The people and the locale are absolutely beautiful. The management could not have been more helpful and flexible, and the people could not have been more willing to give us a wonderful stay. Service was exceptional - not stiff 5 star, but familial and wonderful. But it is very rustic - so be the kind of person who likes that!
The beach is remote and beautiful. I'm not sure what it's like to swim in because the water was a bit murky and turbulent from the horrible rainstorms.
The food is the best I ate in Colombia. Fresh juices at every meal, salads, delicious desserts, yummy coffee...truly wonderful.
The masseur was amazing.
We didn't get to try them, but they sounded awesome.
This place is not for everyone, and management tries to be very clear about this. It is very rustic. Not only the showers are outdoors, but so are the toilets (there is an overhang so you avoid the rain in most cases). The huts are made of thatch - we were there during a torrential downpour and flood, and we had no water in the rooms - but nonetheless any insect could come in the room at any time. Lighting is poor around the grounds at night, so you must bring a flashlight (I recommended to the owner that they provide all guests with flashlights. It's a small thing but I think it would make a big difference). There are definitely a lot of mosquitoes, as others have mentioned. That said, I have stayed in $10 places all over SouthEast Asia, and it is not *that* rustic. The place is clean, the sheets and towels are plentiful, clean, and comfortable, there is a safe in the room, etc.
There are excursions nearby, but if the weather is not great there may not be a lot to do. (Great for me - I had a lot of books I was eager to dive into without the distraction of tv or internet).
All in all, I personally loved the place, but my friend I was with liked it a little less. The owners try really hard to direct people who are not suited for this place away (read their responses to other reviewers). It is no fun for them to have complaining guests. This place is heaven for people like me who want serenity and amazing food and friendly competent staff, but who don't mind a little roughing it.
One other note - I think part of the reason my friend was disappointed was because we expected more luxury for the price. My sense is that Colombia is just no longer very cheap in US dollar terms. Perhaps in Ecuador or Honduras - much poorer countries - you could get luxury at that price. But Colombia is too well developed now. To get a beach this untouched is getting difficult, hence, I think, the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Privacy is found as the ocean breaks on the beach and you are the only one to witness its fall. Playa Koralia gives you that experience and more, one hour away from Santa Marta (Colombia). Time stops as nature defines each space; sand, paradise, sea, fresh water, palms, light & shade. The elements come together where the rivers flowing from the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada flow into the blue Caribbean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Koralia Hotel Buritaca
- Playa Koralia Colombia/Buritaca