This place is really a guesthouse rather than a hotel, but it’s perfect for just about every kind of traveler except for business travelers. The staff, property and amenities are great for the price!
The staff are great! Most of them can’t speak much/any English except for Oscar. He greeted me the first night out at my cab when I arrived super late and was very helpful. He had asked the cabbie how much he was charging me and the guy said $40,000 COP. He told me that was way too much. Very nice of him to be watching out for a guest. Oscar, and all of the front desk staff members have been very polite and helpful. I even sat and watched a Colombian soccer game with them on my last day today and it was a riot!
There’s also a hotel transport service with a driver name Fabian Torres who is super sweet and friendly. The hotel was trying call a taxi for me to get to a wedding, but none were available. After 30 minutes, I got desperate and asked the hotel if I could hire a car. They hooked me up with Fabian to drive me out of town, wait for about 5 hours and drive me back late at night. The fee was $22,000 COP/hr and he was a really good sport about it. Evidently, you can arrange for the hotel transport service ahead of time for private excursions. Note, it’s actually a truck with an extended cab. But ask for Fabian. He’ll take good care of you!
Also, it’s worth noting that you may consider arranging for the hotel to pick you up when you first fly in. I was accosted non-stop by taxi drivers when I stepped out of baggage claim and was completely overcharged. It was also scary, because I arrived late at night and the taxi driver kept trying to get me to go to another hotel. I wasn’t sure if he was actually going to take me to my hotel and my cell phone wasn’t working.
Take it for what it’s worth, tipping isn’t customary in Colombia, but I think it’s nice if you can. The average Colombian wage is quite low, so I had no problems with tipping $1 USD each morning for my free breakfast and providing a nice, small gratuity to the desk staff on my last day. My only regret is that I missed Oscar on my last day.
Like I said, this is really a guesthouse. It’s very homey and a great home base if you spend most of your time out than in. I had the Zona G room which came with 2 connected rooms and 3 single beds. It was a shame that I had that much space to myself but it was wonderful. It’s upstairs so you don’t have to deal with people clomping around above you. It was also very sunny and airy with skylights and hardwood floors. There isn’t any heating, but that’s true even in most upscale hotels in Bogota. They do provide you with some heavy blankets, so you just hibernate every night. My room also had a flat screen TV with at least 3 English speaking channels so that was nice. The showers were fantastic with great water pressure and scalding hot water.
Note, Colombia uses the same electrical outlet configuration and voltage as in the US but some of their outlets may only allow for 2 prongs instead of 3 prongs. You may want to bring an adapter if you’re planning on using any 3-pronged electronic devices. My room had both outlet configurations, but I’m not sure what the rest of the hotel is like.
The twin bed I slept on was comfortable enough, but the pillows were pretty hard. The place can be pretty noisy, especially in the mornings so bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper. If that doesn’t wake you up then maybe the sweet smell of Colombian coffee will!
Every time you enter, the desk personnel will ask to see your room key before you can go upstairs as a security measure. They also lock the doors late at night, but they can buzz you in when you get there. There is always someone manning the front desk 24/7.
The location was actually perfect! It’s in North Chapinero which is central to the places I wanted to visit. If you really like seeing the life of a Bogotano, walk. I walked up to Usaquen and down to La Candelaria a couple of times taking different routes each time. It was probably about 3-4 miles each way. Also, there is a Carullo grocery store 2 blocks from Casona with a Citibank ATM in it, very handy for sundries and getting cash. Around the block, there are several nice restaurants including Wok, a local Pan-Asian chain. I’m a lone female traveler and walked there at night by myself for some take-out and had no problems at all. You’re also within about a 30 minute walk of the Zona Rosa area if you like the night life and upscale shopping.
The neighborhood is nice and quiet and seems relatively safe. I was alone the whole time and walked to and from the Casona everyday with no problems.
Breakfast comes free with your room, and it’s great! It’s not a chintzy cold breakfast bar like some American hotels provide. You’re given a menu with a list of about 10 different choices, mostly hot breakfast options. You also get a choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate; croissant or arepa; and orange juice. I loved it! The coffee was fine and the orange juice was fresh squeezed. They also have two traditional Colombian breakfasts called Changua and Calentado that you might try if you’re adventurous. They were very homey and tasty, and gave me a good sense of a typical Colombian breakfast. Jonathon is a waiter there and he can speak pretty decent English as well. I’ve only seen him in the mornings though.
Room service must come by in the afternoon every day, because they never woke me up. Everything was always nice and tidy when I got back, so no complaints there. They only provide you with free hotel bar soap, but they do have a couple of small baskets with “mini bar” items in case you forgot some toiletries or want some last minute snacks.
Check out is at noon, but they’ll store your luggage in a locked office until you’re ready to leave.
I had a completely great experience at this place, because they make you feel at home. I would definitely stay here again if I get to return to Bogota.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel with 24 rooms located in the financial heart of Bogota - Colombia, South America. A convenient, cozy and low cost experience that highlights the architecture and the cultural heritage of the city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casona Del Patio Bogota
- Casona Del Patio Hotel Bogota