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“Concrete beds, mediocre foods and lye burns” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zuana Beach Resort

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Zuana Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 68 Hotels in Santa Marta
Certificate of Excellence
Ventura County Coast, California
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Concrete beds, mediocre foods and lye burns”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2011

Avoid the Zuana Beach Resort.
The bed base is poured concrete topped by a mattress as hard as a rock. The sofa also has a poured concrete base. Maintenance in the resort and construction on the high rise next door starts early and makes sleeping in and enjoying quiet by the pools impossible.
The food buffets are skimpy and mediocre at best.
I received lye burns on my legs while sleeping as the sheets were not sufficiently rinsed. This was very painful for days, will take months to heal and will likely cause scarring.
The only plus to this resort is the pools are nice.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank I_am_retired_early
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,354 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
St Petersburg
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Zuana Beach resort for a week while sightseeing the Santa Marta area. The property shows evidence of deferred maitenance in the common areas and the rooms; however, the pool and beach areas are nicely landscaped and were clean. Of note were the hotel staff which was helpful and accomodating, and the hotel's restaurant - the menu was varied and the food was quite good. Our visit was memorable because this was our first visit to Santa Marta and we found its surrounding attractions and historic places worth the trip. We we would probably have cut our stay short if the hotel facilities were our only option.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jgjimenez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Fl
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2011

We exchanged our timeshare in Gatlinburg for Zuana Beach Resort. For starters, it is not easy to get to this area because the Santa Marta airport has limited flight schedules. It's mostly national flights. We took a "puerta a puerta" which consist of a small van which picks up passengers from their home or hotels and delivers them to their destination. Again, it is 99% national passengers. It took us approximately 5 hours from Cartagena via Barranquilla to arrive to our destination. The hotel has very good security and they scrutinize the arriving guests before admitting them to the hotel. The hotel needs renovation and they are in the process of doing so. A new tower is being built and they are beginning to renovate the existing apartments in what they call the "north" tower. We had a 1 bedroom unit. The kitchen equiptment and cabinets were tired and old. The beds are hard. The beds rest on cement platforms not boxsprings. So do the sofas in the living room. My husband loved that but I needed pain relieve medication every morning! But the unit was very clean and the housekeeping staff were eager to please.. The grounds are beautiful and our favorite part of the entire stay was the pool. Huge infinity pool with plenty of shaded areas to lounge in. The service was very good except the restaurant and in the pool area. It was an issue to request cream with our coffee after dinner. But we understood that is not a national concept. We only went to the beach twice because there is an army of souvenier, food, and assorted other types of sales people who just do not give up and will not leave you alone.I understand that they have to make a living. It is one of the poorest country we have visited. But there came a moment when we just had to give up and leave the beach because there is no way to relax with that going on. It was an experience but I do not think we will want to repeat it.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LisM3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westminster, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2011

I exchanged a week in Maui to stay at this Resort. My ex wife and her sister had stayed here a few years ago and said it was really nice. The staff was very accommodating and helpful in all aspects of my stay. The only draw back is the resort is a 10 to 15 minute taxi ride from Santa Marta at approximately $7.00 USD each way. The food at the restaurants was good but not what I would call really special, and it was a little pricey. I would not recommend this place for a single person. I consider it best for couples and families, which there were an abundance of. The staff is currently learning to speak english through a program the resort is offering to its employees. I do not speak spanish, however with my translation book, a pad of paper and a pen I managed to communicate fine. They are building a new resort or hotel just North of he resort and there was some construction noise, but not annoying. The beach was nice and they had good security at the resort. The only draw back with the Caribbean view were all the oil tankers sitting offshore waiting to be off loaded nearby. I counted 15 one day. An earlier review complained about the hard beds and I noticed that when I first laid down on one, however they gave great support and I slept just fine. They are definitely not the Weston Heavenly Bed that I have at my Maui time share. If I go there again I will make sure I am with a female companion.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Colin51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
east elmhurst
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2010

I made a difficult reservation to this hotel-resort because the phone numbers listed on their website weren't working , so I manage to do the booiking tru another website. any how I want to make this very brief and concise so that you don't make the same mistake I did. Stay away not only from this Resort but from any place in Cartagena,and Santa marta. this resort is clean and the pools are ok if you wanna insist in going but be aware of alll the rip offs. I book a double suite and what I got was a room with a sofa be for three people ,my wife, my sister in law, and I .when I went to make a claim the didn't do anything except to put a small mattres near the kitchen.and when I went to check out they told me I have to paid a ripoff hotel insurance about xtra $20dollars on top of the $630 dollars I had already cancel. listen to this for two nights. anyway outside from some people, the place is not more than a 2 o 3 star hotel, don't be fool Santa marta is not what is used to be. except for a few spots, the beaches are dirty and filthy ,the street vendors don't leave alone trying to sell anything including massages sunglasses,food,drinks etc. "what a nightmare". if go to el rodadero is the same, the beaches are also DIRTY and abandoned, and they charge you for almost everything from a chair to anything you can think. and if go to one of the mobile bathrooms you slso have to paid. It hurts me to say because I am from Colombia but we ruined this two turist areas plus our mentality is all about to make a buck. I am very sorry for the rest of the people I met at the airport coming back they too had agree with me.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank gigatech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2010

This resort is beautiful, perfect for families who want to relax, swim and eat good food. Excellent food. The avocado salad was delicious. Sta. Marta is a beautiful city, nice calm beach, very friendly people, and the security was excellent. The food was great. We have two children a 13 year old and a 10 year old they had a great time in the pool area. The rooms were clean, spacious and the kitchens came with everything you need to cook or keep refrigerated. A nice little convinience store in the first floor can provide you with a items for breakfast, and quick meals. Friendly maid service every day. Our only and biggest problem with the Zuana were the beds. My goodness, I have never slept in anything so hard as the mattresses in this facility. I woke up with a back ache once, and my daughter had a neck ache on another night. Really hard beds, impossible to get a good night sleep after a full day of activities. On the other hand, no signs in English any where in the building. It would be more tourist inviting to find directive signs in English and Spanish. The staff does not speak English very well either.

Went on a couple of excursions, one was to Crystal beach which was great, beautiful clear blue water, surronded by green mountains. We were able to snorkle and this area, it was really nice. I recommed this trip to all. Also, Parque Tayrona is really something to see. Beautiful sights. Its all nature and you, loved it. I would visit Parque Tayrona again. I felt very safe in Sta. Marta, the same can be said for Tayrona, we did not have any problems with transportation, or security. We needed to go to Barranquilla for a week and they offered this service called Puerta a Puerta. A van that can transport you from Santa Marta to Cartagena, or Barranquilla, if you need to. Don't recall the fee but it was extremely low not expensive at all. A company call AVIATUR can provide you this service the same and even private if you want it to. Excellent. Very reliable and responsible drivers. My family uses them every time.

We were able to hook up with a guy named Julio and Jonie who have a little gazebo kind of bar on the beach on the right side of Zuana and this guys took us on a excursion to Parque Tayrona. They were great! Even made us a meal at the beach one night very reasonable prices. This guys offered their services and we felt comfortable enough with them. If you go to the Zuana look for them they are on the far right side of the Zuana. Ask for Julio and Jonie. They were able to help us find the Puerta a Puerta service from Sta. Marta to Barranquilla. Really nice people. I will post some pictures soon.

Overall, Zuana is great except for the beds, a bit too hard for us.

The Irotama looks like a great place to stay too.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wolfdenTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
280 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

I traded a timeshare week to get myself to the Zuana, so I'm not sure what the prices are to determine the "value," but it was a great value for me! :) This was my first time to Colombia, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Bogota's airport was a bit of pain on the way in...beware of "helpers" who are just guys who don't speak English and want to escort you to the gate and then want you to tip them--$20 USD! ha!. It's a small airport, you can find it no problem. Anyway, the Zuana was only a couple minutes from Santa Marta's airport...it was Saturday (timeshare check-in day), so they were running busses for like $.50 USD. Other days you have to cab it, but that was only $7 USD. The hotel was very nice and tropically decorated. Room was spacious and had everything you'd need...blender, coffee maker, toaster oven...etc. The beds are hard as a rock, but somehow once laying on them, they weren't bad and I was surprized that my back didn't hurt in the morning, but it didn't! The pool is beautiful and is right on the beach (which is a little rocky...not white sugary like I was hoping for from the carribbean). There are the annoying beach vendors like Mexico, but security does not let them step one foot on the property. A/C worked very well, and the staff was fantastic too! My spanish is limited, as is their English...but we managed. The bellmen seemed to speak it the best, so I used them a couple of times to translate....and they were very happy to practice their english on us. There is a small grocery store with ice, beer, snacks, etc. I recommend taking (or buying there) a small collapsable cooler to take stuff down to the pool. They have no problem with you bringing your own goods down, they only got a little unhappy after we asked for like our 15th glass of ice. -can't blame them for that, though.
All in all, it was a great, relaxing get-away and my only piece of advice would be to brush up on your Spanish! Oh, and once back in Bogota's airport, be prepared to get patted down (several times) and have your luggage gone through 2 or 3 times before getting into your gate area, where you are sniffed by dogs and your luggage is gone through one final time. Happy Trails!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zuana Beach Resort

Property: Zuana Beach Resort
Address: Carrera 2 No. 6-80 | Bello Horizonte, Santa Marta 470006, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Marta
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Marta
#4 Spa Hotel in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Zuana Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 330
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Between the mountains and the Colombian Caribbean sea you find Santa Marta, the oldest city in South America. In the middle of this tropical paradise and its charm is Zuana Beach Resort. This five star resort offers privileged landscapes and amazing tourist activities that allow relaxation and recreation of its visitantes. In Zuana you can have it all, the best beaches, great service and exclusive accommodation, which makes this the ideal destination to visit and enjoy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zuana Beach Hotel Santa Marta
Zuana Beach Santa Marta

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