Earlier this month, I got away from the NYC cold to visit Cartagena, Colombia; accomplishing a 30 before 30 goal of visiting another continent. I stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Bocagrande, about 3 miles from the airport and a 10-15 minute drive from the walled city.
The hotel itself is less than a year old. The lobby was very grand and included waiting areas on the main floor as well as up the stairs for meeting and conference areas. If needed, guests had the ability to purchase snacks and goods from a mini retail area. It also included a business area and concierge service that I used to find food and “what to do’s” in the area and signed up for the Cartagena Trolley Tour.
I stayed in a single room that included television with cable, a small seating area, mini fridge and stand up shower area. Based on the price paid (less than $80 a night), the room was perfect for me to be staying in myself. An added plus was the iPod/iPhone sound dock. I didn’t have a phone charger with me because I set my alarm for the wrong time before going to the airport. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was able to drive the Outlander Sport to the airport (which is 15-20 minutes away) and my TSA Pre-check, I don’t think I would’ve made it on my flight.
Other amenities included:
- Free breakfast every morning
- Rooftop Pool
- Free wireless Internet
- Guest laundry
- Maid service
- Fitness Center
- 24-hour Front Desk
- Concierge Service
- Spa appointments
The overall stay was very pleasant. Before heading to the beach on my last full day, I was able to get beach towels from the front desk. You could tell the area was very touristy because it was surrounded by malls, cafes, the beach was walking distance and the whole strip (which I walked down my second night) had a bunch of American and Italian style restaurants and a few casinos. Right across the street alone was a McDonald’s and Burger King Restaurant. I really wanted to find authentic Colombian food, but I was better off going to the walled city for that. If you’re looking for a place to stay that is reasonably priced and not too far from the action, I definitely recommend this hotel. I’ve seen prices as little as $50 a night depending on the time you buy. If you do see a cheap price, get it, because it goes quick.
Have you been to Cartagena before?