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“This hotel really is bad, believe the reviews!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Costa Del Sol

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Hotel Costa Del Sol
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bocagrande, Avenida 1a Calle 9, Esquina, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #115 of 124 Hotels in Cartagena
Bedfordshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“This hotel really is bad, believe the reviews!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2009

Some of the below may shock you......well to sum it up this is probably the worst hotel I have stayed in in my life for the money paid 200,000 pesos per night and I would not recommend anyone staying here until the hotel has had a major maintenance overhaul. For more information read below and check out the pictures (you can also see from my profile that I have reviewed a number of hotels before so this is not a one-off review).

I was hoping that this hotel really would be better than the bad reviews it had been getting - I read every bad review and then the two good reviews and I thought that maybe it was ok - I wish i had believed the bad reviews!

The reception area was dull, smelled and not welcoming in the day, they could do with opening the blinds and letting a little more light in. The corridor to the room (521) was dark - no lights and difficult to see where you were going.As others have found our keycard did not work, nor did the persons' across the room, luckily there was a maintenance guy who let us in and started to re-programme our locks.

We walked in, the room was filthy, the bed sheets dirty (we got them changed immediately - the pillow was moudly so replaced with new), the windows were so dirty you could hardly see out (see pictures), dust everywhere, the shower curtain was stuck to the window from the dirt, the bathroom had broken tiles, there were cracks in the bathroom ceiling, drips from the bathroom ceiling, the toilet was dirty (again got this cleaned immediately), loose floor tiles, in fact there was nothing good that could be
said about the room. In fact the room smelled so musty that we opened the windows and left them open the whole day and just took our valuables with us.

The facilities also lack maintenance, the pool needs a clean (you could probably brave it), the general toilets are in a bad state, the kitchen is about the only clean place in the hotel and that suffers from old breaking chairs, crumbling plaster and dirty tablecloths.

We complained the next day and would have walked out, but they did give us a 9 person room on the other part of the hotel. At least this was clean (715), although as we found out it still had problems like;

Waste under the sink was damaged so all the sewer smells flowed into the room - you need to close the bathroom door at night.
You cannot turn off/down the airconditioning so the best we could do was try to close the vents, which themselves were filthy.
Other tiles damaged in the bathroom, the sink was held up with bits of aluminium bar.
The wooden panelling on the ceiling is begining to fall down in pieces.
The beds are not great, soft (bad back every morning) and the sheets, while clean, do seem to have a lot of stains on them.
Again more problems with the keycard to this room
The table lamp cable had been fixed with a piece of tape which was peeling and exposing the live wires.
The fridge in the room did not work - expect warm drinks!
Dusty and dirty shelves in the bathroom, could not wear the clothes afterwards.
The steps to the upper bed level are wobbly, walk slowly!

Good points - the windows were clean and you could see out! The bedroom was cleaner than previous.

Rated on the 1st room this hotel gets a 1 star or less from us. If we had got the second room first we would have rated the hotel as a 2 star. Based on the food I would give it around a 2 star, sometimes it was fresh, other times not. Often it was cold or warm if you got there late, as other people said they have no heaters to keep food warm. I did get food poisoning during my stay, indications are that it was the fish soup (the only thing my
girlfriend refused to share with me) but i cannot for definete say I got it from the food here.

Overall I lay the blame of this on management, it looks like they are trying to cut costs such as giving the cleaners soapy water in bottles to clean with and cutting down on the maintenance of the building. I believe the staff are just glad to have a job but the management depresses their ability to try to sufficiently help guests. I left a letter to the above effect as a 'suggestion' and advised that they could see my review on Trip Advisor.

The only good thing about this hotel is the view from the top!

There are better and cheaper hostals and hotels in the surrounding area, I checked them out as we were on the verge of going elesewhere and I need future accomodation for my family - no way will I let them stay at the Costa Del Sol.

Go there at your peril!

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Florida
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2008

I was afraid to stay at the Hotel Costa del Sol after I had read comments about it being a 'dump', but I gave it a try. I always want to see things by myself. After my stay I honestly thought the comments were extreme and it looked like there was a vendetta to damage the hotel's image or that someone might have gotten angry for something to write things like that.
The hotel is a 3 stars and I found it to be just right for a stay in Cartagena. If you want more, then try the 5 stars Hilton, Las Americas and Santa Clara for a LOT more.
I, honestly, say that my expereince was FABULOUS! Yes, it was indeed! I got a very good room with the best view to the old city and the ocean. There is NO way you can get an ocean view room for that price anywhere in the world. (FYI I am a world traveler BTW).
I liked the staff, the daily breakfast buffets and the courtesy 'happy hour' by the pool on the 15th floor in the early evenings. I think they went the extra mile to make guests feel really well and that they genuiely cared. I had one complaint about my hot water one day and they came to my room in 5-10 minutes and fixed it. There was something like a switch that I didn't know about (that might be a Columbian thing).
If you ever have a problem, contact the staff or the hotel manager and they will take care of it immediately. They also have security 24/7 at the main entrance and that makes you feel more comfortable.
I liked the location. -see attached pics- It is just the best area of the city. You can walk to most places around the area or just grab a sandwich at McDonald's (it is right behind the hotel)
The Historical District is only 5-10 minutes by taxi and it only costs $2 during the day and $2.50 or $3 at night.
I plan to go back to the magnificent city of Cartagena and I plan to return to the Hotel Costa del Sol. Keep in mind prices vary according to the time of the year you travel. December is very high season, but in the fall and the spring they are really good.
I would recommend this hotel to my friends and relatives with no hesitation. Feel free to contact me for more recent information.

  • Liked — The location and the staff
  • Disliked — They don't speak much English
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2008

I have visited Cartagena many times and this was the first time that I stayed in the Costa Del Sol. I absolutely loved the location. It is just across the road from the beach. I have traveled to many beach locations in my life but I have not found a hotel that met my expectations at such a reasonable price. Usually, they have been two blocks from the beach and you could not even see the water. I also liked the breakfast buffet. I got everything I asked for from the staff. I will use this hotel again.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — elevator
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2008

I stayed at the Cartagena Costa del Sol with my family from 6/10/08 to 6/17/08. We rented 3 rooms in all. You will have huge regrets if you stay at this Hotel. I don’t know where to begin, as there is so much wrong with this Hotel.
I should have read and believed all of the negative the reviews here before going.

The staff is downright rude in their lack of caring for their guests. The air conditioning was far from sufficient to keep the small rooms comfortable during the day. I had to go to the front desk several times to ask if the AC was working. Twice they said that it was being worked on. On the fifth night we had to change rooms because the AC on the 10th and 11th floors, we were told, would not be working for several days. Had to go back and forth to the front desk about five times just to get the door card to work and the card would stop working every couple of days. Never one word of apology or sympathy from the staff was received. A snide look from the staff is the norm. They dress more like they were looking for action than in a professional manner.

The bathrooms are deplorable. They obviously do not even wipe the surfaces down often let alone sanitize them. A very large part of the sink corner had been broken off some time ago and not repaired. Filthy grout. The shower walls had a nasty colored film on them. The floor was sticky. Fortunately, the cockroaches I did see were dead.
Hot water for a shower would last about a minute or so and then it was cold for the duration.

The dining room was terrible. The buffet is filled like so – two huge pans of rice and the ever present “Garlic Spaghetti” pan take up almost one full side of the buffet every night. Also there is one pan of something mysterious each night. There are no heating elements and no fire under these pans – once they cool down, like everything else here – too bad. The end of the buffet has a small bowl of shredded lettuce, some well aged tomato slices and some slimy cucumbers. The other side of the buffet is all bread and utensils. There is a separate small table that holds two pans – one is always fish that is obviously recycled and one that is different each night.
The food overall is awful. Many bites were quickly spit into a napkin. We would usually try the food and then go down the street to a café for a good meal.

Cartagena is a great vacation spot. Many things to see and do and we will go back, but not at this poor excuse for a hotel. It is the one thing that you definitely MUST avoid when in Cartagena!

  • Liked — The only good point here was the location.
  • Disliked — This hotel should be closed. It is a disgrace!!! The staff is the worst I have ever seen and the food will make you sick.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2008

The sanitary authority of Cartagena should revoke this hotel license.
This hotel welcomes you with a terrilbe urine smell at the desk and a crappy elevator.
When I get to my room (1425) I killed 3 coackroaches, then i went to the desk and asked for a room shift. They showed me 2 other rooms (all in different floors) and I saw at least 1 coackroach and a bed bug in each of them. After all that room dancing I've decided to stay in the same room. The next morning I tried to take a bath and they dind't have hot water... the reason? The manteinance guy forgot to turn on the boiler and all the floor was out of hot water.

The second night I didn't see any bugs but the air conditioned had a malfunction and it heard like a train running two floors down.

The food at the restaurant was almost as good as dog food. I think dog good is quite helthier. The hotel cafeteria is the only place on earth that can make a fried egg taste bad (reallly really bad)

And the worst of all... it costs 100 USD per night!!!!! I could expect this service from a 20 USD per night, but this kind of service and value for your money is something you don't deserve... even if you are running from justice

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Everthing else
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, ca
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2008

We got a GREAT deal for flight + hotel to Cartagena from Bogota but now we realize we got what we paid for.

Costa Del Sol looks more than decent in the catalogs and ads but what a facade! I agree with the rest of the reviews with my main complaints being:
- NO English speakers, not even a little bit of English, at ALL. I had no idea this Hotel was for Spanish speakers only. I speak enough Spanish to get around but the lack of ANY employees including Managers and above knowing any English was a HUGE inconvenience.
- NO CLEAN ROOMS: the plastic-tiled floors felt sticky/disgusing in every room. Wonder when the last time they changed their mops was?
- COCKROACHES... EVERYWHERE!: we had 2 rooms with these rampant rodents making their homes from mainly the bathrooms to even inside the drawers next to the beds and of course, the floors and beds. We even joked that there would prob be some chilling in the communal "free-food" restaurant and alas, we found a big one near the drinks area the last night of our stay... and some bugs in our salad.
- NO HOT WATER: I hear this is common for all, non-5star hotels in Cartagena since the climate is never freezing cold, yet ice cold is pretty far off from " slightly warm". You can forget about water pressure too.
- NO CLEAN TOWELS: the towels and the gauzy "comforter" both smelled like really bad body odor and just bad, unclean funk. However, the elevators smelled like really strong bleach almost every day. =P
- BAD FOOD: Well, I guess complaining won't be fair since the food was essentially free (part of the package) but it was pretty bad. I would bet that watching the cooking staff make the food would have the equivalent effect as watching "super size me" or "fast food nation". no bueno. and the sangira tasted like it was wine mixed with soda. perhaps sangria = jungle juice?

the GOOD thing I want to mention is the staff at the bar which offers happy hour right below the hotel. The staff was extremely thoughtful and attentive there and really informative for those who have never been to Cartagena; the owner even speaks English and is really resourceful.

I'll be completely frank, I have a pretty high tolerance of "bad service" yet this place was completely unacceptable and makes Motel6 look like the Ritz. The worst part was that even with all of our complaints, we never received an apology. I really have no idea how they are still in business.

Stayed February 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2008

Attention Travellers! Do not book the Costa del Sol in Cartagena Colombia. If you like clean surroundings, a safe balcony and comfort this is not the hotel for you. This hotel was $100 USD per night gone down the drain. My partner and I refused to stay there. It was the worst hotel I have ever seen in my life. The word 'dump' comes to mind.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Costa Del Sol

Address: Bocagrande, Avenida 1a Calle 9, Esquina, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Costa Del Sol 2*
Number of rooms: 250
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Costa del Sol is located in Bocagrande, the best seafront place in Cartagena. We are close to the main tourist areas, just 10 minutes from the airport. We also have 6 meeting rooms with capacity up to 1000 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Costa Del Sol Cartagena
Costa Del Sol Hotel

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