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Hotel Costa Del Sol
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Reviewed June 18, 2008

I stayed at the Cartagena Costa del Sol with my family from 6/10/08 to 6/17/08. We rented 3 rooms in all. You will have huge regrets if you stay at this Hotel. I don’t know where to begin, as there is so much wrong with this Hotel.
I should have read and believed all of the negative the reviews here before going.

The staff is downright rude in their lack of caring for their guests. The air conditioning was far from sufficient to keep the small rooms comfortable during the day. I had to go to the front desk several times to ask if the AC was working. Twice they said that it was being worked on. On the fifth night we had to change rooms because the AC on the 10th and 11th floors, we were told, would not be working for several days. Had to go back and forth to the front desk about five times just to get the door card to work and the card would stop working every couple of days. Never one word of apology or sympathy from the staff was received. A snide look from the staff is the norm. They dress more like they were looking for action than in a professional manner.

The bathrooms are deplorable. They obviously do not even wipe the surfaces down often let alone sanitize them. A very large part of the sink corner had been broken off some time ago and not repaired. Filthy grout. The shower walls had a nasty colored film on them. The floor was sticky. Fortunately, the cockroaches I did see were dead.
Hot water for a shower would last about a minute or so and then it was cold for the duration.

The dining room was terrible. The buffet is filled like so – two huge pans of rice and the ever present “Garlic Spaghetti” pan take up almost one full side of the buffet every night. Also there is one pan of something mysterious each night. There are no heating elements and no fire under these pans – once they cool down, like everything else here – too bad. The end of the buffet has a small bowl of shredded lettuce, some well aged tomato slices and some slimy cucumbers. The other side of the buffet is all bread and utensils. There is a separate small table that holds two pans – one is always fish that is obviously recycled and one that is different each night.
The food overall is awful. Many bites were quickly spit into a napkin. We would usually try the food and then go down the street to a café for a good meal.

Cartagena is a great vacation spot. Many things to see and do and we will go back, but not at this poor excuse for a hotel. It is the one thing that you definitely MUST avoid when in Cartagena!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank vacationeer32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2008

The sanitary authority of Cartagena should revoke this hotel license.
This hotel welcomes you with a terrilbe urine smell at the desk and a crappy elevator.
When I get to my room (1425) I killed 3 coackroaches, then i went to the desk and asked for a room shift. They showed me 2 other rooms (all in different floors) and I saw at least 1 coackroach and a bed bug in each of them. After all that room dancing I've decided to stay in the same room. The next morning I tried to take a bath and they dind't have hot water... the reason? The manteinance guy forgot to turn on the boiler and all the floor was out of hot water.

The second night I didn't see any bugs but the air conditioned had a malfunction and it heard like a train running two floors down.

The food at the restaurant was almost as good as dog food. I think dog good is quite helthier. The hotel cafeteria is the only place on earth that can make a fried egg taste bad (reallly really bad)

And the worst of all... it costs 100 USD per night!!!!! I could expect this service from a 20 USD per night, but this kind of service and value for your money is something you don't deserve... even if you are running from justice

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank IAldasoro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2008

We got a GREAT deal for flight + hotel to Cartagena from Bogota but now we realize we got what we paid for.

Costa Del Sol looks more than decent in the catalogs and ads but what a facade! I agree with the rest of the reviews with my main complaints being:
- NO English speakers, not even a little bit of English, at ALL. I had no idea this Hotel was for Spanish speakers only. I speak enough Spanish to get around but the lack of ANY employees including Managers and above knowing any English was a HUGE inconvenience.
- NO CLEAN ROOMS: the plastic-tiled floors felt sticky/disgusing in every room. Wonder when the last time they changed their mops was?
- COCKROACHES... EVERYWHERE!: we had 2 rooms with these rampant rodents making their homes from mainly the bathrooms to even inside the drawers next to the beds and of course, the floors and beds. We even joked that there would prob be some chilling in the communal "free-food" restaurant and alas, we found a big one near the drinks area the last night of our stay... and some bugs in our salad.
- NO HOT WATER: I hear this is common for all, non-5star hotels in Cartagena since the climate is never freezing cold, yet ice cold is pretty far off from " slightly warm". You can forget about water pressure too.
- NO CLEAN TOWELS: the towels and the gauzy "comforter" both smelled like really bad body odor and just bad, unclean funk. However, the elevators smelled like really strong bleach almost every day. =P
- BAD FOOD: Well, I guess complaining won't be fair since the food was essentially free (part of the package) but it was pretty bad. I would bet that watching the cooking staff make the food would have the equivalent effect as watching "super size me" or "fast food nation". no bueno. and the sangira tasted like it was wine mixed with soda. perhaps sangria = jungle juice?

the GOOD thing I want to mention is the staff at the bar which offers happy hour right below the hotel. The staff was extremely thoughtful and attentive there and really informative for those who have never been to Cartagena; the owner even speaks English and is really resourceful.

I'll be completely frank, I have a pretty high tolerance of "bad service" yet this place was completely unacceptable and makes Motel6 look like the Ritz. The worst part was that even with all of our complaints, we never received an apology. I really have no idea how they are still in business.

Stayed: February 2008
1  Thank Commander_FUN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2008

Attention Travellers! Do not book the Costa del Sol in Cartagena Colombia. If you like clean surroundings, a safe balcony and comfort this is not the hotel for you. This hotel was $100 USD per night gone down the drain. My partner and I refused to stay there. It was the worst hotel I have ever seen in my life. The word 'dump' comes to mind.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank TravellerKingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2007

Our hotel stay here started off with a "switch and bait" scam where the hotel first showed us a nicer, more spacious room and then, after we had paid for 4 nights up front as required, were moved into a smaller, uglier room.

The TV wasn't working due to a broken cable. So the hotel sent up two clueless employes, neither of whom were able to replace the cable. My wife ended up fixing the TV herself. We were also required to purchase an "all inclusive" package that included all meals and free drinks during happy hour. But their restaurant was so bad, it was set up like a high school cafeteria but with even worse food, that we ended up rarely eating there. The "happy hour" consisted of only rum, aguadiente and a soda fountain that had only Pepsi and the Colombian equivalents of grape soda, cherry soda and club soda. The pools were too dirty to swim in, the elevator door kept slamming shut on people as they tried to enter, the front desk offered a rip-off exchange rate and well I could go on and on. This place was so bad it actually become funny after awhile. But it also was a joke that got old very quickly. Avoid it like the plague.

Stayed: January 2007
1  Thank CDLNashville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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