Miles of rolling green fields, misty mountain backdrops and crisp, cool air – there’s nowhere quite like Colombia’s coffee region. It once used to be a no-frills backpacker adventure, but today the Zona Cafetera is fast becoming the go-to destination for understated luxury. From colourful townhouse boutiques to elegant, family-run haciendas, Colombia’s coffee capital is reinventing the boutique hotel, and the results are stunning. Read on to discover some of the most beautiful places to lay your head after a busy day of hiking, horse riding and coffee tasting.
Hotel Boutique Sazagua’s 10 private suites are a celebration of local tradition, culture and nature. The name Sazagua comes from the Quimbayas, an indigenous civilisation that inhabited the Pereira region long ago. Each rustic-chic room is decorated with dark-wood Colombian furniture, handmade tapestry bed throws and comfy hammocks perfect for birdwatching from your window. After a full day of rafting, horseback riding or hiking in the surrounding hills, you can chill out in their beautiful spa, featuring a Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, plunge pool and a great selection of natural body treatments.
Located on a fully operational coffee farm, the ever-popular Hacienda Venecia is as authentic as it gets. There are two boutique options on the property: Main House and Coffee Lodge. The Main House, with its stunning red and white colonial architecture, steals the show. Formerly the family home of the Hacienda Venecia coffee plantation owners, the six-bed Main House is the oldest building on the farm. With almost a century of history, each room is filled with metal-framed beds, hand-embroidered linens, dusty bookshelves packed with 1900s literature and vintage telephones on the bedside tables, making the rooms look and feel as they did some 100 years ago.
When it comes to Zona Cafetera towns, Salamina often gets overshadowed by the likes of Salento, Manizales and Pereira. It was for this reason that local philanthropist Lola Garcia urged neighbours to convert their homes into guesthouses in order to encourage more tourism in the area. After a two-year renovation, La Casa de Lola Garcia opened to the public, and it is still run by her family today. Inside, you’ll find a stunning open-air courtyard dotted with hanging baskets, luxurious chaises longues and swinging hammocks, as well as a Jacuzzi and several cosy chill-out spaces. Each room is traditionally decorated with hand-carved furniture, thick, embroidered drapes and crystal chandeliers. Make sure you check out the local cultural tours that are organised by the family.
Nestled between the stunning mountainous landscape of Quimbaya, Hacienda Buenavista, meaning ‘good View’, didn’t earn its name for nothing: the infinity pool and Jacuzzi overlook one of the most stunning views in the region, and maybe even in all of Colombia. This secluded, adults-only boutique has just five suites, each with its own unique decor and private balcony overlooking the valley or lush gardens. Buenavista is set amidst a vast tract of land filled with oranges, avocados, passionfruit, plantains and mandarins, meaning the farm-to-table restaurant menu here – served al fresco on their beautiful terrace – is not to be missed.
Plush bedding, private garden-view balconies, health centre and hot tubs, huge beamed ceilings and brick archways and enough space to rollerblade around your room; the Art-Deco Visus Hotel Boutique and Spa has only seven rooms, yet it somehow manages to give off a luxury all-inclusive resort vibe. Located a short drive from Pereira Golf Club, this is the perfect choice if you’re looking for relaxation and seclusion with the benefits of easy access to popular coffee region attractions. This is five-star luxury, but with an intimate, Zona Cafetera touch.
Hacienda Castilla steals the hearts of anyone who steps foot under its clay roof. Built in 1716, this stunning home has been carefully renovated to bring it back to its former glory, with original beams and doors still intact. Light, cosy rooms open up onto a beautiful open-air patio brought to life by blooming flowers, plush seating areas and a waterlily-filled fountain. From here, you’ll have easy access to Zona Cafetera highlights such as Parque de Los Nevados, Termales de Santa Rosa, Lago Calima, La Pastora and Valle de Cocora
Surrounded by fruit plantations, bamboo forests and the towering mountain peaks of the Andes, Hacienda Bambuda has found its very own little slice of paradise. Built from clay tiles and bamboo wood, the Main House’s architecture is inspired by traditional coffee plantation homes, giving it a romantic, authentic Zona Cafetera feel. Each of the 7 suites boast pool-facing, hammock-strung terraces and spacious private bathrooms. Don’t miss the delicious farm-to-table tasting menu created by Hacienda Bambuda’s very own chef, featuring dishes from every region in Colombia.