There is a new bar that has opened on Jose Reyes #107, just up from El Conde. It is called Ocho Puertas (8 Doors). David Lee has written about the new place on his blog. So, for those looking for an alternative place to go, now you have it. It opens early in the day and they even serve food. I had been to the place before when DIH2 gave a reception sponsored by HBO. It is really a great space and I wish them much success. Stop by and check the place out on your next visit to Santo Domingo.
Hotel Discovery has finally opened their doors and the place is very nice. There is a large restaurant downstairs off the lobby. Very nice, though a bit pricey for sort of the same food as Paco's. You can tell they put a lot of money and thought into making the place nice. Spoke with the general manager and he seems to be very nice. Asked him about their policies with regard to gay travellers and he told me that they are marketing the place as a "family" hotel. They don't have any problems with anyone who is discreet, as long as don't have a lot of traffic. He kept stressing about not having a lot of traffic coming and going, but said if people are discreet it is not a problem at all. The rooms are tastefully decorated and comfortable. The economy rooms are very small, but the other rooms were very nice. Also, there is a $10 charge for guests staying overnight in the room. The hotel is located on Arzobispo Nouel and Palo Hincado, right in front of the Parque Independencia. You can contact them by calling 809.687.5038. Oh, there is no pool on the roof. It is a jacuzzi (where you have a nice view of Paco's!).
For those that have emailed asking, yes, Bar Friends is still open and operating as far as I know. Many rumors but absolutely nothing confirmed. All the other clubs are open and seemed to be hanging in there. This past weekend Jay-Dee's and Arena had large crowds. I hear that Arena is offering free admission on certain nights to bring the crowds back from Rouge. The club wars (and I mean that in a good way) are on. No one can take anything for granted when it comes to the fickle club-going public. Let the games begin!
Last week was the Mr. Republica Dominicana 2006 Bodybuilding Show at the Hotel Lina on Maximo Gomez. The next contest is coming up in November. Any of you want to go to the next one? I will let you know when it is coming up. Funny thing, there weren't many women in the audience. Anyway, for those that missed this one, checkout the photos and video below. Ay, mi madre!
Last week was also Dominican Fashion Week. The fashion shows were held at the Embajador Hotel, which is a very nice hotel located in the Bella Vista section of Santo Domingo. The fashion show was very impressive. As I have said before, there is a lot of talent here in the Dominican Republic. Checkout the video below. You can see I'm now addicted to You Tube, especially now that I have learned to upload the videos properly. Who would've thought you could take decent video on a camera.
The Dominican Republic is experiencing an epidemic of Dengue Fever. Many travellers to tropical climates should be aware of this risk. Several people in the barrios have died. The government is now on a nationwide effort to try and eradicate the breeding areas for mosquitos. Go to the link so that you know what all the concern is about.
And finally. File this under NEVER say never. The woman who owned the building where I had the Monaga Apartments got in touch with me through Jose. They wanted me to come back and manage the building and help them bring in business. Well, we worked out an agreement and I now manage the building and will share in the profits. The website will be up by the first of next week, www.camilohouse.com.