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“Loved the hostel's clean and chill atmosphere!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Casa Mara

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Hostal Casa Mara
2.5 of 5 Hostel   |   Calle del Espiritu Santo #29-139 | Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Helsinki
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Loved the hostel's clean and chill atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

I stayed in the hostel casamara for 4+3 nights. I actually wanted to return there after my Taganga-trip as it was so nice.
It is located very close to el centro and all the services of Getsemani are right behind the corner. The Getsemani area might feel a bit shady in the beginning, but I never felt myself unsecure...even I did a lot of nightlife:)
The hostel itself is very secured with the nighttime guardian. The rooms were kept very clean and the swimming pool was very nice in the heat of July. I warmly recommend this hostel to everybody looking for a calm place to stay in the middle of Getsemani husstle.
After all these uplifting reviews you should remember it is a hostel, not hotel ;)

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2011

This hostel is quite dated and the owner has in recent years, prices increased by 50% making it a bad choice. Near the hostel are much better options to find more reasonable prices. Besides the hospitality is also low in Casa Mara. What once must have been a fun hostel is an e expensive, not really friendly place and become dated.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2011

Fantastic place to stay in a prime location. Beautiful old building in Getsemeni, near to the old city Cartagena. It has three levels of rooms, and is complete with a swimming pool, reading area and roof top spa. The owners are really nice people and keep it extremely clean. There are no crazy parties or excess noise, which is great however it is walking distance to all the bars etc if you want.

Secure building with a night watchman. I have stayed here numerous times – best deal was 100,000 for a huge double room with massive bathroom complete with Tina (bath). They also have a restaurant around the corner with great value breakfast – 7,000 for cereal, fruit and café / hot chocolate and toast.

Bring my parents over in may and we will be staying here again.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lima, Peru
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

We spent 4 nights in Cartagena. The first 2 nights we spent at Santa Cruz Hostal which was located in the center but was a very spartan room (hot shower, aircondition, but no windows and very small).
We looked for a better place in Getsemani and found this lovely hostel. We spent 2 nights at Casamara in room #1 which is the biggest and the most comfortable. The room is big. There is no hot water but you really don't need it in this climate. The pool in the middle of the hotel courtyard is small but very useful to cool off at night or during the day. The location is very good: 100 m from the Media Luna street where all other hostels are. The difference between this hotel and others is that Casamara is quiet and very secure - the door is always locked, and because there are only 10 rooms, the staff knows all guests. The manager (owner?) is Diana and her husband who are very friendly and helpful and keep the hotel in a very good shape. They also have a small restaurant on Media Luna street (Media Luna restaurante) with affordable and delicious meals.
Everything is very close: la muralla (the center) is 10 min. walk, the fort is also 10 min. walk, the bars of Media Luna are 2 min. walk, and the discos of Getsemani are 5-8 min. walk. The BEST place for night entertainment is Cafe Habana which is 1 block from the Casamara street: life salsa music - supposedly the only life salsa band in town.
Getsemani is a bit run down but it seems that all the neighbourhood benefits from the tourism so it is rather unlikely that you might run into trouble with the locals.
We highly recommend this place!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

We did a lot of research on places to stay in Cartagena and eventually plumped for Casa Mara in Getsemani. We are glad we did- it was a friendly, quiet place and very good value. As with some other reports, do not expect everything to be perfect there or indeed in Cartagena on the whole. However this did not detract from a really fun and lovely experience in Cartagena when we were lucky enough to be there for the carnival / independence celebrations.

Getsemani definitely has some issues, but we did not experience these on Casa Mara's street which is residential and friendly. Calle Media Luna is a slightly different case. Although we heard some reports of attempted pick pocketing, we found Cartagena on the whole very friendly and safe. There was a strong police presence throughout the city.

Diana is very welcoming at Casa Mara. The rooms have air-con which is necessary as it is very hot and humid in Cartagena. The pool is small but a welcome afternoon break. The rooms also have cable TV with international channels for news etc. There is free Wifi and access to a PC for the internet too. (There are 3 internet cafes within 3 mins walk for cheap access, too.) We heard numerous reports of hostels that were noisy and had thefts. This was NOT the case at Casa Mara with strict security at the front gate meaning the courtyard and rooms were a quiet, safe environment.

Diana also helps with booking trips. I can recommend the mud volcano- touristy, smaller than you think but still fun!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cartagena, Colombia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2010

If you are the kind of person who wants up scale, nice furniture, excellent location and demand total safety then you should pass on this hotel. And in fact maybe you should pass on Colombia in general. However if you want a well run quaint hotel with quality service, at a very affordable price, then read on.

We stayed 3 nights at the CasaMara and I loved this little hotel. The rooms are spartan. Ours had Airconditioning, but no hot water, and no refrigerator in the room. In addition to the air conditioning there was a very nice wall fan that did an outstanding job of sweeping the room with moving air. The bed was clean, the room service excellent. There is no food in the hotel, but a variety of nice and inexpensive restaurants nearby. At the time we were there, they were doing laundry for 3000COP /KG and believe me in the Cartagena heat you're going to want your laundry done, regularly. In addition clothing given in the morning was regularly available in the mid afternoon. Our 3 day stay cost us about 160 USD including all our laundry.

Our room was small. I've stayed in smaller rooms in Venice for example, so it's not minuscule, but for the two of us and a toddler it was about as small as I would want. There are other larger rooms, if you want a nice sized room, ask fro room #1. We were in #9. #10 is on the top floor near the hot tub and with a roof view.

The pool is small but very pleasant, the area is a bit edgy, but plenty of young college age people of all nationalities are easily found in 200m of the hotel. The hotel is on a small side street, where there is little traffic, it's about 100m from the Hotel Villa Colonia, which is run by the same family.

The day we arrived, there was a lightening storm and a bolt struck very near to our hotel. It blew out the sound on our TV and the internet at the hotel. Other places near by had interent but we lost ours. So they were very kind and let us use the internet facilities at the Villa Colonial.

Safety is good, the front gate is always locked, and you must be known to the staff to get in. The street is a bit run down as is the area, but I never felt unsafe. It's clear there are people in the area who are edgy and I'm sure you could get into trouble if you were looking for it, but in general it was acceptable to me and my Colombian girlfriend.

I would return again in a heart beat, it was really just a little gem at a great price.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

Cheap, comfortable, lovely staff. It is very quiet at night so everyone can enjoy peaceful nights

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hostal Casa Mara

Address: Calle del Espiritu Santo #29-139 | Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 81 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hostal Casa Mara 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Each of the 10 rooms in this hotel have all the comforts to make you feel at home. Some of the features you'll enjoy are internet access , cable TV, shower. The hotel boasts Wi - Fi in public areas , laundry service / dry cleaning, room service. Guests seeking exercise or leisure will be pleased to find garden at the hotel. Well located , a dedicated staff and quality services make this hotel a favorite among viajeros.Los guests can enjoy peace and tranquility in the pool Casa Mara offers all its guests. Guests can also relax in the hot tub and admire the charm of this beautiful home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Casamara Hotel Cartagena

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