REVIEWER: RAWAN HADID
Cartagena is a new a travel industry sweetheart and we wanted to know what all the fuss was about – I’m a beach bunny who revels in the sunshine, he likes history, stories and context. Since I plan all the trips, and this one was a treat – I knew nothing about our destination and didn’t get to pick.
hotel name: Hotel Bastion Cartagena - no website!?
who: Me & My Hubby
why: #escapewinter city break
when: January 2015
stay: The décor is a temple to Restoration Hardware – the chandeliers, the wrought iron details, and every sofa. This is not a terrible idea – it is warm, comforting, and restful. The hotel itself is serene – guests are made up mostly of fabulous gay New York couples and fashionable South American families. The beds get two thumbs up – crisp sheets, soft mattress toppers and many pillows – that sensation of wanting to lie there continually with a smile on your face is easily achieved.
location: Located in the heart of the walled city, this modern hotel is a 16th century remodeled building and features a classic Cartagena rooftop terrace with a swimming pool to laze away your days. The beds are comfortable and the breakfasts are delicious – best served in the interior courtyard in the lobby so you can enjoy the outdoors. The staff tries very hard – most of the time they’re great. A little Spanish will go a long way though as Cartagena’s popularity as a destination for the rest of the world is only just on the rise, meaning most locals don’t speak much English.
rooms: 51 rooms
pool/gym/beach status: Yes, Yes, No – Cartagena is not a beach town and if you really want some sandy shorts you need to head to the islands or trek to coastlines outside town.
food situation (mini bar, breakfast, restaurant): yes, yes and yes! The hotel restaurant is run by Rausch and the food is fantastic.
bar: not really the scene
data (wifi?): yes
vibes: hidden colonial vacation meets chic urban city break
kiddie agreeable: Some guests brought theirs but really it’s not ideal.
specialty: retreat for the urbane - everything smelt delightful and welcoming.
price scale: Not cheap, especially for a town littered with boutique hotels – but this one packs a punch with food, bathroom products and relaxation. Worth it.