We went to Cartagena on our honeymoon after hearing how beautiful and magical the city was from friends. After a lot of research, I booked Casa Claver as it received great reviews and seemed to be a much better deal than some of the other hotels in its class. We stayed in Room 303, which is a loft/apartment style hotel room, which was an upgraded provided by the hotel. The room came with an ensuite bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a separate bathroom in the hallway. While we appreciated the upgrade, upon entering the room, we were immediately hit by the fetid smell of decaying water - similar to the smell of a sewer. We noted this to the manager and asked for a different room (any room, smaller would have been fine), but were told that they were fully booked. So we ended up spending our honeymoon in a room where the sewer smell never really went away. We finally figured out that the smell came from the air conditioners - if we turned them off, the smell reduced significantly, but the room became unbearably hot and humid.
So we tried to sleep with the windows open, but this allowed in mosquitos and flies, as well as the smell of cigarette smoke.
Upon arrival, we found the fridge stocked with water and juices, and a little basket in the kitchen filled with gum, peanuts and chocolate. There was no sign or notice that there was a charge for any of these items, so we assumed that they were a gift of the hotel. However, when we checked out, we learned that this was what constituted their "mini-bar" and were charged double the price for bottles of water and drinks. If we had known that there was a charge, we never would have consumed the items. We noted to the receptionist as we checked out that they should make it more clear to customers that the snacks and drinks are their "mini-bar."
Our hairdryer was also broken during our stay, and our bedding always felt a bit damp.
While the hotel itself is nice enough, the sewer smell in our room really ruined the stay for us.
The PROS: amazing location right next to San Pedro Claver, very convenient. We loved the bar on top of the walls in front of the Charleston Hotel (I think it was called La Tasca del Baluarte or something like that), and a horse carriage ride is definitely recommended. Also enjoyed the SO/Spa at the Sofitel Santa Clara, and meals at El Santisimo and La Vitrola.
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