There are several hotels in Cartagena to choose from. You’ll find accommodation of all levels, from hostels with several rooms to decadent five star hotels. Hotels in the walled city will tend to cost more money than in other areas. More modern high rise hotels are located in Bocagrande. One popular area to stay is Getsemaní, just outside of the old town. Rates are usually much cheaper there than in the walled city.
Casa de la Trinidad
On my first trip to Cartagena with my cousin Anna, I stayed at Casa de la Trinidad in Getsemaní. It was extremely comfortable with an air conditioned room, very helpful staff, nice breakfast, and showers that weren’t too cold but just comfortable enough to deal with the terrible heat. It was less than a 10 minute walk to the old town and there were several good restaurants nearby. For four nights, we paid a very reasonable US$250 for a double room.
Casa Pedro Romero
On my second trip with Marisol, we stayed at the Casa Pedro Romero. It is located in Getsemaní in a historic 17th century house with a small courtyard. The rooms are large and simple but comfortable. In the morning, there is a nice breakfast served in the courtyard. The only problems we had were that the pillowcases smelled funny and the staff wasn’t always around when we needed them. We paid COP$110,000 for the night. Location was great, with several restaurants nearby and less than 10 minutes on foot to the old town.
Patio de Getsemaní
On my third trip to Cartagena, Marisol and I stayed at Patio de Getsemaní. This was a wonderful experience. They had the most hospitable staff out of all the hotels we stayed at in Getsemaní. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. We also enjoyed the rooftop terrace with the jacuzzi (beware – the water is cold!). In the morning, we were served a breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee, juice, and scrambled eggs. We paid COP$153,000 per night. The location was a bit seedy on a busy street on the edge of Getsemaní, but we were never bothered. It’s near many restaurants and just 10 minutes to the old town.
Allure Bonbon Hotel
On my fourth trip, Marisol and I stayed at the Allure Bonbon Hotel in Getsemaní. This was a beautiful hotel with very comfortable and spotless rooms and an incredible breakfast served in the room, but we had a terrible experience with staff. I had booked a 34 square meter deluxe double room with a separate living room for a special price of COP$214,400 per night on booking.com, nearly 30% off.
When we arrived, we were taken to a tiny room. We asked the front desk staff on duty about the room and she told us it was impossible to give us the large room for the rate we were paying. She called the manager and he said the same thing. We asked another staff member about the room and this time showed him the booking.com page and my confirmation, and he said the hotel has no control over the rates on booking.com, which is a blatant lie. He said he would call the manager for us and let us know as soon as he spoke to him. We waited an hour and nothing happened.
We went into town for dinner and when we returned at nearly 11pm, the issue still had not been resolved. I was very upset and warn anyone who is thinking about booking this hotel to confirm the rates with the hotel before you book.
Bastión Luxury Hotel
On my fifth trip, I was very lucky to stay at the five star Bastión Luxury Hotel within the walled city in San Diego. It’s a dream hotel. The rooms were large, comfortable, and had gorgeous furniture and bathroom fixtures.
The staff was out of this world. They went well above and beyond what I am used to at normal hotels. Jesús, a porter, was especially helpful. Breakfast was included in the rate and it was very good. I also enjoyed the rooftop pool and bar area with great views.
Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
On a tour I was leading, we stayed at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia. The hotel was so-so. It was a bit dated but it was still fairly comfortable. Staff was friendly, there was a big selection at breakfast (although the food was mediocre), and the location is excellent. There’s a small swimming pool in the middle, and a nice terrace on the top floor. I felt it was a bit overpriced for the quality, and the pictures on the website looked much better than reality. It’s safe to say I won’t stay at this hotel again.
Azuán Suites Hotel
Don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing “suite” about this hotel. It was clean, the bed was comfortable, and the staff were friendly, but this hotel in the Bocagrande area was missing a lot.
For example, my door didn’t exactly lock completely (maybe that’s why the staff asked if I wanted to purchase insurance against theft). Also, there was a window in the room, and with the hall light on all night, it was tough to get any sleep. Breakfast was served in an attached café, and nearly every table was full whenever I wanted to eat. When I took a shower, there was terrible water pressure. If someone flushed the toilet, it weakened even more. The worst part was the noise level – not from the street outside, but from the guests. Maybe I was just unlucky. I paid COP$284,000 for three nights.
I didn’t stay there, but a guest of mine did. She was happy with the room, the view, the pool, the restaurant, and the staff, but not happy that there was no hot water. In hindsight, she would’ve sprung for a hotel in the historic city center to avoid having to deal with taxis.