I actually won this trip off a radio station so I was thrilled to be going anywhere. I had never been to South America. We usually frequent the Carribbean. We stayed at the Estelar by Occidental in Cartegena. It was about 15-20 min from the airport. It is quite small (only 194 rooms) but it was nice because you could make friends very easily. They have 3 a la cartes but only one is actually indoors. The Nativo has a different theme every night and they do not put any restrictions on how many times you can go there. There is also The Grill and a Pizzeria. The pizza is homemade to order and is fabulous. We weren't keen on the chicken at The Grill so mostly ate at the Nativo. There isn't much nightlife. They had live entertainment until 10pm but that was it. No disco...just a bar to hang out at. It was ok with me because that sun really wears you out! It is very hot in Cartagena but there is always a breeze which stops you from melting! The ocean was extremely warm but the sand gets super hot. The breeze continued into the evening which I didn't really like because it blew my hair around and anyone wearing a dress had to be careful :) There is one main bar which is open 8am till 1am. There is also a pool side bar during the day and also one the beach. As this resort is less than 2 years old, it is in very good shape. The rooms were nice and clean and everything worked perfectly. The fridge is stocked daily with cream soda, Coca Cola Light, Coke, Columbian beer and bottled water. They have free shuttles into downtown Cartagena. The run all day and evening. I highly recommend checking this out in the day and night time. It is very safe and police are everywhere as tourism is their number one concern. I guess the only downfall is that we found not a lot of Columbians speak any English - even at the resort. As we are the foreigners, I decided that it's my new goal to learn conversational Spanish. It's my old fault for not knowing more of their language. Peso to US dollar conversion is 1750 but they seem to take American everywhere so don't worry about exchanging money. I did at the bank and was fingerprinted! All in all, a wonderful trip and I would go back in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Occidental Grand Cartagena Resort***** hotel's objective is to provide luxury, all-inclusive services on the seafront on the beautiful beaches of Manzanillo Bay. It is close to the cosmopolitan city of Cartagena de Indias. It has a contemporary design and a very calm ambience, and our guests' first impression is of an idyllic resort to relax and unwind in. Have a dip in the pool, stroll around the beautiful lush gardens or enjoy the 24-hour drink and snack service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Occidental Grand Cartagena Hotel Cartagena