Please do not stay at this hotel.
I am a British Indian female in her 40s who has had severe racist treatment by the hotel in 2008/9 and 20013 when on holiday. The management has an indifferent reaction when I complained about my treatment.
On each occasion as I entered the hotel the security guards would stop me and ask me if I was staying in the hotel. I don't speak Spanish so my responses would be in English. Despite being we dressed and spoken (I look like an indigenous Indian), I was treated with immense rudeness and disrespect and told that I could not enter the premises (I was staying in an another hotel close by but wanted to do some shopping and dining). I insisted on speaking with reception who denied that I was being singled out and that they operated an open door policy. I indicated that on each occasion that I had entered the premises I had been detained and no other individuals (including 2 white British friends) had been stopped. The manner in which I had been spoken to by the security and bell boy staff was rude and aggressive.
I insisted on speaking to the general manager after speaking to an ambivalent assistant manager. I had to chase the general manager for a meeting such was the lack of interest in resolving the racist door policy. The manager insisted that there was no racist policy but when I pointed out my several experiences in 2008/09 and 2013 and the fact I could confirm that no white people/friends entering the premises had been detained, he denied that there was racism and everybody should have been stopped as per the security policy.
I have travelled to 90 countries and stayed in numerous hotels but I have never faced ongoing racism apart from this one hotel on a frequent basis. I will be writing to the company to outline my experience. I would suggest that if you are going to stay in Cartagena you boycott this dreadful hotel and stay in one of the gorgeous boutique hotels in the San Diego area which are sublime and know how to treat clients, irrespective of their colour, race, nationality or gender, with due respect and courtesy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Originally built as a convent in 1621, the Sofitel Santa Clara is a legendary landmark in the heart of Cartagena's walled city. Transformed into a luxury hotel in 1995, the Sofitel Santa Clara, unique in style, combines the allure of history with local hospitality and the art of French savoir-faire. Mixing Colonial and Republican-style architecture with modern comfort, the hotel features gourmet cuisine, exceptional service, a world-class spa, meeting facilities and state of the art technology for events, conventions and weddings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Santa Clara Hotel Cartagena
- Sofitel Hotel Santa Clara
- Sofitel Cartagena
- Cartagena Sofitel