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Occidental Cartagena
Ranked #49 of 155 Hotels in Cartagena
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

A fantastic weekend with my eleven-year-old daughter. Needed a break from an intense four weeks of work (international adoption) and found the pools and staff incredible!

Perfect combination of relaxation, daily pool activities, which my daughter loved and I watched carefully from the adjoining pool, and proximity to her favorite location: the hot dog station.

Front desk, especially Ronny, was lovely. Fluent in English, compared to my mas o menos espanol, he welcomed us each day as if we were family. He greeted me in English and my daughter in Spanish, and really went out of his way for us.

Location is far removed from the city, which was perfect for our three-day get-away. Ventured to the city using the hotel shuttle (free) and taxied back. About $16 US.

Food was average. Nothing great about beverages. Bartenders and wait staff were very kind.

Room was great. First visit for our daughter to a hotel. It was beautiful and comfy and so memorable for us. We'll go back with hubby and older daughter, for sure!


  • Stayed: August 2013
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3  Thank A S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 - 186 of 1,210 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2013

People are friendly, accommodating and pleasant always smiling.
Food is fantastic, clean and great presentation.
Far from the old city or new city, but does provide shuttle service to airport and the old city.
Bring bug spray for knates, they are brutal.

Room Tip: double bedrooms are the same he garden view vs. ocean view is not much. It's a courtyard so the...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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5  Thank dreamscancometrue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

My husband and I visited this all-inclusive Aug. 6-13, 2013 and were overall, very happy here. The rooms (and all areas of the hotel) were very clean and comfortable. Staff was friendly and helpful, especially Jennifer and Ronnie at the front desk. Food was excellent. The only exception was our dinner at The Grill. Our steaks were tough and the corn on the cob was more for animals! The pools were gorgeous! The quiet pool was just that while the active pool was more for kids, music, and getting to know fellow travelers. We were a bit disappointed in the beach. You will not find the "turquoise waters and white sands" but it was swimmable. (No seaweed!) Take a walk all the way down to the cliffs to the left (about 1 mile!) or to the next resort on the right (about 3/4 of a mile) for something to do. Another disappointment was the lack of entertainment. The only nighttime shows were on Fri. and Sat. night, for about 1 hr. each. The free bus to downtown was great. It was clean, comfortable, AC'd and dropped you off in the middle of the historical district. When returning on the shuttle, DO NOT be late!! The bus is extremely punctual!! The 12:30 am bus was moving at 12:31 - literally!! PLEASE FEED THE STRAY DOGS!! They are so sweet and just want a bit of hot dogs or scraps. Please stay at this hotel if you are going to beautiful Cartagena!! It's great for kids, couples and you will not be sorry!

Room Tip: Any room is great as they all overlook the quiet pool. Be careful of what you say and do in your roo...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jenslyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

The hotel is actually named Estelar Grand by Occidental. It is located 30 minutes north of Cartagena and 20 minutes from the airport in the middle of nothing but marshlands and wild vegetation. There are three buildings with rooms, none of them close to the beach. There are no true ocean view rooms to talk about as you may see far in the distance. Rooms are well appointed, clean and modern but mattresses are place on top of a concrete slab so they are almost as hard. The wide beach is just decent, with grey sand, somehow hard and packed, while the sea is not clear and blue as you may expect in the caribbean. The hotel, the pools and the beach were empty, lifeless and the general ambience was dead boring. Lobby is tiny as well as the gym. Restaurants are ok. Service is fine, nothing remarkable though. I may biased here because, even though the hotel was almost empty, the front desk girl gave me the farthest room in the complex, on the parking lot and overlooking the building in front of me. The hotel has a shuttle to downtown Cartagena 8 times per day but it fills quickly at the most desired departures. Then you can only call a cab which will charge you more if arranged by the hotel.

I can't figure out why somebody would like to stay here unless you are looking for a very quiet place just to relax reading a book or to play golf at the nearby Karibana GC. I wouldn't stay here again even for free.

Room Tip: The best you can get is a room with a view of the quiet room. Nothing special that you could not get...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank GoodClemente
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Was staying in Cartagena at the Santa Clara Hotel (excellent). We were trying to pick a location to do our year end family gathering (+25 pax). Heard from friends about this estelar hotel and went there to check the hotel. The front desk sent us with the "tour guide" to visit the hotel. The tour was awfull.. the guy was disrespectfull answering the questions and ask my wife to hurry-up while she and my daughter were asking for the beach facilities. By the way.. he didnt allow us to visit the hotel beach. We ask to see a room and he said NO. I asked the front desk and they opened a suite for us to check the accomodations but another time our "tour guide" was very unpolite and didn't answered our questions. Back in the car my family made a fast decision... We will not consider this hotel for our meetings. We have visited really nice properties in Europe and US and never had a such arrogant and bad attitude.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank mauricio o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The complex offers variety of activities for children and adults according to their choice. Food was excellent, the variety of each menu makes each meal an enjoyable experience. Rooms were always clean, comfortable, and there is no noise at all. The concept of having a pool for adults provides relaxation for them without restricting the kids´ fun. Gym is well equipped. Staff are friendly, and evening activities are appealing to all kinds of audiences. Will definitely come back!

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
3  Thank Luis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

The personnel was great and attempted, The food was excellent The beach and the pools were excellent to. We all had a great time Hope to go back someday. The all-inclusive was great too. This hotel is far from the city But the hotel provided transportation to and from.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Rachel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Cartagena

Address: Anillo Vial Via Manzanillo del mar Km. 4 | No. 9-85, Cartagena 985, Colombia (Formerly Estelar Grand Playa Manzanillo)
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#16 Spa Hotel in Cartagena
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#21 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#37 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range: $143 - $311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Cartagena 3.5*
Number of rooms: 190
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

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