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Thread: Booked flights... Feeling down... Pls help!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Booked flights... Feeling down... Pls help!

    Hi All,

    I could really use your collective advice here. I'd been wanting to go to the DR for a few years, and last week I was able to convince a couple of my friends here in San Fran to go down there for a week. Excited, and not having had too much time to do a lot of research (after all, I'd been researching this for long enough anyway, and the DR1 forums were actually down on the day I booked!), I went ahead and purchased our flights (into STI on a Thursday afternoon, and out of SDQ the following Friday).

    Anyway, yesterday I began looking into accommodation/nightlife options, only to find out about the curfew ! I immediately went from feeling excitement to feeling dread. After all, I'd sold my friends (and myself, to some extent) on this trip based primarily on DR nightlife (we're all die-hard salsa/meringue/bachata dancers), and now I have to call them up today and tell them about this little glitch .

    So... I'm looking to this board for collective advice as to how to make the most of this trip. We're three single professionals (2 women, one man, aged 28-35), and again, we're flying into Santiago and out of Santo Domingo. I suppose our first priority would be to capitalize on whatever nightlife there is (we'd prefer local clubs to resort clubs, but will take what we can get right now!). Any advice will be much appreciated, and in particular:

    - Is it true that Playa Dorada is exempt from the curfew?
    - Is it true that in Cabarete the curfew is enforced later than in other places?
    - Is it true that the locals are simply going out earlier now?
    - Will it be possible to find salsa/merengue/bachata in Santiago on a Thursday night?
    - Same question about Santo Domingo on Wednesday/Thursday nights. Also, will Guacara Taina be open on one of those evenings?
    - Are there any decent local clubs in the city of Puerto Plata?

    Anyway, I hope I'm just overreacting to this news, and that we'll still be able to make the most of this vacation (and that I'll be excited about it again shortly). I trust that your help and wisdom will determine our ability to do this to some extent...

    Thank you in advance!
    Z.

  2. #2
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    I'd be more worried about finding accomodations as most of the hotels will be filled with Canadians on March Break this time of year.

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    I can only answer questions 2 and 3 and the answer is yes... but only 1 extra hour on weeknights (1 am instead of midnight)...also in Cabarete, there is a dance club in the Ocean Sands Casino...it's actually really nice and open well past the curfew, filled mostly with locals and 20-something surfer/tourists...but I'm pretty sure that Mangu in Playa Dorada is open late also...

    I wouldn't freak out about the curfew...try to get up a little earlier, and do more cultural/sightseeing things. That way, going home earlier won't seem so bad

  4. #4
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    Default Answer to first question

    Hi there

    Yes, Playa dorada is exempt from the curfew.....Mangu, Crazy Moon, Roadways, Hemmingways are all open until whatever time people start to leave.

    Enjoy!
    Daydream

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    Santiago has salsa/merengue available on Thursdays (and the other six days). I will ask my guys just where to go and get back to you...

    Try booking your rooms now...try 809 247 3122 (Hotel Colonial) and talk to Víctor. Or book into the new Mariott (more $$).

    I think you'll have a ball...

    HB

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    To the OP - don't worry that the curfew will ruin your holiday, not likely to happen. The tourist areas are exempt and the clubs stay open - Playa Dorada is a case in point. Yes Puerto Plata has local clubs. Contact me by PM and I will be happy to help you out.

    Almost all clubs are open 7 nights a week. There are nights that a club is fuller and more is happening. It just depends. I can help you out with Puerto Plata but not tuned in on Santiago or SD.

    The locals have adapted to the curfew and things simply get started a bit earlier!

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    Dizzy Ranch( new nightclub near HACHE ferriteria) plays all that music, and actually plays the most salsa I have heard at one club in the DR...

    Tipico Monte Bar in the Las Colinas part of santiago( ave feb 27) plays lots of merenge and bachata.

    Both clubs close at midnight on thursdays.

    there are more clubs, but I would'nt suggest 2 of them, because they also operate as strip clubs, even though 90% of the time it seems like it is any other club...lots of couples and singles women go there looking to dance....

    it is totally different than an american strip club...but it is hard to imagine if you have never gone before.

    you havent got your specific hotel booked on the north coast yet????

    Mangu plays a lot of your music plus a bunch of reggatone...

    but it is a real meat market....Road house is way to small....but on a thursdaynight it might do especially if you book the Gran Ventana Hotel.

    I have never seen much dancing at hemingways...even though I see they have a dance floor and an area for a band


    good luck

    dont forget the trip report on how everything went

    bob

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    I just read these responses and my immediate response is a huge feeling of relief! It sounds like the curfew isn't really a huge deal, so I'm not going to worry too much about it!

    With the aid of the above, I think we'll do Thursday in Santiago, the next five nights on the coast, and then Wed and Thurs nights in SD before flying out Fri morning.

    As for the days on the coast, in terms of checking out the local clubs for salsa/bachata/merengue does it matter so much where we stay in terms of either Cabarete, Sosua, or PP? It sounds like each town has a fair share of local spots, and that it's fairly easy to get from one place to another. Is this roughly true?

    Thx again,
    Zain

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    Not exactly true. The big issue is the highway, at night it can be deadly to drive. If you are taking taxis back and forth and not driving then it might be better but pricey.

    Cabarete is about 50 minutes from Puerto Plata. You get mostly smaller clubs playing tourist music. Someone else will have to help you with clubs.

    Sosua is about 30 minutes from Puerto Plata. There are some larger clubs that cater to tourists and many smaller ones.

    Puerto Plata is 5 minutes from Playa Dorada. Bob gave a pretty good rundown of the Playa Dorada clubs. Hemingways - you will find dancing on Friday Saturday and Sunday primarily.

    All the clubs in Playa Dorada cater to tourists and you don't find a lot of latin music. Occasionally you do on Saturday night at Mangu - but not till quite late.

    In Puerto Plata there are several larger clubs and many many small ones. They play Merengue, Bachatta and Salsa with a bit of reggaeton but not much. It is easy to get to any of these clubs. Most likely one or more of these will have a live band when you are here.

    Where you stay depends on what you prefer to do! If you love tourist music then it won't matter. If you love the local scene then I would recommend staying closer to Puerto Plata. I am very biased, I hate tourist music and love the local scene.

  10. #10
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    Planner - This is exactly the information I needed. It's definitely going to be Playa Dorado for us, and we'll be going into the city each night looking for live music wherever and whenever possible. Then, after curfew we always have the option of checking out whatever's going on in Playa Dorada. If it's okay by you, I'll be hitting you up for more info on the PP club scene...

    Bob - I take it that Dizzy Ranch is in Santiago? If so, we'll be there on Thursday night, and will just have to take the dancing out into the street after curfew ;-).

    Thx again for all the help! This forum is fantastic.

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