds. After a swim and lounge, head to the restaurant right next to it, which serves an excellent continental breakfast. If you come here post noon, the atmosphere is totally different – it’s an amazing social space. Think beer, wine, craft cocktails, and a very cool crowd, including loads of LGBTQ locals. Who knows, you might just end up meeting someone here.
Choose from 11 beautiful rooms which come with Moorish-Mediterannean tiles and original artwork. If you can splurge, we’d recommend the Junior Suites which are more spacious and come with private terraces espresso machines, and free drinks.
Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino
It’s hard to go wrong with a Marriott property, and the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino is no exception. The wonderful and funky gay hotel in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic sits right on the waterfront at the southern end of Zona Colonial. In fact, the cluster of gay bars is a mere 20-minute walk, making this one of the best indulgent gay-friendly stays in the town.
This waterfront property radiates fun resort vibes thanks to the lushly landscaped and tropical grounds. The piece de resistance is the outdoor pool, this is perfect for a relaxing time. It’s surrounded by sunbeds, teepee-shaped cabanas, and swaying palm trees, and boasts unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea. After a swim and lounge, stretch the relaxation session by heading to the hedonistic spa. A hearty lunch at the restaurant and some unwinding time later, grab a sundowner at one of the fabulous bars on the property before heading out to Zona Colonial. Even the rooms are exceptional here and feature huge windows with superb views. Cushy beds, chic bathrooms, and mod-cons make your stay as memorable as it’s comfortable.
Just So You Know:
- Santo Domingo hosted what was the Dominican Republic’s first Gay Pride parade on July 1st, 2001.
Get Some Culture in Santo Domingo:
- Santo Domingo Gay Pride Parade: Held first in July 2001, this annual pride parade fills the stress of the city with rainbow flags, with the LGBTQ community making a rare show of numbers. Besides tons of gay parties and events, the pride parade is a demand for recognition of human rights for the LGBTQ people who’re largely ignored in the Dominican Republic.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Santo Domingo:
- Esedeku: One of Santo Domingo’s most popular gay bars, this one plays pop tunes rather than the usual bachata, merengue, and salsa – and that’s what makes it so different! It even has a nice rooftop terrace with extremely friendly service and unabashedly hot gay men.
- Cinema Café: Gay-popular to the hilt, this cozy cafe with an excellent ambiance and live music is the perfect place to meet new people and probably even hook up! Sip on delicious and cheap drinks in this crowded place before hitting one of the steamier clubs later on.
Best Gay Saunas in Santo Domingo:
- Apolo Sauna: Located right in the heart of Zona Colonial, it’s full of steam rooms, showers, dark rooms, slings, mazes, and hot guys. While it’s the sole gay sauna in the city, the scene is surely evolving and there will certainly be more in the future.