Published on February 28th, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut0
HOTEL REVIEW: Hilton Cartagena Offers Resort Experience Near Historic Center
I recently paid my third visit to the ever-beautiful city of Cartagena, as part of my consulting work with Great Value Vacations (I’m helping them to develop exciting new Colombia vacation packages — the work I did with them on Panama has resulted in some really great deals that include airfare and hotels at amazing prices). As we inspected more than a dozen hotels to find the best properties for the packages, we stayed at the Hilton Cartagena, a beachfront Colombia hotel where President Barack Obama just happened to say a while back. This is a review of my experience and impressions of the hotel.
THE STYLE: Although it’s located in the city, the Hilton Cartagena has the feel of a large, resort-style hotel, with a soaring lobby and cheery, Caribbean-style color palettes. Located in the modern neighborhood called Bocagrande, it’s about 10 to 20 minutes by car from Cartagena’s historic city center (depending on traffic).
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MY ROOM: I stayed in room 642, which had two double beds and a nice view of the water and the swimming pool below. The room has lots of amenities, including a safe deposit box, 32-inch TV, two telephones, coffee machine, minibar, a work desk and small dining table with two chairs. The walk-in shower was attractive and modern, and bathroom amenities are by Peter Thomas Roth. (For extra amenities, you can choose a room in the Executive Tower with Executive Lounge access). The decor has a bit of a Caribbean vibe, tending toward cheery colors like the lobby — and, perhaps, as a sign of my lack of culture, I mistook the piece of framed modern art above the desk for a wall-mounted television screen (at least I didn’t stare at it for too long before realizing that Christiane Amanpour was never going to show up).
HOTEL FEATURES: I especially liked the large pool area, which sits along the beach and has multiple pool areas and hot tubs, so it’s easy to find a quiet spot in which to relax. There is also a fitness center with spa services, tennis courts and children’s playground.
Our room rate included a large breakfast buffet at Las Chivas, a restaurant with an array of hot and cold food, including traditional Colombian specialties and international dishes, as well as seating indoors and outside. We later enjoyed a tasty dinner at the same restaurant; prices aren’t cheap but the ambiance is casual and it’s nice to be able to enjoy the cooler evening temperatures when sitting outside. There is also a more formal steakhouse on the second floor.
Business travelers can make use of 26,000 square feet of meeting space and a business center.
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BEST FOR: Business travelers as well as vacationers looking for a full-service, resort-style hotel, in a modern neighborhood not far from the historic center of Cartagena.
ROOM RATES: About $139 and up (you can compare rates on more than a dozen of the biggest travel sites by using LatinFlyer’s own travel search engine, located on this page).