Sosua is a small town on the north coast of the the Dominican Republic. It doesn’t have an airport but it is still known and visited by lots of foreigners each year including more than a few who call the place home year round. Outside of the usual local brothels there are a lot of working women in the area targeting foreign customers every day of the year.
Way back in 2015 I wrote a report reminiscing on the lost bars of Phnom Penh that became pretty popular among readers. Two years later I wrote another report on the other lost bars of Phnom Penh. I have covered Sosua and the rest of the Dominican Republic in part but I haven’t yet gone into any real detail.
Today there is not a whole lot to report on. Despite the expressed wishes of at least some local authorities Sosua now functions in many ways as a sort of open air brothel for foreign visitors. The action isn’t as centered in bars and other establishments as it used to be and a lot of the meeting greeting now goes down in the street or simply on the beach.
Still there was a time not that long ago when some truly legendary adult oriented businesses operated in Sosua. They weren’t always strictly bars but calling them bars is still probably one of the best ways to find them. The following is a report on some of the lost bars of Sosua.
Not to be confused with the massive Piergiorgio Palace Hotel that operates today The Palace was a small compound located just a few meters off of the main strip in Sosua. Run by a guy locally known as “Palace John” the hotel cum mini-male-resort operated as a sort of all inclusive place for guys on vacation.
Inside the walls stood a small hotel, a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a bar. Early on the bar was always staffed and there were usually several women hanging around looking for customers. As time went on the bar got more quite and customers seemed to pull in more women from the city.
Some of the most well known working women in the city of the early 2000’s made regular appearances at The Palace. Some worked nowhere else since they didn’t have to. It was nothing to see a half dozen women sitting around the palace or swimming in the pool.
Room prices were reasonable and The Palace always had a number of guys staying inside. The ladies who worked the place usually charged between 1000 and 1500 Pesos for a short romp in the rooms. They nearly all offered “happy hours” too which was the local slang for a threesome.
Alas The Palace disappeared along with a lot of other places. Today there are a lot of girl friendly hotels in Sosua and as described earlier most of the action has moved to the streets
The Blue Dolphin
The Blue Dolphin, which is not to be confused with the new Blue Dolphin Condos, was larger than The Palace but never as popular. Owned by a retired pro wrestler the place was only steps away from The Palace. It more ground, more rooms, a larger pool and a bigger bar. Still, it never did really rival The Palace as far as I could tell.
One reason for that may have been the lack of ladies at The Blue Dolphin. Some would filter in and out and times but they seemed to be attached to customers. Because of that whoever did stay at the place only really used it as a hotel.
Passions was without a doubt the most infamous adult enterprise in the history of Sosua. What started as a small bar attached to the previously mentioned Blue Dolphin property turned into a large adult entertainment center complete with stages and private rooms.
The European owner really expanded his open air facility in a short time. He started with a few uniformed gals working behind the bar and transformed the place into an indoor venue with tons of scantily clad gals shaking it on stage in between doing massages in private rooms.
At the end it more or less looked like a high end Thai go go bar except that the women working inside were Dominican and Haitian. Plus it even had a soapy massage parlor element with soapy body to body massage being offered on premises.
In 2013 law enforcement closed the place down. The owner apparently fought for years to get the bar reopened but it never happened. At this point it looks like Passions Sosua is gone for good so it is added to this list of the lost bars of Sosua.
After Passions was closed a lot of other places seemed to disappear too. In some ways the closure of Passions can be seen as a harbinger of what was to come.
D’Latinos and Rumba
D’Latinos and Rumba were at one time the epicenters of Sosua nightlife. These two nearby nightclubs would fill up at night to the point were it was actually difficult to get through the place. The customers were a mix of foreign guys, a few local guys, lots of female sex workers, and a few local and foreign “regular girls”.
Although the places weren’t brothels themselves it seems that someone thought otherwise. Both clubs were closed down by order of the government and they sat empty for years. Rather than eliminating the sex trade things just moved into the street where it remains today.
A few months ago news emerged that the tattered shells of both D’Latinos and Rumba were finally being reworked into other businesses. Rumba is apparently being turned into a sports bar while D’Latinos is becoming an upscale restaurant.