What I liked most was the service from the staff. They are very friendly and honest. I stayed a couple of days, and I can't argue with a good price ... the rooms are small, but cozy, close to all the fun of the city (bars, clubs, restaurants, etc). I recommend it!
There are many hotels on the beach of Playa Blanca, but this is still a tourist favourite. Hugo, the leader of the native places of Cali, welcomes everyone with the same smile, and rents hammocks, tents, or cheap huts for those who prefer to sleep under the stars, and you also can enjoy your cocktail menus and cabins.
I've been wondering whether or not I should write this place up, because it seems that the owners really don't care about their hotel's publicity. They have no website, information is minimal, and it took over 24 hours to respond to my email query. But I wanted to stay here for personal reasons... To keep it short, Casa Peter is a beautiful colonial house in Cartagena that belonged to Peter Tomkins, an American writer who wrote the book "The Secret Life of Plants", which was the basis for a documentary with a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, and a 1979 album that I have long cherished as one of my favourites.
Peter died in 2007, and his house has been converted. There's no reception, and you have to knock on the door. The cleaning lady gives you a look, as if deciding whether or not you're worthy of being a client. She told me the manager would be here in a while, and in the meantime I could take a look at the house. It's hard to describe: it has 2 floors, but there are seven different staircases leading to places, sometimes closed. There's a colonial courtyard full of plants, and the only hotel-style touch is the two jacuzzis. The construction seems to consist of a series of impossible, Escher-like staircases.
The rooms are all different, some are duplex, and prices vary from 30 to 100 €, breakfast included, but no A/C, which in Cartagena can be a problem, since the humidity is high and temperatures rise above 30 degrees. But I really enjoyed it, and it was a unique experience to stay here. It's a haven of peace in sometimes noisy Cartagena, where most taxi drivers seem to regard honking their horn as a hobby. The street does not appear on maps, but it is very easy to get from Santo Domingo street, pass the Plaza Santo Domingo, and at the end of the street, almost on the walls, on the right is Casa Peter, the secret life of a hotel in Cartagena.
This cozy hotel is located on Calle de las Palmas in the Gethsemane neighbourhood, hence its name. It has a beautiful courtyard that functions as a social area, 11 rooms, and a restaurant/bar. A good option.
Perhaps the cheapest and best accommodation in Cartagena, a very expensive and touristic city . Its owner is an Austrian who traveled to Colombia in the 90s and decided to stay. The bedroom accommodation with air conditioning starts at € 5 a night and you have wi-fi and complimentary coffee, a book exchange, and a guest kitchen.
Its location is what I liked the most: it's in the historic centre, so you can see all the activity and life of the city. The architecture is really interesting, there's great service, and there's an interesting tennis shop below. Highly recommended.
The Bay Hotel is ideally located, 100 meters from the beach and in the heart of Bocagrande. The price to quality ratio is excellent. The pool is great and the staff is the best of the best. Thank you very much for letting me explore this wonderful city. Cartagena is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in the Americas and obviously the Spanish wanted to count it among their riches.
I spent my last night here in Cartagena and I must confess that I regretted not staying in this hostel during the first days. The site is extremely cheap, much more than the popular Casa Viena. The Real works in a large colonial house 1 block from the hostels, in a quiet street of Gethsemane. It is run by a friendly family of Colombians (grandmother of one hundred years and talking parrot included), hence its guests are not usually foreigners, but local. Its very clean and safe, the hostel has wi-fi, internet, free coffee, dormitories and a series of rooms with private bathrooms, some with air conditioning. My room, with ceiling fan, large bed with white sheets and bathroom, I paid only $ 22,000, something like 8 €. Unbelievable.
Rooms made of wood, cane and straw - an environment that's pure nature, with spacious beds, a restaurant, pool, and poolside bar ... all fully respectful of the natural world. The perfect place to spend a day enjoying Park Corales del Rosario with snorkeling or diving activities. You can get there by boat from the tourist port of Cartagena de Indias.
If you do not find happiness in Mama Martha, with Willy, Leo and Hugo, you may find it here, in Any. This small hostel is a little more basic than it's neighbours, and offers cabins and hammocks at an unbeatable price, and also has a small bar where you can enjoy the cool sea breeze.