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“NIce place...not the Ritz Carlton”

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Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
Ranked #5 of 151 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
49 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“NIce place...not the Ritz Carlton”
Reviewed March 17, 2011

Enjoyed my stay here. Rooms are clean and adequate but uninspiring.Good location in Centro and courtyard pool is very pleasant but the rates are very high. In the US this would get you a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons and although the hotel is nice it's not up to those standards. External wall paint is peeling all over, banisters show rust, little English is spoken (and hence ordering food becomes an issue). Very small fitness center.

Overall very nice place to stay but about 25% overpriced in my opinion.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank trripman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantaClaraCartagena, Gerente at Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, responded to this review, April 29, 2011
Thank you for your comments, they are very valuable to us. We are sorry our hotel did not meet your expectations, we are in the process of restoring our historical building and renovating all of our colonial suites and some republican rooms, expected to be completed by the end of 2011. We have opened our new gourmet restaurant 1621 and as of Abril, we have a full-time language teacher in house to help us improve service in english. We do you hope you let us welcome you again in your next visit to Colombia.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed February 20, 2011

We loved staying in the older section with tall ceilings and comfortable rooms. Breakfast outside overlooking the lush vegetation was delightful. The pool is great for both ounging and laps. Easy access to old city attractions and convenient for exercise walks along the water.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Stef777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

I booked this hotel without my usual research based on the exceptionally high recommendation of friends. They travel frequently and seemingly without regard to expense. Before I left for my vacation, I looked at the reviews of the hotel and became concerned. I worried for nothing! This is a first rate hotel/resort. The large staff is exceptionally friendly, attentive and helpful. The hotel physically is very well designed and maintained.
We traveled to Cartagena for a 5 night vacation to break up the winter. The city is magical. We started each day with a incredible run along the Carribean plus various parts of a newer section of Cartagena (Boccagrande- large modern buildings with a beach on one side and a lagoon on the other side). Had a fantastic breakfast in the beautiful courtyard with fun birds and delicious coffee. We then walked around for a couple of hours. By now we were typically hot and a little tired so we would return to the hotel and lounge by the enormous pool. Make sure you get a cocconut lemonade. Later in the day we would head back out and finally have drinks and dinner.
We enjoy checking out other hotels and while Cartagena has some very nice boutique properties (have a drink on the roof of the Small Leading Hotel) nothing comes close to the Sofitel. You feel like you are at a resort and away from everything while the old city is right outside your door. Since the hotel is inside the walled historic city you don't have a beach but we didn't miss it all. Our room had a beautiful vaulted ceiling (5th floor) made of wood and a large terrace overlooking the Sea. The terrace even had a lounge chair in addition to regular chairs and a large potted plant. Twice a day maid service with free bottled water nice toiletries, and very large towels completed the feeling of luxury.
The only fault I found with the hotel is that it did not have a complete gym. It did have a spa and a number of cardio machines but no other fitness equipment. The front desk did recommend a gym at another hotel that we can pay by the day but it was minimal. I guess weight training is not popular in Columbia.
We would absolutely return to Cartagena and stay at the Santa Clara.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank PhiladelphiaIra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
194 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2011

Incredible hotel..from the moment you walk in the reception area and are surrounded by the former convent walls&can see the inner courtyard's trees and toucans...I was enchanted!modern lovely rooms-monsoon shower,occitane products replenished twice daily,pillow tuck-down service (with free chcolate&bottld of water every night)great breakfast-lots of fresh fruit,pastries,pancakes..you name it&its lovely to eat it in the courtyard.pool&spa also lovely.everything about this hotel is,dare I say it...perfect!enjoy!ideal particularly for a special occasion!

  • Stayed March 2010
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Helpful?
1 Thank Siempredviaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FL
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2011

Just returned from a long weekend to Cartagena & loved our time at the Santa Clara. I always consult w/Trip Advisor before traveling & so feel compelled to provide my opinion on this property for future travelers. I had stayed at the Santa Clara a few years ago & was completely satisfied then and was not disappointed on this return trip. My favorite things about the hotel are the huge pool, relaxing spa, gorgeous architecture, delicious buffet breakfast and extremely friendly & helpful staff. We were always greeted w/a smile by everyone, including the security personnel who are present in the public areas. By the way, no sniffing dogs on property at any time during this trip although they did have one dog by the front door two years ago. Personally, didn't affect my trip either way & would certainly not be something to dissuade me from coming! I don't speak alot of Spanish & never had a problem communicating with any staff member. Our room was on the 5th floor & overlooked the pool & you can see the ocean from the deck. Our room was modern, clean & had turndown service each night. My only complaint is noise related & unfortunately is not in the hotel's control. There is a small piece of property nestled between the hotel & the ocean. It it not owned by the hotel so anyone can book events there. Our first night there was a large (& very beautiful!) wedding reception w/a live band on the stage. It was SOOO loud that it was impossible to sleep & this went on until at least 1-1:30am. Granted it was a Fri. night but if you're looking for a quiet room I don't know if there is such a thing when a party this big is going on. Overall though, I would still return to this hotel & still think its the best full-service hotel in Cartagena. I have been in some gorgeous boutique hotels around the old city but I prefer the amenities that come with a larger property & so would highly recommend the Santa Clara to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hopper25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Wonderful week, starting out with international writer´s conference, and incredibley fun, intelligent, and warm people, guests and staff. Beautiful accomodations and perfumed breezes. Took this stressed lawyer couple of days to unwind, but dancing in the streets with Buena Vista Social club and in Havanna Club brought out the 30 year old in me. Historic city, Museum of the inquisition linking torture today and yesterday, uprisings in 1811 for freedom, while Egyptians massed for change. Made us feel part of history and beauty at the same time.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank fun-notfinnicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Level Contributor
410 reviews
136 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2011

The Sofitel combines the colonial and contemporary into a desirable refuge with beautiful tropical gardens and landscaping. Everything was in order upon our arrival. The hotel was able to extend our stay an extra day when our airline changed it's schedule. Our bellman was very helpful getting us oriented and was able to make dinner reservations and arrange for transportation. The food service in both restaurants, the bar and the pool was good. Our room was adequate with a very comfortable bed and a covered balcony overlooking the pool. The chairs were a bit worse for the wear and the bathroom was small. I don't care for overhead showers and this one was particularly annoying as it didn't have enough water flowing through it. The toucan mascots, Mateo and Florita, always kept us smiling. Watching the sunset from the hotel terrace overlooking the wall and Caribbean was delightful every evening.

We had sent an e-mail to the hotel concierge to arrange for airport pick-up, but never received a reply. A quick call to the hotel 24 hours before our arrival resolved the issue and the car/driver was waiting for us at the airport. Yes, there was maintenance and some construction going on while we were there, but it was unobtrusive.

Although we stopped in to a number of the smaller boutique hotels for a coffee and a look around, The Sofitel Santa Clara would still be my choice for two reasons 1) the large public spaces gave one plenty of places to relax, 2) the available services. The staff was always friendly and accommodating. The Food and Beverage Manager took the time to say hello and left us his card. We were only questioned once by security upon entering through bar one evening, but that was after a celebrity had checked in and was staying on our floor.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pucgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

Property: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
Address: Calle Del Torno 39-29 | Barrio San Diego, Cartagena 130003, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Cartagena
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#2 Spa Hotel in Cartagena
#2 Green Hotel in Cartagena
#4 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cartagena
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Legend Santa Clara 5*
Number of rooms: 124
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originally built as a convent in 1621, the Sofitel Santa Clara is a legendary landmark in the heart of Cartagena's walled city. Transformed into a luxury hotel in 1995, the Sofitel Santa Clara, unique in style, combines the allure of history with local hospitality and the art of French savoir-faire. Mixing Colonial and Republican-style architecture with modern comfort, the hotel features gourmet cuisine, exceptional service, a world-class spa, meeting facilities and state of the art technology for events, conventions and weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Santa Clara Hotel Cartagena
Sofitel Hotel Santa Clara
Sofitel Cartagena
Cartagena Sofitel

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