Words and pictures don't come close to capturing the essence of Barlovento. Situated in one of the most breathtaking spots I have ever seen, this one-of-a-kind hotel is nothing short of spectacular.
Many of the earlier reviews have done a great job of describing the set-up but to reiterate: there are two places to stay on the property - the finca and the MaloKa.
The finca is the more well-known, open-air house built over the ocean. It is gorgeous and unique but as noted it is not the best choice for people who are freaked out by bugs or creatures. That being said, during my stay I noticed that the vibe at the finca was extremely communal and friendly and everyone was having a great time.
My friend and I stayed at the MaloKa which was opened in 2013 to offer a slightly less rustic experience for visitors who want to visit Barlovento. The space is perfect - beautiful, simple, enclosed rooms with private bathrooms built around a communal dining/living space. There is also a super-friendly cat who lives in and around the house and will jump up to join you for a hammock nap if you invite her but keep her distance if you're not a cat person.
One of the nicest aspects of the Barlovento experience is that this is a small, family-run business. The owner (Luis) lives on the property and his daughter (Nathalie) spends 10 days a month visiting and tending to the needs of guests. I can't say enough good things about these people - they are incredibly kind and helpful and they will go out of their way to accommodate you. There are also a number of awesome dogs who mingle with guests but are quite well-trained - most notably Kiwi who will walk you to the beach and charms everyone she meets.That being said, if you're one of those people that likes to snap your fingers for service and enjoys lying on a beach while servers bring you drinks and fancy foods this is not the place for you. If, on the other hand, you love nature and wildlife (birds, iguanas, monkeys!, an alligator!!) and meeting new people and spectacular sunsets and ocean views and traveling and living your best life then this is a mandatory stop on your visit to Colombia. You will never forget it!
Here is what you should know before you book:
- Because this is a small operation booking can be a little complicated. You can either book through the website using PayPal or contact Aventure Colombia (http://aventurecolombia.com). My friend and I were able to find a room at the last minute by walking into an Aventure Colombia office in Santa Marta (the main booking is in Cartagena) but other guests booked in advance either via the website or by calling Luis directly.
- Bring cash! There will be no place to get money once you arrive.
- No wifi. Deal with it - this is an opportunity to unplug. if you're desperate, the restaurant attached to the ecohabs in Parque Tayrona has wifi but you'll need to get to the park, pay admission and find someone to drive you in (we opted to pay a couple of guys on motorbikes 6,000 pesos each when we went to the park and it was super-fun)
- Meals are communal - breakfast and dinner. Don't miss this! The food is really good - not a fine dining experience by any means but tasty and authentic Colombian food made with fresh, local ingredients. The real advantage of this set-up, however, is the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and share experiences over a bottle of wine in a beautiful and special place.
I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cabaña hangs on a cliff over the beach and ocean. It has been featured in documentaries, tv and magazines such as Maison Marie Claire french edition. Maloka has lovely views to the river and sea or the jungle, its quieter than the cabaña and the rooms are spacious and with a private bathroom. The web site of Maloka can be accessed through "go to maloka" on the cabaña's web site. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz, Hotwire and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.