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“A perfect place to relax and rejuvinate”
Review of Kohsamui

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Kohsamui
Ranked #105 of 155 Hotels in Cartagena
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A perfect place to relax and rejuvinate”
Reviewed April 2, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights in March and, upon arriving from having spent 2 nights in Cartagena, immediately wished we had spent all our nights at Kohsamui and just taken day/evening trips into Cartagena. The beach is clean and perfect for long walks, the water is great for refreshing swimming, the food is delicious and there are fun activities to do even for a couple hours (touring the mangroves by guided pole-canoe). However, perhaps the most wonderful thing about Kohsamui (apart from the owner, Maria, herself whose passion for the area and hotel is infectuous) is the level of pampering and relaxation from the moment we arrived. The rooms are tranquil and ocean-inspired. But the large common palapa-covered deck with hammocks, outdoor couch and chairs, etc, was our favorite aspect of the hotel - reading, napping, watching the sunset. We found Kohsamui to be a far better value than staying in Cartagena, and Kohsamui seems to have more opportunities for adventures beyond the city. We stayed in a corner room/suite and had far better breakfasts for less than what we spent in Cartagena. Confirming there is no hot water (water is tepid), but I didn't miss it. Rooms are very clean and staff is wonderfully accomodating. We look forward to returning!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DakotaSelah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Bogota, Colombia
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

We stayed here during the high season (Colombian school holidays 15 December to 15 January) as a more affordable alternative to soaring hotels prices in the walled city area of Cartagena. At $282,500 (pesos) a night for suite (basically a corner room) it was good value, and with windows on two sides of the room which allowed the natural sea breezes to cool the room without the need for air conditioning. However, when the wind dies down, the A/C was quite and efficient. As other reviewers have said, there is no hot water, which while it's not absolutely necessary on the coast, it is normal for hotels at the price to provide hot water. The huge verandah with sofas and a couple of hammocks is a good place to read a book to the sound of the waves.The menu for lunch and dinner is mainly fish, well-prepared and tasty, but a little pricey outside of the main touristy areas of Cartagena.

The owners are very friendly and helpful, although the service from the staff is quite typical of the coast - variable.

The beach is practically pristine and great for a walk. There are a few high-end hotels and condominiums dotted along the beach. The wonderful thing is the absence of hawkers, so you can relax.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for one of the two suites.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chrisinbogota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leiden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 5, 2012

We had a wonderfull time at Kohsamui Hotel de Mar. The owner Maria Fernandes is very kind and helpfull, she made a wonderfull place of her hotel, it has the perfect feeling what we need at that time. We were there in febr with our two sons (4 and 6 years old) and they enjoyed it al lot. The sea is pretty rough but nice to take a cool dive. We made a daytrip to Vulcan del Totumo, take a mud bath, a wonderfull experience. The food is delicious in Kohsamui, very fresh. A perfect place to stay for a few days!!!!!

John, Evelien, Sam & Jesse

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Evelien D
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 February 20, 2012

Kohsamui Hotel is in the small fishing village Manzanillo (approx 15mins from airport 40,000COP/£13 or 20mins from Cartagena old town 30,000COP/£10 - there is also a bus) how long from central Cartagena and airport / cost of taxis for both?) and is right on the beach. There are no other hotels nearby and Kohsamui only has 6 rooms I think. This place was exactly what we wanted, extremely tranquil and relaxing - private beach to yourself (there is barely anyone else around!) delicious food, attentive service (a benefit of a small hotel with helpful staff and wonderful owner)! I loved the fresh sea air, the continuous background sound of the sea - going to sleep with that sound, waking up to it - here you feel on holiday! Amazing after only a couple of days I felt I had been away for a week.

The hotel and rooms are so nicely decorated - clean and modern. There are hammocks to laze around in where you can listen and look out at the sea. The sea is wonderfully warm - the first day we were there the sea was a little rough but every other day after that it was extremely calm and you could walk/swim right out.

The rooms do not have hot water but the water is not cold - it is lukewarm and in the hot humid weather doesn't feel so bad. I love my hot showers and have them even in summer but I found the water temperature fine (even with washing hair, shaving legs) and every where we stayed on the Colombian coast - cheap or expensive (bar Tayrona) did not have hot water.

The staff are humble and lovely, the owner Mafe (Maria Fernanda), so warm and friendly, did everything to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.
The service was incredible - I can't say enough about this and I was really sad to leave! Mafe really cares about her guests and makes you feel like family.

The food was amazing! I am still finding it extremely hard to eat my porridge for breakfast in the morning - I miss every day those arepas, eggs (with tomato, onion), the fresh fruit juice...!!! Oh and the patacones! And homemade Aji!!! Que delicioso!!! Of course lunch, dinner great too - fresh delicious ceviche, fish, prawns etc with salad, coconut rice. Lunch/dinner prices are around 30,000COP/£10 which was more than what I expected to pay for meals in Colombia, until we started travelling around (we stayed at Kohsamui at the beginning and end of our 2wks in Colombia). We ate alot of meals for the same price or more that were very substandard to the quality of food served at Kohsamui - I love good food and I love Colombian food and the prices at Kohsamui are more than fair for the freshness and quality - the chefs here know about food!

Price of accommodation was 170,000COP/£57 again you may think is not super cheap for Colombia but accom is central Cartagena is much more expensive and here you get so much more. I was a little disappointed with central Cartagena - very touristy which in turn meant things were very pricey and ppl generally not as friendly. Kohsamui was our oasis. We went to the little bar/discoteca in "town centre" 1min walk from Kohsamui which was supposed to be closed as mid-week but the guy opened it up for us so we could drink aguardiente (cheap) and dance to his phone's collection of salsa, bachata, vallenato etc. Mafe also helped us hire a Vallenato band at very late notice to come play for us at the hotel (on our second last night) - it was fantastic! Only regret was not getting the massage at Kohsamui which sounds amazing!

Again remember this is a small fishing village and it is basic - this is not a rich area, it is not a manicured touristic place - there is some rubbish around, there is no ATM but you will benefit from this in quietness and tranquillity. There are small shops 1min walk away you if you are in need of snacks, Aguardiente and water if you need to buy in bulk/cheaper (Kohsamui does sell water of course). We had a great time here and I hope one day I can return.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mioymia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2012

If you are looking for peace and tranquility, come to Koh Samui. If you are looking for good food, come to Koh Samui. If you hate the 4 walls in conventional hotel rooms, choose Koh Samui. If you are looking for warm, friendly and accommodating staff to serve you, come to Koh Samui. Best part is, if you want to be lulled into a nice slumber by the waves and wake up to it, come to KohSamui.

The room deco was exquisite. Looking around the room, you can see a lot of thought has gone into decorating the room. The windows are covered by strong anti insect netting to keep any mozzies or other insects away, thus enabling you to open the windows and take in the beautiful view of the Carribean sea right in front of your doorstep. We were given the pink room. It's an isolated room where you have no neighbouring room next to you. Best part about this is-no human noises. We had 3 options-either sleep to the sound of the breaking waves, the fan or the aircon. We tried all 3 different options in the 3 different nights we were there. The floors are made of wood so you do not have to be afraid of walking into your room with wet feet and wet beachwear from the beach. There is no hot water however it is NOT a problem as Cartagena is comfortably warm therefore the water from the taps are not icy cold. There is a perfectly working TV in the room and a little vanity corner with a sink and mirror. Bed is comfortable with beautiful deco surrounding it. If anything, it's the most romantic hotel I've stayed in.

Breakfast is included in our package. There's no pre set menu for breakfast. I had Arepa with egg and their home made aji (mildly spicy sauce) which i would recommend. My husband had scrambled eggs with traditional white arepas (corn flat bread), one of the other guest had scrambled eggs on toast. We made it a point to eat all our meals in the hotel. Choosing each dish each day from the menu. Supplemented by yummy freshly made fruit juices of our choice. I recommend the passion fruit and lemon juice on a warm day. It's so refreshing. I can't really recommend a single dish as all the food in the menu is pretty awesome. Ok, maybe I will....The fish fillet made with garlic and coconut rice with plantain and salad was to die for! 

The beach is just in front of the hotel. It's very clean and very private. No hassle from vendors. Take a dip, suntan, serve the complimentary wifi, or go for a jog. Alternatively, have a super lazy day on the 2nd floor-plenty of swings, hammock and sofa. Or, go to the 3rd floor and have a massage while peeking out into the ocean. The possibilities are endless. 

If you haven't visited the old city or new city, get on the cab, it's only 20mins drive away. Jesus the cab driver can be pre booked to take you anywhere you wish. He's so pleasant and chatty, throwing in a couple of info about the areas we passed. The hotel can also arrange for a day trip to Rosa island, etc. 

My plus points for the hotel is the staff and the owners. Maria and her partner is always there in the hotel doing all sorts, recommending activities and always making a point to ensure their guests are cared for and all their needs met. I heard they also have a speed boat for hire which comes with a captain and a helper. There is no specific time for lunch. Whenever you want it, you can pre order it for a set time and they are always punctual. I've got strange eating habits (eg: no egg yolks etc), and they are more than happy to accomodate. The staffs are so friendly, helpful and pleasant. They will help you in any way even walk with you to the neighbouring neighbourhood. It's like being part of one big happy family. 

My husband and I enjoyed our short stay there. We were very sad to leave the hotel. KohSamui is an out of this world different experience. You should try it to know it! 

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Flamingbikini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2012

After a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport, I pulled up to see my girl eating ceviche and drinking a beer right on the sand in front of the hotel. Everything else was pretty much on point for the rest of the trip.

The 5-room hotel is right on the sand with the sound of the waves drowning out all the other noises. The cooked food is great, especially the octopus not on the menu, and the ceviche is always freshly prepped.

Maria and her husband run a tight staff and she's willing to go the extra mile for any need you might have...boat to Isla de Rosario, setting up taxi cabs, getting the masseuse over in no time.

Basically, it was personal attention without being overbearing.

The hotel itself is north of Cartagena about 20-30 minutes depending on time of day and it's a 30,000 COP ride. Make sure to negotiate with any cab driver before you get in as they'll try to move the price up as high as 45,000 COP.

It's out of the way of the Bocagrande and the metropolis over there and for those that want a quiet getaway and not the bustle of the city, this is the spot.

The staff doesn't speak english so I had to work out my conversations with my hands and hot water doesn't run in the showers. Still yet, we loved the place

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Eiki995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2011

Our taxi driver who had lived all his life in Cartagena had a hard time finding this place- that's how wonderful it is! We came here for a change of pace after exploring Cartagena, and were not disappointed. We were so impressed by the decor and the exquisite attention to detai l- clearly made with love and style. We especially liked the birdcage light fixtures and hammocks! We were the only ones staying, so it felt like we were staying at someone's home and were treated as such. The food downstairs was made to order (Shrimp Coconut Rice is excellent) , and wonderful as well. There's not much to the surrounding village, but the beaches are not crowded and the water is clean, unlike beaches in Cartagena. The only negative thing (if there can be one) is that we did not have hot water in the shower, but we also had this issue in the city. With the heat, it's not entirely necessary, but would have been nice. The staff also does not speak English (the owner does), so that could be a challenge if you don't speak any Spanish.

Once in a lifetime opportunity! Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Second floor- better view and feels safer.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank fleurirlandaise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kohsamui

Property: Kohsamui
Address: | Entering Manzanillo of the Sea, North of Cartagena 9.7 Km, Cartagena 130001, Colombia (Formerly Kohsamui Hotel De Mar)
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #105 of 155 Hotels in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kohsamui 3*
Number of rooms: 5
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