Cartagena is an incredible combination of history, architecture, incredible luxury and crystal clear waters. Getting to Cartagena’s best Caribbean beaches involves a yacht-bound mission that’s best for the more adventurous or sea loving. To visit this place feels like an intriguing combination between Buenos Aires, Mykonos and Panama City.
Loomis Luggage explored the best hotels in Cartagena to bring you our top recommendations. Each recommendation is within the walled city. We do not recommend staying outside of the walled city, unless you venture to the islands. All images Loomis Luggage unless otherwise noted.
Casa San Agustin
Casa San Agustin is incredible. It feels like an old estate house in Cartagena. Rooms have exposed stone walls and four poster beds. Our room had a stunning stone spiral staircase complete with thick a rope, reminiscent of a castle, leading up to a gorgeous sitting room, main room and expansive stone and tiled bathroom. The room itself is grand, with exposed beams and an incredibly high ceiling.
Image: Casa San Agustin
You are sent to bed after your night on the town with meringues and card wishing you Buenas Noches. Breakfast in the morning is included and consists of a full spread of freshly baked breads with many different jams, butters, custom made egg creations, pancakes and of course bottles of French Champagne to pair with your Caribbean fruit juice.
The stunning pool which spans a signifigant portion of the first floor area is a stunning blue. It lends a very romantic and mysterious air to the already incredibly romantic hotel. It is grand- but not in an opulent way- in a tasteful way to preserve the original archetecture and feel of this incredible place. X Factor: Very strange and deep dreams at Casa San Agustin.
Tcherrassi Hotel and Spa
With only 7 rooms this boutique, the Tcherassi Hotel is a 250 year old Colonial Mansion turned into chic modern get-away for the jetset.
As you walk in you are greeted by a refreshing green drink in a Champagne glass. Ladies are given a present which for us consisted of a whimsical white belt created by Colombian born high fashion and hotel designer Silvia Tcherassi. As you check in, you have the chance to peer into the courtyard with meandering pools and a vertical garden with over 3000 types of local plants. At night this poolside transforms into a glowing blue and is a great place to have a Caipirinha or Hookah before dinner.
Elle once described the style of Silvia Tcherassi as ‘tempting’. In a way you can describe this hotel in the same way. It’s similar in clientele to El Otro Lado in Panama, but unlike a place of rest and relaxation, this is a place to see and be seen. The glamour and vibe is more akin to the SLS Los Angeles than a remote beach getaway.
Image: Tcherassi Hotel
The drawback are as follows: The rooftop pool is quite small. While the hotel boasts a spa, it is really not a spa. It is a couple of rooms where you are able to have treatments.
Image: La Passion
La Passion is an eight room boutique hotel. As you walk though the pale blue doors marking the entrance to La Passion you are brought into a the grand stone lobby. The first time we walked into La Passion they were filming a telenovela in their eclectic sitting room.
Image: La Passion
The hotel does not allow children, adding to the intriguing air of the place. The two things which set La Passion apart from other boutique hotels are the monumental granite stairway in the entry which was imported from Italy to Cartagena centuries ago and the expansive rooftop pool and terrace overlooking the city. The pool is one of the largest in Cartagena and certainly the largest relative to the number of guests who would be able to use it.
The restroom from the rooftop terrace was really quite spectacular. We do love attention to detail. This hotel is not as expensive as the Tcherassi or the Casa San Agustin. The drawbacks here would be that is lacks the glamour of the San Agustin or the Tcherassi. In addition, the bed is a bit hard.
Other hotel recommendations:
Agua Hotel Cartagena: This is fancy, well established and chic. Make sure you also make reservations at their island hotel on Isla Baru. You do need to give them a week’s notice to book this.
Santa Clara: This hotel has stunning rooms. It is very large. We saw multiple weddings and a conference here during our time here. From our perspective, this is the most luxurious place if you are 65 from Dallas, don’t like exploring boutique hotels and would be willing to pay up in price for an experience you know is safe and more catered to tourists. The suites are gorgeous but are lacking in some of the quirky charm of the boutiques. They do have a very cool bar which is guarded by men in traditional Colombian dress with gas lanterns outside reminiscent of Charleston, South Carolina.