Casa Harb- beautiful hotel, but service can be improved
First the good.....
I came to San Andres to check out the diving (25 hammerhead sharks @ my 1st dive w/Blue Life Divers! ) & checked out the choices of hotels before deciding on Casa Harb based on room quality, a recommendation by Travel & Leisure + Forbes magazine & the reviews in Tripadvisor.
The hotel in terms of looks is definitely a 5/5, it is chicly decorated with artwork throughout, teak Southeast Asian furniture, & can easily feature in a home decor magazine. I had room S with a balcony & a sun lounger facing the gorgeous turquoise water & coconut trees, minus the electrical wires & the road running in between, the view was postcard perfect.
The room & common area were stylish & clean, decorated much like villas in Bali. My bathroom was huge & looked like a mini spa. On my 1st day here the owner Jak Harb came around to greet the guests, he has traveled over 30 years to Asia & brought back lots of artwork & furniture to decorate Casa Harb, a lovingly restored family property.
Location was only about 5-10 min from town (Usd5 cab ride only). The hotel was a serene, soothing & far more elegant hideout vs the other larger tourist hotels. Add to this the hotel had ok to decent food, free wifi, a cute pool, sweet charming & friendly staff ( though they do need more training ie food was served incredibly salty, cold appetizer & hot main course were served together, staff did not knock on door before entering the room etc. )
But here're my gripes
1/ They really ignore emails & calls. 1st of all they never responded to my initial request for a reservation made on their website. I then booked via venere.com
A month ago I wrote the hotel to arrange for airport transport & was asked whether I have any booking, after sending my venere confirmation & 2 emails over a 10 day period, I finally got an email to confirm the car transfer. Then 1 week before the trip I had to change to a later flight, emailed them in Spanish w/the new pickup time, again no response. I then asked the Mandarin Oriental concierge in Paris (a fluent Spanish speaker ) to call re: the new pickup time, he spoke to Feliza Fernandes & confirmed the airport pickup.
So imagine my irritation after flying HongKong to Paris to Bogota arriving San Andres at 1 A.M.; No one @ the airport! Called the hotel, guy on phone was clueless & was not expecting me, he told me to find a cab on my own.
Was annoyed as I travelled from
HK as a non Spanish speaking single female to Colombia with a 1:00 AM arrival for the 1st time in my life, I asked for the car transfer repeatedly for my safety /sanity & somehow Casa Harb could not satisfy this small/easy request.
Anyway, the cab driver I ended up with had no idea where Casa Harb was (though I had the address & we called the hotel together) plus he charged me 2x the usual fare. With only 5 rooms you'd think Casa Harb could have handled this better?
If you take the advise of a previous TP reviewer, ie treat this as staying at someone's house (with an absentee host & etc) then you'd be fine in terms of expectations.
In sum, this is a perfectly pretty boutique hotel, just service related training please! ( would have rated this place 5/5 otherwise )
There is no spa or fitness ctr. Room S faces the water/sea
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.