Thursday, November 09, 2017

A Freindly Hotel re-branded

The former Mercure Comercial on the Conde has been refurbished and re-branded under the new owner, Hodelpa, which has several options in the Colonial City.

Hodelpa Novus Plaza has new rooms, free WiFi throughout the hotel, access to GYM by Nike (a short walk away) and privileges at casinos in their other hotels.

The new owners have maintained the popular El Patio restaurant (thank God) and continues to offer free full buffet breakfast to guests. The restaurant is a prime spot for people-watching and jump starting your day or evening activities.

Rooms start at US $61 dollars and have various features, some with balconies.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Vacation Planning 101

Be sure to visit the Travel Info Page for helpful tips when planning your vacation to the Dominican Republic. Support the links for great deals and great experiences!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tropical Jazz

The annual Dominican Republic Jazz Festival is scheduled for the end of the month. It offers a blend of superb jazz with an extensive educational program.

The program calls for jazz performances on Sunday, 29 October 2017 in Santo Domingo with a concert dedicated to France. Musicians from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) will participate along with the stellar performance of Riccardo del Fra.

The festival then continues from 1-5 November in venues in Santiago and Puerto Plata. On Wednesday, 1 November in Santiago: El Eco (Argentina) and Edmar Colon and Jonathan Suazo (Dominican Republic); Thursday, 2 November in Sosúa with Roni Eytan Quartet (Israel), Anat Cohen with the Berklee Global Ambassadors (Israel, USA), and Javier Vargas (Dominican Republic); Friday, 3 November in Puerto Plata: Trio da Paz (Brazil), Guy Frómeta Trio (Dominican Republic); Saturday, 4 November in Cabarete: Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors Sean Jones and Brian Lynch (USA); Sunday, 5 November in Cabarete: William Cepeda (Puerto Rico), Marco Pignataro's Almas Antiguas Quartet (Italy, Puerto Rico), and more.

The DR Jazz Festival shows are free and open to the general public. VIP tickets and priority seats are available for purchase, making a contribution to the Fedujazz. Contact Fedujazz for more details at 809 571-9350 or by emailing

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Beach Sexy

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Getting Serious About Police Force

dr1 reports: According to the director of the National Police, Major General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, the police will have to take lie detector tests to check if they are involved in illegal activities, as part of his new strategy to strengthen the force.

Ten polygraph machines have been donated by the United States Embassy and will be used on those police officers currently serving as well as those who wish to join.

In addition agents will be subject to anti-doping tests that are being carried out by Internal Affairs.

Monday, September 25, 2017

After Maria

Caribbean News Now: The Caribbean islands of Antigua, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Palm Island in the Grenadines are open for business, and normal tourism activities have resumed. The airports that service these islands have returned to normal operations and are accepting flights from all gateways.
Antigua was largely unscathed by Hurricane Irma, and many other islands, like Saint Lucia, Barbados, and Palm Island in the Grenadines were not affected at all by the storm.
“Now is the perfect time to experience the authentic Caribbean on the charming islands of Antigua, Barbados, Saint Lucia and the Grenadines, with great offers and low airfares from many major US cities. Your support means the world to the wonderful people and businesses of these spectacular islands, and we hope to welcome you in the Caribbean soon,” said Steve Heydt, president of Elite Island Resorts.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Hurricane Irma

For all my Dominican friends who read this blog, GET TO HIGH GROUND!

All attention in the country is now focused on preparing for Hurricane Irma as recent weather reports show it is a grave threat for the country. There were hopes, following the early forecasts, that on Monday afternoon, 4 September 2017, the category 3 hurricane would begin its move to the west but the 2pm bulletin showed it continued to travel south southwest, bringing it closer to the Dominican Republic. Irma is expected to be a category 4 hurricane when it crosses by Dominican coasts.

According to Gloria Ceballos, director of the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), the first effects of the storm could be felt on Wednesday. The storm is expected to hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday and the brunt of the storm is expected to hit the Dominican Republic around noon on Thursday, 7 September.

As per the forecast on 5 September 2017, the most affected provinces will be Puerto Plata, María Trinidad Sánchez (Nagua), Samaná, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), Espaillat (Moca) and Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís).

Given the magnitude of the storm, Onamet is alerting everyone to carefully monitor the storm as it approaches the island. There are many uncertainties with the path of Hurricane Irma.

President Danilo Medina met with all of the emergency organizations to coordinate the process of planning for the arrival of the hurricane and the Hurricane Contingency Plan has been put into operation. In addition, the government has now declared it is in permanent session as announced by the Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Irma. Classes in the public school system were called off for Tuesday.

See the last page of the DR1 Forums Hurricane Section at:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Weekend Winner

The representative of Duarte province (San Francisco de Macorís), 24-year old 5'11 Carmen Muñoz Guzmán was crowned Miss Dominican Republic by her predecessor Sal García during a gala that for the first time took place outside of Santo Domingo. The stage of the Gran Teatro Cibao in Santiago was chosen this time to host the contest. 37 women competed for the grand prize, the right to represent the Dominican Republic in the Miss Universe 2017 scheduled to take place in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on 26 November 2017.

The first runner up was Lytza Sofía Álvarez di Crestana from Santo Domingo East, who won the right to compete in Miss United Continents 2017. The second runner up was Jeisy Lucía Rodríguez Estévez, who will represent the country in the Reina Hispanoamérica 2017 pageant. Fourth place went to Zaidy Bello, representing Barahona, who was chosen Miss Quisqueya.

Other awards that event went to Mayelin de la Cruz from La Vega, who won the best reality show, Lytza Alvarez of Santo Domingo East, who won the best typical dress, created by designer Leonel Lirio. Kassandra Montandón, of the National District, won the "best body” award. Jennifer Daniel of Independencia province won the title for the "best smile” and Lorenne de Oleo from Elías Piña was voted Miss Communication.

The favorites of the public were
Zaidy Bello, representing Barahona; Alicia Restituyo, representing La Vega; Dharla Bodden for San Juan de la Maguana; Carmen Muñoz de la for Duarte province and Jeysi Rodríguez, from the host city, Santiago.