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“Great little Hideaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast

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Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Calle del Pozo No 25105 | Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 113 Cartagena B&B and Inns
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great little Hideaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

Looking for a cheap stay in Cartagena then this is the place to be. This is a nice little hideaway with about 11 rooms and a nice little swimming pool in the middle. It is very quiet and the service is great. There are two ladies that work during the day which will attend to your every need. People have to understand you are in a third world country and for what you are paying this was a great stay.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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98 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I booked a double room for two night for our wedding anniversary a week before we were intending to travel. We were fored to communicate via email with the owner Michel, who was in France, and he responded in French half the time.
Michel told us that a had a room available for the dates we wanted and asked us for a 30% deposit. We were very happy to do this and when we asked if we could pay by credit card he said we would have to go to his bank and pay cash directly into his account, which was very inconvenient as we were in a remote part of Colombia at that time. We explained this so he said we could transfer Euros directly into his bank account, which was also inconvient as we live in London so our accounts are in sterling. So again we explained this and told him we could pay the cash into his bank directly the following day. We did this and sent confirmation of the payment and the 7 hours later got an email telling us he now only had 1 room on those dates why don't we wait a few days! Again this is ridiculous as we had booked our flight for that weekend. In short knowing that we were paying cash into his account that day, he made no attempt to contact us and tell us that he had let our rooms go. When we expressed how that had ruined our plans he was short, rude and condescending. On top of that all the latter communication was done in French which is not very helpful when we were communicating to him in Spanish. What a greedy, inconsiderate man, I would not advise staying there. I visited a friend staying there before and the pool is grubby and doesn't get much sun and the rooms were not great. We were only planning on staying because there were so little other availabilty that weekend and it was cheap.
Don't give this man your money!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Casa Relax for three nights over the Xmas period and had a lovely time.

What we like the most about the place was the service, breakfast and the common areas (swimming pool, hammocks and outdoor seating).

The rooms were a little basic but have air con and a tv. We didn't use much of the tv but the air con was an essential feature, as Cartagena gets very hot and humid. We would have liked to have a ceiling fan as well, but I guess for the price you pay you can only expect so much. Bear in mind that there is only a plastic curtain separating the bedroom from the toilet/shower area and only cold showers (although I can't imagine anyone wanting a hot shower!).

In terms of the service, we couldn't fault them. Whether it is the security guy or the breakfast/cleaning ladies, they are all very friendly and willing to help. The only thing, which is typical of a country new to tourism, you have to speak a little Spanish to get by. I can understand the frustration of some of the people posting reviews here regarding the lack of English speakers, but we found it to be the same almost everywhere in Colombia. Unless you go to a 5 star resort, that is!

For breakfast, there are two options. Eggs or french pancakes. Both are nice and come with fresh fruits, fresh juice, toast and tea/coffee. All of which we enjoyed and experienced none of the issues mentioned by other travellers.

The building is set around an atrium with a fairly large swimming pool, with an outdoor showe, hammocks, long chairs, tables, etc. This is my second stay in Cartagena and I would definitely recommend a swimming pool as it gets really hot a humid. We also enjoyed staying in the common area in the evening, reading and catching up on emails. Make sure you use plenty of moquito repellent, which is valid for the whole city.

Finally, I am not sure why some travellers felt unsafe in and around Getsemani? There are policemen in almost every block (reported 2,000 in the city) making sure the place is safe. We felt very safe walking around during the day and in the evening. The hotel is only about 15 minutes walk to the centre (Plaza De La Aduana).

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here during the end of December because it was one of the last options in Cartagena that was not fully booked. As such, it was a decent place to stay, however I felt I paid way too much for what I got. Other reviewers have said it; the pool is good, the Colombian staff pretty friendly but the French owner is not very pleasant and the rooms are pretty basic - cold water shower only.
Next time in Cartagena I'd go somewhere else.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2011 via mobile

We initially had a cheaper (80 Colombian pesos rather than 140) room upstairs above the reception area. It was up a narrow winding staircase with ensuite bathroom with a hand held shower that had no tap. I got given a spanner from reception to operate the shower! The aircon was old and struggling and the loft room was fine but did get a bit hot and was noisy in the mornings when people were having breakfast. We treated ourselves and upgraded to a room at the pool with a tv and great aircon for our last night. Rooms are basic and clean.  It's a bit expensive for long term travellers but the pool and hammocks are well worth it in the heat. The cold showers were also not a problem. Breakfast is included and you can use the kitchen. Coffee was a available for free most of the day. The supermarket is a bit of a walk but there is a big fridge available. None of the staff speak any English. Wifi is good. There is good street food and restaurants just down the street at the Church. More of a hotel than a hostel so not everyone is chatty but we enjoyed our stay and did meet many French people as it's French owned!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

We stayed in Casa Relax for 3 nights during October 2011.

Service was good. The ladies supporting us were kind and helpfull.

Sleep quality was regular. In the first two nights we could sleep but on the last one there was a big party just outside the hotel, with fireworks, and we could not sleep before going to the airport at 04:30 AM.

Cleanliness was good. The hotel is simply but is kept tidy, as well for the rooms.

Location is regular. The hotel is located at Getsemani, close the old city walls, which is a plus (the best location is inside the city walls). Some places we had to pass in Getsemani to go to the hotel were rough, and frequently we heard the locals saying "gringos" against our back, which is a local pejorative way to say foreigners. Nothing happened to us, but I cannot say we felt safe nevertheless.

Our room was bad. There was no door to split the room to the shower and toilet, just a curtain as a divider. The shower was cold water, no heater at all to warm the water. The only plus was that the room had an air con, which is a pre-requisite in warm Cartagena. We did not complain about mozzies though, even though it rained a lot and we were just next to the swimming pool.

The worst part of the trip, and the final reason for rating the hotel as terrible, was the payment part. In their website it is written they accept credit cards. I had to pay them 420 pesos (around 210 dollars) for the three nights. When I went with my credit cards on hands to pay the nights I was told the credit card machine was broken, so I had to pay with money. I did not have 200 bucks on my wallet, and it was already 21:00, so it was not that safe to go out and withdraw money. I told the hotel about this problem and initially they did not care.
After 30 minutes, I went over and asked if we could try to use the credit card machine. I put the credit card and when I was about to charge the amount the clerk cancelled the operation. Then he called somebody to ask if I could pay with credit card. After he returned, got my card, and the machine had an error. He said the machine was not working, but I saw that he did not operate the machine properly. I asked then to use the machine on my own and was finally able to pay with the credit card.

Needless to say, I got very frustrated with this and told the clerk about my disappointment. He said he was sorry, but that he was only following orders from the management. If that's the case, then my biggest contribution with this review is: Do not stay at this hotel unless you really do not have other options. The management of the hotel only care about money, not about your well being. In the same region of this hotel you can find arsenal hotel and casa canabal hotel, much superior on structure and guest respect, and costing only 60k pesos more.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011 via mobile

We stayed in three different hotels in Cartagena and we were so glad we ended our trip here. The setting is truly relaxing. Great pool and hammocks to hangout in after a long day of walking. The rooms are basic but the air conditioning was great. The shower was cold but in Cartagena that isn't always a bad thing! It's only 10 minutes wLking to the centro and a great price!

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast

Address: Calle del Pozo No 25105 | Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 113 B&Bs / Inns in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
Casa Relax Hotel Cartagena
Casa Relax Bed And Breakfast

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