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“Perfect location. Great Service”

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Casa La Fe - a Kali Hotel
Ranked #15 of 152 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
Orinda, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Perfect location. Great Service”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Centrally located small hotel. While the rooms are small, we had a triple, they were clean and comfortable. Breakfast included fruit, juice, bread and your choice of eggs. The staff was friendly and very helpful. They have bikes to loan, but you really don't need them as the Old City is quite small. The best part is the jacuzzi/pool on the roof! Great for relaxing after you have walked your feet off. You really can't beat the location. And they will pick you up at the airport!

Room Tip: Do not take a room on the ground floor - no privacy and you will be bothered by the breakfast noise.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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904 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
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English first
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014

My adult daughter and I stayed here in February. We had a third floor balcony room which was totally worth the extra cost. We loved watching all the street and park activity throughout the day and evening. There is a little street noise, but it never went on later than eleven or so.
The hotel is in an ideal location, an easy walk anywhere in the old city and you can retreat to the rooftop plunge pool should the afternoon heat become overwhelming. We usually spent a couple hours daily doing just that. It was always very quiet.
If I had any complaint at all, it would be that the beds were hard, but I find that is generally something that happens when travelling south (not sure why)
The staff were super friendly and helpful, the rooms spotless and beautifully decorated ( as was the whole hotel). Highly recommended! Would love to go back someday...

Room Tip: Third floor rooms on street side have vaulted ceilings and balconies. Well worth it!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathym1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Would definately stay at casa la fe again, in fact we,d only booked two nights at the beginning of our trip, so returned for two more at the end because we liked it so much!!
ALL the staff were lovely, it really is in such a great area, in fact there was nothing i could fault, as everyone points out the pool is more a plunge pool, but gorgeous, we always seemed to have it to ourselves, wish i was there right now..............

Room Tip: we had a triple room so there was,nt much choice
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank jill c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

I would like to start this review by saying that the place was getting a better rating from me until the owner stepped into an email conversation and was extremely rude to a customer (me) for no reason whatsoever. So, here's the story of Casa La Fe.

AIRPORT TRANSFER/BOOKINGS
I booked 3 nights at this property after discovering on Kali Hotels website that they offer discounts for 7+ night stays. We also stayed at their Villa Maria and Casa Isabella properties in other cities, both with 5 star ratings IMHO. The booking process was easy and communication from the manager (not the owner) Freddy was excellent. Since we booked 7 Kali nights we also got a free airport pick up at the Cartagena airport. I reconfirmed the pick up but the driver was not there when we arrived. After waiting for some time, we called the hotel who told us to take a cab and they would pay the driver directly. We took a cab which proceeded to drop us off across the square from the hotel so we had to drag our bags in the heat and explain to the driver that we were not paying him...it was a hassle but the hotel apologized. About an hour later the driver came and said he could not find us at the airport. He offered to take us around the city for free for a couple hours. Very nice of him and we tipped him generously.

HOTEL & LOCATION
The hotel is small and clean. It's a bit dated--we spent time in other hotels around the area which were much nicer. They offer a happy hour nightly which you get 1 free glass of wine or beer. Buffet breakfast in the morning- was probably the most tasteless "included" breakfast we had throughout Colombia. Other reviewers weren't kidding about the "reheated" like hot dogs- barf. The hotel is very noisy. Every room has thin doors and if you want to ever sleep in, don't plan on it here. The breakfast area creates a lot of noise that travels up to the room. Beds were fine but they removed your comforter after day 1 and replaced it with a blanket that barely covered the bed. A/C and fan plentiful. Wi-fi worked great.

Location is prime and easy to walk everywhere. Very safe. Front door kept locked after a certain hour. Staff always around to let you in, other wise you are provided with a key to unlock it yourself.

Small (very small) pool on the roof. It was a nice for a quick dip.

STAFF
Staff at hotel (NOT THE OWNER) were excellent. I don't know why other reviewers said nobody spoke English--as 3 of the front desk people we encountered spoke English. We asked for recommendations on restaurants and Spa's--all of which turned out to be poor experiences. I dont blame them for that, but it may be time to revisit the local recommendations on their list.

And so now for the owner...
When I originally booked the package with Kali hotels, a very nice guy named Jacob wrote me back and helped me arrange everything. Unknown to me, there is a second owner named Geoff, who I guess owns the Cartagena property. (I honestly think they just teamed up with to make it look like they have more properties to offer- whatever). After 3 nights in Casa La Fe, we planned to go to Santa Marta to visit their Casa Isabella property. I was told (in writing, by Jacob) there were two options to get there: private car for 400,000COP or a "bus/shuttle" for 60,000COP per person. Being that we were traveling for over 2 weeks, we opted for the 60,000COP option. When I approached the front desk, I was told the only shuttle option was 70,000COP per person not 60,000 and that Jacob was "wrong".

I wrote Jacob directly and said:"Jacob: We went to book our bus to santa Marta today which you said was 60,000cop per person and now the casa la fe receptionist says it's 70,000. I do not appreciate prices being raised on us at the last minute."

Yes I was annoyed. Cartagena is a tourist trap with people seemingly trying to get the most of you at every turn (especially cabs). Jacob wrote back a very nice email: " Sorry to hear about this. There are a few companies that run the route from Cartagena to Santa Marta (ranging from 42.000 COP to 70.000 COP per person). Please understand we do not set the prices, and want to make sure you get where you need to go as flawlessly as possible. Casa La Fe must be arranging the company Panamerican Viajes (the best one, which offers door-to-door service and does not stop in Barranquilla - which makes the trip faster). However, I'm not sure why they would not offer the other companies as well. I definitely recommend Panamerican, as the extra ~$5 USD makes a big difference in the quality of your trip. If you would like, I'm happy to speak on the phone with the folks at Casa La Fe and make sure they book you on MarSol (42.000 COP) or Invertours (60.000 COP). Again, I'm sorry for any confusion, but we can sort this out and make sure you get exactly what you would like as quickly as possible. "

I responded saying "No worries and thanks for the quick response!" Thinking the matter was settled. We booked our bus and that was that. Or so I thought. Suddenly a guy named Geoff wrote back "Jacob: CLF will NOT offer any other transport than Panamerican because we get too many complaints with the others. Also you should know Marsol just had a crash this week killing 3 pax (all tourists) and injuring 5. Finally I object to the tone of the clients mail. We are not in the business of shafting clients, we are concerned only at giving them the safest and best quality of service.
Geoff
Owner"

So - Either he didnt mean to leave me on the email since he was badmouthing me or he did bc he's crazy. Also, its NOT cool to talk about tourists getting killed on a bus route you're about to take!

I was furious. I immediately went to the front desk to ask for Geoff. He was "out of town". So I responded to his email instead: 'Are you kidding me??? Maybe you should take your clients off emails before you gripe about them. I'll be sure to mention this my tripadvisor review. You have lost a great customer. I paid to stay seven nights in your kali hotels. Unacceptable and very very rude!!!!"

The response next was him advising his staff to cancel my reservation and move me to another property! Given that I had pre-paid I wasn't moving. The manager Freddy also told me that he wasn't going to move us-- that we were fine to stay right where we were. In any regard, that was the rudest I've ever been treated in all of my worldly travels! The first hint that he doesnt like what you have to say, and you're asked to leave?!

Please travelers, do yourself a favor and read the 1 and 2 star reviews of this place. Look at Geoff's responses to people who have issues with the hotel. The owner is rude and thinks he does nothing wrong. This place should not be associated with the greatness of the other Kali hotels. As for this review, he can certainly write back whatever he wants, but there is nothing more to stay. He damaged his own reputation with his behavior. He acted out of line, not me. I am certainly allowed to question pricing when I am told two different things without being made to feel bad for it.

There are tons of hotels in Cartagena that don't treat people this way and are nicer anyways.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ashleye54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

When you visit Cartagena, you want to stay within the walls of the old city in my opinion. This hotel is right on the Parque Fernando Madrid, a two minute walk to the wall of the city, centrally located to lots of attractions, and next door to an awesome pizza place. The hotel itself is very nice, they serve an AWESOME breakfast in the courtyard every morning, and the staff is helpful. My friends and I had nothing but positive things to say about Casa La Fe.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sayrge B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Beautiful hotel in the middle of the walled city. Amazing view and pool make for a great place to cool off during the mid-day heat. Great food and unbeatable location, right outside a nice park and steps away from all the key destinations.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank worldtrekker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsdale, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

I agree that this hotel is a true Gem! The location is wonderful, directly across the street from the Plaza Madrid, a square where locals hang out and congregate. We started and ended our day there every day...the Hotel is sweet and charming and beautifully appointed. The free breakfast is really good and the complimentary cocktail hour each night was a nice touch. After walking around and touring all day the rooftop pool really was a delight. I loved this hotel and would definitely go back...

Room Tip: There is no elevator so if stairs are a problem, ask for a lower floor. The only rooms with a balcon...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lesabrinker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa La Fe - a Kali Hotel

Property: Casa La Fe - a Kali Hotel
Address: Calle segunda de Badillo # 36-125 | Centro Histórico, Cartagena 130001, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#12 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa La Fe - a Kali Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Casa La Fe is an oasis of calm and good taste located in the very heart of the city and our services come recommended in the NYT and London Times Group Newspapers. Visit our webpage in Trip Advisor and take a Virtual Tour of our rooms and facilities. Ensure that you obtain the best rate and free airport pick-up by booking direct with the hotel using promotion code SDBOOK. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa La Fe Cartagena
Casa La Fe Hotel Cartagena

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