The Dominican Republic’s tourism infrastructure grows with each new international brand that comes to strengthen the so-called “industry without chimneys”. As a result, the country has some 882 tourist lodging establishments, according to the Dominican Republic’s Hotel and Tourism Association (Asonahores).
Last year, the total number of rooms amounted to 86,250. However, despite the number of hotels in the country, only two have a five-diamond classification, a designation granted by the AAA (American Automobile Association).
In that sense, elDinero contacted the raters and had access to one of the inspectors, who identified himself as 450 to maintain the anonymity of his work, as he has been evaluating hotels for several years in the Dominican Republic, explains AAA’s media relations manager, Aixa Díaz.
As they point out, inspections are unannounced and begin with entry at the security gates. Other elements include having certain security measures in place, such as secondary deadbolt locks, non-slip tub or shower surfaces and peepholes in doors, as well as basic comfort items including good lighting in areas and appropriate seating.
In the particular case of the Dominican Republic, Inspector 450 notes that, from a cleanliness and maintenance perspective, hotels often face challenges not found in some North American properties.
“These can include excessive rust, corrosion and mold problems in both public areas and rooms,” he warns. In fact, they point out that in the particular case of local tourism infrastructure, inspectors are constantly on the lookout for these types of problems. “If they become too frequent, it can mean that the property could be rejected,” he adds.
Other aspects that inspectors look out for is the quality of the pools and how many different features they may have, from bars, water features and pool loungers to child- and family-oriented things like slides, splash pads and water parks.
But it’s not all negative, considering that only two hotels have that rating.
Inspector 450 comments that each year, resorts are upping the ante by adding more activities and food and beverage. They even highlight that food trucks were a great novelty for 2023. They have also been renovating and adding more bathrooms to their inventory.