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“Good night's sleep thanks to the aircon” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Casa de la Chicheria

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Casa de la Chicheria
Calle de la Chicheria No. 38 - 34 | Centro, Cartagena 6600560, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 106 Cartagena B&B and Inns
London
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Good night's sleep thanks to the aircon”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights in February 2013. Apparently the budget accommodation in Cartagena is generally pretty poor and this is one of the best of a bad bunch. For Cartagena it's probably quite a good option, but compared to hostels in other parts of Colombia it's overpriced and not very good, which is why we moved on after only two nights.

The positives are the air conditioning in the bedrooms - it's essential in that climate - and the location in the old town. The pool is OK to cool down in, but it's tiny. On the downside, the bunks in the dorm are piled three high, there is only one shared bathroom for men and one for women so you sometimes have to wait, and there were quite a lot of ants and other insects wandering all over the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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40 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Somerville, MA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We really enjoyed our time at Chicheria. It can be hard to figure out the room configurations when using booking websites so here's the deal: you can stay in a mixed-gender dorm, a private room without its own bathroom (i.e., you share the hall bath with people staying in the dorm), or a private room with private bathroom. There are only three rooms in the entire place, so it has a very small, intimate feel to it.

The staff are very friendly and Miriam, who was on duty during the day, speaks good English so this was a good place to stay as our first stop in Colombia, given that we don't speak much Spanish. Chicheria feels very safe. Because so few people stay here, the staff lets you in just by recognizing your face -- the door is always kept locked. There isn't a safe in the room, or other secure area to store your valuables, so we had to resort to hiding things in different spots in our room or carrying it with us, but the place is so small that there really isn't much danger of a break-in. Anyone coming in off the street would be seen by the staff or other guests.

There is a small pool of the same type that most of the typical Cartagena houses have -- it used to be a cistern. It was very pleasant to swim there, since it's in the middle of an open air courtyard. My husband actually gave me my first snorkeling lesson here. Signs say the pool closes at 6pm, so there's no danger of people being loud late into the night. In general, this hostel prioritizes peace and quiet for its guests. If people were talking in the common areas late at night, staff would ask them to keep voices down. This is not a party hostel, so it is perfect for budget travelers in their 30s, like us. While we were there, a couple probably in their 50s was staying in the private-bath room and seemed quite content. It seems like a hostel appropriate for all ages. Chicheria is located on one of the quietest blocks in the walled city, so you can go out and have your fun, then come back and get a good night's sleep. You'll be located a bit away from the hustle and bustle, but almost anyplace in the walled city can still be reached in a 5- or 10-minute walk. Getsemani is a bit further away (15 min).

Chicheria has a clean and well-maintained kitchen, where the sink has hot water, so even though food is not provided, you can make your own. There is a grocery store around the corner.

We stayed in the private room that doesn't have a bathroom, and our bed was two twin beds pushed together -- so unfortunately it really wasn't comfortable. My husband and I either had to cram onto one bed, or sleep completely separately. I suppose they keep this configuration for the case of two same-gender friends traveling together, but for us it was unfortunate. But the mattresses themselves were comfortable, and the air conditioning worked well. We only had housekeeping on the first day out of 5 days we stayed, so that was a bit odd.

The only other downside was the bathrooms. For up to a dozen people, they have a total of two toilets and two showers. I have never stayed in another hostel that didn't have multiple stalls or small rooms in the bathroom. Chicheria has a men's bathroom and a women's bathroom, but in either case you can't even use the toilet if someone else is taking a shower, because of the way it's configured. It turned out to be less of a hassle than I expected, but for example when we were getting ready for a wedding we were attending, we ended up running late because other people were in the showers at the time we wanted to start getting ready. Women commonly use the men's shower if the women's is occupied. Putting some mirrors in the guest rooms would help because then at least people wouldn't need to use the bathroom for doing make-up and hair.

Chicheria seems expensive by U.S. standards for what it is, but the bottom line is that hotels in the old city of Cartagena are all very expensive. This is among the cheapest you will find, and based on reviews we read and conversations with friends, a good value for the money.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Was slightly hesitant to stay in a hostel, as usually stick to hotels. It was a really good choice and enhanced my stay in Cartagena as I met so many really interesting travelers. Clean, cheap, safe and a good location. I stayed in the dorm but they do have a couple of private rooms.

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Cartagena is hot, really hot. So, if you're a budget traveller, you'll appreciate the a/c in the hostel's 9-bed (plus loft) dorm. You'll also appreciate the friendly English-speaking staff, which are willing to go above and beyond to find information for you on Cartagena and other spots in Colombia.

The small pool -- perfect for a quick dip or sitting with your feet hanging in -- is a nice feature. As are the two hammocks situated next to a small goldfish pond. Further, wifi is fast and available throughout the majority of hostel.

Dorm beds are made up daily by the excellent housekeeper, which is a nice touch. Overall, the hostel is kept very clean. I do think that they could do a better job, though, of keeping the men's bathroom clean, particularly the shower/toilet area. Water, sand and dirt tend to pool in the area in front of the toilet and next to the shower, so it can be pretty nasty for the person who has to use the toilet after a couple showers have been taken. Also, while the women's bathroom features a nice rainforest-style shower head in a glass enclosure, the men's shower is a bit more basic. Some gender parity would be good.

Location is excellent -- a few steps from the city wall, which makes for a nice place to watch the sun go down. It's also in a much safer, quieter and more beautiful area of the city than where the majority of the budget hostels/hotels are located on Media Luna.

The hostel advertises itself as a 'boutique hostel' -- in reality, I think it's just a solid hostel. If the bathrooms were kept a bit cleaner, towels were provided without asking, and perhaps a small breakfast was added to the deal, this would be a five-star hostel indeed.

Room Tip: Dorm beds are of the three-story variety. They seem quite stable, but if you're nervous about sl...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Corvallis, Oregon USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I really enjoyed the area of the hostel, it's in Cartegena de Indies. So easy to get around from there and see all you need to see. The staff are super kind and so available for help and to help you with whatever it is that you need. I never actually went in the pool, but I did spend times sitting around it soaking my feet. I found the place to be quiet but still had home cooked meals there and was able to lounge around in hammocks reading, resting, etc. It was a great place to stay!
I actually travelled Jan 2012, but it won't let me select that...

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This place is clean and quiet. Easy to walk to places and the staff is excellent and helpful. I ended up staying here longer because it was a nice break from big party hostels in South America. The pool is really small and I didn't go in... but it is there and one of the few I've seen where they clean it.

Room Tip: Dorm room is large so you are sharing with many, but air conditioning is excellent and it is clean.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Londrina, PR
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I recommend this hostal for different reasons: the price is good for cartagena, the place is well decorated, close to all the great places in the walled city. the staff was always helpfull, the bathrooms are private (1 person per room). I really enjoyed staying there, so, if you want a good place for a great price in cartagena, enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casa de la Chicheria

Address: Calle de la Chicheria No. 38 - 34 | Centro, Cartagena 6600560, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 106 B&Bs / Inns in Cartagena
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de la Chicheria is a luxurious open plan house, located in beautiful El Centro. It's a colonial house with modern facilities - rooftop terrace, pool, fully equipped kitchen and a bbq area that is the perfect setting for a dinner party with new friends. All bedrooms are air-conditioned. We offer our guests exclusive access to activities including wake boarding lessons with a professional, private catamaran charter cruises, and access to a privately owned casa on the Rosario Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa De La Chicheria Hotel Cartagena

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