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“Appalling customer service” 3 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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Ranked #49 of 118 Hotels in Cartagena
london
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Appalling customer service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

Our party had booked 2 rooms on a website. We arrived and we're told that 1 room was with breakfast and one was without, despite them both being booked together. The reception staff were unable to resolve the situation and just kept repeating that it was our problem not theirs! As it turned out not getting breakfast is a blessing as it is of poor quality meats and very limited.
Apart from this the pool is great and the rooms are very comfortable.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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573 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Medellin, Colombia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

This hotel was the first one ever build in Cartagena and it still has its Colombian escence on every arquitectural design. The rooms are pretty nice and the service is excellent including the breakfast. A 10 min taxi drive away from the Ancient City about the minimun fare of $5,000 COP. Located in Boca grande the good thing about this hotel is that if you want to enjoy the city and the beach this hotel has its own spot for their guests with security around.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Of the 3 hotels I stayed in in Cartagena this was by far the worst. It's a faded glory hotel. The rooms were poor. I moved rooms when I got there. The first one was old fashioned, dark & had a bad smell. The second one was only a bit better. The pool area was busy, the beds on the beach were some way back from the beach. Stay somewhere more modern if you want the beach. Better actually to stay in the Old Town.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
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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Viborg, Denmark
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 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
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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
59 reviews 59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
76 helpful votes 76 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.
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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:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#16 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#20 Business Hotel in Cartagena
#22 Luxury Hotel in Cartagena
#30 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Caribe 4*
Number of rooms: 363
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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