Colombia’s most famous coastal city attracts visitors from all over the world for its walkable fortresss walls, charming cobblestone streets and untouched colonial architecture. And while it may seem stately and unchanging on the outside, the conservative and the avant-garde meet inside Cartagena’s many luxury and boutique hotels. We’ve chosen the best based on factors such as aesthetics, design, price and location. Here are our favourites:
Located in the historic walled centre of old Cartagena, the Bastión is set in a 16th-century colonial mansion that has been extensively renovated and remodeled to become one of the city’s finest luxury hotels. The design is British colonial, but with all the amenities you expect from a modern hotel. The rooftop pool affords enviable views of the city and the onsite spa features a full menu of relaxing treatments.
Part of the Movich Collection of hotels, Movich Cartagena exceeds the high standards set by its cousins across Latin America. Its spacious suites are adorned with marble and natural stone that help keep them cool during the midday heat. The rooftop pool and bar area offers great sunrise and sunset views and is a great place to relax after a day of exploring Cartagena’s historic streets. The onsite restaurant, Oceanika, serves Colombian fusion cuisine accompanied by an excellent selection of Argentinian, Chilean and Spanish wines.
This ultra-modern boutique hotel is set in the heart of historic Cartagena. Inspired by fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi, this unique hotel features a modern design that still manages to feel natural and inviting. Set in a 250-year-old mansion, it also boasts high ceilings, wood floors, private balconies, a full-service spa and an excellent Italian restaurant.
Literally meaning “the house of the archbishop”, this boutique hotel features charming colonial décor utilising carved wood and cast iron fixtures. The suites are connected by a mezzanine guarded by vine-covered balustrades that overlook the interior courtyard and pool area. The suites feature design elements from the colonial period, including brick arches, stone floors, stucco walls and high wood beam ceilings. If you’re looking to stay in an authentic historical treasure of Cartagena, head to the Casa de Arzobispado.
Located in a former colonial mansion, Hotel Quadrifolio offers tranquil respite from the bustle of Cartagena. High-ceilinged suites with Venetian blinds, antique wooden furnishings and clay-brick floors look over the interior courtyard covered with vines and dwarf palm trees. With only eight rooms, each with a unique look and feel, Hotel Quadrifolio is the perfect place to explore the historic streets of Cartagena, or if you feel like going farther afield, the hotel’s staff can arrange a day trip to Isla Grande off the coast.
This boutique hotel features contemporary classic architecture in historic Cartagena. The rooftop pool and bar offer great views, and the hotel provides massages in the rooftop wellness centre shaded by wooden trellises. The suites feature balconies, comfy beds and stone floors to keep you cool during the heat of the day. Guests staying in the Santo Toribio’s “Magical Room” receive a free dinner for two at Agave, the hotel’s onsite restaurant.
While Cartagena is famed for its towering Spanish-era colonial walls and charming narrow cobblestone streets, travelers looking for a place to stay outside the walls and near to the beach should head to Summer Frente Al Mar. The rooftop pool, restaurant and bar is a great place to relax and soak ocean breezes and summer sun. The suites are furnished with modern décor and some offer great sea views through wall-to-floor windows. Right across the street from La Boquilla beach and just a short drive from the airport, Frente Al Mar offers a great location at an affordable price.