Travel Blogs from Cartagena
... It was a good parilla mixta with a bottle of wine. Rustic potatoes with sour cream! Yes sour cream. awesome.
I miss Crispan chicken empanadas with crispan sauce.
Observations: I get stared at less here. Maybe men are more polite, or it's too hot to care, or they are used to seeing gringas.
Only 1 taxi driver overcharged us (8,000 instead of 6,000) He didn't even know where he was going (I doubt he could read street signs.
During my two weeks in Cartagena, I had the opportunity to meet and work with some fabulous locals. The organization that I was working with was called Emerging Voices and it is a NGO (non-government organization) that wears many hats- teaching English, working with young teen mothers, helping at a youth drug rehabilitation center, entertaining young children with cancer, feeding the local homeless population, etc. The list goes on and on... And the founder, Monica, is only ...
... taxis, 90% empty, honking horns and rushing about looking for fares. The old city and most of Getsemani is surrounded by a 4 meter thick wall that took 200 years to build and ended the repeated sacking of Cartagena – the most infamous siege by Sir Frances Drake in the late 1500’s.
Cartagena declared her independence from Spanish rule at 11am on November 11, 1811 (11 is their lucky number). It’s no small wonder that Spain and others ...
... figures instead of employing their own gifts of intellect and reason. (Needless to say, it doesn't help that there appears to be little to no relation between competence and authority nowadays, which is part and parcel of a culture that conflates opinion with knowledge, belief with understanding, submission with freedom, pleasure with happiness, conformity with responsibility, war with hygiene, and self-righteousness with morality.) In short, most of ...
... we took a short hike to visit some waterfalls. Sadly it was raining and the trail proved to be quite perilous and slippery. But the waterfalls were great.
So all covered in mud, we left wonderful Villa de Leyva, one of my favourite places from this trip sofar along with Cartagena and the jungles of the coast, and hopped on a three hour bus further South to the Colombia's capital city, Bogota.
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Historical Traveler Reviews Decameron Cartagena
Desperately needing to be refurbished
We stayed at this hotel from 01/02 til 01/05 and were extremely dissapointed with the general appearance of the hotel, especially the room. This hotel seems that was built more than 30 yrs. ago and the owners have not put a cent on it since it opened. The A/c of our romm did not work and after 4 calls to the front desk and having to spend a night without A/C,we were moved to another room which had A/c working but its appearance left a lot to be desired. The rooms were clean though;the problem was the look of the room. The staff in general is very courteous, no complaints about them. Another thing that was dissapointing to us is that the beach is really uninviting and the pool is too small for a 23 story building. The food was OK, nothing spectacular but edible. The drinks were served in small glasses, perhaps 4 or 5 oz. The surroundings are OK too, and it is at walking distance from the old city which is gorgeous. A cab would charge you just $2.00 for getting you there. It is a very safe place I must say. There is plenty of security in the area. In general, I have to admit that for the money thy generlly charge at this hotel you can not ask for more. It is a one star hotel, not more than that.
The hotel was nothing special, but the staff (most) were extremely helpful. Restaurants actually had pretty good food, considering. Beach, though, was annoying with so many vendors.
No Beach No Pool
We arrived at Decameron Cartagena after 5 days at Royal Decameron Beach in Panama wich was great expecting something similar as is promoted at the Hotel web page unfortunally not. When we arrive at Cartagena Airport a very rude militar policeman treated us very agressive searching all our luggage just because my wife asked him to use globes in his hands for touching the clothes, be aware that once you arrive in Colombia you will be constantly harassed by vendors trying to sell you everything, so the same did the hotel people in the Bus who transport you to the Hotel trying to sell us different packages, after arriving at the Hotel we did the check in outside the Hotel in a very windy day (I do know why? they did not answer me ) with police searching your luggage with dogs Again, We were to Cartagena looking for visiting the City plus getting sun and tan, the swimming pool at the Hotel is very small, no sun during the morning but there is no problem either way, you can not use it meantime they served breakfast and almost the same at lunch both are served around the pool, during the afternoon the hotel people organized some games in the pool with kids so you can not use it either, the beach is a very small piece of sand surrounded by rocks and during the morning when you are not overcooked by the sun (weather is really hot and humid and rains every day) there are fishermen with their boats in the closest beach water access, besides there is a band of vendors harassing you all the time either at the beach or when you leave the Hotel, we asked for going to the Rosario Island but you need to leave at 7 am and stay there for the whole day. Thus looking for some peace, beach and pool and a real resort we moved to Hotel Las Americas wich was really good.
Loved the Decameron, Great Value!
First and foremost, the end of March was really hot! The hotel was great and in spite of the temperature and hummidity our airconditioning was fine.
In March there is no shade at the pool so it is really hot from 11:00AM until 2:00PM.
Rooms were clean and pleasant. Bathrooms have showers only.
I just loved this place, five a la carte restaurants, two of them are off the premises in the old city. In the afternoon there is a pizza place on the ground floor which is included. My favorite waiters were Euardo and Carlos. They seem to understand English and were super attentive.
Be sure to bargain with the vendors on the beach. Manicure is $5 US and so is the pedicure. Ask for Carmen on the beach. She is so trust worthy and will make sure you have a shade cover and chairs for about $14 US for a week. You can talk to the beach guys who run the chairs but some days they are off..... Carmen is really poor and has four kids. If you have kids clothes from 6 to 14 take them for her.
To get rid of the vendors say "No Quere-ay Nada" forcefully. They will take the hint.
In the hotel a good massage was $20 US for an hour.
We went to Baru their private island and it was great. Make sure your seat is on the upper deck on the right hand side so you aren't in the sun. Same side for the way back.
I am going back to Cartagena for sure.
The Decameron - Unforgetable time
Two star billing with five star people, people like "Raul" the Bartender and "Joel" the waiter make it all worth while "SAY HELLO to them". The Decameron Cartagena rocks. We spent 5 days there, so much to do.
We purchased tickets for other venues outside of the hotel which were ALOT cheaper. Major differences like 87,000 pesos per person at the hotel where outside the same ticket is 60,000 pesos per person. SHOP Around!
First thing to do is the city tour, next The Volcano at Totumo is a MUST! Take the mud bath, its Outrageous we had an hour long massage and I laughed all the way through. The locals will take pictures of you with your camera (they work for tips, be nice to them!) The "islas del Rosario" are also a MUST, view the islands, go snorkeling lots of beautiful fish! Then off to the beach at Baru, very very nice!
The on premises disco is small but nice, the bar is in the lobby which doesn't take away from the disco. The music is great.
The food was great, they even have a nice romantic restaurant off premises, but you must book it early in the morning to get a seat.
Caution: Stay away from the vendors at the beach just across from the hotel as they are over priced and try to get over on the tourist. You can find the same items elsewhere cheaper.
3 Star Suprise
We recently returned from a one week stay at the Decameron Hotel in Catagena, Columbia. Having booked the trip on a last minute arrangement we had little time to research the hotel (or Cartagena) so we arrived with no expectations other than having a hotel room waiting for us.
The hotel is twenty-four stories high and approximately thirty years old, however, the room was large, clean, and air conditioned. We soon discovered that there were many return customers to the Decameron and the reason for this was the staff; they were really great.
We had an all-inclusive plan and generally the food was good in all three of the hotel restaurants and pool buffet area. The hotel also provided for dinner at restaurants on the Old Town offering Italian, Japaneese, seafood or steak venues. All of these were exceptional.
The hotel also provided a beach area which was relatively free of vendors which is a real down side of Cartagena.
The city is a beatuful adventure, the hotel was more than adequate although a bit 'tired', but overall a good value. Would we go back??
Maybe someday but next year.
Decameron worked for us!
The Decameron is definitely a better than average budget location. We were very impressed with the food, the staff and the accomodations were clean and nice. As mentioned before the elevators were slow but we used it as an opportunity to get some exercise!
The balcony is well worth giving up a king size bed. We would sit and look out over the ocean and watch the lights come on over the old city before heading out for dinner.
The only hassle in our whole trip was the vendors. Very, very persistent...but otherwise we loved it!
A good choice to act as a homebase in Cartagena
My wife and I just returned from a week at the Decameron. We were very happy on many fronts. The al a carte restaurant format works great, providing variety of food and setting. My wife who has limitations on her diet found it easy to find things to eat. And the food as good. The rooms were bright and cleaned well. The staff was a treat friendly and helpful. So helpful in fact that one of the elevator operators made a pass at my wife! But no harm done. The location is perfect for access to El Centro and near a shopping area as well.
The things that may not thrill you are:
1. the tours available thru the hotel are more expensive than what you can get in a travel agent and they are on every street corner it seems.
2. The nearby beaches are not world class. But a day trip to the Rosario isles or the Baru private beach are worth the effort.
3. The elevators are slow and work independently therefore if you are on a high floor plan on 10 minutes to get to the lobby.
4. Security at the hotel is tight. Drug sniffing dogs and the works. It helps you feel safe but it also makes you worry about the area. Although we had no problems even walkin the streets at night.
Cartagena is a great city to spend a holiday in and the Decameron is a great base for that vacation. We will be going back!
It doesn't get any better than this!
This has been an established hotel for many years. The last time I was there was 10 years ago. Any improvments have all been for the better. We felt safe and comfortable at the hotel and staff was very helpful and friendly. Rooms are very clean.
To anyone who has never been, put this on your list of places to go. It is very safe and we had walks at night down the main street and were not bothered or feel unsafe at all. You only have to take the same cautions you would in any town.
Emeralds are a very good price and you should get at least one little bling bling...
They only remote downside we had to our trip is the elevators can be slow....but we are on vacation so smile and relax they will come to you!
Food is excellent lots of choice. The one place I travel to where I don't carry Pepto.
So go and enjoy lots to do and see and history buffs will be in their glory and I reccommend the city tour for anyone that has never been there before.
My favorite place
Sitting on my balcony overlooking the ocean at sunset and down to my right the lights of the Old walled city ay night is one of my favorite spots. I travel a lot to Latin American countries and this is one of the best values for the money. The hotel has 5 different restaurants which are all excellent. The rooms are very nice with the suites having a balcony with 2 rockers overlooking the ocean. The staff are wonderful. The piano bar is a great place to be at night. The daily activities are fun. There is lots of nightlife in the immediate area and you can walk anywhere. A trip to the Old city on horse and buggy from the hotel is a must at night. Take a bottle of wine with you. We have ben here 3 times and would stay at any Decameron Hotel again.