We were off for a quiet stroll one afternoon and noticed one of the delightful Ananda staff cleaning and polishing the hotel sign... proud of their place of work, and so they should be.. but stepping back a few paces, you notice that the sign is slightly off-skew-.
Can't fault the location, but there are 3 new properties being built right now, including one on either side of the Ananda so there will be some serious competition and for the price we paid per night, you really have to deliver top quality service.(ps no major construction noise issues when we were there, but it was a public holiday,and looks like a lot the structural work has been been done)
Needless to say, room-wise, gorgeous rooms in terms of decor, and didn't have an issue with the bathroom basin in the room, BUT having stayed in 2 rooms, which i'll come to in a minute, all i can say is.. honeymooners take note... there is zero sound insulation in the rooms i stayed in.. In my first room, 108, gorgeous massive room overlooking the small but delightful pool area, there are thin wooden connecting doors into 107- great for families, but you can hear everything on either side, to the point that i turned off my music and just listened to their choice whilst getting ready one night. In my second room, 204, there is not connecting door, and a utility room between this room and the next, and yet behind my room and through a vent in the bathroom, i heard every shower and toilet trip of another room, and at one point could even smell the deodorant spray from one guest being applied..it's a real 3D multi-sensory experience.
Kitchen- it's early days for these guys, but i'll start with the positives- lunch was very good, and other than Salou (a must!) it's the best food i've eaten in Colombia- delicious blue cheese, bacon salad, and the fish of the day with coconut rice was sublime. Breakfast on the hand is a shocker, and only managed it twice in six days- service is all over the place, and tasteless, rubbery omelette of the worst kind. I wanted to get in that kitchen and do it myself but opted of breakfast skipping.
Common areas- got bitten alive- 13 bites in 5 mins is a record even for me, due to stagnant water under the main dining area- management- clean this up, or cover up- totally unnecessary, and is losing you business- why would guests want to sit around early evening, or post dinner, over a mosquito pit?
My biggest issue was the attitude and reaction to a situation i had with my first room- Cartagena is hot and humid, and air-con is a must... room 108 has the additional 'benefit' of under-floor heating due to the pool mechanics, so when your air-con doesn't seem to have an effect on the temperature, on night one i put it down to me being over-tired from no sleep the night before and an early start and crashed for 5 hours.. mentioned this to reception our first morning, and they said they'd have a look- out all day, came back, and turned on air con- 18 degrees set- went to dinner, can back- room temp was warmer than outside, so went to reception, who came back, stood on a stool to reach the high air con system, and was adamant that cold air was blowing- 2 hours later, if i had a thermometer, i'm sure it would have read 35 degrees in there. went back to reception, and poor guy could only say that they'd look into it in the morning.
No sleep now for 3 nights, and not in the best of moods, I decide to let them fix and leave for the day, hoping that they'd sort, and as they proposed, change me to another room if necessary.
On my return, and this is the disappointment, they told us that they'd forgotten that we'd book our 6 night stay in 2 bookings, and that we had to change rooms- no mention of this when we checked in, hence my friends unpacking and hanging up all their clothes for the week. But the apology for having stayed 2 nights in a room with a broken air-con unit and no sleep.... didn't happen, and nor did i get a response from management about some form of compensation.
If we'd been guests for one or two nights, particularly over the holiday season, it could be forgiven, but after 4 more nights there, and not a word of apology from management, or a gesture of any kind, i'm afraid i left this property ultimately disappointed, and my high rating is more in the glow of a few glorious days in Cartagena than about Ananda Hotel Boutique.
Have noticed tripadvisor being used as an apology board- in this case, please come back with action points on what will be done to change some of these issues, so that readers can see that you're taking these comments seriously.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A space that transmits the spirit of luxury and comfort in perfect harmony, the ideal place to reach the maximum state of happiness. We invite you to live this wonderful experience on your next trip, because when you think of a luxury hotel, a dream honeymoon, organize a special event or an exclusive company trip, in a charming destination, you will be thinking of ANANDA. ANANDA HOTEL BOUTIQUE is located in the heart of the walled city of Cartagena de Indias. Within walking distance of the hotel you will discover important monuments and historical buildings such as La Catedral, Plaza Santo Domingo and Palacio de la Inquisicion; You will also be amazed by the vibrant life of its streets, trendy boutiques, art galleries and all impregnated with the warmth and kindness of its people that allows us to imagine, for a moment, life in the Caribbean of the sixteenth century. Turning around a corner, and without looking for it, you can find the Wall, that once defended the city of pirates, thieves and buccaneers and which, centuries have become one of the most romantic places in the world. ... more less
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