By Alexander Britell
The Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo has become an increasingly hip travel destination — and it’s about to get an even bigger boost.
The five-star yoo hotel brand is opening its first-ever Caribbean property with the yoo Santo Domingo luxury condominium-hotel tower in the heart of the capital’s commercial district.
yoo [sic], which was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur John Hitchcox and designer Philippe Starck, has worked on 87 projects in 27 countries.
Starck, the world-renowned designer, most recently forayed into the Caribbean with the soon-to-debut Katsuya restaurant at Nassau’s Baha Mar.
There are yoo-branded hotels in destinations including Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro, with other planned openings in Port Alegre, Bali, Phuket and the United Kingdom.
The yoo Santo Domingo will be the capital’s first five-star condo-hotel, with 121 units, all of which will feature interior design by yoo’s head of design, Mark Davison, with manufacture by design firm ITALKRAFT.
It will also boast several global restaurant brands and a private landscaped rooftop, among other amenities.
Antonio Segundo Imbert, co-founder of Simples Arquitectura will be the lead architect responsible for the 14-story tower’s design, with construction powerhouse Grupo Zagalo building the project.
The project, which is slated to launch in late 2019, will be located steps away from Santo Domingo’s Blue Mall, home to shops like Cartier and Bvlgari, also home to the superb JW Marriott Santo Domingo.
And it’s the latest new project launch for the capital, which is also home to the planned 40-story Hard Rock hotel and casino.
That’s the new — but it’s the old that remains the draw for most travelers to Santo Domingo, with the Colonial Zone a wonderfully restored and preserved quarter that is the oldest city in the new world.
The two sides of Santo Domingo, the old and the new, should combine for a rather exciting place to visit in the coming years.