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“Adorable Boutique Hotel Charm in Santa Marta” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel

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Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Carrera 2 N. 19-20 | Centro, Santa Marta, Colombia (Formerly Casa de Isabella Hotel Boutique)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 59 Hotels in Santa Marta
New York City, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Adorable Boutique Hotel Charm in Santa Marta”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

We did tons of research & lucky for us found Casa de Isabella. Owner (Brian) is super professional & answered all (which were many) of my questions. It's the perfect choice. We loved it. The staff is lovely. No they do not speak perfect English, but they try really hard & will go out of their way to be sure that you have everything you need. The decor is boutique chic. You can tell everything has meaning, from the art to the overall design. The rooms are perfct size-clean-staff lovely. Spend time getting to know Diego. He's simply the best. He speaks four different languages, smart, & will make sure you have what you need. Raquel is lovely & efficient. Leo is sweet-in school for hospitality-being trained by great people. The breakfast is great-try the tamarind juice, yummy! You'll feel totally safe. The hotel's under lock & key. They'll supply you w/ towels for beach. Perfect location. Walking distance from everything. Take a cab to Tagonga (don't recommend for full day,worth a visit) Take boat from Tagonga to Playa Grande- really nice/get a massage-for 10 USD it is SO worth it. Book a tour through the company Casa de Isabella works with-the owner of the tour co. Enrique, he's great & will come to the hotel to review details. We booked a day at Tayrona (wish we booked a full day)& visited Minca.Skip Minca & spend full day in Tayrona.Ask for Mauricio to be your guide-great & will be sure to make your day outstanding. He's very professional & in fact used to work at Casa de Isabella. He's Colombian, speaks perfect English. I can't say enough good things.

Room Tip: free wi/fi, you can also rent Ipads
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I really appreciate your feedback on how we are doing and it appears we are doing some things well. Thanks again and I will forward this to the staff.
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374 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
    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 (93)
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English first
Chicago
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

This is a great boutique hotel with delicious breakfast, a relaxing pool, and well decorated rooms. More importantly, the staff made our visit unique by providing local knowledge and a fun atmosphere. Diego, Leo, and Victor were knowledgable and entertaining- thanks again for making our trip to Santa Marta and Parque Tayrona fruitful!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2012
Thank you for the great review. I will forward your positive remarks to the staff. They are so happy when they see their work made a guest's stay better.
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

This place was awesome. Staff was great (Leo, Victor, Diego in particular). Everyone made sure you were comfortable and gave great tips on what to do around Santa Marta. The amenities were outstanding. I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: If possible, get the top floor rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, December 14, 2011
Thanks for the review and I have passed yourr comments on to Victor , Leonardo and Diego. They are really working hard.
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

From the moment we arrived at Casa de Isabella, we were taken in by its charm. It's a beautiful boutique hotel tucked on a side street in central Santa Marta, just moments from the water. Looks aside, it was the kindness of the staff that puts this establishment over the top (and thanks to Victor for speaking English with us when needed!!)

It has a bed and breakfast, intimate feel, and we quickly befriended the warm and welcoming staff. They gave great recommendations, directions, and assistance throughout our stay. On one night we were exhausted and couldn't go out for dinner, so they went so far as to order FOR us from local restaurants and help us set up a girls' night in! (shame on us for staying in while on vacation, but that's a separate story)

Fun fact: The breakfast alone is worth the stay here- the Colombian breakfast was the best we had our entire vacation. A couple of days after we left the hotel, we called and asked if we'd be welcome back for breakfast on our way through town!

Room Tip: if you can get the jacuzzi suite upstairs, you won't regret it- the view is incredible!
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, November 30, 2011
Thank you for your king review and I will forward to the staff. They are working hard. Yes the suites upstairs have been recommended so much we have had to turn down many requests. Casa de Leda will open in 12 months and we have noted the popularity of Isabella's upstair suites in Leda's design.
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Florida City, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2011

I have read the reviews and they convinced me, I like to discoverunique places, with character and personality, on our trip to Colombia we have discovered really wonderful places and decided to visit in Santa Marta in a beach and relax plan. This is quite nice hotel but I expected more. The water for some reason did not come out hot, the staff was friendly but did not speak very good English.The breakfast is pretty good. The room was not very large and the decoration was ok but missed a little bit of charme.The best, the inside tree, the worst the surrounding houses

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, November 20, 2011
I see your review and believe it is valid. First I would like to address the water which was a problem in the last week. We have the most expensive water heaters on market yet the sensors were not correctly functioning. We also do not advertise but we even purify all water on sie at hotel at great cost. We have been fighting with the manufacturer for 2 weeks as the sensors turn off after two minutes. They have promised that this would be corrected this week and I apologize and it is duly noted as an ongoing process which we will correct this week.

With regard to the staff we have spent great amounts of time making sure an english speaking person is always on staff 24 hours a day. This is a difficult proposition as we now have 8 employees for 10 rooms and normal is 5 per 10. We spend a great deal extra to on this to assure english speaking people at all times in hotel. We have spent 100s of hours training and even offer free classes for staff. We feel we have better coverage than any other hotel in Santa Marta or even Colombia as staff to guest ratio.

Decorations are my responsibility. I combed world and imported or renovated every piece in hotel. I am sure taste is different for each person, However expense was not spared and we feel we have offered authentic pieces from everywhere. These are not simply purchased to look as they are authentic but rather purchased and imported paying all the 28% import taxes. Other hotels like to say they have international pieces yet we have actually done so.

Lastly we are the best location in El Centro. I personally spent a year trying to determine the best possible location and paid more just to have the location I have. Of course Santa Marta may not be the perfect spot yet but our location is the best one can ask for in Santa Marta.

I hope we can better serve you in the future and hope that you will personally email me when you want to return. I have spent years traveling the world and this hotel is not about profit but rather about making a guest feel they have received the best value. We offer free international calling and 100s of movies on demand. We are not perfect but strive to be perfect. Thank you for your review.
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Quito, Ecuador
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

This is an amazing getaway in a nice historic town with fabulous restaurants. Casa de Isabella is a small boutique historic hotel with excellent amenities and great service. Our room and the hotel were modern and had everything that we needed. The roof terrace and pool were very private and relaxing. It was a perfect place to have a read and a soak. The staff was excellent and solved any problems that we had. We hope to return someday for another relaxing vacation. The centro historical district of Santa Marta had a great variety of small restaurants and nightlife and was a wonderful alternative to an all-inclusive vacation.

Room Tip: Room nine would be an excellent choice.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, November 16, 2011
Thanks for the review and it was great meeting you during your stay. I hope that you can return soon. We also have a new tour as a result of your feedback which we are very excited.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

On arriving at Casa de Isabella we were greeted with a refreshing tamarind juice from their own tree in the garden. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, also there is always someone who speaks good English, a welcome break if you're trying to get by in pigeon Spanish like ourselves. Our room on the ground floor was clean with a large comfortable bed and good bathroom. Breakfast was wonderful, set outside on the first floor terrace with a large variety of things to choose from. The hotel seems very secure, as the front door is locked at all times. There are two small pools although access to the rooftop pool seems to be limited to the top floor rooms. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian_sutcliffe, Owner at Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel, responded to this review, November 15, 2011
Thanks for the review! Yes the top pools are private terraces for the two suites. Thus they have private staircases directly from room. Thank you for giving us a chance to make your vacation comfortable!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel

Address: Carrera 2 N. 19-20 | Centro, Santa Marta, Colombia (Formerly Casa de Isabella Hotel Boutique)
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 59 Hotels in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa de Isabella - a Kali Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de Isabella pays homage to the charm and history of Santa Marta's colonial era while ushering in a future rich in culture and beauty. Founded in 1525, Santa Marta is Colombia's oldest city. Its natural port provided a refuge from long journeys on Spanish galleons, and its position on the north coast allowed explorers to use it as a base camp for trips to the interior. Casa de Isabella sits in the Centro Historico, the Old City of Santa Marta. This area, first developed after the Manzanares river receded in 1850, holds buildings that reflect traditional Mudejar architecture. The building's original owners inhabited the house for four generations and contributed significantly to the city's growth in the 19th and 20th centuries. In renovating the hotel for the modern era, we consistently chose classic style, maintaining the original integrity of the building and its surrounding neighborhood. Our guests feel the simplicity of Santa Marta's natural charm while enjoying modern comforts. From the greenery of the courtyard to the intimacy of a personal rooftop pool, Casa de Isabella fuses the tranquility of Colombian culture with top quality hotel conveniences. With lighting fast Wi-Fi, complimentary I-Pads, and Apple TV, as well as restored furniture and handmade adornments, this hotel stays anchored in tradition while looking ahead toward a bright future. We have proudly renovated the most beautiful boutique hotel in the Colombian Caribbean. ... more   less 
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