Although Santiago  is the second-largest city in the country, there are very few choices for accommodations.
Hostal del Cibao (Calle Benito Monción 40, tel. 809/581-7775, US$12 d) is the place to rest the heads of the weary backpackers and budget travelers. Located just a short walk from the Parque Central, there are 14 rooms available. All are spacious with private bath (no hot water), cable TV, and fan. Enjoy early evenings watching Santiago  on your private balcony.
Hotel Colonial (Salvador Cucurullo 115, tel. 809/247-3122, US$13 d) is between Calle 30 de Marzo and España. It offers clean rooms that are a bit small and simple with cable TV, fan, and private bathroom. The staff here is very hospitable and friendly. Next to Hotel Colonial is the Colonial Deluxe, which charges a little more since the building and its rooms are newer.
Camp David (Carretera Luperón Km 7 1/2, tel. 809/276-6400, www.campdavidranch.com , US$41–US$50 d) is located along the Carretera Turística on a mountainside filled with huge homes, overlooking a breathtaking view of the valley. It was opened in 1987 by a Trujillo fan and is decorated with some of the dictator’s personal belongings, like books, photos, and license plates, and a few of his old cars are parked in the lobby. The immortalization of a brutal dictator seems a bit strange for a hotel theme.
Nevertheless, the rest of the decor is tastefully sparse throughout the hotel’s bar and restaurant (which is also quite good), making it a suitable choice for accommodation, especially if you want to get out of the city. The rooms are big and have hot water. Room number 5 (sleeps two) has the best view, but the whole place is starting to show its age. You don’t come here for modernity; you come for the wide sweeping view of the Cibao Valley. When booking a room, make sure to mention “room with a view” because all rooms cost the same amount.
Hotel Aloha Sol (Calle del Sol 50, tel. 809/583-0090, www.alohasol.com , US$55–75 d) is close to shopping and other services. There is Internet service, a restaurant, and a piano bar (4 p.m.–midnight). The rooms are very clean and have air-conditioning, cable TV, and a minibar, but you’ll be billed if you use anything from it. You can request a room with a fax machine in it if you are here on business. The rooms are all a bit cramped, even the suites.
Hodelpa Centro Plaza Hotel (Calle Mella 54 and Calle del Sol, tel. 809/581-7000, www.hodelpa.com , US$75) was recently renovated, and that is great news because now it not only has a phenomenal location, but also it has very comfortable carpeted rooms with air-conditioning, goose down pillows, cable TV, mini-bars, a gym, and a great restaurant on the top floor that will give you panoramic views of the city as you dine.
Hodelpa Gran Almirante (Av. Estrella Sadhalá and Calle 10, tel. 809/580-1992, www.hodelpa.com , US$200–290) is Vegas in Santiago , baby! Complete with casino till the wee hours and rooms with all the trimmings (air-conditioning, hair dryers, wireless Internet access, minibar, cable TV, etc.), four restaurants, pool and Jacuzzi, and fitness center. It’s only 15 minutes from the airport.