Catalonia Casino Santo Domingo Review
The Catalonia Casino in Santo Domingo is one of the newest additions to the hotel and resort space in the capital city of the Dominican Republic. The casino and hotel are situated right on the water in the city of Santo Domingo, in the colonial zone. The beach is within walking distance (just across the main road) and there are a variety of shopping complexes nearby as well, since it lies parallel to the main road, George Washington Avenue. The casino floor is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel.
Its location is an area known to be the most culturally rich part of the capital city, with Spanish architecture being the highlight. The area also features a string of hotels and resorts as well as many state-of-the-art shopping centers.
The best way to enter Santo Domingo is to fly into the Las Americas International Airport (AILA), which is just a short 30 minute drive from the casino. The public transportation in the city is not great and the taxis are known to rip off tourists. For these reasons, the best way to get to Catalonia would be to catch an Uber or rent a car and drive to the casino from the airport. Keep in mind that the traffic is always bad, so you should add about 10 minutes to your overall trip.
The minimum gambling age in the Dominican Republic is 18, and identification will be required to enter the casino. In terms of formalities, they do not have a strict dress code, but they do expect you to be well-dressed to match other guests. You will find plenty of tourists from all different parts of the world enjoying this casino.
Catalonia Santo Domingo Casino
The main casino floor at Catalonia is a luxurious 2000m². It offers a range of games including, but not limited to, poker, table games, electronic roulette and lots of slot machines. Also, the nearby nightlife in Santo Domingo is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals. There is an abundance of bars located in the surrounding areas of Catalonia and they are most easily accessible by taxi.
The Catalonia hotel and casino itself has 3 bars (including a poolside bar) and offers free parking for guests as well as those entering the casino. The hotel and casino are both fully operational 24/7. Some of the table games offered here might close at a certain time, however, slot machines are always available.
The Catalonia Group from Spain are the true owners of The Catalonia Santo Domingo and they manage hotels and resorts located all over the world, but the majority of them are in Spain. They are a family-owned chain of hotels which were initially started by the Vallet Brothers in Spain. Since the inauguration of their first establishment in the 1980’s, they have been one of the main hotel chains in Spain. As of 2018, they have over 60 hotels in more than 20 destinations around the world.
Table games at Catalonia Santo Domingo
Typical casinos in Santo Domingo mainly cater to locals and will have many low stakes tables. Catalonia caters to corporate entities as well as locals and therefore high stakes tables can also be found for the high roller. There are also a variety of electronic roulette machines spread around the casino floor.
The rules for blackjack are the same as for most casinos. You can double down, split your hand between two cards that are the same and there are often side bets available, such as PairsPlus.
The Catalonia Santo Domingo also has many roulette tables to choose from. Some of the tables are high-limit tables but most of them are low stakes. All of the roulette tables are of the double zero variety, using the American rules.
As for poker games, you can try your hand at Three Card Poker and Caribbean Stud. There are high stakes tables with high limits available if it’s organized with the management.
Slots and Video Poker at Catalonia Santo Domingo
You will find over 100 slot machines here with a mix of video slots and progressive jackpot slots. The jackpot slots offer much higher payouts and are a main feature in this section of the casino as they are connected to an in-house progressive jackpot network.
For those looking to indulge in video poker without the intense competition from real players, then there is also a healthy selection of electronic poker machines found alongside the slots.
Hotel and Accommodation at Catalonia Santo Domingo
Catalonia is essentially a hotel with casino facilities. The hotel offers services such as airport shuttles, free parking for guests and there is even valet parking available. The hotel has a total of 21 floors and most rooms are accompanied by a view of the Caribbean ocean.
There is an indoor pool located on the 7th floor as well as a gym. There is a convention center with 1100m² of space available for corporate events, weddings or business conferences, and there is even a theater available in one of the event rooms.
The hotel mostly gets very good reviews but there have been complaints about the quality of certain staff services. The main complaint is that staff don’t understand English too well. For this reason, it is probably a plus if you know how to speak some Spanish.
Restaurants at Catalonia Santo Domingo
There is plenty of entertainment areas at the Catalonia Santo Domingo. They have a modern restaurant which serves a gastronomic infusion of local Mediterranean flavors. They also have 3 bars open all day and a snack bar on the 1st floor.
Their main restaurant is the Filigrana. Tables overlook the magnificent Caribbean and windows giving a panoramic view of the ocean. The food is served a la carte and is available for lunch and dinner. This restaurant uses local ingredients to ensure quality and they use authentic charcoal embers to cook their food.
Over in the Five Hundred Snack Bar, there is a wide selection of refreshments for those that are feeling peckish. The snack bar offers coffee, pizza, and local tapas and has a large TV for sports viewing.
Furthermore, if you enjoy buffet’s, then you are in luck because the hotel does offer a breakfast buffet in the mornings from 7am until 11am. The buffet is made up of an assortment of fresh fruits, meats, and cheeses as well as specialty Nespresso’s.