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19 Best Hotels in Cartagena, Colombia

Written by Lana Law
Mar 7, 2019

Hotels in Cartagena are not just about a place to stay, they are full-on experiences, where you can immerse yourself in history and absorb the romantic ambience of the city. The best luxury hotels, many of which are boutique hotels, are set in historic buildings and have been refurbished to a state that is often even grander than the original design. You can also find a decent assortment of mid-range and budget hotels, including some very good hostels, which offer a range of options, from shared accommodation to private rooms. Many of these are also set in historic structures.

The three best places to stay in Cartagena are the old walled city, Getsemani, or Bocagrande. Hotels in the walled city are all within walking distance of wonderful restaurants and the attractions in the historic center, due to the fact that this area is so compact. Hotels in Getsemani, which is a slightly less touristy and more laid-back area of the city, are generally small, boutique-style accommodations, often with rooftop pools. This area is literally a five-minute walk from the main gate of the walled city.

Bocagrande is where you can find beach hotels, which are generally in modern high-rise buildings across the street from the beach. This will mean a short cab ride or a longer walk to the sights of the walled city.

For beach resorts or all-inclusive resorts, you'll need to head a little farther out from the city. The nearby Islas del Rosario are a group of islands about an hour away, known for their beautiful beaches, and north of the city are the beaches of Boquilla and Playa Manzanillo.

Best Luxury Hotels in Cartagena

1. Hotel Casa San Agustin

Photo Source: Hotel Casa San Agustin

The posh Hotel Casa San Agustin in Cartagena's old walled city is a luxury boutique hotel known for outstanding service and often described as the best hotel in Cartagena. Set in a 17th century structure, the hotel offers 31 rooms, including 11 suites. Of particular note is the lovely pool area, which creatively incorporates an old aqueduct into the design.

Located just steps from the premier attractions, sightseeing is easy. To soothe your tired muscles after a great day of touring the city, the Aurum Spa provides a variety of innovative services, and you don't even need to leave the property to enjoy a wonderful meal — simply head to the hotel's Alma Restaurant for Colombian cuisine.

If you want to combine some sightseeing in the city with some time on the beach but don't want to stay out at a beach resort, Hotel Casa San Agustin has the answer. Guests here have exclusive access to the hotel's beautiful private beach on Isla Barú, a 45-minute boat ride away.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa San Agustin

2. Hotel Quadrifolio

Hotel Quadrifolio | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Hotel Quadrifolio is also housed in a 17th-century, ochre-colored building on a quiet street near the old city walls. This is another of Cartagena's best boutique hotels and features a rooftop sun terrace with a large Jacuzzi and a small pool area with a separate sitting area.

The hotel has only eight luxurious suites, some with traditional wooden balconies overlooking the street, where you can watch horse-drawn carriages driving past and look out to the ocean at the end of the street, beyond the wall. All rooms are large and beautifully decorated, and there is a restaurant on the property.

Many of the city's main attractions, as well as fine dining, are just a short walk away. A private speedboat is available for charter to outlying islands or a trip around Cartagena Bay.

Accommodation: Hotel Quadrifolio

3. Hotel LM

Photo Source: Hotel LM

LM Hotel is another of Cartagena's top luxury boutique hotels. Some of the main attractions of this property are the two pools, including a stunning rooftop pool and terrace with comfortable lounge chairs and wonderful views to the Santa Catalina Cathedral.

LM Hotel has a restaurant but also an open kitchen policy where guests are encouraged to take cooking classes and help prepare their evening meal. Or, if you prefer to be pampered, the hotel will provide a masseuse to soothe your sore muscles. This hotel has only seven rooms available, but each is unique, and they range from standard rooms through to junior suites.

Accommodation: Hotel LM

4. San Pedro Hotel Spa

Photo Source: San Pedro Hotel Spa

The San Pedro Hotel Spa is set in an 18th-century Andalusian-style home and features four exquisitely and ornately decorated rooms with balconies. In the central courtyard is a beautiful pool and sitting area with comfortable chairs, where guests can relax and enjoy some quiet time after touring the city. Archways and columns add to the historic feel.

On the roof is a Jacuzzi and lounge chairs, and wonderful views out over barrio San Diego. One of the main attractions of this hotel is the spa, and room rates include a complimentary hand and foot treatment.

Accommodation: San Pedro Hotel Spa

5. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

Photo Source: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

The Sofitel Legend Santa Clara is one of the larger hotels within the old city of Cartagena, with 123 rooms, including 20 suites. The rooms, many with balconies, surround a large central courtyard. Also unique in the old city, the Sofitel has a large pool, surrounded by tables and loungers and plenty of room for guests to enjoy the outdoor space.

Located on the edge of a lively square, this hotel is close to the action and within easy walking distance of the main sights. On the hotel grounds is the wonderful So Spa with eight treatment rooms.

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

6. Allure Chocolat Hotel by Karisma

Photo Source: Allure Chocolat

When it comes to hotels in Getsemani, Allure Chocolat is hard to beat, and perfect if you are looking for a quaint, luxury boutique hotel. It has a great location in Getsemani, along the waterfront and close to restaurants and nightlife. One of the best features is the outstanding rooftop pool with incredible views across the bay and beyond to the ocean. This sunny deck is a wonderful place to spend a day in a lounge chair, poolside under an umbrella. The lobby and rooms offer very modern décor.

Accommodation: Allure Chocolat Hotel

7. Hyatt Regency Cartagena

Photo Source: Hyatt Regency Cartagena

The best beach hotels in Cartagena are all found in Bocagrande, and at the top of the list is the Hyatt Regency. Although first-time visitors generally opt to stay in the historic areas of the city, the Hyatt Regency in Bocagrande offers something different: fabulous views out over the Caribbean Sea and a wonderful beachfront location. Set in a modern high-rise, four infinity pools, including a children's pool, look out to sea from the upper levels and provide plenty of space for guests to find their own space.

Rooms are large and feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Visitors looking for a family hotel in Cartagena will also find the Hyatt is a good choice. Suites come with a sofa bed, as well as separate dining and living areas.

You can also appreciate the incredible views from the Hyatt's two outstanding restaurants. The Aqoral Spa, with six private treatment rooms and a steam room, is another of the hotel's popular features.

Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Cartagena

8. Casa Pestagua Hotel Boutique Spa

Photo Source: Casa Pestagua Hotel Boutique Spa

This boutique hotel has a very exclusive feel. From the street, classic huge wooden doors open to a grand interior, where one tranquil courtyard leads to another, creating a sense of grandeur that sets it apart from other boutique hotels.

The hotel has five luxurious apartments, three superior rooms, and two suites. These enormous rooms surround the courtyard and feature high ceilings with stunning decor. One section of the courtyard is the Amadeus Restaurant, featuring French cuisine served in an outdoor setting around a water feature with towering palm trees. Farther back and very private is a lush courtyard with a pool surrounded by tall palm trees, where spa services are available.

Accommodation: Casa Pestagua Hotel Boutique Spa

9. Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

In a lovely area of the old city near a section of the wall, the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa is eye-catching as you walk by and equally impressive inside. For Cartagena, this hotel offers excellent value. The hotel looks over the ocean, a large square, and the historic city wall, and the views from the rooftop pool are particularly beautiful. Watch the sunset over the ocean and rise over Convento La Popa de la Galeria.

In the late afternoon sun, the hotel glows an orange color and guests can enjoy a bite to eat at the tables in front of the hotel as the sun sets. Alternatively, head to the beautiful courtyard for a more tranquil dining experience. For a little pampering, check out the Santa Teresa Spa.

Accommodation: Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

10. Hotel Casa del Arzobispado

Photo Source: Hotel Casa del Arzobispado

Hotel Casa del Arzobispado is a ten-room boutique hotel dating from the 17th century. Historical touches are everywhere, from the stunning artwork right through to the original religious pieces adorning the walls. Rooms are set around a cool, lush courtyard with a wonderful pool, ideal for cooling off after a day touring in the tropical heat of Cartagena.

A sumptuous breakfast is included, and bicycles are available free to guests. The Arzobispado Spa has a wide variety of services to help recharge and refresh your body and mind.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Arzobispado

11. Casa Pombo

Photo Source: Casa Pombo

Casa Pombo features one of the most spectacular pool areas in Cartagena, with colonnaded arches, private sitting areas, a waterfall, and a raised walkway, complete with a tree growing in the center. Another rooftop pool features views out to the ornate dome of the Santa Catalina Cathedral. An assortment of large, lavishly appointed apartments, suites, and rooms are on offer to suit the needs of individual travelers, couples, or families.

Accommodation: Casa Pombo

12. Bastion Luxury Hotel

Photo Source: Bastion Luxury Hotel

The Bastion Luxury Hotel is a larger property in a quiet section of the old city. Rooms face a lovely interior courtyard and offer a calm retreat from the city. One of the highlights of this hotel is the stunning rooftop pool area, complete with cabanas, day beds, and comfortable loungers. The hotel's restaurant, with its celebrity chefs, is well regarded and a favorite with locals and tourists. Rooms are large, stylish, and modern, and come with high-end amenities.

Accommodation: Bastion Luxury Hotel

13. Casa Claver Loft Boutique Hotel

Photo Source: Casa Claver Loft Boutique Hotel

This is one of the best hotels for families in Cartagena's old city, offering lofts with fully equipped kitchens and capable of accommodating up to six people. The five lofts and two rooms are comfortable, and some come with patios, balconies, or kitchens. The hotel has two pools, one in the central courtyard and another on the rooftop with a view of the Sanctuary of St. Peter Claver.

Casa Claver is located in a very good area of the walled city, just a short walk from Torre del Reloj and Plaza de los Coches, one of the city's most action-packed plazas and the main gateway to the walled city, but far enough away to avoid the noise.

Accommodation: Casa Claver Loft Boutique Hotel

14. Ananda Hotel Boutique by Cosmos

Photo Source: Hotel Ananda

Located on a quiet street in the old city, the Ananda Hotel has an elegant courtyard with a beautiful pool. Some rooms overlook this peaceful area, and others overlook the street. If you're looking for more sun, head to the rooftop pool, where you'll find daybeds and loungers. The views from up here are spectacular. Rooms have high ceilings with wooden beams and polished hardwood floors. Bicycles are available for guests' use.

Accommodation: Ananda Hotel Boutique

Best Hostels in Cartagena

If you are looking for a cheap hotel in Cartagena, you may instead want to focus your search on a quality hostel, which opens up more opportunities for meeting other travelers and for arranging tours. Hostels come in a variety of forms, from private sleeping areas in dorms to individual rooms with bathrooms.

1. Bourbon Street Hostal Boutique

Photo Source: Bourbon Street Hostal Boutqiue

This is one of the best hostels within the walled city of Cartagena. Set in a beautifully restored colonial house, you get a real sense of history and place staying here. Exposed stone walls and brick archways make this place truly unique. The location is also awesome. You can walk to all the major sites.

This is a true hostel, offering individual beds in contained areas with privacy screens, which really do offer a high degree of privacy. The hostel is well set up for guests to interact, comes with breakfast, and has a very nice pool and restaurant.

Accommodation: Bourbon Street Hostal Boutique

2. Selina Cartagena

Rooftop pool at Selina | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

The Selina brand has quickly gained a following, particularly with solo travelers, female travelers, budget travelers, and anyone looking for fun. A stay at Selina in the Getsemani neighborhood of Cartagena will help you understand why it's become so popular.

The property has a fantastic location in Getsemani, and the views from the rooftop pool and observation deck above are wonderful. Watch the sunset over the ocean from the pool and tables and look out over the rooftops of the city. Rooms range from basic bunkbed accommodation in dorms to private rooms with en suites, and suites with balconies. It is a wonderful place to meet travelers, and staff are happy to help you arrange trips to nearby attractions and islands. While many hotels, hostels, and apartments in Cartagena do not come with hot-water showers, Selina offers hot-water showers.

Another great feature of this hostel is the work space available for digital nomads who need to get a little work done in between traveling and socializing.

From Selina you can easily walk to the popular Plaza de la Trinidad, and into the old walled city, just a few minutes' walk away.

Accommodation: Selina Cartagena

Best Beach Resorts near Cartagena

For true beach resorts in Cartagena, the best option is to head to nearby Islas del Rosario, an archipelago known for beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water. These islands are easily reached by boat from Cartagena in about an hour. Some of these you can also drive to. Resorts and hotels on the islands will arrange boat transfers for you, or you can hire a water taxi to take you.

1. Coralina Island

Photo Source: Coralina Island

Coralina Island is a small beach resort that offers a real island escape. Rooms and suites come in various sizes and layouts, with a rustic-style décor but comfortable furnishings that blend well with the surroundings. People come here to getaway from civilization, enjoy lounging by the sea, snorkel, canoe around the island, and enjoy wonderful Caribbean and French-inspired meals.

Accommodation: Coralina Island

2. Hotel San Pedro de Majagua

Photo Source: Hotel San Pedro de Majagua

Another favorite beach resort near Cartagena is Hotel San Pedro de Majagua on Isla Grande. Just an hour by boat from Cartagena, this mid-range hotel offers decent value for travelers who want to enjoy a beautiful beach. Rooms come in a variety of sizes and feature queen beds, or a queen with a single in the room. Bathrooms are integrated into the rooms and offer some privacy but are not traditional bathrooms. The real highlight of this beach resort is the beach itself.

Accommodation: Hotel San Pedro de Majagua

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Cartagena

1. Estelar Playa Manzanillo

Photo Source: Estelar Playa Manzanillo

Although they are in short supply, one of the best all-inclusive resorts around Cartagena is located about 20 to 25 minutes north of the city on Playa Manzanillo. This long, beautiful stretch of beach is usually quite empty, apart from weekends when locals come out to enjoy the ocean. The only other people you are likely to see out here are a few kitesurfers, who frequent the area primarily because it's not as busy as the nearby beach at Boquilla.

Accommodation: Estelar Playa Manzanillo

Tips for Staying in Cartagena

The airport is just a short ride away from the old city, including Getsemani (approximately 15 to 20 minutes), and taxi prices are set fares and very reasonable. Taxis are also a set price within the historic center, and again, they are not expensive, but be sure to confirm the price with your driver before you get in. It's always best to have the correct change.

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