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“One of the best places to stay in the walled city”

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Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
Ranked #7 of 157 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

This is one of the nicer places to stay in the walled city. Entirely walkable to anywhere in be city. The service is top notch. If you like a steam room, then you are in luck, as the one at this hotel has the hottest one I've experienced. Overall a fantastic stay. The only negative thing I can say is that the jacuzzi was not hot. It wasn't even warm. It was cold.

The suite we got is the best in the hotel- the only one with an ocean view balcony. Here's a tip: ask for room 301.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 - 715 of 1,930 reviews

Reviewed January 17, 2013

The Santa Clara is well located in the San Diego sector of old Cartagena, which is the quieter part of the town. The transformation from convent to resort hotel is reasonably successful but we thought the foliage in the cloister area excessive and the inevitable constraints result in a relatively small and fairly ‘ordinary’ pool area.

Our ‘standard’ ground level room had no view and was a ‘compact’ four star offering with a small bathroom and small tub. It was adequately furnished but no more and in need of refurbishment in places. Bath towels and wine glasses were out of reach for short people. There was no feeling of the ‘luxury’ we expected for $525 a night.

While the physical infrastructure was no more than four star, staff performance was better than that and we thought the concierge desk especially friendly and helpful.

Breakfast was an unexciting buffet, with eggs cooked to order. There were some odd omissions - e.g. nothing a European would regard as natural yoghurt and no marmalade. We took lunch twice and dinner once in the brasserie-type restaurant - ok but not memorable. We did not eat in the fine dining 1672 venue, as we hadn’t come to Colombia for French cuisine.

Overall, this hotel did not meet the expectations created by its price and by Sofitel’s *****L ranking. This was our first Caribbean hotel experience, so we can’t compare it with local alternatives. But we thought it would need to up its game considerably to compete in the European or Asian luxury market.

Tip - the nearby Donjuan restaurant is excellent, combining really good food and service.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank globaltraveller200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Sitting right by the old city wall in Cartagena, the Sofitel lives up to its press. The center garden is part of an old monastery and is a tropical paradise. The male resident toucan, Mateo, has staked this out as his territory and amused us daily as he foraged in cabinets and broke dishes used for the dining tables that line this area for breakfast and dinner. The female toucan, Clarita, shrewdly stakes out the pool area (better for foraging food!). We spent most mornings out exploring the city, and afternoons cooling off by the pool. Clarita became great friends with us, sitting with us on our lounger and stealing bits of sushi. The room, overlooking the pool on one side and Gabriel Garcia Marques's house on the other, was very large and comfortable. The bathroom was a bit small, but not even worth a complaint. And, in a city where we found it hard to find a bad meal, the food at the restaurant 1621 was fabulous. Served at night on and around the center garden, it was truly a magical experience. Be sure to get a drink in the bar and see the chandeliers! Quite spectacular!

Room Tip: Higher rooms get a bit more sea breeze if you want to enjoy the balcony.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

This is hands down the nicest hotel in Cartagena, at least as far as we could see. It is MUCH nicer than we expected from a Sofitel. The hotel is a restored monastery, with a modern add on. It has a beautiful central courtyard where you can eat breakfast with the friendly resident Toucan, a nice pool, and beautiful rooms. We stayed in a two level suite on the fifth floor, and it was fantastic. A really beautiful spot with lovely view and incredibly well appointed. Overall, this is a first rate hotel as compared to any we have stayed in anywhere. Only drawback to report was a small exercise room.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank spep4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Adong294265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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10  Thank NicL287
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

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
#3 Spa Hotel in Cartagena
#3 Green Hotel in Cartagena
#4 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
#5 Luxury Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range: $286 - $953 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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