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“An oasis outside Cartagena” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Karmairi Hotel Spa

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Karmairi Hotel Spa
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Km 3 Via Manzanillo Del Mar, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 124 Hotels in Cartagena
Salvador, Brazil
Top Contributor
205 reviews 205 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
179 helpful votes 179 helpful votes
“An oasis outside Cartagena”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

A visit to such a lovely place should be split in two: a few days away for the start, and a few other in the hussle-and-bussle of the city! It's a wonderful choice to start your stay in such an elegant and exclusive place like Karmairi!
Taxi from the airport costs 40,000 Colombian pesos (don't pay any more cent!) and the 20min ride is most pleasant, one sees how detached the place is from the city, which can be reached three times a day by complimentary transfer from the hotel!
The main difference between a five-star and a boutique hotel is the exclusiveness, the fact that one is expected and unique and is going to have their most wishes taken care of, in a classy and refined atmosphere - that's why boutique hotels are more expensive and one not only expects but above all counts on the high amount paid being returned in full in those elements of exclusiveness! I'm afraid that wasn't always the case at Karmairi!
Check-in took much longer than necessary, for our reservation couldn't be found: where was the folder with our reservation and everything else connected to it waiting for us that any five-hotel would have, so as to speed up checkin and make the new guest feel welcome???
The welcome drink is most refreshing, Cartagena has average of 26º and may reach 40º in the summer! It wasn't exactly 'refreshing', though, to see it being charged for at check-out, not at all nice!
One should be very careful when booking rooms through Booking.com, for its categories and the hotels' do not match! It took us all a while to idetify the kind of room we paid for and the one allocated to us! I believe both parts must get in touch with each other and unifiy the terminology.
There are no rooms with twin beds, which means two friends must share a bed. Also, all mattresses are soft and I had to sleep on the floor! Housekeeping, though, was most kind and prompt in providing me with all means for that!
Rooms are excellent, elegant, with everything one needs; amenities are of great taste and high class! Plug adaptors are not provided, you should bring yours, which to me is another flop of the hotel!
A bottle of water sits on top of the fridge and another one can be found in it, they are both refilled along the day and/or every day! No other qualification than ridiculously greedy can explain why such an expensive place chooses to charge for water - another bad surprise when checking out!
Location is prime, the empty beach of Manzanillo belongs to the guests, so to speak, one can go for walks along the day and stretch out on the beds (sic) close to the water!
The infra-structure of the place is most welcoming, airy, spacious; staff is always welcoming and smily and ready to please, which is the main asset of Colombia as a nation!
Breakfast is interesting, it seems standard not offer a buffet but a fixed menu. One can see the point of avoiding waste and overeating (mostly by Americans, as pointed out!), as well as the charm and sense of serving!
Food is simply exquisit, of most refined taste, rich and concise - no wonder people drive 15km from Cartagena to dine there, simply amazing! Nevertheless, portions are really very small indeed, which must be te concept of the Peruvian chef. Personally, I believe the chef should be, like in most elegant restaurants elsewhere, aware of the fact that portions should be slightly more generous when the guest isn't ordering a starter! Comparing prices of similar restaurants in Europe, it's a major gain in taste to eat at Karmairi! But honestly-speaking, bring some snacks with you, or else you'll starve, unless their policy of tiny portions is changed!
Do allow yourself extra time and patience for the check-out process! The description is unexplicably complicated, which simply corroborates the many complaints here that a lot is added to the final bill that wasn't actually consumed/requested! The terminology used, the confusing different taxes (8% on food and 16% on accommodation), the display, nothing helps and one does leave the place with a feeling of being conned somehow - that is not nice!
Whenever leaving a five-star hotel elsewhere, guests are offered a treat, a small gift or souvenier, to keep e sweet memory of a (hopefully) pleasant stay. I was most disappointed that Karmairi didn't seem to care in that regard!
Anyway, the choice is after all a very good one, especially for those in need of an escape into the peace and quiet and reserved! One doesn't at all feel, though, their money fully returns in concrete terms while there, on the very contrary! Karmairi must learn that exclusive guests expect to pay some more AND/IN ORDER TO get a lot in return - once management realises that and that small, generous attitudes, with minor imapct on their budget and a huge one in the satisfaction of the guests, they'd be on the way to be a perfect boutique hotel!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karmairi, Online-Marketing-Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Hi,

We are glad you had an amazing time at Karmairi Hotel Spa. We would to clarify that we do not charge under any circunstance the welcome drink. Feel free to check your bill and you will make sure we did not charge it.

We hope you can come here soon and see for yourself that we improve in your recommendations and we would like to give you a better experience any time.

Have a nice day
Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Online Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

Just returned from Colombia, and spend 3 first nights in Karmairi. We loved it! Absolutely beautiful place, amazing food, exceptional service. It is a 30min ride from Cartagena center, but it is a perfect place for relaxation! Free shuttle to Centro Historico is great and really, we cannot compliment the food enough! Arepas in the morning, ceviche, pulpo carpaccio, langustines, tuna tataki... ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Also a nice wine list was a pleasant surprise! Keep up the good work in Karmairi! And people, go to Colombia!! And go to Karmairi!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karmairi, Online-Marketing-Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Hi,

We really appreciate your review and thank you for visiting Karmairi Hotel Spa. We are more than happy to have you here soon and enjoy all our areas and service.

Our staff is waiting for you.

Have a nice day
Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Online Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campinas, SP
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

That's the place to stay at if you are looking for some private relaxing time. The staff is very well trained, food is amazing and if you get to stay at one of the rooms facing the beach you will be able to enjoy an amazing sunset. They offer a shuttle to take you to the downtown twice a day, which is perfect. There are pretty shades on the beach for guests where you will also get drinks if you call waiters using a device that allows you do that while relaxing under the sun... I loved it and strongly recommend it for a very romantic trip.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Karmairi, Online Marketing Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Hi,

We really appreciate your review and we are very happy you had a great time at Karmairi Hotel Spa.

About the transfer remember we have free transfer 3 times a day and not twice.

We are glad you enjoy our food and drinks and specially our sunset which is the best in Cartagena.

Loooking forward to have you here.

Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Online Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

This is a very nice spa-boutique hotel. Very close to the beach, although the beach is not awesome. But very far from Cartagena (Google Maps show it at the city). So you'll spend time and money on taxis to/from Cartagena. There is a shuttle service from the hotel, but it has proven to be very unreliable. Staff was very helpful. Rooms are very nice and the breakfast is OK.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karmairi, Online Marketing Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Hello,

As you mentioned we have been problems with Google maps... altought if you type Karmairi Hotel Spa in Google Maps the location you mentioned is not the verified location. Also we are not far from Cartagena, we are only 15 minutes by car from Cartagena.

We would like to mention that we have 3 free shuttle service from/to Cartagena where you can take in order to enjoy the beauty of our city.

In our website you can check also the location.

Have a nice day

Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Online Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

Wedding ceremony.. awesome.. reception... outstanding... but the honeymoon at Karmairi,,, Spectacular! My new bride and I were treated as King and Queen.. the wait staff was cordial and attentive.. they seem to have more people working there than guests (the hotel was fully booked when we stayed). The room was perfectly clean and intimate (and we stayed in a basic room) and had an very nice "almost" outdoor shower. the view.. well... Paradise!

The spa pampering, impressive (we did the couples 3hr session) and the food delicious, combining regional flavors with hints from Peruvian and other latinamerican cuisine. Make sure and try the included breakfast arepas!..Cant wait to come back to have many more Maracuja Mojitos..
Check with hotel for times for the included transfers from the city, it will save you money and put you in a clean and spacious vehicle.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karmairi, Internet Marketing Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Hi,

We are very glad you had a great time at Karmairi Hotel Spa. We try to keep a high standard and the best service, so you can enjoy and relax at our hotel.

We also appreciate your review regarding the restaurant and bar. We do our best in order to improve our flavors and drinks all the time.

We are looking forward to have you here soon.

Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Internet Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Good points: We were impressed with the service. For example, I needed access to the Internet but had not brought my laptop, being a holiday. There weren't any computers for guests, but a maid thought of the solution - for me to use a spare laptop from the office. The restaurant had an interesting menu and a Peruvian chef, so great ceviche. Portions are small and prices typically high for Cartagena, although the vegetarian menu provides an interesting and in expensive alternative. Our superior room was ample and a good place to chill out in air conditioning during the midday heat. Lots of comfy sofas and chairs on the deck from which to watch the sunset, and good cocktails including Hendricks and Fever Tree. Useful free shuttle to and from the old walled city. No kids - no one under 15 allowed. Mid week room rates good value.

Not so good points: Lots of mosquitoes at sundown so spray well. Restaurant portions are small. Cheapest rooms are very small. Very expensive spa treatments, even for Cartagena. The beach is not private, but relatively undeveloped and largely free of hawkers.The beach near the hotel is littered with bottles and rubbish from picnics.

Room Tip: Standard Premium have much more space than the small rooms at the back of the hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Karmairi, Internet Marketing Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Hi,

First of all tank you for your recommendations. We already talked with the different departments and we hope we can come up with a solution for each item.

We are glad you had a great time at Karmairi Hotel Spa and we hope to have you here again in order to have an unforgettable experience in Cartagena.

Looking forward to hear from you very soon.

Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Internet Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kensington, Maryland
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

The limonata de coco was amazing. All the drinks had fresh fruit juice and the breakfasts were ample, creative and varied. I greatly enjoyed the body scrub and massage at the spa. The service was consistently friendly and responsive. Rooms were clean and even our small one was lovely. The beds were really good. The beach isn't the greatest there, but we could walk and sunbathe without any vendors bothering us.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Karmairi, Internet Marketing Director at Karmairi Hotel Spa, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Hello,

We are glad you enjoy our drinks, is one of the main things we like to show in our hotel. We would like to have you here again, so we hope to hear from you very soon.

Karmairi Hotel Spa is the firs option in Cartagena for relaxing and Spa that is why we have te best service and treatment here.

Have a nice day.

Sincerely
Andres Lesmes
Internet Marketing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Karmairi Hotel Spa

Address: Km 3 Via Manzanillo Del Mar, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#14 Business Hotel in Cartagena
#15 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#16 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Karmairi Hotel Spa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Using our main resource, water, Karmairi Spa show a comfortable space full of relaxation and healthiness, where our guests can find themselves and enjoy Cartagena. Come and enjoy our private beach and all the spaces that Karmairi Hotel Spa has for you. Enjoy the Caribbean in Colombia with us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karmairi Hotel Cartagena

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