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Reviewed May 5, 2006

This was my 3rd time in Cartagena, and my first time at this hotel. I went via a charter package from Ecuador, and I was nicely surprised at this hotel considering the reviews that I had read prior to going. We were a triple, and I believe that we were in room 1510. It was almost like a suite. There was a large bed in a seperate bedroom for the two of of us, and in the main room a very comfortable sofa bed for the 3rd person including fridge and balcony. There was English TV on the cable including CNN. I am not sure if the water is drinkable like in Bogota, but on every floor there was a water cooler with pure water that you could fill up the pitcher that is located in your room.
The food is decent...I thought that breakfast was the best, although the other full meals were not bad. What I thought was most surprising is that there is not a lot of seafood to choose from. A lot of chicken and veggies.
The staff at the hotel are wonderful....I am from the USA, and they all really seemed to appreciate that an American came to visit. I know Colombia really well, and it is a shame that all the bad publicity scares the Gringos away. The people and the country are wonderful.
The only bad part to comment on are the vendors on the beach...they are like mosquitos...you can not get rid of them!! Even if you are sleeping on the beach they will wake you up to try and sell you something. When you arrive at the hotel, you will be given a wristband (all inclusive), so the vendors know who you are, and they will make you crazy!
Also, as far as taking a day trip...in our case, going to Baru (Islas Rosarios)...go through the hotel, and not somebody off the street. If you book from the hotel, it will be about $US18 return and the snorkeling is nice. Instead of paying extra to take a 'city tour'..you can catch a city bus for about .25 that will take you to the old city, which I think is pretty safe. (actually, where the hotel is is very safe) The only problem are those hotel wristbands that you have to wear which give you away!

Date of stay: April 2006
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16  Thank ThomasB1044
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed March 6, 2006

This hotel is ranked third in Cartagena. You have to understand we shouldnt compare this hotel to American standards. Its a country where most places don't get hot water. They have plenty of hot water at this hotel. This hotel cost us about 120$ for my wife and I per night. Thats 60$ for an all inclusive Hotel with phenomenal native ethnic food, live shows every night, a night club thats open 'till 2am and a bar thats open until 6am. All included. Thats a good deal. The rooms are clean, and the people are amazingly service oriented.

Now the negative....
if you go to the Beach be prepared to be harrased by the local vendors .. they are unrelenting. So if you want beach walk a few blocks away from the hotel and you'll be cool.

All in all I would definately go back and recommend it to friends and family. Ive stayed in a few different hotels in Cartagena, and trust me it could be alot worse.

As for the city.... Its amazing, its beautifuly old with narrow streets and small cafe's that serve all different types of foods and shops. Very historic, one of the hidden jewels of Sth America.

I hope you find this helpful.

Date of stay: March 2006
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40  Thank JR18888
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 15, 2006

As always, I try to be two sided in my comments. Since most people are only likely to write a review when disappointed, I try to write reviews whether wonderful or devestatingly bad. Most places have degrees of both. Now, knowing my philosophy, to the review...

1. CARTAGENA: The city is beautiful and it is hard to walk through it without imagining pirate ships sailing through. It is amazing that such historical city walls are simply used as backdrops to every day street life. The old city appears very similar to New Orleans of old in structure and appearance.

2. PEOPLE: Truly friendly and service focused. They are very happy to have tourist come to their city, but clearly were surprised to see Americans. Not many Americans visit apparently. One problem, the vendors are unimaginable. Almost every review mentions their tenacity, but you will not be able to comprehend it until you actually experience it. I grew up in San Diego and made frequent trips to Tijuana, Mexico where vendors are extremely prevalent and forceful. THEY PALE IN COMPARRISON TO VENDORS IN CARTAGENA. They will follow you for blocks, asking the same question and selling the same merchandise. God forbid you actually are interested in something, you will be beseiged with tens of vendors within moments swarming with watercolors, jewelry, trinkets, hats, etc. Be forewarned. It was difficult, we rarely left the hotel and it made if difficult to enjoy the city.

3. HOTEL: Horrific. The best part, it was clean and inexpensive. Everything else was impossible. Check-in and check-out...ridiculous. The rooms had the hardest beds, cheapest linens, and no convenient light switches. The bathrooms not only lacked amenities (blow dryer, shampoo) they lacked even wash cloths and hand towels...and I was in a Suite. The food was average, but plentiful. The service was mediocre at best unless providing a little extra tip was expected. THE ELEVATORS: The worst design ever. There are four elevators. Two work in conjunction, the other two are independent. Why is this important? They are right next to each other. So in order to get the best chance of a ride, you have to push all three buttons. But everyone does this. So, as you ride you stop at almost every floor because there is a high probability that the person on that floor pushed all three buttons, caught an earlier ride and left two buttons waiting for an elevator with nobody there.

4. BARU ISLAND: Don't miss it. It is the best bart of the trip, hands down.

5. LOCAL BEACH: Must leave the hotel, cross the street and be prepared for constant vendor attacks. I would never use it. Not ever.

6. POOL: Horrible. Small and unusual. Similar to any similar pool at a Motel 6 in the middle of the desert off route 66.

Cartagena is beautiful. People are wonderful. Vendors horrible. Pick a better hotel.

Enjoy!

Date of stay: February 2006
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
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21  Thank Civillit1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 7, 2006

Date of stay: January 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
cartagenagerencia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Decameron Cartagena, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2018

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Reviewed September 1, 2005

Date of stay: July 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
cartagenagerencia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Decameron Cartagena, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2018

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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