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“Beautiful setting in lively Getsemani”

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Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #7 of 159 Cartagena B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting in lively Getsemani”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Casa Relax for three nights over the Xmas period and had a lovely time.

What we like the most about the place was the service, breakfast and the common areas (swimming pool, hammocks and outdoor seating).

The rooms were a little basic but have air con and a tv. We didn't use much of the tv but the air con was an essential feature, as Cartagena gets very hot and humid. We would have liked to have a ceiling fan as well, but I guess for the price you pay you can only expect so much. Bear in mind that there is only a plastic curtain separating the bedroom from the toilet/shower area and only cold showers (although I can't imagine anyone wanting a hot shower!).

In terms of the service, we couldn't fault them. Whether it is the security guy or the breakfast/cleaning ladies, they are all very friendly and willing to help. The only thing, which is typical of a country new to tourism, you have to speak a little Spanish to get by. I can understand the frustration of some of the people posting reviews here regarding the lack of English speakers, but we found it to be the same almost everywhere in Colombia. Unless you go to a 5 star resort, that is!

For breakfast, there are two options. Eggs or french pancakes. Both are nice and come with fresh fruits, fresh juice, toast and tea/coffee. All of which we enjoyed and experienced none of the issues mentioned by other travellers.

The building is set around an atrium with a fairly large swimming pool, with an outdoor showe, hammocks, long chairs, tables, etc. This is my second stay in Cartagena and I would definitely recommend a swimming pool as it gets really hot a humid. We also enjoyed staying in the common area in the evening, reading and catching up on emails. Make sure you use plenty of moquito repellent, which is valid for the whole city.

Finally, I am not sure why some travellers felt unsafe in and around Getsemani? There are policemen in almost every block (reported 2,000 in the city) making sure the place is safe. We felt very safe walking around during the day and in the evening. The hotel is only about 15 minutes walk to the centre (Plaza De La Aduana).

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ZakLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    29
    11
    9
See reviews for
38
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

Stayed here during the end of December because it was one of the last options in Cartagena that was not fully booked. As such, it was a decent place to stay, however I felt I paid way too much for what I got. Other reviewers have said it; the pool is good, the Colombian staff pretty friendly but the French owner is not very pleasant and the rooms are pretty basic - cold water shower only.
Next time in Cartagena I'd go somewhere else.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jetpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2011

We initially had a cheaper (80 Colombian pesos rather than 140) room upstairs above the reception area. It was up a narrow winding staircase with ensuite bathroom with a hand held shower that had no tap. I got given a spanner from reception to operate the shower! The aircon was old and struggling and the loft room was fine but did get a bit hot and was noisy in the mornings when people were having breakfast. We treated ourselves and upgraded to a room at the pool with a tv and great aircon for our last night. Rooms are basic and clean.  It's a bit expensive for long term travellers but the pool and hammocks are well worth it in the heat. The cold showers were also not a problem. Breakfast is included and you can use the kitchen. Coffee was a available for free most of the day. The supermarket is a bit of a walk but there is a big fridge available. None of the staff speak any English. Wifi is good. There is good street food and restaurants just down the street at the Church. More of a hotel than a hostel so not everyone is chatty but we enjoyed our stay and did meet many French people as it's French owned!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geronimoturtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest
Level Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2011

We stayed in Casa Relax for 3 nights during October 2011.

Service was good. The ladies supporting us were kind and helpfull.

Sleep quality was regular. In the first two nights we could sleep but on the last one there was a big party just outside the hotel, with fireworks, and we could not sleep before going to the airport at 04:30 AM.

Cleanliness was good. The hotel is simply but is kept tidy, as well for the rooms.

Location is regular. The hotel is located at Getsemani, close the old city walls, which is a plus (the best location is inside the city walls). Some places we had to pass in Getsemani to go to the hotel were rough, and frequently we heard the locals saying "gringos" against our back, which is a local pejorative way to say foreigners. Nothing happened to us, but I cannot say we felt safe nevertheless.

Our room was bad. There was no door to split the room to the shower and toilet, just a curtain as a divider. The shower was cold water, no heater at all to warm the water. The only plus was that the room had an air con, which is a pre-requisite in warm Cartagena. We did not complain about mozzies though, even though it rained a lot and we were just next to the swimming pool.

The worst part of the trip, and the final reason for rating the hotel as terrible, was the payment part. In their website it is written they accept credit cards. I had to pay them 420 pesos (around 210 dollars) for the three nights. When I went with my credit cards on hands to pay the nights I was told the credit card machine was broken, so I had to pay with money. I did not have 200 bucks on my wallet, and it was already 21:00, so it was not that safe to go out and withdraw money. I told the hotel about this problem and initially they did not care.
After 30 minutes, I went over and asked if we could try to use the credit card machine. I put the credit card and when I was about to charge the amount the clerk cancelled the operation. Then he called somebody to ask if I could pay with credit card. After he returned, got my card, and the machine had an error. He said the machine was not working, but I saw that he did not operate the machine properly. I asked then to use the machine on my own and was finally able to pay with the credit card.

Needless to say, I got very frustrated with this and told the clerk about my disappointment. He said he was sorry, but that he was only following orders from the management. If that's the case, then my biggest contribution with this review is: Do not stay at this hotel unless you really do not have other options. The management of the hotel only care about money, not about your well being. In the same region of this hotel you can find arsenal hotel and casa canabal hotel, much superior on structure and guest respect, and costing only 60k pesos more.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Helviolc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2011

We stayed in three different hotels in Cartagena and we were so glad we ended our trip here. The setting is truly relaxing. Great pool and hammocks to hangout in after a long day of walking. The rooms are basic but the air conditioning was great. The shower was cold but in Cartagena that isn't always a bad thing! It's only 10 minutes wLking to the centro and a great price!

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cjrobins1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Casa Relax for 3 days. We stayed for 2 nights, went to an island, and upon return, stayed for one additional night. We had arranged for all of this beforehand via email with the owner. When we arrived, we reminded the staff about the 2 night, then break, then one night arrangement... they said that they had made a mistake and only had some cheaper rooms available for the third night. I said that was fine. They wrote on a piece of paper that the third night would cost 80,000 Colombian pesos because it was a different room, but did not show me the room. They just told me it was upstairs. When we returned, we were just staying the night before heading to the airport so we had only the enough cash to pay for the last night and the cab. When we went to pay as we were checking out, they said that in fact the room was 140,000 COP. I argued and said that I had specifically been told it was 80,000 and that I didn't have enough cash to pay the 140,000. They said that only certain upstairs rooms are 80,000 and I wasn't in one of them.... how I was supposed to know that I don't know. In the end, they accepted USD for the balance (at a bad exchange rate). Also, when we paid a deposit, we paid in Euros, and that was also at a bad exchange rate given the current one when they went to calculate how many pesos we owed when we arrived.

Finally, the hotel is not that nice anyway. The rooms are ok.. ours had mosquitos, and the people next to us said their shower didn't work. The lights in our bathroom didn't turn on. As for breakfast, you have to be sitting at a table with 10 chairs in order to receive food. If there is not room at the table, you cannot eat. You have to wait until someone decides to leave the table so that you can be served some crepes that they just warm up in a microwave. Also, the internet doesn't work unless you are in a room that is close to the router. The bird that they have on the website starts SCREAMING at around 6am and does not stop until I don't even know when, so don't expect to get to relax and sleep in at casa relax. The people whose shower didn't work ended up changing to a different hotel, which they said was the same price and much nicer. Just because this is one of the first hits that turns up when you search for hotels in cartagena, do not take it!! It was awful!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JJnKL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2011

I stumbled upon casa relax by pure concidence, a freind whom I met on the road recommended we stay there so I just tagged along. Once we rang the door bell I felt like I was in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez'es book, as some one opend a tiny window that was carved into the big door, to see what we wanted. They invited us in and I was sold, you could see the large pool and man it was hot. Yes the owner Michelle was ther but he was very friendly.

We had to wait for our rooms so we had rum and cokes whilst waiting and started talking to guest that were swimming. Once we unpacked we proceeded to lunch at ?? it will come back, but upon our return, the owner and friends were cooking and invited me for a drink..with them which I gladly took. There I met his wife Luz mari whom is just adoreable.

My last day we had a fabulous lunch affaire, I wnet to the market and bought fresh lobster, schrimps, and vegtables, Michelles' friend made a traditional french leg of pork, the lady who works there set up the table and we sat with abut 14 people for a 3 hour lunch, I did not charge any body for the meal I made but asked my new found Belgian friends which were also staying there to tip Luz, which they did. Michelle the owner was kind and opened numerous expensive bottles of wine, chesnut liquer, champagne, you name it, he gave it as a host.

Case relax, was just fabulous dont let the pipe he smokes scare you, he is fab and his wife divine.
Do it

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank odilia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast

Property: Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast
Address: Calle del Pozo, 25-105 | Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 159 B&Bs / Inns in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Relax Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casa Relax Bed And Breakfast
Casa Relax Hotel Cartagena

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