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“OK but feels a bit like YHA or HI Minca”
Review of Casa Loma Minca

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Casa Loma Minca
Ranked #1 of 14 Minca B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“OK but feels a bit like YHA or HI Minca”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

I'm guessing that most people go to Minca to get a bit of peace and solitude which is difficult to find at Casa Loma. The hostel itself is kinda cute looking and rustic with a nice view looking over the forest and toward Santa Marta. It is however, kinda small and therefore quite intimate which is kinda weird considering that you're surrounded by miles and miles of gorgeous forest.
The hostel seems to attract a youngish backpacker crowd and serves up breakfast, dinner, slightly over priced beers, hammocks, chairs, there are a few board games and music is played all day which makes it feel like you're in a rustic version of YHA or HI.
I stayed in the dorm which is small and basic and costs 20,000 pesos which is about 11 dollars per person. From what I can remember the one bathroom was functioning but could've done with a clean up.
The owner, Jay, was very helpful and knowledgeable about Minca and Colombia and in general the hostel was run reasonably well. However, overall it didn't appeal to me because it just felt a bit too intimate for my liking and I wasn't able to find any peace or solitude here. I also think it's slightly overpriced considering how simple and basic the place is.

Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank mister_dal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

We stayed 2 nights after reading the very positive reviews below.

The staff was very friendly and helpful with providing information.

The views are pretty nice from the hostel but thats it...

In general the whole place is overpriced.

The 'el mirador', 'el centro', 'castillo' and 'the den' are connected to the main building which means you hear everything. From kitchen sounds, chatting people and the playing music from the staff.

We stayed in 'the den' which is next to the kitchen (10 centimer from our bed) and close to the common area and speakers. The first night, the music was playing till 23.00 and people stayed up till 24.00 talking. In the morning the staff started preparing breakfast at 6.30, which wakes you up inmediately.

The second night there was luckely no music and the people chatting were sitting a bit further away. Unfortenately, one of the staff members put the laundry machine on at 7.30 next to our room in the morning.

So if you like a quiet peaceful stay DO NOT go here. Furthermore, our bed sheets had blood stains including the musquito net. Why not wash them or throw them away? The bathroom is shared with 20 people and should be cleaned more often. Instead, the staff is drinking rum every night, and cleaning the bottles in the morning in order to wake up the guests.

Advice; act more western and remember that you have guest which are paying (a lot of) money to stay in your basic accomodation.

In the end the stay was ok, but 1 night is more than enough. The best option is the tree house in my opinion, since it is the furthest away from the main building.

Room Tip: Take the tree house, its the most quiet room
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Max_NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Before leaving the Colombian Caribbean coast for good on my travels I decided to make my way to Minca, and I was not disappointed. Up the hill with possible the best vantage point in Colombia is the Casa Loma. Simple and clean rooms make way for an accommodating and friendly place to stay. You can camp there too but I preferred to take a room and enjoy the spectacular views.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank R N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Minca and Casa Loma are a paradise. Just outside Santa Marta and away from the heat. There are beautiful waterfalls where you can easily chill for a whole day. I loved Casa Lomo's food and its staff.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank hemyhel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

We stayed one night at Casa Loma Minca. Unfortunately we arrived at night which meant we climbed the very wet muddy steep hill to the hostel in the dark. There are two ways up to the entrance to the hostel, we took the signed directed route which took us around the side of the steep hill in the dark, being unknown territory in night time it felt like we were going to fall off
the edge of the hill with our heavy packs! Or never get there! Of course we arrived safely but take the other route up, and arrive in the day if with your packs as it's much easier! The place itself is very much a hostel, very basic, bathroom not very clean, shower is freezing cold (of course we had cold showers all along the coast of Colombia but the water is more lukewarm plus it's much hotter, here it is very cool, esp at night), it's a young crowd and when we were there we were kept awake with ppl talking and listening to music. It seemed like a home away from home for ppl there no feeling of Colombia at all. I think I would have preferred to stay in town so you can go out to restaurants, the discoteca, cafes
etc there - the view up at Casa Loma is good but not really worth it with all you have in town and if you want a more local feel. It was also hard to get a taxi from Santa Marta to the town in Minca. Most taxis did not want to take us as they said the road is bad (it is) or too far etc
and the couple of taxis who would take us quoted expensive prices, in the end which we paid. In Minca there are a few nature spots to visit, we went to an ok waterfall and there are
supposed to be alot of birds everywhere but I guess we went out too late as we saw none on our long walk to the waterfall or around Minca. Unfortunately it rained the afternoon before we left heavily, we waited for it to clear for a long time but nothing. We were then told by the owner that we should get down to the town before 4.30pm because it's harder to get taxis back into town. That information would have been useful when we arrived on first thing that day - we went down immediately and after a wait in town managed to share a taxi with some other ppl from town to Santa Marta. It's pretty expensive to get to/from Minca and the drive each way takes quite a while and as we only stayed one night wasn't really worth the time. There are much more beautiful places in Colombia where you can still find tranquility so if you have the time explore further but if you don't and have to stop in Minca it may be worth spending 2 nights as the journey time and cost isn't worth it.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mioymia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stephanie c, Owner at Casa Loma Minca, responded to this review, June 4, 2012
Thanks for writing about your stay in November 2011.

Good news! We now have a new concrete and stone path all the way up to the entrance of casa loma. This makes climbing up the hill to casa loma a whole lot easier. However, if you are arriving at night it is still best to bring a torch.

We have recently written a new web site to give out more information in advance to our customers. www.casalomaminca.com

Plus, we have produced a full Minca / Casa Loma information pack which we have been using from December 2011 and they are given to guests as part of our check in procedure.

Part of our attraction, offering and environment is that we are set away from the town up in the forest offering complete tranquility and no neighbours / shops or roads with an amzing view. If you want to be near the resturants and biliard bar (there is no discoteca in Minca!) it may be best to stay in town, although we are within 10 mins walk.

Minca is a paradise and the view from Casa Loma spectacular!! There are a number of waterfalls, swimming holes, bathing spots in the river, tropical birds galore - for example we regularly see toucans and hummingbirds from our house! At the same time you will see the sea, the forest, the mountains plus the city and town all at the same and is truly unique.

Taxi services have now improved and it is possible to get a taxi at anytime if you arrange it in advance and pay the full fare (25.000 for the car). However, shared cheap taxis (6000 per person) are available up to around 5.30pm most of the year,. November is high rainy season and so the road is a bit more difficult to pass in this month.

Hopefully, you can see that we have already made lots of progress since your stay.

Thanks for coming to Casa Loma Minca.
Jay / Steph
Owners
Casa Loma Minca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Leaving the bustle of Santa Marta behind and the backpacker haunt of Taganga I decided to head off to the lesser known Minca. This was the right thing to do. After a short 45 minute drive up into the Sierra Nevada I reached the charming town of Minca. A river flows through the middle where you can bathe, kick back and switch off.

But, let me talk about the Casa Loma. Perched on the top of a hill that offers not only views of the lush vegetation of the Sierra Nevada, of the town and also way out over the bright lights of Santa Marta and the ocean this is the place to come to unwind and spend a few days.

My room was on the second floor with views over the valley. The weather was amazing allowing for some impressive photo opportunities. I almost wish there had been a storm to see the lightning in the valley below!

Jay and Steph have created the type of place I dream about when I am stuck at my desk and yearning for a tropical escape. They are accommodating and incredibly friendly hosts offering all sorts of advice on what do and where to go and most importantly how to achieve this. Breakfasts and meals are a communal affair in an open plan social area surrounded at the edges by a verdant and exotic garden.

Their rustic wood cabin on the hill is their home and this is reflected in the care, love and attention that they have invested here. Come to the Casa Loma and feel like one of the family.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LCAMompos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Casa Loma is a little slice of heaven. Sitting above the clouds and the lush jungle canopy at sunset is an experience not to be missed. It is a perfect place to relax, enjoy wonderful company, and get 'away from it all'. Thank you for providing this place for people to see the beauty of Minca from a perspective that is beyond spectacular.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lisanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Loma Minca

Property: Casa Loma Minca
Address: Minca Hill, Minca 470008, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Minca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Minca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Loma is a beautiful wooden hilltop house that offers one of the most amazing views from any hostel in Colombia, particularly at sunset!Situated above the town, you’ll overlook Minca, Santa Marta, the sea, plus the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and forest all at the same time—truly unique!Surrounded by tropical gardens and indigenous stones and paths, we offer complete tranquillity with no roads, cars, shops or neighbours; coupled with great food including our famous curry nights! ... more   less 
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