The Best Boutique Hotels in Cartagena’s Old City, Colombia

Many of the boutique hotels in Cartagena’s old city have magnificent rooftop pools
Many of the boutique hotels in Cartagena’s old city have magnificent rooftop pools | Courtesy of Sophia Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Jessica Vincent
6 October 2021
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Cartagena is one of the most vibrant colonial cities in South America and the undisputed queen of Colombia’s northern coast. With exquisite fine dining, hip al fresco cafes and buzzing nightlife, its stunning walled city is an enticing mix of history, romance and old-world luxury. To help plan your trip, here’s our pick of the best boutique hotels in the neighborhood – bookable with Culture Trip.

Anandá Hotel Boutique by Cosmos

Oversized daybeds with individual draping on wood deck next to pool at Anandá Hotel Boutique by Cosmos, Cartagena
Courtesy of Anandá Hotel Boutique by Cosmos / Expedia

The Anandá Hotel Boutique by Cosmos sits inside a romantic 16th-century colonial mansion and has a divine swimming pool, a rooftop hot tub and a treatment room. Suites have original features such as low wood-beamed ceilings, wooden floors and Juliet balconies overlooking the interior garden. Relax on a poolside daybed before walking to the Getsemaní district for dinner at the delicious Celele Restaurant.

Townhouse Boutique Hotel and Rooftop

Large room with two beds, rustic wood furniture, artwork and exposed stone walls at Townhouse Boutique Hotel and Rooftop
Courtesy of Townhouse Boutique Hotel and Rooftop / Expedia

This buzzy spot captures the hearts of the twentysomething crowd with its fancy yet fun design, rooftop bar and positive party attitude. Tropical designs by local artists in the 11 airy and comfy suites set a new style benchmark. Sink a cocktail next to the splash pool before dinner at Interno in the old town – a restaurant inside the women’s San Diego prison. Afterward, head back to Townhouse for drinks at Members Only, the in-house speakeasy.

Bastión Luxury Hotel

Large zero-entry pool with blue-tile bottom, framed by bougainvillea and pool building at Bastión Luxury Hotel in Cartagena
Courtesy of Bastión Luxury Hotel / Expedia

With a spa, a spacious rooftop swimming pool and four restaurants, the Bastión Luxury Hotel ticks plenty of boxes for a stylish and relaxing stay. Neutral hues set the tone for well-appointed suites; after a restful night, borrow a hotel bike to pedal around the old town and beyond. Sip a cocktail on the roof terrace as the sun sets before dining at the excellent in-house El Gobernador Restaurant.

Casa del Coliseo

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Courtesy of Casa del Coliseo / Expedia

Retaining plenty of its 17th-century colonial architectural charm, Casa del Coliseo is a privileged stone’s throw from the must-visit Plaza de Bolívar. With 12 well-illuminated and tastefully decorated suites, it makes for an intimate stay. Beat the midday heat in the rooftop swimming pool while enjoying the cityscape. Tea in the common area is also a lovely way to cool down.

Amarla Boutique Hotel

Stylish rooftop patio with curvy banquettes, small tables and chairs and tropical foliage at Amarla Boutique Hotel, Cartagena
Courtesy of Amarla Boutique Hotel / Expedia

With just seven chic suites in a colonial mansion, the Amarla Boutique Hotel ensures privacy, tranquility and personalized service. Colombian wildlife and botanicals form the design palette, while communal spaces are home to an abundance of tropical foliage. Enjoy the à la carte breakfast and fantastic coffee in the open-air gallery before climbing the winding staircase to the rooftop for a swim, cooling breezes and marvelous vistas of the old city.

Hotel Boutique Las Carretas

Boutique Hotel
Bedroom with four-poster bed, wood-beam ceiling, exposed stone wall and tile floors at Hotel Boutique Las Carretas, Cartagena
Courtesy of Hotel Boutique Las Carretas / Booking.com

This colonial accommodation is well placed in the old town, just a block from Plaza del Reloj and award-winning cocktail bar Alquímico. Well-appointed rooms at Hotel Boutique Las Carretas include lovely little balconies, while standard category suites also offer charming city views. Cool off with a dip in the rooftop splash pool before sunset cocktails overlooking the ocean at nearby Café del Mar.

Hotel Quadrifolio

Stylish room with handmade wood furniture, wood shutters and polished stone floors at Hotel Quadrifolio, Cartagena
Courtesy of Hotel Quadrifolio / Expedia

Hotel Quadrifolio sits inside a beautifully preserved 17th-century colonial mansion in the heart of Cartagena’s walled city. Each bright, stylishly designed room features high wood-beamed ceilings, huge arched windows with wood shutters and lush garden views, along with handmade furniture, local artwork and fresh flowers. However, the pièce de résistance is the rooftop terrace. Here, you can soak in a hydromassage tub or relax on a sun lounger as you take in views of the city and the Caribbean Sea.

Sophia Hotel

Rooftop pool at Sophia Hotel illuminated at night, framed by lanterns and view of lit-up colonial building in Cartagena
Courtesy of Sophia Hotel / Expedia

Just a few steps from the Palace of the Inquisition, the Gold Museum and Bolívar Park, the Sophia Hotel has one of the best locations in Cartagena’s old city. This great positioning also means some epic views from the ultra-cool terrace, with its stunning swimming pool, hip chill-out area and poolside bar. The modern rooms come with rain showers, wicker lounging chairs and huge panoramic windows.

Nacar Hotel Cartagena, Curio Collection by Hilton

View across building to rooftop pool with row of lounge chairs and daybeds at Nacar Hotel Cartagena
Courtesy of Nacar Hotel Cartagena, Curio Collection by Hilton / Expedia

Designed by fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi, the Nacar Hotel Cartagena is one of the most striking boutique hotels in the city. Think high ceilings, rich wood floors, beautiful vertical gardens made from more than 3,000 local plants and exposed red and white brick throughout. Each room has a unique flair, but expect freestanding soaking tubs, large walk-in rainfall showers and glitzy, luxury bedding. If this weren’t enough, the hotel also has an outdoor pool, two restaurants and a rooftop terrace.

Hotel Casa La Fe

Cozy bedroom with dark wood furnishings, brightly patterned bedspread and framed photo at Hotel Casa La Fe, Cartagena
Courtesy of Hotel Casa La Fe / Expedia

Hotel Casa La Fe’s quaint rooms are centered around a beautiful, jungle-like courtyard, where a fresh à la carte breakfast and premium Colombian coffee are served each morning. Highlights include a rooftop plunge pool, a lookout point with panoramic views of the old town, classically designed rooms featuring tiled floors and handcrafted furniture, and free-to-use bikes to explore the city.

Casa San Agustín

View from above of the lush rooftop area with white lounge chairs, palms and bougainvillea at Casa San Agustín, Cartagena
Courtesy of Casa San Agustín / Expedia

Considered by many to be the top boutique hotel in Cartagena, Casa San Agustín is as luxurious as it gets. Resembling a lavish palace more than a hotel, common spaces – including a solarium, a colonial-style library and several meeting rooms – are filled with crystal chandeliers, beautiful tapestry hanging from the walls and lush green plants. The rooms are no different, with marble-floored bathrooms, huge walk-in rain showers, four-poster canopy beds in some spaces and iPads. The chic swimming pool (partly covered by Cartagena’s former aqueduct), on-site spa and atmospheric Alma Restaurant are spectacular too.

Alfiz Hotel Boutique

View from the street of 17th-century former mansion with wood doors and balcony at Alfiz Hotel Boutique, Cartagena
Courtesy of Alfiz Hotel Boutique / Expedia

Inside a 17th-century former mansion just around the corner from Plaza de Bolívar, the adults-only Alfiz Hotel Boutique combines history and colonial charm with modern touches, such as a jacuzzi sundeck, an open-air swimming pool and concierge service. Its eight themed rooms, with antique artefacts, paintings and luxurious furnishings, tell the story of Cartagena’s fascinating history, from being ransacked by pirates and ruled by Spanish conquistadors to the rise of independence and the birth of the Republic.

El Marqués Hotel Boutique

Courtyard of 16th-century colonial El Marqués Hotel Boutique, with thick stone archways, long hanging plants and dining area
Courtesy of El Marqués Hotel Boutique / Expedia

Visited by the likes of John Lennon and Robert de Niro, El Marqués has captivated the attention of the rich and famous since the 1970s. Retaining 16th-century colonial features, such as thick stone archways and walls, wood-beamed ceilings and beautiful wooden floors, the atmospheric common spaces here look as they would have more than 400 years ago. You can relax in the beautiful courtyard swimming pool before having dinner at Bohemia, the on-site restaurant serving Colombian-European fusion dishes.

Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery

Lush rooftop pool area with lounge chairs and views of city at Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery in Cartagena
Courtesy of Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery / Expedia

In the ultra-cool, artsy Getsemaní neighborhood, part of Cartagena’s outer walled city, the 10-room Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery offers colonial luxury but with a much-welcomed dose of quirky character. From the outside, it’s a pretty yet traditional colonial house, but inside, it oozes modern, experimental and bold design. Highlights include a multilevel roof terrace with pools that wind through the hotel, lush tropical gardens and stunning views across the city. Prices, which include an American breakfast, are very reasonable too.

Sorrel Moseley-Williams contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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