A former private house with atmospheric decor, Casa India Catalina is located in Cartagena’s historic center. The house was remodeled by Colombian artist Fernando Botero and his first wife, Gloria de Zea. This hotel has a wonderful intimate ambience as it only has 23 bedrooms, all featuring air conditioning, cable TV, free wifi and a minibar. All the rooms were given an incredible refit by the owners’ daughter, Lina, in 2013.
Old school Cartagena elements met Miami modern style when interior designer Juan Carlos Arcila Duque renovated this 12-bedroom colonial house into a trendy boutique hotel. Located in a corner of Cartagena’s historic center, Casa del Coliseo functions as a private house and hotel, so if you came with a large party you could rent the whole property. Vintage and luxurious designs dominate the building, and all the while the hotel maintains an authentic feel. Split into apartments and rooms, the apartments have access to a rooftop pool and BBQ area.
An extremely elegant five-star hotel, the Bantu is housed in an 18th-century building located within the walled city. Large, spacious rooms have an edgy-yet-elegant feel with exposed bricks contrasting with traditional mosaic tiles and light marble bathrooms. Guests can relax in the impressive outdoor pool on the hotel’s roof terrace, a perfect place to kick back and escape the city’s activity. In the middle of the hotel there is a plant-filled courtyard, a solarium and a hot tub. Additionally, the hotel’s restaurant serves up authentic Colombian dishes.
A modern hotel, Casa Blanca offers elegant rooms with beautiful antique furniture and granite bathrooms, showcasing a wonderful mix of old and new set in a huge colonial house. Boasting not one but two outdoor pools, and a rooftop bar with superb views of the city, guests can also escape the heat in the shady courtyard. The hotel terrace features a BBQ grill, and spa treatments and a laundry service are available on site.
Not only grand but also achingly cool, this hotel and spa is one of the hottest and trendiest places to stay in the whole city. The hotel’s sleek interior design contrasts the original features of the building against contemporary elements. The rooms are equipped with all the mod-cons, and the hotel has its very own award-winning restaurant which serves delicious fusion cuisine.
Casa La Fe is a lovely four-star hotel run by a British-Colombian pair. This boutique hotel has a relaxed and friendly vibe, and boasts an exotic, plant-filled interior courtyard and a spacious rooftop with its very own hot tub. Stay at one of the slightly higher-priced rooms and you’ll be treated to a balcony overlooking Plaza Fernandez de Madrid. The hotel offers free bike hire for those brave enough to endure the city’s heat.
This is not a luxurious hotel but doesn’t claim to be, and when it comes to a good location, Centro Hotel has just about the best in town. A simple and clean hotel, Centro Hotel is perfectly located just a few steps from Plaza de Bolívar, one of the main squares within the walled city. The well-maintained rooms feature beautiful tiled floors, and each room forms part of a circle around an old courtyard which serves as the center of the house. Prices for the rooms include a continental-style buffet breakfast, which includes some traditional Colombian dishes.
This hotel is great value for money, as guests will pay one-star prices for what really counts as a four-star personalized service. The hotel has beautiful air-conditioned communal areas. The rooms themselves are small but some have balconies which look out to the courtyard. There’s a small kitchen guests can use, offering an endless supply of great coffee. This is a great option if you’ve visiting Cartagena on a budget.
If you’re looking to stay in the finest hotel in town, try Sofitel Santa Clara. Located in the old town’s most iconic square, this hotel was once a convent and has now been transformed into a five-star hotel featuring four bars and the largest pool in the city’s old town. Luxurious yet effortlessly classy, this hotel provides an outstanding accommodation experience. While it isn’t cheap, this is a hotel like no other in Cartagena, offering a perfect blend between colonial architecture and modern comforts. Come and enjoy their first-class spa.
Owned by Bogotá-based designers Meteoro Studio, it is no surprise that this hotel is stylish, yet this semi-secret boutique hotel is so much more than just aesthetically pleasing. A 200-year-old building contrasts with modern furniture and bright and colorful floral designs in a fusion of old and new that gives this hotel a unique air. Located just a few paces from the famous salsa club Café Havana (hence the name), the hotel has its roots in the colorful and fun barrio of Getsemani, ensuring that guests staying here have no shortage of places to eat, drink and dance all on its doorstep.
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This game-changing, luxury boutique bolthole in the heart of Cartagena’s historic Centro has put superior service and a designer flourish at the heart of its award-winning formula to stand out from Cartagena’s many rivals. Central to its colonial charm is the impressive up-lit, L-shaped swimming pool that flows through a towering 300-year-old aqueduct and the lingering scent of jasmine piped through the property.
Located in the heart of the historic walled city, each of Alfiz Hotel Boutique’s affordable suites reflects a different period from Cartagena’s glorious past. It may not be as salubrious as some of the luxury hotels that followed in its old town footsteps, but it achieves a level of authenticity that few of the newer boutique retreats can match. The hotel’s Colombian-Swedish owners scoured the city’s antique stores for original period furniture to make it the old town’s most bona fide gateway to the past.
This tasteful, 10-room boutique on the beach in Tierra Bomba is leading Cartagena’s island resorts towards a more regenerative approach to travel. With an organic veggie patch and an award-winning recycling and social-impact program, there are plenty of reasons to feel good about staying in one of the hotel’s designer cabins. Not least, the ability to opt out of the hotel’s party vibe with a soak in your private hot tub, paired with one of Blue Apple’s sensational cocktails (try the Cartagena mule), and the best beachfront menu in the city.
One of a handful of hotels operated by the OXO hotels group, this 12-bedroom boutique hotel in the heart of Cartagena’s historic center blends serene white rooms with dreamy full-length curtains and high ceilings. It’s all very modern, but touches of the old world remain in the occasional exposed brick wall, wood beam and pitted cave-like ensuite. Like many Cartagena hotels, it’s centred around a courtyard: here, doubling as the Don Blas bar and bursting with tropical plants. Elsewhere, there’s also a small rooftop pool and spa.
Perfectly placed in a leafy corner of hip and happening Getsemani, Casa Pizarro is an unfussy colonial-era treat. Enriched by the buzz of local life in Colombia’s coolest neighbourhood, Casa Pizarro delivers plenty of bang for your buck – especially if you bag one of the suites with a hot tub at the back of the house. A small pool, panoramic terrace, massages and rooftop Jacuzzi with views of the city up the indulgence even further.
From breakfast in Charleston Santa Teresa’s expansive, colonial courtyard to a sunset soak in a rooftop infinity pool – with winning views of the city’s cupolas – this landmark property offers plenty of old-town allure without the need to stray too far from your four-poster bed. With the most spacious spa in the old town, this converted police station will keep you chained to the city’s charming clutches.
Sundowners at the picture-perfect rooftop pool are the secret sauce that make this petite property in Cartagena’s historic center so popular with both business travelers and honeymooners. As well as the lounger-lined rooftop spot, there’s also Vinoteca Aduana, a bottle-adorned wine bar and restaurant, where grilled pulpo with paprika and pesto-topped balls of buffalo mozzarella are chased back with regional tipples.