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“Relaxing, but overpriced”
Review of Irotama Resort

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Irotama Resort
Ranked #10 of 67 Hotels in Santa Marta
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Relaxing, but overpriced”
Reviewed March 28, 2010

We stayed 2 nights at Irotama to relax at the end of our vacation in Colombia. By US standards, this is not a five star resort, but when traveling to a country like Colombia I find it unfair to hold this resort to these standards. We paid around 120 USD per night for a villa (standard room) this included breakfast. The breakfast buffet was huge and included a lot of options. The resort was fairly slow when we were there, so most of the restaurants were closed. We preferred to eat outside of the resort; I highly recommend Burukuka. The grounds are very nice and very well maintained. The main pool is also very nice and relaxing. We took the organized tour to Tayrona National Park. Our guide spoke great English and it was very enjoyable. Overall, we enjoyed our stay, but I think the rates are to high. Our experience was closer to 100 USD per night, at most.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kafoege
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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640 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bogota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2010

My husband and I are Americans living in Colombia. We have lived in numerous countries and have extensive travel experience. We rarely write reviews of hotels due to the great variation in experiences and expectations by country. Having said this we were greatly disappointed in Irotama. Consequently, I feel compelled to write a review to dissuade other travelers.

The grounds are lush and the main pool large with a slide--- fun enough for our 2 year old daughter. The accolades stop here. We stayed in a villa and although the least expensive room available (approx. $150/ night) the rates are significantly higher than one would expect for (even) a resort in Colombia. The room, which does not include a patio-- we were told you have to specifically ask for such when booking (even though the Villas are billed as having such)-- was small, cramped with tiny-small windows (we compared it to a train compartment). Certainly not appropriate for a family of three. The rooms were in need of repair and frankly to allow for comparison were similar to a 2-star hotel in the states. We were discussing if the room was worse than the one in the middle east where there were holes in the floors and one could see their neighbor or one in DC were we found left over cigarettes on the headboards.

Given the other reviews we knew we were taking a risk and only stayed at the Irotama due to the fact that we were traveling with another family who had already booked--- the result--- horribly disappointed!

We requested an upgrade at check-in and were told none were available. When we arrived at our room my first action was to call and request an explanation for our room--- dirty, without an outside area, and horribly tiny. We even noted that we would pay for an upgrade or a different room and told the resort was full-- unlikely given the absolute lack of clientel. The pool near our room was closed for our entire stay for "water treatment". If we had paid $60 a night I would not feel so taken advantage of. The room was certainly worth $60 a night and the resort grounds were worth a bit more. So if somehow you can get a better rate--- worth $60 a night.

Additional information: We were traveling with another family who booked a Villa but were involuntarily moved to a Bohio for at least double the price and told there were no other Villa rooms available when they asked for the room that they booked. Fortunately, after seeing our room they were pleased that they had been moved and despite the additional cost--- which even they noted exceeded the value of the room--- they were glad in that they would have tried to move resorts had they ben assigned our room... telling us there were embarrassed by how much larger their room was than ours. Having said that given a prior choice even they noted they would never have paid $300 a night for their room given the quality. The Bungalows which are in between the Villas and the Bohios in price may be worth the cost. However, given the market in Colombia, there are other lower priced resorts in Santa Marta where you will get better accommodation for a lower rate.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank TravelersTres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
1 review
Reviewed September 29, 2009

I love this hotel. Its location is the beautifull bay of Santa Marta.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MariaO1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2009

This is the worst hotel i have been in Colombia. There are of course worse hotels, but this one is really a rip-off. It is featured as a 5 star hotel, which is just obvious by watching its facilities that this is not 5 star hotel. I felt really disappointed with my room, with the spinning room, with the beach access, with all the surroundings barely done (like they were working on it and the workers just abandoned it). Staff was really not friendly, and i was surprised because i have been in other hotels in Colombia (even 3 stars) and the people were always ready to help and friendly to the guests. I just left the next day, i demanded the cancellation of my stay and a refund. Thanks to the Credit Card company that helped me with this "inconvenience". If you dont mind to be ripped-off and want to stay in a 1 star hotel that charges like a 5 star one, then visit this one. But if you want a 5 star and are paying for 5 stars ..... don't waste your time and money here at the Irotama.
If the hotel would promote itself as a 3 star or lower, it would not be as bad.
do not go to the Irotama! don't ruin your trip!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank World-Berlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2009

My husband and I travel extensively and are very easy going. I can’t remember any time that we have been so disappointed with a hotel. We went expecting a 5 start hotel and found a disaster zone. Most of the hotel was under construction. Our room was extremely disappointing. We were paying around $300 per night and the room had had worn out furniture and in the bathroom the shower door was falling off. The hotel was not clean or nice and the beach was littered with trash. The hotel was advertised as “all meals included” but we were given little points cards. Upon arriving we went to lunch but were told we only had enough points for one of us to have lunch. At night the card said that we could have a glass of wine but were told by the waiter that we couldn’t. The next morning we checked out and the hotel staff did not even care why we were leaving nor why we were disappointed; they just wanted us to pay more money to cancel our package. Please do not stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank coltraveler79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima, Peru
1 review
Reviewed May 2, 2009

Hotel was almost empty (low season). I liked the food at restaurants, many things to choose from, and everthing is fresh. Lots variety of fruits for breakfast. If you order something else from the fixed menu you have to pay extra. Alcoholic drinks are not that good, and very expensive, only wine is included for dinner. Best if you take your own bottle. Take city tour with hotel, aprox US$ 20 for a 3 hr tour. They take you to museum (tour guide included) and shopping mall, try their Valdez coffee!!. Beach is nice, however sand gets very hot and cant walk barefooted. We need more time to try all restaurants. Good variety of food at buffet.
Nice pools, very clean. Hotel is building new construction which gets noisy but no big deal. Lots of local guests with family.
The only bad thing, is too many mosquitos, especially if youre allergic to mosquito bites, take lots of bug repellent!!! I ran out of it and had to buy at hotel, expensive.
they have internet, aprox US$ 2 for 15 min. and US$ 4 for 30 min.
Internet at El dorado airpot (bogota) is US$ 1.20 for 15 min, and US$ 1.80 for 30min.
If you dont want to pay extra and have all meals included in your stay, just hold on to the fixed menu, you will be just fine, you have different options (restaurants) to choose from. Italian, typical colombian, sea food, etc. Try fresh lobster (you choose which lobster you want to eat) they will prepare, aprox US$ 30/lb.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nyip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2008

This December (2008) will be the 4th time that my wife have stayed there, therefore I cannot give a negative review.
The resort is a medium priced resort so you cannot expect 5* service, but the all inclusive rate for food and some drinks is excellent value.
There are a choice of restaurants to suit most tastes, however the predominant food is suitable for Colombian people mainly.
The pool is excellent however it can be noisy when children are off school.
The fish restaurant is particularly excellent serving lobster and local bagre and other fish.
The Italian restaurant should be called a Colombitalian restaurant.
The beds are hard as no springs in the bed.
The beach is kept immaculately clean, but not kept clean of hawkers . All in all an enjoyable stay is assured.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Botas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Irotama Resort

Property: Irotama Resort
Address: Km 14 Via a Cienaga, Santa Marta, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Marta
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Marta
#5 Spa Hotel in Santa Marta
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Irotama Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 356
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Pozos Colorados area, 20 minutes from Santa Marta, Irotama captures all the magic and enchantment of a luxurious Caribbean hotel. This breathtaking resort is surrounded by nature and has tennis courts, a golf draving range and a kilometer long beach. Come discover it! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Irotama Hotel Santa Marta

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