After a long absence I went to Arena Saturday night. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be putting it mildly. Arena used to be called Aire, and when it first opened it was a straight club that catered to the Dominican elite. I went to the opening night and it was a very nice snobby affair. The door person was very strict and didn't allow "certain" people in.
The opening of Arena is what led to the closing of the club Atlantis. Arena (then called Aire) was crowded everyday they opened. Even having a foam party on Wednesday nights. But, like most clubs they suffered from believing their own publicity. The staff was arrogant and everyone went there to "stand and pose." Eventually there fortunes changed and people only went on Saturday nights.
As someone who could care less about the "elite" and who is more interested in having a good time, not being concerned with people's pedigree, it was good to see the "new" Arena. There was a wide cross-section of people there and the vibe was really cool. To top it off, the music was banging. A far cry from the techno they would play incessantly. One nitpick, they have spent a lot of money on the club, but the sound system is subpar.
If you are visiting Santo Domingo you really must go by and check out Arena, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. It is really a beautiful club and now that they have lost the attitude, it is a great place to go and dance the night away. For those who visited before and didn't like it for whatever reason, I think you should go back and give it a try. I really think you will like it. They learned the lesson that most business owners should know, don't take your clients for granted. Otherwise, they will go someplace else.
Also, they have a bar downstairs that opens early, Punto, along with a spa/bathhouse, Aqua. There is also a nice hotel, La Hacienda, but the service still needs to be improved greatly at the hotel.
Here's to many more nights at Arena!