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“Only place I've ever stayed that was better than it seemed online!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa El Carretero

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Casa El Carretero
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Getsemani CL. 9 # 10B-18 | Calle del Carretero, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 124 Hotels in Cartagena
Bogota, Colombia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Only place I've ever stayed that was better than it seemed online!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

When we booked this hotel we thought it was too good to be true, but hoped for the best. Imagine how shocked we were to arrive and discover it was actually better than we could have ever anticipated! The hotel is beautiful, a large old house that was obviously recently remodeled with a lot of love and attention to detail. Our room was absolutely gorgeous, with a big comfy bed, awesome walk-in shower, and balcony overlooking the street below. We loved spending time on the roof, which includes a great view of the neighborhood, a small but warm pool that gets great morning sun, ample seating, and a fantastic sound system (including an ipod stocked with ambient music, or a hookup for your own). Because the hotel is so small (only three rooms) it is a very intimate experience, and it feels like staying with family. We also cannot give enough compliments to the staff -- they were warm and inviting, so helpful with advice and recommendations (and accommodating us the day we left, even though our flight wasn't until 10pm), and served the freshest and most delicious breakfast every day.

A final note -- everyone says it's important to stay inside the walled city, so we were a little nervous that this seemed to be outside of it. However, we could not have been happier with the neighborhood. It is still very historical and colorful, but also a little more bohemian -- lots of cool street art and interesting bars, restaurants, and galleries. This hotel is also right off the main square of Getsemani, which in our short stay managed to hold a number of events, including a jazz and dance festival and free zumba and salsa classes. The plaza is filled with street food vendors and locals selling water, beers, fresh juices, and mixed drinks, and was a great place to just hang out, people watch, and meet other travelers and locals.

Honestly the only bad thing I can think of is that this hotel is not my actual house. I realize this review may make me sound like a raving lunatic, but after one night in this hotel you will totally get where I'm coming from.

Room Tip: Three rooms and I don't think you can go wrong with any of them
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    185
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    12
    8
    3
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

Was more than happily surprised with this hotel. The hotel was clean, in a great location, inexpensive and the staff was phenomenal. We only stayed one night but I would have loved to stay longer. Will absolutely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

What a great deal! Totally worth the mani!

Let's talk about this. First off, beautiful room with cute balcony overlooking the street. Then you walk into the the beautiful bathroom - which is cool (I like a cold bathroom, just me?) - and a shower in which you don't need Calgon to take you away. The place only has three rooms and this is the suite, dare I say, suitest room there is.

The breakfast is lovingly served up in the morning and there's always someone on duty to let you in late-nights. Cheers to Casa El Cattero for the darn good digs.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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CarreteroGroup, Owner at Casa El Carretero, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Hello David, we are happy you enjoyed the property, its decoration, service and the neighborhood. We hope to be able to host you sometime in the near future.

Safe travels.
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Rome, Italy
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Very friendly staff and overall a very good hotel. Great breakfast made to order. Lovely pool area. Located just outside the old city. Easy to get around. Lots of restaurants and shops in the neighbourhood. ...................................... .

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

We stayed here for one night in January 2014. Highly recommended for a number of reasons:

(1) Great service. Sol and Isolinda, two hotel employees we interacted with during our stay, were both delightful. They were helpful with everything we needed. The big breakfast they made, which includes a massive plate of fresh fruit, was quite tasty.

(2) Great location. Getsemani is a charming neighborhood, without the daily and noisy bustle of Old Town during the workday. At night, though, Getsemani lights up, with dozens of people congregating in nearby Trinidad Plaza and people playing music all over the neighborhood. It's a great time to explore the area. For light sleepers, I recommend bringing earplugs.

(3) Great facilities. The bedroom we stayed in, on the second floor, was clean, comfortable, and romantic. It was small but not too small. We had a balcony facing the street, shared with the room next door. The small rooftop pool might be the best part of the hotel--it's an incredibly relaxing place to get some sun and cool off during the hottest parts of the day. They have little coves for shade, and an iPod cord for you to play your own music on the outdoor speakers, if you wish. With only 3 rooms total, the place feels very private--we had the rooftop to ourselves both times we went up there.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarreteroGroup, Owner at Casa El Carretero, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Our staff appreciates that you had a great time and felt special at our property. We strive to provide each guest with a unique experience in Cartagena.
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Dorset, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Sad to read Tom's review. What a terrible experience. We enjoyed our time here. As there are only 3 rooms, it often feels like your own private casa. We spent relaxing afternoons on the roof terrace, in the pool and sitting in the shade. Perfect between morning and evening sightseeing and exploring. Our main problem was our poor Spanish as no English is spoken. However, Maria and Isolina tried hard to understand us and with good humour and mime we managed. The rooms are comfortable, the 2 front ones have a small balcony over looking the street. We weren't bothered by the noise from the square as there are thick shutters you can close at night. We did have a problem when I booked for another 3 nights, but accidently booked February instead of January. (No one to blame but me, how maddening!). By the time Maria pointed out my mistake, they were full for one of the nights. Both the hotel and booking .com were very helpful in sorting it out and we moved for one night to the hotel in the centre I guess Tom is talking about. Ok, but not so nice, I agree, so we were happy to move back for the last night.

So, to summarise - a lovely hotel, great position near the square. A good base for a Cartagena stay.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

I booked a room via booking.com as the reviews were excellent and I was looking for somewhere special to relax with my girlfriend. We really wanted to be in Getsemani by Plaza Trinidad as it's our favourite place in Cartagena. Booking.com showed 1 room available, and discounted to 250 mil pesos (about £75).

We arrived at the hotel at 1pm, and were welcomed by a friendly made. The place felt beautiful, and was just what we were hoping for. The maid brought us some drinks, and we waited. And we waited. And we waited. After about 40 minutes the maid returned and explained that our booking must be 'in the other hotel', as they had no rooms free. She told us it was just as nice, and in the old town. A bit disappointed to be leaving Getsemani, we headed off in a taxi to town.

Eventually we arrived at the alternative hotel. It was immediately clear that it wasn't anything like as nice as Carretero. The room was basic, and the bed rock hard. I explained this, and called booking.com. The staff were friendly, but couldn't really do much. Eventually we walked back to Getsemani with 1 guy who showed us an even more basic hotel/room for 150 mil. At this point we'd wasted more than 2 hours, we're very hungry, and had nowhere to stay...

During lunch booking.com called and explained that the hotel had to find us an equivalent, or better room. He was surprised they weren't doing anything to help.

After lunch we found the Allure Chocolat Hotel nearby. They offered us a great room, with a discount. I called booking.com and they agreed to pay the difference (70 mil)

So, be very careful if you are booking this hotel. They only have 3 rooms, and may tell you they are full, and try and send you somewhere else that's not even close to the same standard.

I'd recommend calling the hotel to make sure they actually have a room. If not you could spend hours wandering around Cartagena getting frustrated...

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarreteroGroup, Owner at Casa El Carretero, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Hello Tom, we are very sorry that the recommended hotels did not work out for you. We hope to be able to host you in the future. Our staff tried very hard to find you a hotel somewhere else at the last minute but the city was full. We continue to offer all of our guests the best services in the city.
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Additional Information about Casa El Carretero

Address: Getsemani CL. 9 # 10B-18 | Calle del Carretero, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#37 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa El Carretero 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa EL Carretero is a colonial boutique hotel located in the historical neighborhood of El Getsemani in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. The vision was to create an Indonesian oasis in a century old Spanish colonial home with all the comforts of XXI century living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa El Carretero Cartagena
Casa El Carretero Hotel Cartagena

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