This gem was a wonderful surprise from start to finish.
Months before leaving the US for a Colombia honeymoon, I was able to "converse" electronically with the hotel's staff through the hotel's website. I was assured they had our reservation, and they promised a large bed, and full bath.
Our late-arriving flight to El Dorado was met by a taxi sent from the hotel, who was a conversational "guide" into the city without treating us like we were on a tour. We arrived at the hotel late, but Sr Ospino, my correspondent, was waiting. The building, which is hundreds of years old, presents a small, secure face to the world. Inside, though, it was much larger than I had imagined. Sr. Ospino whisked us to our charming and comfortable room, easily explaining fundamentals of keys, hot water. breakfast, etc.
The room's square footage was cozy by US chain hotel standards, but had a very high ceiling that made it feel spacious. It was wrapped with windows (that had interior shutters for darkness and privacy). Beautiful, distinctive paintings permanently executed on the walls explained a facet of the Muiscan culture; although we didn't go into any of the other hotel rooms, I understand that each features similar art describing items of cultural significance. It was pristine when we arrived, and was maintained beautifully during our week-long stay by a small, friendly, unobtrusive cleaning staff. The W.C. was small, but had a spacious shower with ample hot water -- and beautiful stone fixtures.
Have i mentioned that the place is beautiful?
The bed struck me as "european," and not the ultra-deep, ultra-fluffy bed that's in vogue in most American chains. It was firm, and a few inches lower than its US counterparts. A perfect resting spot to watch [just a few] minutes of flat-screen cable while recharging our batteries. The room also offered all modern conveniences -- hair dryer. secure safe, individual room temperature control with responsive heat, wifi, phone, etc. . . .
The hotel is in La Candelaria, the "old" city downtown. It is in a perfect location -- on the top of the "hill" of La Candelaria (actually, the foot of a mountain), overlooking the old city sweeping away from it, with the new city reaching out to the horizon in every direction. A spectacular view every time we left the hotel! Taxis have a straight shot to the hotel, though, and from many parts of the city they reach it from the Circunvalar, the "bypass" on the mountain above the city. Most of our cab rides back from all parts of the city were quick, avoiding getting bogged down in the narrow streets of La Candelaria. As every review notes, the hill should be taken into account -- the walk "home" was invigorating most days, but tough sledding on a day we'd overextended ourselves and were racing to get back to prepare for a night out. But ultimately we thought the hill was one of the hotel's "plusses" -- it was great to have such a beautiful view, and my old, fat, weary bones enjoyed walking back.
We had morning plans almost every day, so we didn't stop and settle in for the complementary breakfast. And there are some fantastic breakfast "joints" on every block in La Candelaria, so the idea of taking breakfast there every day didn't make sense to us. But each morning, we did stop for coffee, and were served a distinctive fruit and interesting conversation by the morning chef -- who I believe actually manages the property, but takes mornings to connect with his guests. I can't say strongly enough that he, and everyone working at the hotel, was gracious, kind, quick to smile, and attentive while still offering a respectful privacy. Top notch boutique service.
I unhesitatingly recommend the hotel to everyone -- even if you're more prone to seek the familiar (many acquaintances we know stayed at the Embassy Suites -- a distinctive Chicago/Houston/Denver/DC vibe transplanted to Chapinero), you will still feel comfortable at Hotel Muisca. It felt like the perfect combination of authenticity, old-city charm, and boutique luxury. And it somehow did it while charging much less than some of the cookie-cutter chains.
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