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“Difficult place to rate” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Cartagena Plaza

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Hotel Cartagena Plaza
Ranked #48 of 148 Hotels in Cartagena
South America
Level Contributor
115 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Difficult place to rate”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

I wouldn't have chosen this hotel normally, but as it came as part of a package tour from Lima, it worked out a lot cheaper than buying flights and hotel separately. The hotel is about 30 years old and starting to show its age. That's not to say it's fraying round the edges, more that the style of tiles and fittings look dated. It's in the upscale neighbourhood of Boca Grande with lots of other modern buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants. The room was perfectly pleasant with cable TV, a view over the ocean, air-conditioning and a comfortable bed. The hotel was generally quiet apart from one night, when someone in the next room had an all-night party one night. Several calls to reception didn't really help. Perhaps they were at the party. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in a buffet style canteen were all included in the deal. The food was fresh and perfectly edible, but a little unimaginative, the kind of stuff you find in an office canteen, which is what the restaurant looked like - very soul-less. Great for people who like eating, but don't really care what or where. The beach outside the hotel is a little on the ugly side and frequented by hundreds of persistent street vendors. Okay, they're poor and have to make a living, but my patience was starting to go after a few hours of constantly saying no gracias and then it finally snapped after having my feet assaulted by a rather hairy women who insisted on massaging them without my say so and then insisting on $10 for the privilege. I never went back. Would I recommend this hotel? Probably not. It's not a bad place and it was popular with Colombians and good value as part of my package tour, but it just was not really my thing. However, as I never really planned to stay here, I changed the return date of the flight and stayed a few more days in the old part of Cartagena, which was much more fun, but without all the free food, etc, proved more expensive.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dungenessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,243 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

I stayed here for the first week of January 2012 and now for a week in November 2012. On my latest trip, I felt like the room was worse than I remembered it. Everything was old and almost cryptic. Nevertheless, it was functional and I found everything I needed. Here are some notes about my stay that might help others:
- If you want your room cleaned, it is your responsibility to call housekeeping and request it
- If you want room service, don't expect a menu. You need to call the restaurant and ask them what they have available daily. The menu didn't change in the 7-8 days that I was there so don't expect them to offer much.
- There are only two power outlets in the bedroom. Be prepared to swap out your chargers quite often.
- The hotel charges a VAT tax that is about 10% of the advertised price. They also charge you for the entire stay when you check in.
- The front desk = chaos. It takes forever to get anything done and there are usually long lines of people waiting for help. They have not been helpful on this trip or my last one almost a year ago. At least they are consistently bad.
- Breakfast is pretty decent but it only goes till about 9 or 10am. You are also not allowed to take any food with you upstairs, so if your girlfriend/wife/etc. wants to bring you some fruit, they do not allow this.
- WI-FI******** this was a real problem for me since I needed to work during my stay in Cartagena. The WiFi in the hallway works fine but once you walk into the room, the signal quickly fades. The signal consistently dropped anywhere in the room, causing a real problem during this trip. I asked them to move my room and tried a different room for a stronger signal but both rooms had the same problem.

I hope you have a good experience at this hotel. I know that there are nicer hotels but the nicer hotels are much more expensive. I don't know if I would stay at Cartagena Plaza again but if you plan on staying there, I recommend reading my notes above.

Room Tip: Find a room with a wi-fi signal when you are checking in - don't accept the room if there is no...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rampage76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cowra, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

I stayed here in August for a conference that was being held up the road. The hotel was clean and the staff were friendly and helpful at all times. I had free wifi and breakfast included at USD $85 per night - complete bargain! The wifi worked well with very quick download speeds and breakfast was delicious with loads of variety. Plenty of hot water in the room and the air con worked perfectly, The only thing that was dodgy was the shower, which did not have great pressure. I used the water jug in the room as a dipper to supplement it and had no further problems showering. Ate one night at the Sushi restaurant - had western food and it was nice, but dianne sauce on the steak was very salty.

Room Tip: Room 1645 was fine - overlooking the ocean and everything worked except the weak shower as mentioned...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Belinda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

been there together with my wife, the lobby and hallways look little bit dated, but still clean and maintained, room was great, spacious, air con worked perfectly and bathroom was nice and big, restaurant food had lot of choices with fresh fruit every morning and big variety of meals in the evening... the hotel show was entertaining but nothing special, nice pool on the roof and great coctails at the bar...

Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Milandob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manizales, Colombia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

After staying here for 6 of our 9 nights I can say that the other reviews are spot on. There are good and bad things to say about this hotel.

Let's start with the good: Great location. Right on the beach, all the best restaurants, grocery stores, shops are within a few blocks, plenty of taxis to take you wherever you want to go, everything is close by. We upgraded to the "superior" rooms which are certainly not superior but they are quite large and the view is great. The beds are comfortable. The workers here are very nice although the check-in staff needs training. The clientele is friendly and well behaved. The breakfast is sufficient but not great and it's loud but it's breakfast. If you eat heartily, you will be set for hours. The pool is small but adequate. We have stayed at Hotel Caribe, Hotel Capilla de Mar and this hotel all in the last 6 months. Each one has it's ups and downs.

The bad: It's old. The bathrooms are old. The 4 elevators are slow. The pool is old...OK, everything is old. The exterior pictures do not do it justice. It's much uglier.

But if you look at the price and figure you aren't going to be in the room THAT much except to sleep, bathe and change, how important really is the room?

The rooms at Hotel Caribe and the Capilla de mar are not that much better and they cost a lot more. The breakfast at Capilla is really great, not so great at Caribe after a couple days. The pool at Caribe is to die for but get there early or you won't have a lounge chair.

The Wi-fi at this hotel was very good which is important to me. It was horrible at Capilla and OK at Caribe. Far superior here if that's important.

Room Tip: I don't know that's it's worth it to upgrade. EIther bring your own favorite soap, shamp...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank williamgray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

old school hotel whose golden age has been long gone. when I first entered the foyer I felt like travelling in time, back to communist Prague's posh hotels. Brown stone, heavy chandeliers. the room didn't get much better, six layers of ugly curtains and a bed made of two mattresses one on the top of the other. One would expect more from 4stars. service isn't nothing special either, reception was extremely slow and my room didn't get cleaned till late afternoon.
On its upside it's located in Boca Grande, it's got efficient lifts, pool on the roof, somewhat opulent breakfast. Generally not recommended.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jakub h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cartagena hotels

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012

I would not reccomend this hotel although the location is great, the rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable. Staying at this hotel makes you realize that there's more to a hotel than its location and rooms. Although the personnel is polite and even speak English (if your Spanish isn't all it could be) thei seem unorganized and unable to provide any service beyond checking you in and out - which also seems somewhat unorganized.

For instance the staff is not able to order a taxy or any means of transport. Although taxis are avaliable everywhere, these are too small for a family with baggage. Furthermore, for safety reasons, even Colombians reccomend to order a taxi via the hotel rather than picking one at the street - and the more foreign you look, and the less spanish you speak, the more important this becomes. We never personally experienced any threatening situations, but as even local Colomians, both staff at other hotels and friends, warn us against this, I guess it should be taken seriously.

Less importand, but worth mentioning. The breakfast area is extremely noisy and the coffee is the worst I've ever tasted in Colombia.

Verdict: Spend your money at andother hotel.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dahloy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Cartagena Plaza

Property: Hotel Cartagena Plaza
Address: Cra 1ra No 6-154 . | Barrio Bocagrande, Cartagena 130001, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 148 Hotels in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Cartagena Plaza 3*
Number of rooms: 311
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Cartagena Plaza is located just 10 minutes away from the Rafael Nuñez International Airport and only 5 minutes away from the historic downtown. In front of the beaches of Bocagrande and steps away from casinos, boutiques, restaurants and banks. 311 standard rooms, suites and junior suites; Panoramic swimming pool on floor 18 with the best view to the Walled city and modern Bocagrande, also, recreation and entertainment for adults and children and “Pelikanos” Kids club. Delight your palade in our Le Place buffet Restaurant, with the best national and international food, or enjoy gourmet dishes in Kazabe Restaurant and Sushi Bar. Also, business center with wide band Internet, WI FI (FREE) in all the hotel, room service, safe deposit boxes, phone services, laundry, nursery, cafeteria, Rezak Bar Club Disco, luggage room,parking lot. ... more   less 
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