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“Good pools, great food, view to the beach (but on the pricy side)”

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Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa
Ranked #27 of 155 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
Bogotá, Colombia
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Good pools, great food, view to the beach (but on the pricy side)”
Reviewed July 25, 2012

We went here with my wife and children as a 6-day vacation, and we (especially the children) had a great time. The place is well-kept, staff are numerous and kind (AND extremely attentive), and our room was just in front of the beach. The hotel is definitely a nice place to be in.

Three caveats, though:
- The beaches in Cartagena are pretty filthy, and I was surprised by the fact that this hotel has a concession to maintain this beach (so I understand) but it's still filthy! This is not such a nice thing, especially when you're helping your son do a sand castle and after digging for two minutes you find all sorts of stuff buried there....

- The hotel is pretty pricy, and (as any hotel, I know) they charge for absolutely everything that is not part of your package very expensive. We ended up paying 300 USD additional after having paid almost 3 thousand USD for the package of "almost all included".

- The location is not necessarily the best (way up north), but they have a bus every two hours or so which takes you to the airport, Walled City and to the City proper. So I guess it's not that bad, plus taxis are anyway pretty cheap in Cartagena.

Room Tip: In the B2 building No 10 and 11 have the closest view of the beach (but they're also the most no...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank carlosfpardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We enjoyed a week at this hotel, which is directly on the beach about 10-15 minutes away from the historic center of Cartagena. It was a relaxing place for us and our 12yo son. This hotel is one of two on site (Torre del Mar is the other, newer one), which gave us additional options for pools and restaurants. This one is looking a little tired and worn, but is still pleasant and perfectly fine. My only complaint was that the floor in our room was always sandy -- I know it is hard to clean floors when guests are constantly coming in from the beach, but ... The breakfast is very good and the menu offers a wide variety of choices, although not very many healthy dishes. Excellent and friendly service. I appreciated the free shuttle into the historic center, which made it very easy to go out. My 12yo was too old for most of the kids' activities, but he had fun swimming in the pools and the ocean.This would be a good place for families with young children. We also liked that there were many Colombian families here, which gave us a chance to meet people from this lovely country.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool don't have any privacy. Most rooms have a nice balcony.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Ariz0nagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

I was two weeks there and I have to say that this hotel is a different and unique experience than other hotels.

All the locations inside the hotel mix a combination of caribean, jungle and luxury ambient, that make you feel in a special place. Also the natural juices and big trees create a fresh air under 37 C degrees of cartagena.

The beach is private and you can rest away of vendors of public beaches.

The room was perfect for me and my wife, clean, kindly staff.

America's hotel is a bit away from cartagena and is not the best located hotel in Cartagena. I used cheap call taxi service for transport between hotel and turistics spots.

  • Stayed June 2011
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Helpful?
4 Thank mmaannuueell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2012

This resort has progressed greatly since it has adopted an all-inculsive policy for some customers. North American tourists all got bitten on the legs by no-see-um bugs, some reacting worst than others. I recommend going to a local pharmacy and obtaining a local cream to apply on your legs before the first nightfall, also obtaining an anti-histamine to take if bitten. The hotel, the food were all excellent. We preferred the older section as compared to the new tower. Up- grading to a suite was a real bonus. All of the staff treated us very well. A very small tip goes a long way, people like to be appreciated.

Room Tip: Top floor facing the adult pool in the older section and the top floor facing the newer tower pool a...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Max8219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruges, Belgium
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2012

I went there the first time in 2008, and a second time in 2011. On both ocassions I had great time there.

There are a few minor points to the story, but nothing that will ruin the general experience. The first time I had a room that was close to the game room (pooltable and pingpong), so there can be a bit of noise comming from there. The second stay we had a little problem with the food...We ordered from the grill for lunch and it took for ever from them to bring it over...(not the usual service you get in Colombia). It seemed that they had forgotten our order and made lame excuses...then when it arrived the meat was undercoocked....so the came and took it away to put it back on the grill. We refused to pay at first because of the crappy service, but then we talked with the manager that offered us a 30% discount.

For the rest the hotel is great to stay at!!! It has it's own beach so it's not too crowded. It has a family pool with a slide and a normal pool. They have tenniscourts that you can rent and a lot of other activities that you can do there. The rooms are spacious and clean and very comfortable.

The breakfast here is great! Lot's of fresh fruits and other delicious things to sample. The food in itself is kinda expensive at the hotel, so we just took breakfast there most of the time. My advice here would be to go in the city and eat in the local restaurants (not the touristy places in the old city, but the normal restaurants).

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Azulito_14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2012

I'll start my review the same way that another recent reviewer did: We just came back from spending one week at Las Americas, from Dec 29th to Jan 5th. This was an all-inclusive package through Nolitours. Now I'll go a different direction.

Here are my main comments:
This isn't really an all inclusive resort oriented to North Americans.
It's really a high end Latin American-oriented resort connected to an even higher end Hotel Tower which is a lot like the Gansevoort in Miami (owned by the same company and with shared resources). The majority of the folks who are staying there are wealthy South Americans with their families who are paying for meals and drinks as they go and ordering from the menu. The meals at the restaurants off the menu are for the most part very good (versus the buffet which I'll talk about in a second) but are also very expensive ($10-$20 an entree). The drinks are the same as well, with bartenders who know how to make real drinks. They've now teamed up with the all-inclusive groups and they are wrestling now with how to integrate these two offers together for folks. So what does this mean. It means good and not so good things for people.

Good:
1. The food off the menu is far better than you will get in other all inclusives at the same price. We usually fed the kids at the buffet (breakfast and lunch were good, dinner was hit and miss). Adults ate at the buffet in the am and then ordered off the menu in one of the 4 restaurants for both lunch and dinner every day. If you ask for the spanish menu (and can read it) all the hidden gems are on it (for example the, "camerones et campionies al aji" is to die for good as is the "charasco de paraguano"). AND if you are ready to "upgrade" meals - there are some amazing meals to be had for a few bucks more (the Grill restaurant has an amazing Pargo and the Beachside restaurant has an amazing whole fish dish).
2. The location of this resort is amazing. It's close the city, with free shuttle service and it is on really the only good beach area close to cartagena. It's also right next to a set of beach bars (high end and low end) and you get the unique experience of being in historic Cartagena (which isn't a beach town) but also get the beach.
3. The kids club is great and has tons of activities for the kids all the time. Albeit you can't leave your kids there unattended unless they are very responsible as they don't check them in and out (very columbian but also a bit irritating). Some of the girls speak english and will babysit as well. Our kids fell in love with them.
4. You can use the resources of the Tower Hotel next door. This hotel is high end and has amazing facilities (rooftop adult only bar and pool), amazing gym, ground level multi-layer pool, sports bar, etc. Be warned that if you eat or drink here everything is charged to your room - but it's worth it to use the facilities.
5. It feels like you are in south america - it's vibrant, fun, active and very latin and there are very interesting people to meet (helped especially if you can speak spanish). Most of the all inclusive's we've been to are filled with english speaking north americans and could be anywhere. This is definitely south america amigos, verdad.
6. The drinks that are free are rum based drinks, beer, water, soft drinks and wine at dinner. It's a good list. Not everything but a good list which met most of our needs and great for the price we paid.
7. The old city of Cartagena is a vibrant, interesting historic location which is a must see and the hotel sends free shuttles there every day multiple times. Also, it's basically like $6 to catch a taxi there or back. Dinners, drinks and just walking around in the old town at night is an absolute must.

Not so good:
1. If you want a place that speaks english, is easy to figure out and is well organized for all-inclusive customers - this is not your resort. English speaking staff are really 1 in 4 here and the all-inclusive thing is a strange fit for most of the staff. If you can speak the basics in spanish, you will be just fine, but if not, you will likely find this all very frustrating.
2. If you are not careful, you will spend a lot more than you were thinking (mini-bar is extra, great menu items are extra and non-rum drinks are extra. I know a lot of people found this frustrating. We just found the loop-holes and had a great and reasonably priced time.
3. The buffets are hit and miss. Breakfast was great every day. Lunch was ok most days and good some. Dinner was hit and miss. Sometimes is was amazing but other times is was mediocre. Good news is that there is a menu you can ask for to order from every night (in english and spanish with the spanish one having better choices). You have to ask for it though and expect it to take a while. We would always allow for a good 30-45 minutes for any meal to arrive and would plan accordingly (go early, someone order, go for a swim or to the beach, then come back when you are ready). It's south america - chill out.
4. If you want white sand and crystal clear water - Cartagena is not your town and this is not your resort. Two major rivers empty to the sea here (which is why the city is here, btw) and they muddy up the ocean a bit. It's warm and nice and clean, but not crystal clear. You can take day trips to la isla de rosario or to playa blanca if you want that. If you want to do any tours, go next door to the tower and speak with the concierge (who speaks english). They will give you options that are much cheaper than the resort tour office (or nolitours). Not always easier (9we had to arrange our own taxis to starting points, etc,), but much cheaper.

We came as two families with 4 small children and we loved this place and would definitely come back, but we also spoke spanish, we ok figuring things out and spent a lot of time exploring around. If you are looking for an easy english speaking place to hang out and eat north american food and all the drinks you can take down, I would suggest the Mayan Riviera, Cuba or the Dominican.

Room Tip: We spent the $500 for the week to upgrade to a suite and loved it.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
28 Thank mglife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GerenciaLasAmericas, Community Manager at Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa, responded to this review, February 1, 2012
Dear Ms. Mglife,




We are delighted to had you as a guest and user of our services and we wold like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

We would also like to know how you enjoyed your visit to our hotel.

 Everything you have described has been useful for our continuous improvement program, especially your comments on the on the All Inclusive Plan.
About this matter, we inform you that we are already designing new menus with all the information about the fare to pay for each plate, when it comes to the plan mentioned.

We are pleased that the services provided for our concierge and the Entertainment Department had been sactisfactory for you and your family and we are looking forward to have you with us again soon, so you can enjoy our hospitality and the charm of Cartagena de Indias, Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2012

We came on an all inclusive package frrom Nolitours like another reviewer. We had been there about eight years ago. We agree there were some growing pains which made the first few days unpleasant and if I had gone home then I would have given it a one star. However once they got things straightened out it was great. Be prepared for a beach more like the Great Lakes but still wide and nice. The ocean was warm but turbid. I went in every day and did not experience any rashes or infections.

Nolitours brochure said we could request the new section but trust me that didn't happen. The rooms are OK but not recently renovated. The mattress was better than Cuba but not the Hilton. The part was a large bathtub and a nice balcony with an amazing view and not just a hamock but also a table and chairs.

I loved this place and the historical city is amazing.

There were four a la carte restaurantes all inclusive available almost every day. The surcharge for lobster (three tails) was about $12!!!! All sur charge items were just $12.

Gvie the price and the variety of food and the availabilty of palapas chairs by the pool and on the beach, I gave this place a top flight rating. If you are looking for the Four Seasons, then go some where else so I can have this place to myself.

Las habitaciones tienen un vista del mar con un balcon. El balcon tiene un hamaca y una mesa y cuatro sillas. Las habitaciones no han sido renovada recientemente. El bano tiene una tina. El aire acondicionado es fuerte y bueno. Tenia una cama king size.

Hay muchas picinas y suficiente sillas de playa. Hay muchos palapas en la playa y silla tambien.

Las comidas y bebidas estan buenas. Hay cuatro restauarantes con menu a la carta abiertos casi todos los dias.

Me encanto este lugar. Si quieres el Four Seasons, este no es. Ve a otro lugar para que yo tenga este lugar para mi sola.

Room Tip: Not by the tennis courts :)
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank lamandel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa

Property: Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa
Address: Anillo Vial Sector Cielo Mar, Cartagena 130001, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 155 Hotels in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa 4*
Number of rooms: 251
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Las Americas Casa de Playa hotel is a tropical resort located on the Caribbean Sea in the northern of Cartagena de Indias. It offers 2 swimming pools, 2 bars: La Isla and El Chicho; mini golf course, tennis court and the kids club "Star Captain". There are boutiques, jewelry store and free WiFi in all areas. Rooms at the Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa feature private balconies with hammocks, air conditioning, ceiling fan, minibar, free WiFi and satellite flat-screen TV. The Hotel has the Meson de Don Cristobal restaurant where guests can enjoy a variety of traditional and international dishes and between the resorts garden has the Fogon del Navegante restaurant, where succulent steaks and grilled seafood are offered, accompanied by fresh salads . Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa is 5 minutes drive from Rafael Nunez International Airport and 10 minutes drive to the walled city of Cartagena. It has reception service 24 hours and free private parking. ... more   less 
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