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“avoid norte tower” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Tamaca Beach Resort

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Hotel Tamaca Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Cra 2 #11A - 98, El Rodadero, Santa Marta 57, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 52 Hotels in Santa Marta
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“avoid norte tower”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

we have just left tamaca beach which we booked through venere.com. at a price of almost £100 per night i exoected this to be the best hotel we will stay in on this holiday. i was wrong! we were taken across the road to tower norte which resembeled a buikding site! wires hanging down everywhere and lots of noise. our room was plain and basic and not the cleanest. our balcony doordid not lock either. we were on the 4th floor and could hear the banging on the groumd floor from there. the main hotel was nice and the staff made a real effort with us and were very helpful but the swimming pool water was quite dirty even after someone spent a couple of hours cleaning it! i would not reccomend using the airport transfer service either as they charged us 50k Cop for this and we later found out a taxi is only 17k. i personally would not stay there again and feel pretty ripped off to be honest!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    39
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    31
    14
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bogota, Colombia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Good hotel to stay when passing through Santa Marta and wanting to stay at Rodadero's busy beach with its Miami-esque buildings and 24/7 party atmosphere. The Tamaca is very retro, but good location near the airport. Would rather stay there than at the mega-resorts of Zuana and Irotama. Must improve breakfast quality!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Chicago
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

The Hotel Tamacá has it downsides, but if you're going to stay in Santa Marta it is worth a look. The hotel is located in El Rodadero a suburb of Santa Marta. Rodadero is a tourist area (Colombian Tourists) so there are plenty of good (some great) restaurants within walking distance.

Although I can't disagree with some of the postings here that the food can be poor and the rooms need updating, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

The staff is wonderful, they constantly go out of their way to take care of you. They quickly remember your likes and dislikes and try hard to personalize your service.

The food is hit or miss. Breakfast is always good with an excellent selection from the buffet of local favorites, plus 3 fresh juices, fresh fruit, 8 or 9 choices of breads and an omelet station. I had lunch in the hotel once it was churrasco (barbecue) and everything was fantastic (one of the top 3 meals I had on my trip) One dinner I had dorado (Mahi-Mahi) although it had good favor it was the toughest piece of fish I have ever eaten. Overall I would suggest not purchasing the inclusive and just get the breakfast plan. El Rodadero has some fantastic restaurants and it would be a shame to miss them.

The room was clean and the bed was comfortable. The room was dated and does need some updating. The only available outlet was next to the bed I travel with 4 plug surge protector and it saved me. If you're going to work on your computer be prepared to move from the desk to the bed when the battery gets low. The bathroom was in serious need of repair, again it was clean, but needed a ton of work. That being said, I complained about the shower and they sent someone up to fix it within a half hour.

I have nothing but positive things to say about the grounds. They are very secure, clean, comfortable and attractive. The pool is not huge, but it was clean and they have a lot of chairs both in and out of the water. They offer a couple of cabanas and a shaded area with a mister to get out of the heat. Santa Marta is a very safe area and the hotel provides 24 hour security and is fenced off from the public beach. They have a gate from the pool area to the beach for guests only (electronic lock with a bell).

The beach is a public beach. It serves the most wealthy and the poorest of the area. The beach itself is reasonably nice, the water is a bit dark due to coal dust in the water. The view is spectacular. If you are looking for a beach vacation, I'd say look someplace else.

One warning to non Spanish speakers. There are not a lot of English speaking people in the hotel or the community. I suggest you have at least a basic grasp of Spanish. My Spanish is terrible, but I was able to tell the taxi drivers where I wanted to go, find ATM's and purchase items in shops. Prices in El Rodadero are a bit higher than Santa Marta, but still very good. Cash is king, so make sure you know where the ATM machines are located. Most of the nicer restaurants take American credit cars, but not all.

If you are planning a stay in Santa Marta I really don't think you can do better than the Hotel Tamacá given it's location, grounds and security. Make sure you book at the Beach Hotel, not Hotel Tamacá North.

One last thing, if you're there between December and March the winds are incredible. If you're a light sleeper bring ear plugs, between the wind and the windows rattling, it can be difficult to sleep.

Room Tip: The rooms on the 6th floor are smaller and have smaller windows that rattle more in the wind. Try t...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

The staff at Tamaca Beach resort were very friendly and accommodating. However, for the price (food and drinks as well) it could have been better. Overall we had a very nice time and the location here is great. Right on the beach with convenient access to shops and restaurants down the way within walking distance. The hotel has an open air lobby and bar and the night bar tender took good care of us. However, I would recommend drinking the beer (Colombia or Aguilla?) local beers. The mixed drinks were not very good and the food was terrible. Probably the worst breakfast I have ever eaten, but we were there for work and had limited time and options in the mornings for food. We also ate lunch at Tamaca during our stay which was also pretty bad. You can get out on the streets for cheaper, and much better/tastier food selections. The rooms were average, but great views from each room. Make sure if you are booking here you realize that this area (El Rodadero) is not actually the downtown of Santa Marta. That is a 10 min cab ride from the hotel into the town and the resort always had cabs on hand. Also make sure you book the beach side resort as Tamaca has two locations. One is inland and the other is the beach front. Overall, considering, we had a nice time. I would recommend this hotel if you want to stay in El Rodadero as some of the others there did not appear to be any better. We did feel safe the entire trip. Don't have the highest of expectations, but I believe you will enjoy your stay. Get out on the street and eat!!

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean. The rooms that end in the smaller numbers are on the right side of the hot...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

Being practically a 'local' choosing this one was really a big mistake. The rooms are clean and well appointed although not luxurious. The pillows are so big you could sleep whilst sitting. Definitely not a place for relaxation. My friends and I wanted to sleep and hang out in the room but couldn't watch television or even talk to each other because there is recreational situation for adults at the beach that blurts out reguetton and champeta at a deafening volume. The food is absolutely disgusting, which is a disgrace in a country where food is pretty good, specially in the coast. If you are coming to Colombia to see beautiful people then definitely do not stay at this place. I didn't try the pool or the beach, I was too afraid of the maddening crowds!

They had fantastic wi-fi service though, I need to give them credit for that.

I would definitely recommend eating at Donde Chucho every day and avoid hotel fare.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
ruzi15
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2011

I stayed at Hotel Tamaca with my wife on our honeymoon in Colombia in mid-September. Overall, the stay was pleasant but there are some serious drawbacks about the hotel that anyone considering it should know about. A breakdown:

Rooms: clean but spartan. For upwards of $150 per night during low season, we were expecting a bit more. There's a flat-screen TV but that's about it with regard to luxury. The light switches turned off all the outlets so we couldn't charge our phones overnight (and we kept the second room keycard in the slot that controls the electricity), the shower door couldn't close all the way because of the unevenness of the floor, and the beds were not very comfortable. The front door did not extend all the way to the floor so you could hear cabs, birds, people, etc. outside the hotel as if there was no door at all (the hallways are open-air).

Grounds: the main areas, including the pool, bar, and restaurant were clean and nice enough. The pool in particular was very nice so we spent a lot of time there. The hotel also has a private beach, which is ok though the best beaches in the area that we saw were in Parque Tayrona (much clearer water and softer sand).

Food & Drink: don't bother eating here. Most everything we ate was mediocre to bad, and there are lots of decent to good places to eat in Rodadero within a 10 minute walk. Drinks were good though, including the pina colada, margarita, and of course michelada-style beer.

Location: pretty good. Again, you're literally right on the water and will get lots of sun so if that's the focus then this is a fine place to stay. Rodadero isn't exactly teeming with restaurants, bars, and cafes during low season, but there are certainly enough to satisfy a stay of a few days. Anyone staying here should take the 15 minute cab ride to downtown Santa Marta for better eating options.

Service: Ok. You won't hear a word of English here, so you have to able to get by on Spanish. The porters were more friendly than the receptionists and food staff, but were mostly helpful in calling cabs and helping us set up our Tayrona tour.

Overall: I give it a 2 because that which made our stay enjoyable was largely a function of the pool and good weather, not the hotel or room itself. Anyone looking to stay in El Rodadero or Santa Marta would be best advised to consider other options before picking Tamaca.

Room Tip: Stay in Torre Playa (Beach Tower) to have a sea-view room and be right on the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Flinton, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

We are just back from a three day weekend at the Tamaca. I was worried about the construction noise from previous Trip Advisor posts. True the 5th floor is under major construction, but we did not hear any construction noise over the weekend. Maybe during the week, it is different. I would definitely go back to this hotel. Staff is very friendly and helpful.

Though, unless someone in your party speaks Spanish, I do not recommend this hotel. No one speaks English. It is a small hotel with beautiful outdoor space. There is a beautiful fountain installation and lovely outdoor dining. The pool is not crowded with room to put your chairs in the water on a shelf made for such things. The hotel is beach front and all rooms have a sea-facing view. Some rooms only have windows and not balconies.

If you have not traveled to Colombia, one thing you should know is that Colombians like their music and they like it loud. There may be some noise from the beach that filters in – be prepared. I am surprised this is not a nation of deaf people. Inside the rooms, the AC unit is quiet and functions very well.

If you want to snorkel, ask for Frank Martinez at the front door. He is a taxi driver with great skills and a good knowledge of the out of way beaches (though he does not speak English). He took us to Playa del Muerto in the Tayrona National Park (it requires a short (5 min) boat ride). It is some of the best off the beach snorkeling I’ve ever experienced. The coral is fabulous and in good shape. .. likewise with the fish population. A real find!

Room Tip: If you want a balcony, be sure to ask for one
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Tamaca Beach Resort

Address: Cra 2 #11A - 98, El Rodadero, Santa Marta 57, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Marta
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Tamaca Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 81
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Tamaca Beach Santa Marta

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