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“Great service, beautiful historic rooms and a very engaged hotel manager”

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Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
Ranked #5 of 151 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great service, beautiful historic rooms and a very engaged hotel manager”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We have spent 3 nights in one of the double stories historic rooms with all the luxury of this beautiful hotel. Breakfast buffet is great - outdoor dining includes a paradise of tropical birds. Gym, swimming pool, whirlpool, restaurant and bar are beautiful. When returning after my mobile was robbed out of our backpack while walking in the busy old town towards the Palacio de Incquisition, the hotel manager and his staff attended us best: calling the police to come by the hotel, trying to track my mobile via GPS and last but not least even offering us a free lunch. Merci infiniment, thanks a lot for trying your best to keep our moods geared on vacation! We will definitely return!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Adong294265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,808 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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English first
Armonk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

The hotel is beautiful with a center garden (with resident toucan!) and rooms overlooking the pool. The staff were helpful and courteous and met our needs quickly and efficiently. The rooms are not superior but were fine. The location if perfect and we thought the incorporated the old historic part of the 17th century monastery well into the modern hotel.

The hotel is pricey and so is the food, but three locals stated that it is the best in Cartagena. Figuring we weren't going to get sleep anyway, we participated in the New Year's dinner and dance and were glad we did. The dinner set up was magical, the food and service was great and the old church part was set up for dancing. We received gifts in our rooms each night, including the requisite 12 grapes for New Years consumption. The fireworks were on the beach so the rooftop was a perfect viewing location.

Hotel would be great for a romantic getaway, but our teens had fun and we saw many babies that seemed to be having a good time as well!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

On a first trip to Colombia with a friend, we decided to treat ourselves and spend our final day in the country at the Sofitel Spa and pool - we were staying elsewhere but had booked for the day. We travel often for our jobs so the day was supposed to be a relaxing experience. Upon completing our spa treatments, which were wonderful, we prepared to go to the pool. We were then told that we were not allowed to go to the pool and that unfortunately the person who made the booking had given us the incorrect information. No attempt was made by various levels of management to rectify their mistake and all used the excuse that the hotel policy had in fact changed recently. I feel like it's a pretty hotel in a lovely setting but it is masquerading as a international hotel with international standards. Hugely disappointed and glad I stayed in a beautiful local bed and breakfast. The Sofitel brand should be ashamed.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank NicL287
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We were thrilled to stay at the Sofitel after reading all of the reviews and seeing the pictures online. It is by far the best location surrounded by shops, boutiques and outdoor cafes. The lobby is very welcoming and the building is lovely. For family's or people who are looking for an American experience, I would suggest staying here. It is not on or near the beach so you will need to take a taxi. The taxis automatically double the price if you are going to/from the Sofitel.

The service at the front desk was cold to us and the concierge kept pushing the restaurants on site. The rooms felt as if we were staying at a Holiday Inn not a luxory property. In addition, they kept trying to charge us for extras. We stayed on points so it was a good experience but I would have been upset if we paid the rates that were being asked. It was not the typical Sofitel experience.

The second half of our visit, we moved to the Hilton to get the beach experience. While the Hilton was a bit more touristy, they went out of their way to make our experience incredible.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lysee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

So you arrive at the Santa Clara - beautiful place, most efficient meet and greet, amazing reception and courtyard area. The pool and the common areas are truly lovely.

Then to the superior room, a bit of a let down - nothing special, not even a flower or a bowl of fruit. All arranged around the pool, the superior and classic rooms are rather boring, box-like anywhere in the world rooms. It wouldn't take much to make them feel just slightly special ! Lots of noise from the rooms above because of the concrete floors even if you are on the fourth floor. We had twin beds, which had mattress toppers which I found to be rather thick, moved around and made me feel rather at sea - maybe for the cruise market who stay !

The restaurants are very pleasant and the staff excellent. The food is again a little disappointing, the Claustro could be serving food from any hotel in the world. We found the food in the main restaurant good, but again a bit disappointing.

We had a few issues during our stay, which to be honest could have been much better managed - the main staff are, however, excellent.

The Santa Clara seems to have lots of competition from excellent boutique hotels and really great local restaurants serving fresh Colombian dishes - I can't help feeling the hotel management need to up their game.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ColombianDream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The idea of staying in a hotel that used to be a monastery from 1621 already made me excited, but the hotel is even better. Very well located, with an extraordinary staff and having a very good restaurant, the only reason for staying outside the hotel walls would be the pricing. I do recommend for couples, but families can also have a good time.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rodrigo F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Have never had a bad experience at any Sofitel hotel and this was no exception. Spent 3 days here last February, on my way back to the UK. Stayed in one of their suites, very well designed with great touches such as Hermes products in the rooms. Wonderful design around an old courtyard, had very good breakfasts every morning and ate at their smart restaurant in the evening, good service and exquisite food at Restaurant 1621 where we ate on the second evening. Cartagena is such a beautiful city, I would thoroughly recommend this hotel - saw the general manager around every day I was there - staff take pride in what is a very beautiful and well run place

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Locust100
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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