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“Very friendly.” 4 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 52 Hotels in Santa Marta
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Very friendly.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

We stayed in one of the suites. It was great to have the space. I loved the view too. The breakfast was great and the amenities were beautiful. However, the best part of this hotel were the two young men who worked the desk. I think they both just started working there, but they were incredibly friendly and so helpful. They made us feel welcome. They also helped us arrange a cab (who was also friendly and professional) to take us to Tyrona. This was great because we had a reliable transport and didn't have to travel with a huge organized tour. My partner and I were happy to have stayed here. Only one thing...be mindful of the tax. At the airport they won't give you back tax on hotels and it seems like the hotel charged us.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, February 1, 2012
First I would like to thank you for the great review and I will pass the kind words on to the staff about their attention given.

I am not understanding of the tax situation. Most hotels in Colombian charge an IVA hotel tax of 10% foreigner or not foreigner. However after extensive review with our accountant prior to opening we know we can exempt foreigners out of this tax as we offer a package. We take GREAT strides to make sure no foreigners pay this tax and I personally review. If you can contact us directly I will personally look at the bill and make sure it was not charged. We file a daily report with DIAN (Taxing authority in Colombia) about foreigners. We then make sure no foreigners are taxed based on our report.

Most hotels find it simpler to just tax everyone but we chose to try to save the tax for our guests at a cost to us in filing these records. Most hotels will say to recoup tax at airport rather than just exempt which we do with proper records. Simpler for our guests as we want our guests to not have to handle such issues.

So please contact us and I can review bill personally with you and if there was an error I will make sure it is refunded to you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (81)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 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
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 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.
Report response as inappropriate
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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 52 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 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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