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“Refuses to honor Agoda.com terms”

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Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
Ranked #31 of 151 Hotels in Cartagena
GreenLeadersBronze level
USA
Level Contributor
57 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Refuses to honor Agoda.com terms”
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

Pros: nice air conditioning. Good wifi strength. Nice black out curtains. Across the street from the beach. About 1.75 mile walk to downtown city. Lots of little restaurants nearby. New hotel with nice amenities. good view from the lobby.

Cons: the breakfast was mediocre. I also had to have both of my card keys reprogammed, making two unnecessary trips to the 16th rloor lobby. The hotel only has 2 elevators and you may have to wait a while.

My biggest issue was at checkout. We asked about why we had to pay the VAT tax. According to Hilton/ Hampton and Colombian tax laws (Tax Statute, article 481 literal E) different requirements need to be in compliance to exempt a guest from paying the VAT charge:

*Guest has to be a foreign citizen.
*Guest needs to live abroad.
*Guest must have entered the country less than 6 month ago.
*Guest needs to pay with a foreign credit card.
*Reservation has to be a Package, which means that the room rate must include at least one other component other than lodging, for example breakfast.

The manager stated that our stay didn't satisfy the above conditions. He stated that breakfast was free...not included as part of my package purchased from Agoda. Thus, we must pay the VAT. My confirmation from Agoda however clearly states that breakfast is "included" in the room rate" and no where does it say it's a "free" breakfast that we didnt pay for. The manager, himself, acknowledged that this was a matter of semantics.

My feelings about this is that if they are going to outsource their booking process to a third party, they ought to honor the third party's terms. For instance, if I booked a room with a rate of only $100 instead of $120, they ought to honor my rate. The taxes are not a lot of money. It's about the principle of the matter. Other hotels are more honest and do not charge the 16% VAT tax to foreign tourists. This last part of the stay left a bit of a sour taste and as someone who spends over 150 days a year in hotels, I'm sure to remember Hampton/Hilton's practice model.

Also, if you want them to call you a taxi, please be advised that you will have to wait about 30 minutes. It's safer though than taking a taxi on the street.

Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank howardchang79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
@howardchang79 Thank you very much for taking the time to leave feedback about your experience at our hotel. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed our location in Bocagrande and proximity to the Historic Center, found our rooms comfortable, and left satisfied with our air conditioning and wifi!

I am sorry to hear that your checkout experience was less than pleasurable due to our legal obligation to charge IVA to both domestic and international guests of the hotel. Our hotel was deemed a hotel does not offer packages according to the Colombian government, and therefore by law we are unable to make any exceptions to charging IVA to our guests. Our breakfast is complimentary to all of our guests as a Hampton Worldwide standard and is not considered a included meal plan. As this is a legal obligation of the hotel to charge this tax to all, we are unable to make any revisions under any circumstances.

Please know that if you have any further questions about this matter, I would be more than happy to assist you. I hope you have a great day!

Juan Manuel Quijano
General Manager
Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
Wichita, KS
Level Contributor
137 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

For the Bocagrande area, it does not get too much better than this.

Service: Depends on who you get. No problems with staff not speaking English though.
Value: Not budget, but it's worth the extra money. We wanted to extend our stay, but the price had increased by about $50usd/nt. We decided we'd rather stay closer to the Old City.
Location: A taxi to the Old City would cost around 5000pesos or so. The immediate area has tons of shopping and food and most importantly, is safe. The hotel is right in front of the beach. If you choose to walk to the old city, it is about 40 min.
WiFi: Excellent even for streaming videos.
Misc: Clean spacious room had great a/c, warm shower, and no noise issue on the 6th floor. There is a 24 hour gym and a pool, though we did not get to use either. Breakfast was alright, though coffee came from a machine....which I thought was unfortunate, since we are in Colombia. Last receptionist I spoke to did not recognize that as a non-Colombian, I do not need to pay the 16% VAT. I will take it up with (hopefully) a different person tomorrow when I check out. If you need to check out late, there will be an additional charge.

For the initial lower price, I would stay here again. Otherwise, I would prefer to be closer to the city center. This is why I'm checking out tomorrow and moving to a hotel in the city center that knows not to charge the "gringo tax."

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank lilorchid82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
@lilorchid82 My name is Juan Manuel Quijano, the General Manager of the Hampton by Hilton Cartagena. We greatly appreciate the detailed feedback you left about our hotel. Your comments will enable future travelers to Cartagena to make informed decisions about their choice in hotel. Our hotel just opened this past March (approximately 6 months ago), and we strive to ensure that all of our guests leave 100% satisfied with their experience so that they will come back to visit us again!

With respect to your feedback about the 16% IVA (tax), our hotel by law is obligated to charge this to all of our guests, whether they are from Colombia or any other country in the world. To qualify for the foreigner tax exemption, a hotel has to offer packages, such as spa packages or packages with meal plans. The Colombian government determined that our hotel is not considered a hotel with packages, because our breakfast is free as a Hampton Worldwide standard to all guests in all Hamptons around the world. Our breakfast is not included in the rate, whereas in other hotels, they offer rates that include a meal plan and rates that do not. We realize this may be confusing, but ultimately we are obligated by law to charge the IVA to all of our guests and are unable to make any revisions or exceptions.

We are very happy that we had the chance to have you with us this September and hope that you will come visit us again soon!
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This was my first trip to Colombia and let me tell you it will definitely not be my last! I had such a great stay at the Hampton! First of all, we had a super efficient and easy check in from the Assistant Manager, Jessica Testa. She is always a joy to be around and always wears a smile. The rooms were great as they were hard wood floors and comfortable beds plus we got a great view of the city. This hotel is situated about a mile from the Old City so if your looking to go out at night, this is the hotel to stay at. Beautiful lobby on the 16th floor and a great free breakfast every morning. Don't forget to check out the awesome roof top pool as well! Definitely recommend this hotel for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable hotel to stay at near the beach and the old city.

Room Tip: Check out the Travel Agents downstairs as you get 5% off on all excursions booked through them if yo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kbbinford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
@Kbbinford Thank you so much for such a detailed and excellent review of our hotel. We are thrilled to hear that you found our beds comfortable, enjoyed the views in your room and in our 16th floor lobby, liked our breakfast and pool, and most of all- that you were pleased with our service! It is an honor to read that you deemed our hotel "the best place to stay in Cartagena."

We hope that you can come back to visit us soon! Jessica and the rest of our team will be here awaiting you in your home away from home in "La Heroica."

Sincerely,

Juan Manuel Quijano
General Manager
Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed August 30, 2013

A clean and sweet-staffed establishment in close proximity to the beach. We stayed here on points so the price was right. The lobby is on the 16th floor of the building which threw us for a loop when we first arrived. The standard Hampton breakfast was decent. We only stayed here one night but it was a good starting spot to gather our bearings and continue on our trip.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Natalie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
@Natalie D Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us feedback about your stay! We are very happy to hear that you were satisfied with our service and facilities and that you felt safe and secure at our property. That is great to hear that you were able to use your hard-earned Hilton Honors points at our hotel, we are extremely grateful for your loyalty to the Hilton Honors program! Please come back and visit us again soon in your home away from home in Cartagena!

Sincerely,

Juan Manuel Quijano
General Manager
Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

I stayed at this property for a week with a couple of friends and absolutely loved it. The hotel is very modern and the staff was incredibly warm and friendly. Steps away from the beach and a short walk from the Old Town, the hotel is perfectly situated. I was a big fan of the fresh cut fruit every morning at breakfast and our waiter, Johan, was incredibly attentive and hospitable. The rooftop pool was also an added benefit for days that we didn't feel like heading to the beach. but still wanted to catch some breathtaking views and go for a swim. The rooms were minimally furnished, clean, new, featured strong air-conditioning, and had free wifi! I would highly recommend choosing this Hampton property if you are in the Cartagena area.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
@Nina L My name is Juan Manuel Quijano, General Manager of the Hampton by Hilton Cartagena. Thank you so much for such amazing feedback about our hotel! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed our breakfast, rooms, facilities, and most importantly, our service. Every day we strive to offer the best to our guests so that they leave satisfied and come back to visit us again at their home away from home in Cartagena. We hope to see you again soon.

PS- Johan says hello!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

3 of us stayed here for several days late July, 2013 - our room was for all 3 (bed + sofa-bed) - a little tight, but OK for the price. Amenities were fine, everything worked including WiFi, nice and modern place. Right by Bocagrande beach, restaurants, shops. Hotel staff were helpful with tour arrangements and advice - tours: Playa Blanca (great beach) and old town (trolley). Good free breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Vlodko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
@Vlodko We are glad to know that our service and amenities contributed to your satisfaction during your stay with us. Thank you very much for your comment and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Have a nice day!

Juan Manuel Quijano
General Manager
Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 26, 2013

I recently stayed her for 7 nights and loved it! The hotel and amenities were very new, clean, and modern -- overall very comfortable. The included daily breakfast always had plenty of fresh tropical fruit and unique juices that were fun to try. Also the staff was fantastic about giving recommendations for restaurants and each one they suggested was better than the last! The hotel is less than a block from the beach, and it also has a rooftop pool with great views of the ocean and the city. I would recommend the Hampton for any type of stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rizzlet87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juan Manuel Q, General Manager at Hampton by Hilton Cartagena, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
@rizzlet87 My name is Juan Manuel Quijano, General Manager at the Hampton by Hilton Cartagena. We appreciate your trust in our hotel with your excellent comment on TripAdvisor. Our team is very glad to know that our recommendations were enjoyed by you. We look forward to see you again very soon at your home here in Cartagena. Have a nice day!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hampton by Hilton Cartagena

Property: Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
Address: Av. San Martin #8-13, Cartagena 130001, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 151 Hotels in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hampton by Hilton Cartagena 3*
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Considered by many one of the top leisure destinations in the world, discover the enchanting heritage of the Caribbean with the Hampton by Hilton Cartagena located between the Caribbean Sea and the Cartagena Bay in the vibrant neighborhood of Bocagrande, renowned for its commercial and touristic activity. Enjoy our sky lobby on the 16th floor or our pool terrace on the 17th floor. If you feel like going out at night, take a 5 minute taxi ride to the historic center where you can stroll the magical streets of the “walled city” or enjoy some of Cartagena’s finest bars, restaurants and night clubs. ... more   less 
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