I've stayed at the JW in BOG every time I've been in Bogota. In fact, I've spent more time at this hotel than any other in the world, bar none.
The staff and accommodations are second to none. On site security is excellent. There's nothing about the JW that isn't excellent. I can't say enough good things about the property.
BEWARE, however, once you leave the property of any of the major hotels in this area, of which there are many (Hilton, etc) Con games are everywhere. Someone may watch you leave the hotel and direct their associates for the intercept. It happened to me yesterday!
In my case, the person who approached me was a well-dressed, professional bearing gentleman who identified himself as a officer from the Policía Nacional, complete with identification. He was claiming to being conduct immigration spot checks in area. All will seem innocent at first, and in fact he will appear incredibly helpful, and then it will move to how much currency are you carrying, have you purchased jewelry while here, etc. I have been working with the Colombia Policía Nacional now for 5 years and he had me fooled up to a point. And, when on foreign soil, one is very hesitant to disobey the police. It's a near-perfect scam for that reason!
Any hesitancy on your part to comply may result in a sudden appearance of an associate who will play the bad cop in the good cop / bad cop routine. When the bad cop appeared, I challenged them to show ID. The bad cop had none and I demanded to see the good cop's ID again. When he displayed it, I ran my finger over it and felt the raised areas where it had been fabricated. I declared them as 'No Policía' and extricated myself immediately.
Upon reporting the incident to the Policía Nacional, I found that they know who many of the characters are in this area, but their hands are tied. The victims, all foreign visitors, will not follow through with the Colombian judicial system to have them prosecuted. They want to complain, but not do their duty to support the Policía.
So the first step is avoidance. No member of the Policía Nacional will ever approach you in the area regarding immigration or customs issues. They must also carry their badge if out of uniform along with their ID. If approached, demand to see an ID and badge and don't settle for a quick glance. Look at it closely. Ask questions. Demand answers. There is a police station within 2 blocks of the JW and Hilton (Calle 72 & Carrera 7). It is located in the center median of the street making it most prominent. Find out where it is before you go out so you know where it is. Insist on going to the police station if approached. Walk away from the person and toward any business that has a video. Video is plentiful. They do NOT want to be on camera.
If out walking, stop suddenly and turn around. Look for anyone who may be following you to react. Try reversing and walking in the opposite direction from time to time.
They are good. It is how they make their living. Generally, they are not violent, just very good actors. Don't make it easy for them.
And, if it happens to you, and it can, report it to the police and support their efforts. They can't do it alone.
The Policía Nacional in Colombia are some of the most dedicated and hard working police professionals you will find. They are trained to be friendly, helpful, and communicate well with the public. They are your friends here when you are visiting.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- JW Marriott Bogota Hotel is located at the heart of Bogota's financial and entertainment district. Our 5-star luxury hotel's location is ideal, close to corporate offices of major companies, the finest restaurants and bars of Zona G, Zona T, and 93rd St Park. Within our hotel, you will find an array of gastronomic and entertainment options. Get creative at The Market, a casual restaurant where you can choose from a variety of fresh ingredients to build you own pizzas, burgers, salads, and more. Indulge yourself at Tamarine, a chic restaurant that offers Asian fusion cuisine. Enjoy an authentic Japanese gastronomic experience at Nau Sushi Lounge, and try a variety of Sake based cocktails in a trendy and warm ambience. Relax and have fun at Circo, the spotlight where Bogota's upcoming music artists showcase their talents every night. Our hotel features a fully equipped fitness center, an indoor lap pool, an indoor Jacuzzi, a full service Spa with steam rooms, saunas, and six massage rooms. At the executive lounge on the 9th floor guests can have a complimentary breakfast, and in the evenings they can enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. All guest rooms at JW Marriott Bogota feature streaming speed Internet access, soundproof windows, and 300-thread count Egyptian cotton linen sheets to offer maximum comfort. Next time you visit Bogota on business or leisure, stay with us. ... more less
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