OK, I was a bit skeptical before arriving due to some reviews I had read. But due to prices I ended up choosing Crowne Plaza Tequendama. I have to disclose I am a fan of HIlton Family and lately giving a chance Intercontinental Hotel Group family due to my Priority Club Status.
First the good things...
1. Checking in and out was a breeze and no major problems.
2. Hotel location is very good, right now it doesn't look great due to major construction of the city's metro bus system. But Malls, stores, other hotels, attractions are in the area and the area is secure. It is not the nice area of Bogota where nice restaurants and hotels are. Hotels in the nice area go for 2x or more the rate.
3. Italian restaurant within the hotel is very good, good service, good food and good prices.
4. Security in the hotel is very good, there is some military office in the complex, so there are armed soldiers in every area, it looked to me like a "no problems at all area anytime day or night".
5. I was allowed to have breakfast in their executive floor, nice views and great service, a bit limited menu compared to other executive floors I have seen. The have evening snacks and courtesy drinks, but they close at 8pm but by 7:45 the staff is taking away things...they never denied anything I requested (very polite and great service) even if it was gone, but I never requested anything before 8. I pointed out to them that they should say service closes at 7:45. They just smiled.
6. My room was clean, and in very good shape. Bed was comfortable and no noise. You can tell the decor is somewhat outdated, but my assumption is that the hotel is from 1950 and back from the last remodel, the rooms were 5 stars, so even today they look outdated but in nice shape and classy. Flat screens are there, but no High Def channels and very few English channels (but that is not the hotel problem). The bathroom is spacious and nice, but the shower might allow water out so I had to put a towel to make sure glass door kept as much water inside the shower area, still I found myself using towels as mats due to around a liter of water that would spill out of the shower regardless of the towel to prevent this.
For the hotel the problem is that if the guest doesn't do this, they will have to replace the carpet in the bedroom very soon and often.
7. Wireless internet was not a problem anywhere I was in the hotel.
8.Mall next to the hotel has nice little stores, most of them independent, there are some very good cafes and restaurants, but they close at 9pm. Secure ATMs are in the area too.
The bad things:
1. The gym...it has great potential and great service, but the cardio machines are like somebody else discarded them, no tv at all in front of cardio equipment, the lights in there make it look like it's some gym in a warehouse. They need some remodel for this area ASAP. Make it more inviting, the plain white walls, lack of background music or tv makes it look creepy. The wet areas in the middle of it (co ed), are just odd. It has great space to create something to brag about.
2. The elevators, could be made to look great if stained darker, the wood would still look great and it would highlight the brass that is kept in great shape all the time. With the light color wood, it clearly shows all the patches on the wood.
3. The lobby has great high ceilings, but other than the couches, there is nothing taking advantage of such great room, it shows it age and lack of designer touch. This is the first impression for arriving guests, remodel to tell the guest they chose a great hotel. It's only a matter of small changes and touches to take advantage of it. The cafe there could be a greeat asset, but one can barely notice it. And you can't tell if it's a bar or a cafe. The other bar/pub is totally hidden down a few steps, make some signs to let people know about it.
4. Room staff....they staff for room service, courtesy treat delivery or snack bar check, they have to knock or ring doorbell and WAIT, give time for someone to get out of bed....I found myself having to lock it after the few times they came in within 5 seconds of ringing the door bell, because they would just not wait and come in. One day they will encounter a naked guest with those tactics. LOL
5. Virreyes (not sure if that is the name, a mixed cuisine restaurant with views to the street). Service was mediocre, but I think my server was in training. Food was a hit or miss. Drinks were mostly a miss unless they were bottled. I did have a good steak, but a sure bet go to the Italian one in the hotel or the cafe at the end of the mall (outside the hotel within same complex). I can't praise enough the cafe, full very complete menu, great service, great portions and great prices. (It's a chain I saw all over Bogota, but a very good one kind of like an IHOP or Denny's type of place but much nicer). In that little mall there are two of them, one has a more limited menu than the one on the corner with "full menu". Great prune pie!
6. The pool has an extra charge, but with that size of a pool, is not worth it. It looks like it was forced in there so the hotel could have a pool, it might have to do more with stars than actually being able to have a pool. They did what they could with the space, but they should not charge for it. Although the number of rooms could mean the pool is packed all the time. Think of it like a big luke warm jacuzzi.
Overall the hotel is very good, crowne plaza mgmt might cringe a bit if they see their brand on this property, but the hotel has great potential to be EXCELLENT. The staff is working great already, they have a restaurant that wont disappoint (Italian one), and they have rooms that meet basic plus needs. There is a lot of potential for improvement, gym, other restaurants, common area decor/design, room decor and minor details updating and exec floor menu timing and tv. Overall you won't be disappointed especially if you saw what other nice hotels charge per night. But competition will heat up as some other hotels are updating and upgrading in Bogota, I hope Crowne Plaza stays ahead with this great potential property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Crowne Plaza Tequendama Hotel would like to offer you our warmest welcome. We are truly a World Class Hotel. Our experience, quality and name have made us an icon in Bogota. We work tirelessly to provide you with the best service by offering you the high quality, comfort and world class service and facilities you deserve. Bogota opens its doors to you upon your arrival at El Dorado International Airport. The Crowne Plaza Tequendama Hotel is located just a few minutes away and offers the hospitality and comfort of one of the world s most renown hotel chains. Discover the magic of the Andean city from a unique perspective. You will experience the charm of Colombian culture as soon as you walk through the doors of the Crowne Plaza Tequendama Hotel A World Class Hotel. Come and enjoy one of our 578 luxurious rooms. We offer 24 hours Room Service, cable TV, voice mail, high speed internet access, laundry and valet service to meet all your demanding expectations. Nowadays we are ISO-9001 certified in our principal services. We are also certified in a local norm, as a five stars Hotel ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Tequendama Hotel Bogota
- Crowne Plaza Bogota
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Bogota
- Bogota Tequendama Hotel