The first luxury hotel in the Dominican Republic has reinvented itself while keeping its DNA intact and leading the latest 21st century trends
September 15, 2017. In a society filled with startups, it is hard to decide what has more value: ephemeral innovations or classics that withstand the test of time. In the case of El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, this dichotomy does not exist because it has reinvented itself by incorporating the latest technologies from the 21st century and the most cutting-edge designs, while keeping intact the DNA that made it the first luxury hotel in the Dominican Republic and one of the best establishments in Latin America. $40 million and nearly two years of renovations were needed to rediscover its legend, the one that led renowned people from the world of film, music, culture and politics to stay there when visiting the Dominican Republic.
M Y T H AND L E G E N D
The best hotel in the Dominican Republic:
El Embajador was inaugurated on February 12, 1956, coinciding with the Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World, the Universal Exhibition that took place in Santo Domingo that year. From the moment it opened—an event that brought together the cream of Dominican society—it became a social meeting point. Its Embassy Club was home to the best musical performances in the nation; the facilities were used on a number of occasions as the set of great films such as The Godfather Part II by Francis Ford Coppola and The Lost City by Andy García, among others; and in 1965, it even hosted an assembly of the Organization of American States (OEA), which was attended by dozens of heads of state.
In addition, the parties that were held in the lush tropical gardens, which covered and continue to cover 11,500 square meters, adjacent to the emblematic pool, were attended by renowned guests such as Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson and Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, to name a few; and the ballrooms were decked out to welcome many fashion icons along the lines of Óscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gautier and Elie Saab, who chose El Embajador to present their new creations to Latin America’s jet-set crowd.
El Embajador shines once again under the exclusive Royal Hideaway brand:
Backed by this history and with an exquisite hilltop location in the exclusive Bellavista neighborhood, with the capital of primacies at its feet, and with the Caribbean Sea as the backdrop, this emblematic establishment once again shines thanks to the Barceló Hotel Group, which acquired it in 2015, and to the exclusive Royal Hideaway brand, becoming the top urban icon of this prestigious standard.
S P E C T A C U L A R R O O M S
As part of the return to Olympus, the first step consisted of rejuvenating the 298 junior suites (many with breathtaking views of the Caribbean) with elegant and discrete designs; with touches of glamour, such as the amenities from the select brand Aqua di Parma, which represents authentic luxury that understands it is backed by countless unforgettable experiences and memories; and with an exceptional spaciousness that ranges from 41 square meters in the smaller rooms to 500 square meters in the Presidential Suite.
A Presidential Suite that occupies the entire top floor (9th) of the building, created with the firm purpose of becoming the jewel of the new El Embajador, features 245 square meters of floor space plus a 150 square meter terrace with a sundeck and hot tub; a separate bedroom for service or security; a fully-equipped kitchen so the hotel chef may prepare private meals for the most distinguished guests; a board room; and a lift with private access, among other aspects.
Like other Royal Hideaway hotels, El Embajador has wanted to honor Dominican culture and the capital it has called home for more than 60 years by assigning to every floor a primacy. These are the first official buildings built in the New World after the Spaniards reached the Americas and, although many people do not know this, all are located in Santo Domingo: The Catedral Primada de América (2nd floor); the Alcázar de Colón (3rd floor); the Fortaleza Ozama (4th floor); the Casas Reales (5th floor); the Monasterio de San Francisco (6th floor) and the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari (7th floor).
With the assistance of the renowned Dominican historian José Chez Checo, reproductions of these artworks appear in the hallways of six of the nine floors at the new El Embajador, contributing their historic beauty to further heighten the legend of this classic among classics.
A N I C O N O F U R B A N L U X U R Y
Recovering the urban soul of El Embajador, which is the venue for more than 100 weddings each year and hosts thousands of urban guests who visit the city, has also focused on improving its meeting rooms and adding an extra 1,000 square meters of ballrooms, including the Protocolo and Diplomatic event rooms as well as the exceptional Signature Venue Embassy Garden, located in the garden along with 40% of the 2,600 square meters that the hotel has set aside for the business segment and covered with a sophisticated 25-meter long floating glass enclosure. It has also consisted of redesigning the spectacular lobby and the prestigious El Jardín restaurant, which together with the Los Porches restaurant, continues to create culinary marvels under the guidance of the acclaimed chef José Soto, and creating a new Wellness & Spa that features a private pool, gym and four treatment rooms that, under the BI name, a Taino word that means LIFE CENTER, provides the perfect dose of peace and tranquility that all urban guests need.
R O Y A L H I D E A W A Y S E R V I C E
Lastly, in order to firmly undertake this new era in El Embajador’s legend alongside Royal Hideaway, the hotel has added exclusive services such as the Ambassador Level, which offers executives on the 5th and 6th floors access to a private front desk for check-in and check-out, as well as an independent lounge in which to peacefully eat breakfast with sea views, read the newspaper, or have coffee or tea throughout the day. Another new addition is the Royal Level, created so the guests on the 7th floor, 8th floor and the Presidential Suite may have a private lounge with exquisite culinary alternatives, two meeting rooms and personalized service, including a butler and secretary, throughout the day.
A new hotel that, as of October 1st, will mark the end of a journey into the future while maintaining its diplomatic soul intact.
Executive Junior Suite from $164 a night with breakfast included
For additional information and reservations: www.barcelo.com
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, in the LVX category
About the Royal Hideaway brand:
‘Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts’ is the brand chosen to market the establishments positioned in the luxury segment and at special locations. These destination hotels focus on experiential luxury. These unique and exclusive establishments are linked to art and culture, and the brand values are associated with authenticity, small details and discretion.
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