There are several hotels and hostels to choose from in Cartagena. 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.
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.
On my second trip with my girlfriend 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.
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.
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.
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.