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“The White House in Paradise - Hotel Casa Blanca in San Andres Island, Colombia”
Review of Hotel Casablanca

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Hotel Casablanca
Ranked #6 of 43 Hotels in San Andres Island
Adelaide, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The White House in Paradise - Hotel Casa Blanca in San Andres Island, Colombia”
Reviewed July 9, 2008

Hidden between the coast of Nicaragua and Jamaica is a very well kept secret of the Caribbean, San Andres Island.
First colonized by the English and then later becoming part of Colombia, the island is a relaxed and laidback tropical paradise a short trip from Miami or South America where both spanish and english are spoken.
I stayed at the Hotel Casa Blanca, or the White House Hotel, and was extremely impressed by the service, the staff and the place. And especially the food!
First of all, the rooms are huge and spotless. We had one of the larger family apartments, with a well equipped double room upstairs and another downstairs with two singles or a double if required. There was a kitchen (not that we needed it), loungeroom and an incredibly big bathroom for the master bedroom as well as another downstairs. The air conditioning worked wonders, but with the lovely sea breeze on the island it wasn´t really necessary.
The room was kept immaculate with the constant attention of the staff who were very friendly, spoke spanish and english and kept us well fed and happy.
The food was so good we hardly had time to go the beach between meals. Buffets for breakfast had everything from tropical fruit to a lady cooking eggs as you liked them on a cooker out in the patio. We usually had the buffet again for lunch, featuring local fish and seafood dishes and some surprises as well. The hotel also has a cafe serving stuff for the kids and snacks, pizzas and other things. Another thing you rarely find in Colombia or the Caribbean is quality asian food, but the Casa Blanca has an onsite Thai restaurant. The red curry was as good or better as I´ve tasted in Thailand and my girlfriend´s seafood coconut rice wrapped in plantain was equally delicious.
And being in the Caribbean, you have got to try the main restaurant for its seafood. Outstanding! The atlantic prawns were delicious and the seafood soup, served in a giant conch shell, was heavenly. Although I couldn´t finish it, my girlfriend who had been watching me eat with a blissful smile on my face, took the shell off me and devoured the rest, understanding the reason for the smile.
While the pool isn´t huge, the beach is 10 metres from the door of the hotel and is clear, calm and long. San Andres is famous for having seven shades of blue to their ocean, and enjoying a strong and well priced cocktail on the deck i could make out at least four.
Things to do? San Andres is a diver´s paradise, and also one of the cheapest places in the world to do it. There is an old shipwreck to visit, tiny little islands off the coast where you can go in a small boat for the day and drink ´Coco Loco´ (a local drink mixed in a coconut shell) or snorkel around thousands of tropical fish. it´s also a duty free haven, with super cheap alcohol and brand name clothes at bargain prices.
A worker told me that a lot of ex Colombian presidents and movie stars and models have stayed at the hotel and I can see why. It´s not pretentious, very relaxed, really friendly staff and great service. It gives you that feeling that everything in the world is perfect, time has stood still and all you have to do is order another drink and enjoy the sunshine. Having stayed in similar beachside hotels all over the world, this one gets a big thumbs up from me.

  • Liked — The food, the staff and the ambience of the hotel.
  • Disliked — The size of the pool and the early buffet breakfast time!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank australiano99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2008

Room:
The oceanfront hotel room was large and accomodating with a clean modern bathroom. We had a nice view onto the beach just across from the boardwalk. The air-conditioning worked well which was very important as the humidity levels could get quite high. Tons of TV channels (3 kids channels) if you get caught in a bad rain storm.

Hotel: Well maintained, and air-conditioned. Nice pool, clean and well maintained. 4 meters to the beach. 100 meters to a wider beach that is far away from all boats. Only 1 lift to the 3rd and 4th floors.

All inclusive plan:
We expected the worst, as small islands don't necessarily offer an abundance of fresh ingrediants. However, we were pleasantly surprised. For breakfast, lunch or dinner, there was almost always at least one selection that was far above what you'd expect in you standard package holiday meal. Some nights there was live entertainment which we really enjoyed.
Fruit juices generally included one selection without sugar.
Fresh tropical fruits for breakfast were a hit.

Guests:
Coming from all over South and North America, guests were well diversified and good natured. About 30% of the guests had 1 or more kids with them.

Beach:
Beautiful beaches with nice white sand, blue water, palms. Unlike Cartagena, where the beach vendors can ruin your holiday, the beach vendors here are much more passive and non-intrusive. The downside is that the numerous boats and jet skis aren't all that modern, and if you stand anywhere near them you'll smell a lot of gasoline. However, a small walk down the boardwalk from the hotel and you have larger beaches and no boats.

Staff:
We travelled with a toddler. The kitchen / buffet / cleaning staff were incredibly helpful and kind.

City & Island: Not impressive. One large (sometimes shabby) duty free shop. It is a poor island and remains underdeveloped. But you can't actually be coming here for the city!!!! The beaches are great.

Airport: small and pretty easy to use. Upon arrival you pass to an "island tax" barrier (think immigration queues) where they charge you an entrance tax. Upon departure, they may ask you to take infants to the third floor to get a tax rebate.

  • Liked — Large rooms, nice pool area, proximity to beach, friendly guests
  • Disliked — ocean front room sometimes gets smell of gas from boats
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank max_hartwig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2007

This hotel was a typical carribean style hotel rated 4 star. It was located in the only town in San Andreas but it was right on the beach which was like a typical carribean beach with gorgeous blue water and lovely white sand.

The room was very big with a decent bed and a t.v with about 50 stations! The bathroom was actually lovely with a powerful large shower which always had very hot water. There was also a couch in room as well as table and 2 chairs, a safe, wardrobe and fridge come minibar. The best thing about the room was undoubtedly the view which was straight out on to the beach and the beautiful sea. The window opened completely so you could put your head and shoulders out to feel the lovely sea breeze.

Food at hotel was all inclusive but we only ate there for breakfast. Food was just alright. Chef did lovely omlettes and nice selection of breads for breakfast but lucnh and dinner did not look that appealing to us. However little cafe belonging to hotel but where you must pay does lovely milkshakes, pizzas etc.

Swimming pool at hotel was small but very clean. However the beach was too appealing and hence we never needed to yuse the pool. The beach was public beach but this same guy looked after us each day with sunbeds and shelter hut for about $15. The island was extremely safe and you never had to worry about your belongings on beach. Both a pair of googles and snorkel and you could see cool fish in the water.

There was not too much to do on island. It was just for relaxing. Did do tour of island the whole way around which took about 2 hours and cost about $22. Very cheap but do after 4pm when it gets a little bit cooler.

Recommend going to Mr. Carringtons for some Lobster. We went one night but it was closed. Our taxi driver Adolphus (who works for casablanca Hotel) honked his horn and Mrs. Carrington actulally opened up her restaurant for us and cooked us delicious Lobster. It was amazing!

Lots of brand shops on island as it was made duty free years back so lots of Colombians opened up shops there but now no longer duty free but shops still there i.e Roxy, Tommy Hillfiger, United Colours of Benetton, Quicksilver. No McDonalds, Starbucks or the likes.

I tried to book Decameron Isleno but it was fully booked. I believe from looking at all hotels that Hotel Casablanca was probably second best on island after Isleno. If I were to go back I would try for Isleno first and if full I would definately go back to Casablanca.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
13 Thank Seanie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Casablanca

Property: Hotel Casablanca
Address: Avenida Colombia, No. 3-59, San Andres Island 880060, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > San Andres and Providencia Department > San Andres Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in San Andres Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Casablanca 3.5*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
National Tourism Registration No. 3436. The Casablanca Hotel of the Island of San Andres, Colombia, is pleased to announce the opening of its new swimming pool. Hotel Casablanca, your right choice in the Island of San Andres. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casablanca Hotel San Andres Island

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