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“Beautiful small hotel” 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)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Free Airport Pickup!
Ranked #1 of 54 hotels in Santa Marta
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful small hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

Stayed at Casa de Isabella overnight on the way from Cartagena to the truly amazing Tayrona National Park.

It's a beautifully renovated small hotel with 10 or so rooms built around a central courtyard, with some (suite) rooms having good views across the town. Small pool, reasonable amount of outdoor relaxation areas.

The physical product is great - super fresh and clean, beautifully decorated and furnished, sparkling bathrooms, great bath products, lovely towels and linens.

This hotel has only been open for a few months, and I understand from friends that know Colombia that attracting, training and keeping great staff is a huge challenge. Consequently, at times, service can be ever so slightly below international 5* standards, but more from an 'experience' perspective, and never from an effort or friendliness perspective - they were always trying their hardest, and they were always super friendly and welcoming.

The ownership is totally engaged, and when I gave minor feedback about a small issue, the response was out of this world in terms of their eagerness to compensate for and correct the problem and make apologies.

I would absolutely recommend this place - Colombia is not a place where service standards tend to be very evolved just yet, as it's under-developed from a tourism perspective, however, the ownership of Casa de Isabella lead the way in terms of striving to meet guests' needs.

Also, no issues with gay guests - we were made to feel perfectly welcome and comfortable.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 23, 2012
Thank you for the great review. We look forward to your return.
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290 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (67)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Polish first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

My girlfriend and I spent 4 days at Casa de Isabella in January 2012. Our experience was extremely good. You will certainly enjoy the decoration and amenities of the rooms, which include Apple TV with 100+ movies, iPad and L'Occitane products in the bathroom.
Breakfast is good (try the local option) and the cosy swimming pool is perfect to spend a couple of hours reading a book.
I could really not find any drawbacks worth mentioning. Maybe if you are not a morning person ask for a room at the second floor, as the ones downstairs are close to the kitchen.
But what really makes the difference is the hotel's staff. They were incredibly kind, always available, and genuinely committed to making our stay as comfortable as possible. We travel a lot for work and we have rarely seen such a good quality of service.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 9, 2012
Thanks for the positive review! We are getting it right with most it seems. I know we are not perfect but hopefully the sincerity of our efforts seem to be working. We appreciate so much your review which I will forward to staff as they are what makes us be better.
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012 via mobile

From the moment we were handed ice cold fruit juice after our 6 hour drive from Cartagena, I knew we were home. My friends and I stayed at this perfectly sized, perfectly positioned hotel for four nights and could not have asked for a better experience.

Almost nothing about this hotel is average or standard, everything is above and beyond. Yes there are iPads for every room. Yes the tvs have apple tv. But honestly, if that's what you're going for, stay home because this hotel offers so much more.

Have a seat in the entry room one night and listen to Diego's stories of travel and adventure. Or, spend some time chatting with Leo, who might just offer to let you stay in his aunt's hotel in Aruba (Leo, that's real, I'm coming). Victor, the gentleman tasked with serving meals and ensuring overall happiness is quite the character and will be happy to practice his English with you.

All in all, great time spent at Casa Isabella. I think it's safe to say the owner, Mr. Sutcliffe has found the beautiful hotel he was so adamantly seeking. Happy to have been a guest.

DM

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 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 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, January 9, 2012
Thank you for the review. When I read a review which we did well it makes me smile. Whenever we miss something it makes me lose sleep as we need to get better. Tonight I can sleep well:) Thanks!
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
See more room tips
  • 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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!
See more room tips
  • 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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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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 54 hotels in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa de Isabella, a Kali Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de Isabella is a luxury hotel located one block from the Santa Marta beach. Casa de Isabella hope our guests feel the warmth and history of the colonial architecture in El Centro Histórico of Santa Marta, Colombia. We have taken great strides to offer every possible luxury to our guests. We feel we have renovated the most beautiful boutique hotel in the Colombian Caribbean. ... more   less 
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