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“Great location, attractive premises, but some shortcomings”

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Bantu Hotel By Faranda Boutique
Ranked #12 of 153 Hotels in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great location, attractive premises, but some shortcomings”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

This hotel has a number of desirable attributes – great location (everything within the historic district of Cartagena is within walking distance); two elegant and tastefully furnished interior courtyards; and a rooftop pool/solarium/spa (the pool is only some 15 feet long, but in Cartagena’s torrid climate any such amenity is welcome). The personnel were hospitable and helpful. On the night I stayed there, however, I had to deal with a number of annoying problems. The air conditioning in the room I was initially assigned didn’t work, which necessitated a switch to a slightly smaller room. In the new room the air conditioning worked fine, but the shower faucets (which were evidently mislabeled) both yielded lukewarm water at roughly equal temperature. Moreover, Internet access was dodgy the entire time I was there. The breakfast buffet was adequate but nothing special – and this in a country with an abundance of all kinds of tropical fruits. Overall I found the hotel to be overpriced relative to the quality of service provided.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank martymorell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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503 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 (47)
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English first
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

My wife and I stayed in a large first floor room with king-size bed. We were delighted to see this cool room after several nights in a not-so-good hotel in another city. The location of the hotel is excellent for anyone wishing to stay in the old town area. There is a very good small Italian restaurant with authentic cooking at reasonable prices across the street. This hotel would have been a perfect place except for the closet situation and the plumbing. The closet was one quarter of a credenza that was shared with a large TV (one-half of cabinet) and a refrigerator (one-quarter of cabinet). The bathroom had several problems - terrible drainage in the shower which caused much of the bathroom floor to flood., one night with the shower dripping and nable to be shut off, and a second night with the washbasin dripping with no way to stop it.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marinite34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
60 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Our first impression on the arrival was great: beautiful interior, wonderful colors, pretty courtyard and nice rooms. And most of all - sunny and warm weather! Unfortunately, after the first night at Bantu it was clear that this "boutique" hotel does not live up to the expected standard.

We stayed in a double room on the second floor (No 113) for 4 nights.

Well first of all, even though our room was nicely decorated and spacious, it had several imperfections:
- Room was dark even though we had a little window. (Some of the other rooms apparently have no windows at all)
- The bathroom, especially the area with a sink and mirror, is ridiculously small - there was very little space to place our bathroom items
- The plug above the mirror where you normally plug in the hairdryer was designed in such a way that it could not be used at the same time the light was on. So basically I needed to dry my hair in the darkness.
- The shower was so shallow that it flooded the whole bathroom floor - there was also no space to hang up 2 towels
- There was only one nightstand next to our bed. After asking the receptionist we were given another one.

So, nothing major wrong but lots of little thing which when added up just left you with the feeling of having arrived in an average hotel with a pretty facade.
The staff tries to be helpful but the lack of english was often a challenge and the overall service level didn't really match expectations for a boutique hotel.

The roof terrace has a lounge area with a small swimming pool, some massage cabins and several sun chairs. This is one of the best parts of the hotel - truly enjoyable.
Also the breakfast is nice: if you arrive early enough, you have a great choice of fresh fruits, bread and jam and you can also order some eggs.

Overall, the hotel is nice and clean, it has a nice colonial charm and perfect location. But do not expect too much and don't rely on the fact that it is called boutique hotel, because it is not quite there.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sensula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida Keys
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

The Bantu is a beautiful and quiet boutique hotel property. It is located within the walled city, and is only a short walk to the historic sites, or to the convention center. The toucans in the lobby are a wonderful tropical touch! The food service is too slow, or it would have been a 5!

Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank livinginthekeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

I've been in Bantu for three days and everything seems great there. The ambient is pleasant, the rustic vibe fits Cartagena's architecture perfectly and the willing staff is ready to help you out at anytime.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Belaiache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapala, Mexico
Level Contributor
218 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013

One thing we enjoyed was that this hotel was just a few blocks from two small plazas that were surrounded my restaurants and great people watching. The hotel rooms are very spacious, air-conditioned and quiet. We had a king size bed, couch, and table with two chairs in our room. Bathroom is shower only (no tub) with plenty of hot water, but the floor can get quite wet and slick after you have showered, our only complaint. Hair dryer in the room. Small roof top pool on third floor. Also two small jacuzzis but they were not filled when we were there in September.

All rooms are on first and second floor. Large buffet breakfast with cooked to order eggs beginning at 7 AM. Very comfortable beds and lots of pillows. Free wifi in room and two computers for guest use in the reception area. On site restaurant with about 8 tables, which we did not use except for breakfast.
Three lively toucans hop about the lobby area and add color and a touch of fun to the hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the second floor as it will probably be a bit quieter than abutting the traffic thr...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barbara W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Level Contributor
113 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This hotel is a gem in the heart of the old city. Rooms differ. I had a roomy, clean one with small bath area. A/c- an absolute necessity in this city- worked well. The beds were comfy with lots of pillows (more than needed). The toucans were very playful. The small pool refreshing after a long day in the impossible heat. The massage was perfect. Lots of restaurants, parks, and sightseeing right around the hotel. Very safe and clean. Use the same caution you would in any large city. I had a tasty steak dinner with wine for US $15!

Room Tip: Not all rooms are the same. Ask to move if yours is not up to par. One of our guests did that.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tvlbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bantu Hotel By Faranda Boutique

Property: Bantu Hotel By Faranda Boutique
Address: Calle de la Tablada 7-62 | Historic Center, Cartagena 130001, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Cartagena
#8 Business Hotel in Cartagena
#30 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
#34 Family Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bantu Hotel By Faranda Boutique 3.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bantu invites you to discover a charming boutique hotel in the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, colonial city of Colombia, and one of the most amazing places in the Caribbean, full of warmth and authenticity. Distinguished with the category of 5 stars, Bantu Hotel offers an inside-edge design, colonial architecture and unique services: XVIII colonial infrastructure, chill out terrace, solarium, pool area, spa, bar, restaurant ... a bespoke luxury. Meet one of the most charming hotels in Colombia for couple getaways and business travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bantu Hotel And Lifestyle
Bantu Hotel Cartagena
Bantu Hotel Lifestyle

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