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“It's Colombian 5 star” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Caribe

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Hotel Caribe
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Carrera 1 No. 2 - 87 | Bocagrande, Cartagena 1330, Colombia   |  
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Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #55 of 116 hotels in Cartagena
Sydney
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“It's Colombian 5 star”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Colombian 5 star means things that are extras in western high status hotels, like Internet, pool, gym, breakfast and room cleaning are not extra charges to be squeezed out of the guests like a leach.. Good large pool, good staff. Everything in it's place. Negotiate a deal at the hotel of you speak Spanish.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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479 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Viborg, Denmark
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This hotel is a 5 star hotel - and yes the facilities are great, there are great restaurants within the hotel, a great pool and nice sitting areas.
The staff are friendly and can speak english and are very helpful in arranging trips.
The location of the hotel is perfect - right beside the beach and it is cheap to take a taxi to the old city.

The only problem is the rooms - they are nice but old - we had a lot of trouble getting hot water in the shower and there were NO working internet in the room.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

I stayed here in September 2012, after the U.S. Secret Service incident was widely reported. It was a weekend during a large conference, so I had trouble finding an affordable room at a nice hotel (the only room left at the Sofitel was over $800 a night - however this is the hotel I would recommend if possible). The Hotel Caribe is pretty far outside the old city. I tried to walk my first day, but it was so hot and not a pleasurable walk (and the traffic didn't help, with the noise and exhaust) so we finally got a cab. Cabs are very cheap, so that is not a problem.

The staff at the hotel was mixed. The woman who checked us in was not terribly helpful, but all of the bellmen/doormen were extremely helpful and kind. After check in, all of the front desk were great.

The room was a major disappointment. I believe the wing we were in simply had not been updated, but was in dire need of renovation. The bathroom looked like something from an old dorm. The beds were comfortable and the air conditioning worked fine. But the room just looked worn out. I asked to be moved, but due to the conference, there were no other rooms available.

The pool was very nice, and the grounds were lovely. The breakfast buffet was very good - wide variety of items, large room, and good food.

I would say for a family, this is a good location if you do not want to be in the old city (which could potentially be noisy or difficult with children) but for younger people or a couple, I would not really recommend this hotel. The beaches are not nice in Cartagena, you must take a boat to visit a beach (there are beaches near the hotel, but you might be disappointed if you are accustomed to Florida or California beaches). However, if you don't mind taking cabs (which, again, are not expensive and rarely take more than a few minutes to arrive at the hotel) and prefer to stay in a larger hotel rather than a small boutique or little inn, then this might be a good spot for you.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sherman Oaks, CA
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

If you're looking for a moderately hotel in Cartagena that's on the beach in the Boca Grande area, then this is a reasonable option. My room was spacious enough is clean. The hotel itself is somewhat dated, but not terribly so. The front desk staff were generally good. The concierges were very inconsistent, & not all that helpful. We tried using them to make restaurant reservations a few times, but eventually decided to make our own reservations. The pool side & beach restaurants were ok. The included breakfast was also fine (nothing great, by any means). The beach itself is just so-so, as it is absolutely mobbed w tourists & extremely aggressive peddlers/masseuses/etc, which did not make for very enjoyable days on the beach! If we ever return to Cartagena, we'll probably spend more & stay at the Sofitel Santa Clara in the Centro Historico (not the Charleston!), since we spent quite a few Colombian pesos on cabs to/from the old city at least several times each day.

Room Tip: Ask for an upper floor room w an ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We (one white and one mixed white/black person) stayed at Hotel Caribe to celebrate New Year's Eve in Cartagena. The rooms are dated but the pool and gardens are very nice. The main issue we had was the racist attitude of the personnel: since my partner is half black/ half white he could pass for a Colombian. As a result, almost every single time we would enter the hotel, I would be able to enter without hassle, but he would be asked for a hotel ID in a very aggressive way in Spanish (which he does not speak) and this for 5 days in a row. We can understand that for security reasons they want to monitor who enters the hotel, but this kind of racial profiling is unacceptable. What made it worse is that white or lighter skin Colombians were not asked for identification either. They specifically targeted younger and darker skin people. Either they check every guest's hotel ID upon entering the hotel in a polite manner, or else they check nobody. We will never stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
East Meadow, New York
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

While the gardens, beach front, and pool of Hotel Caribe are outstanding and the location excellent, there are many other areas that leave a lot of room for improvement. First, the website and reservation situation is poor. I found it impossible to get anyone to answer the phone, to respond to emails, or to give valid information about the 3 different towers. I finally used a booking service and they too had issues and had to phone the hotel several times to get answers. Even then, we paid several steps up from the standard room and thought we were getting a waterview room and wound up in a building where only the extremely hot top floor room had a very distant water view past and over another building. After looking at several rooms we finally gave up. The room was comfortable but nothing beyond very standard and we paid for a superior room. The breakfast was excellent if one overlooked the screaming, crawling, running young children who were not supervised....with no attempt on the part of management to seat them in a separate area. We specifically stayed at this hotel because I remembered that they had a decent gym, which we use regularly. We were quite disappointed to discover that the treadmill had been broken for 4+ months with a new motor "ordered", the recumbent bicycle had no computer and therefore no resistance, and the gym was beastly hot with the only fan pointed at the attendant. We specifically asked in advance about the gym and were told it was excellent......broken cardio equipment that has been broken for months is not excellent. The final surprise was the day they asked everyone to leave the pool area at a very busy hot part of the day and all the guests were herded into one tiny section with all their stuff. The management decided to remove and install the new poolside furniture during the hot crowded afternoon rather than in the early morning, evening or at night....regardless of the guest's comfort or convenience. To us, this was indicative of a poor attitude. The staff very nice and the good grounds and location might have made this a top hotel which calls itself 5 stars but I don't think any 5 star hotel in the world has such reservation, website, gym, and timing issues.

Room Tip: The oldest Colonial tower has the best ocean views but older rooms and a strange elevator. The newes...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Upon Check-in Gloria at the front desk informed me that I would have to pay $400-$500 additional for having "your girlfriend". The Expedia website clearly states same price for 1, 2 or 3 people in that room. The Hotel Caribe site clearly states same price for 1 or 2 people in that room. She was glib and sarcastic when I protested and said "Your girlfriend will not be eligible for the free breakfast you get with the plan". After much debate she said they would make a decision in the morning. So I spent the next 3 hours contacting Expedia and the Hotel showing them their own policies. Eventually 24 hours later and several legal threats later this got resolved in my favor.

Then after this was resolved we went to have our "free buffet" that Gloria promised. Upon leaving the wait person chased me down next to the pool and said "Sir you owe $45". I guess Gloria was wrong about the free buffet too. How embarrassing.

Upon checkout I paid the full bill with my credit card, collected our luggage and went to catch a cab. I was detained for 10 minutes by a security guard who needed to validate that I paid the full balance EVEN THOUGH I HAD A RECEIPT JUST ISSUED 20 MINUTE PRIOR.

I would rate this "0" stars however there is no "0" ranking. The room was OK. The pool area is nice. Some accommodations like a games room. But the service was the worst I have ever experienced ANYWHERE.

The work out room is the size of the hotel room with one broken treadmill. My room faced the back area of noise and garbage.

5 Star???? Is that a complete joke. Fire the entire staff and start over.

Room Tip: Best room choice? Find a different hotel
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Caribe

Address: Carrera 1 No. 2 - 87 | Bocagrande, Cartagena 1330, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#20 Business Hotel in Cartagena
#22 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#23 Luxury Hotel in Cartagena
#43 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Caribe 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set outside the old city on the beaches of Bocagrande, Hotel Caribe, a certified ¨National Monument¨, was built in 1941 and still maintains its original five-story, 99-room Colonial structure. The resort has since added two modern buildings making it the largest hotel in Cartagena.It has 363 rooms with ocean or hotel garden-views (16 of which are wheel-chair-friendly), 4 restaurants, 10 conference rooms, a mini-zoo, tennis courts, a semi-Olympic – sized pool as well as one for the kids. The Caribe Hotel offers a first class service with lot facilities. The Caribe Hotel with three buildings and 363 rooms is considered one of the most traditional Hotel in the city, with an area of 35,000 m2 of exotic tropical trees and gardens, 5,000 being devoted to ample beaches and 30,000 to Hotel facilities. The majestic structure of the Hotel Caribe, surrounded by palms and exotic gardens, rises from the heart of Bocagrande. The Hotel has 363 rooms with different lodging options to make your stay an unforgettable experience, additional offers the finest recreational and sports facilities. We provide our guest an incredible variety of gastronomical possibilities, from the most sophisticated international cuisine to exquisite typical dishes and snacks. Our Guest may select the Catalina Restaurant, Oh Caribe bungalow, Punta Icacos garden and the pool area with a scenario for folklore reviews and theme parties. In regard to congresses, seminars, and conventions the Caribe possesses a magnificent infrastructure that includes ten meeting rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hotel Cartagena

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