San Andres Island is Colombia's tropical paradise destination. With a booming economy and a rapidly-expanding middle class with discretionary income, all-inclusive vacation packages to San Andres Island are sold to Colombians throughout their country. Through my research here on TripAdvisor, I learned that many of the all-inclusive resorts on the island are poorly maintained. Wanting more bang for my travel dollar, I decided upon Playa Tranquilo for my vacation to San Andres Island.
Making a reservation through Playa Tranquilo's website wasn't a problem, with representative Alex quickly confirming my reservation through multiple e-mails. I requested one of the hotel's cabana suites for my vacation.
Upon arriving at the hotel, I was given the Cabana Cayla suite, which I stayed in for eight nights at $150 a night. The suite was HUGE, with a bed and full-length mirror in one room, and couch with chair in the other room. Both rooms were equipped with cold air conditioning. A mini-fridge stocked with water, Coke Zero, Aguila Beer, aguardiente, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of vodka was also provided, as was a large security safe. The suite was generally clean, with good-quality linens on the bed and towels in the closet.
The room did not have a television, telephone, internet, clock radio, bathroom, or shower. A shared bathroom was located just around the corner, while the showers were located down the hall and behind the main cabana building (there are three cabana suites in the main cabana building).
Breakfast was included in the rate, and consisted of eggs cooked to your choice (fried or scrambled, sometimes with tomatoes and onions), toast or a corn arepa, sliced fruit (papaya and/or pineapple), fresh native juice, yogurt (sometimes), and coffee.
Despite its name, Playa Tranquilo is not located on a quiet beach, but rather on the quiet (and rocky) west coast of San Andres Island. And although the hotel is located on the main road of the island, I encountered multiple taxi drivers (and even the immigration official at the airport) who didn't know where the hotel was located. It sometimes helped to mention to them that the hotel had once been a mexican restaurant, and then San Andres Divers (which moved just down the street), or was located just a little north of El Cove and just a little south of Cueva Morgan. The hotel offers SCUBA diving instruction, too.
There were several power outages (four, by my count) that occurred during my stay due to powerline or maintenance issues elsewhere on the island. And while Playa Tranquilo has a generator, it currently isn't working, and a new one has been ordered and is being sent from the United States.
Playa Tranquilo has plans to expand in the future, with new cabins that have been ordered from southeast Asia (Thailand, I think).
The single greatest asset that Playa Tranquilo has is its people. From Moises and Yveth (the managers) to Angel (the maintenance man who lives on-site) to Elizabeth and Emilia (breakfast and housekeeping) to Roland (their PHENOMENAL taxi driver who knows EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING on San Andres Island), I constantly felt like I was staying at a $1000-a-night resort because of the constant wonderful interaction that I had with these people.
Overall, I was satisfied with my stay at Playa Tranquilo. I wasn't too crazy about the shared bathrooms around the corner and the showers down the hall, but if you are willing to spend more, Playa Tranquilo also has a house and apartment on-site with nicer amenities. And I did something with this hotel that I have NEVER done during my many years of travel: A day before my departure, I sat down with Yveth and gave her a lot of advice on some changes that could be made at Playa Tranquilo for the benefit of both the hotel and its guests. I will be closely watching Playa Tranquilo both here on TripAdvisor and on their Facebook page to see if they implement the changes that I suggested.
Playa Tranquilo is a great option for your visit to San Andres Island. There is no doubt in my mind that with the people that are currently working there, that the hotel will be successful for many years to come.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.