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“Realy a great place to relax” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka

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Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   Km 33, 1 Via Riohacha, Los Naranjos, Next to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta, Colombia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 74 Santa Marta B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersSilver level
Halle an der Saale, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Realy a great place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

We stayed here during our colombia trip, the house is renovated now and the owner takes absolute care on perfect service. So you can decide what to eat for dinner and it will be arranged. We stayed there for 4 nights and together with Tayrona NP it is a perfect place to enjoy the Caribic.
What we liked very much: The small house and the familiar atmosphere leads to good conversations among the few guests every evening.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    81
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

This place is not for everyone--just those looking for secluded, comfortable, simple accomodations in a spectacular natural setting with a house designed to take full advantage of its location. The owner has been overhauling it top to bottom beginning in May 2012 so we arrived in late June to new beds, sheets, furniture, towels, new paint, etc. Everything was very clean and fresh. The house is set into a rock face right on the ocean, with the bedrooms open-air lofts suspended over the crashing surf below, a large terrace with hammocks hanging above the beach, and a lawn out the back that overlooks the lagoon made by the river as it flows into the ocean and the high mountains beyond. Meals come with the house and are home-cooking Colombia-style, with fresh fish, plaintains, and other regional specialties like arepas (fried corn cakes with cheese or with eggs). Our family of 4 had the whole house to ourselves and in our three weeks of traveling to Colombia, it was the one place we wished we had stayed longer. Our teenage boys loved playing in the surf, and the fresh water lagoon was perfect for just lounging. We thought we'd go hiking in nearby Tayrona National Park but loved the beach and the house so much that we never left it during our stay. (The puppy Kiwi and the engaging host, Luis Gomez, added to the welcoming atmosphere, and since none of us speak much Spanish, it was especially helpful that Luis spoke English and could tell us anything we wanted to know about the house or Colombia more generally.) There are no luxuries like TV or A/C--but even in the heat of late June, the breeze and fans made it plenty cool and we had no desire for entertainment beyond the place itself. Finca Barlovento is rustic in the sense that everything is open to nature, and for us, that was just what we wanted. My husband and I are in our 50's and have travelled to many amazing places around the world--we can honestly say that Finca Barlovento was among the most memorable. We will definitely go back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Greenwich, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

The big disconnect here was between the price and the accommodation. This could be the world's best hostel or spruced up to become an intriguing hotel, but given the price tag and the dilapidated conditions it is neither. The views were lovely, though hard to believe it's one of the most beautiful spots in Colombia. The service was minimal. It's not at all clear that the sheets were clean and the sleeping arrangement felt amost punitive. Thick toxic smelling paint on the bedroom floor (granted, only a 2' x 2' area) peeled off and attached to skin (I made the mistake of kneeling on it) and luggage. The shelving was wet and grimy. The bathrooms were of hostel caliber. I don't need air conditioning or glitz, I generally prefer natural settings and eco-lodges, but this just feels at best like a place that has seen better days and at worst like a scam.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
lfgomez1, Owner at Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Property remodeled by new owner on July 2012
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

The views are absolutely amazing - both out to sea and back towards the Park. It is fantastic to hear the sea crashing against the shore (but the sea is loud and the constant noise of the waves means that ear plugs can come in useful).

The Finca is the Top Pick in the Lonely Planet. However, for the price charged, the accommodation falls well short. Our 'room' (there is no wall out towards the sea) was tiny. Our double bed was comfortable but it is raised up on a shelf. Beneath that is a single bed. The double has a (rather worn) mosquito net with no zip entrance, so you have to untuck it, wriggle onto the bed and then try and tuck it back in from the inside. Pillows are the thickness of a piece of paper and the sheets are old and have the texture of sandpaper. There are no en-suite facilities - there are two bathrooms between three rooms. Neither have hot running water, just a dribbly cold shower. The rate includes dinner - which was fine, but comprises only one (fairly small) course. Coffee was available but only after a bit of badgering - the staff go home at about 19.15 so are keen to tidy up by then. We ate the same for dinner on third night as we did on the first, so there may be some repetition in the menu. Breakfast is exactly a feast either.

If you want somewhere clean and that feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere with great views and don't mind paying as much per night as a 5* hotel in Bogota for some pretty average accommodation, then this is probably the place for you.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lfgomez1, Owner at Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Cabaña remodeled by new owner on july 2012
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011

When I went to Finca Barlovento with my husband, we were the only guests during the first 2 days and we could enjoy the place four ourselves- the garden, thebeach and the small lagoon between the river and the Sea. And we also visited the Tayrona park from there and the staff called a taxi, which took us in not even 10 minutes to the park entrance where we started the walk to the beaches
Ok, the room might be very basic and simple and there are no windows so you are exposed to the will of the weather, and yes, there is a possibility that you see a ladybird of 4 colours inside your room, but it is definitely clean and the bed is comfortable. It is definitely not a resortand if you expect closed air- conditioned rooms with hot water and spa you will be disappointed. But my husband and I like these natural places a lot and this is for us real ecotourism because the setting between the river and theSea is amazing, you have a great view from any of the points of the beach house and the food is completely fresh from the Sea. Our food was included in the price and we were surprised when they offered us lobster for the first dinner, served with coconut rice and fried sweet bananas and fruit juice. And the staff is kind and attentive althugh they don^t speak any spanish nor german...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Madison, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2011

The information you can find online about Finca Barlovento is limited. The photos on their own website focus on the natural surroundings and not the accommodations. I can see why, and can attest to the fact that the scenery is almost beyond imagination. Looking in one direction, the Colombia of your dreams,— mountains layer up toward the sky with seemingly untouched jungle flanking a twisting riverbed at their base. In another direction, impressive ocean vistas with a beach of rock formations that appear impossibly carved and balanced. The river and ocean meet at the property. It's truly beautiful.

But the dream stops there. Finca Barlovento is vastly overpriced and offers little in creature comforts.

We booked the one and only apartment offered through Las Pleyades Travel Agency (aka: Santa Marta-hotels-tours.travel) and paid $204 US per night, meals included. When we arrived, we presented our email reservation to a rather brusk woman and then followed her, struggling with our bags, up a long, narrow series of stairs (no one offered to help with the luggage). This brought us not to the apartment, but to a third floor open-air balcony overlooking the ocean, just big enough to accommodate bunk beds. The room came with a shared bathroom, which we didn't look at. We refused the accommodation and insisted on the apartment, which we'd paid extra for. There was a lot of confusion over this for some reason. It seemed no one at the finca was aware of our reservation. This should have been cleared up easily with a phone call to the travel agency but took longer than necessary to rectify. Later we talked with the couple who ended up in the balcony room (approx. $170 US per night, I believe) and learned they had the same confusion over their reservation. Additionally, they told us the shared bathroom was disgusting even after they complained and insisted it be cleaned.

The "apartment," which we eventually procured, is one large room with a loft that's unusable because it's filled with a disheveled array of personal belongings—someone obviously lives there at least part time. On the main floor, a bed sits a few inches above the floor, the linens on it were scratchy and uncomfortable. The only other furniture in the room is a rocker and a cheap outdoor-type plastic table with a single plastic chair. There are no night stands, no reading lamps. Opposite the bed is a counter with sink and mini-bar-style refrigerator, but no cooking facilities. I'm not sure how this can be classified an apartment. The bathroom, a few steps down is nicely tiled, but to enter you have to duck under a support beam, and my husband hit his head consistently. There's a sink in the bathroom but no counter and no mirror anywhere in the apartment for grooming. Mini blinds on the windows were rather sad looking, but worked for the most part.

The views from both the main living area and the bathroom are beautiful, but the windows don't open and the air conditioning unit was nonfunctional. A fan in the room was filthy but provided some much needed air movement.

Late into the night, someone was burning something directly below the apartment and we awoke to acrid smoke wafting into the room and when we looked out, sizable flames seemed too near a brush-line to be safe. In fairness, we don't know whether the fire was set by someone associated with Finca Barlovento but the next day we saw remnants of burned refuse.

One of the woman working at the finca tried to be as helpful as possible (our Spanish is very poor and they speak no English) and we had no complaints with the food we were served, yet we felt like Finca Barlovento got away with charging outrageous prices for subpar accommodations based solely on its location close to Tayrona Park. Pay the extra and stay at Eco Habs if you can.

Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lfgomez1, Owner at Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Cabaña remodeled by owner on july 2012
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 Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka

Address: Km 33, 1 Via Riohacha, Los Naranjos, Next to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 74 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cabaña is a cabin hanging on a cliff over the beach and ocean. It has been featured in documentaries, tv and magazines such as Maison Marie Claire french eddition.Maloka, recently build, has lovely views to the river and sea or the jungle. The rooms are spacious and with a private bathroom. ... more   less 
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