Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) is consolidating as a must-visit destination in the Caribbean and hotel chains have noticed. Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Radisson and Double Tree opened new properties in the past two years. Sheraton is also developing a new hotel (but it’s taking them forever to finish it, as the opening date was pushed back -again- recently), and there’s been chatter of a JW Marriot in planning.
Hyatt Regency is the newest addition to Cartagena’s five star hotel portfolio. This hotel, which opened last December, is the first property of three that Hyatt plans to operate in Colombia. The other properties under development will be located in Bogotá and Cali, with expected opening dates during 2018.
You can access the hotel page here.
Last month I visited Cartagena and decided to try the hotel for one night. This property is a Hyatt Gold Passport (coming soon World of Hyatt, as we explained here) Category 2: 8000 points/night. With standard room prices ranging from USD 120 (low season) to USD 360 (New Year’s weekend, Cartagena’s peak season), this hotel makes for good redemption value, especially if you get the top tier perks (welcome amenity, club upgrade, breakfast, late check-out).
The Hotel offers 261 rooms (including 28 suites) and 1200 m2 of meeting and event space and is located in the district of Bocagrande, a short Uber ride away from the colonial old town and with easy access to the beach.
Redemption values @ Hyatt Regengy Cartagena
The hotel is located on top of a shopping mall, with the lobby on the 11th floor of the building. There is direct access to the lobby from the street level, the shopping mall and the top floor of the parking lot. Accessing the hotel from the parking lot, a security guard greeted us and called for a bell boy to help with the luggage and accompany us to the front desk on the 11th floor.
The hotel reception is a large space with lots of natural light coming from glazed wall facing the beachfront. The decor is sober, regional handicrafts or replicas of pre-Columbian objects.
Hotel Lobby @ 11th floor
Pre-Columbian inspired decoration and stairs to the 10th floor (restaurant, bars and pools)
Kokaú bar seen from the lobby
Upon arriving at the front desk, the desk agent confirmed my club upgrade and escorted us to the Regency Club on the 30th floor to proceed with the check-in. During the elevator ride I got the chance to ask the agent about the hotel’s opening. She explained to me that he hotel opened its doors to the public on December 7, 2016, and that all the staff started their training one month before the opening. She also explained that the hotel opened in full on that date, with all room floors, facilities and event space operative from the beggining, and that the public response had been positive, with occupancies of around 95% during the New Year’s weekend.
The Regency Club is located on the top floor of the hotel. The club is spacious, with a large window overlooking the ocean.
Sofa with a view at the Regency Club
The view from the sofa
Food & beverages area
City views from the Regency Club
Club View Room
I was assigned a Club View room on the 29th floor, overlooking the bay. The room has a decent size (38 m2), with a king size bed, a relaxing chair with footrest and desk. The room also came with a 40-inch flat screen TV, radio/alarm clock/iPhone docking station, and Juan Valdez coffee maker.
Club View Room
Relaxing chair and footrest
iPhone docking station
Cartagena Bay views from the room
On top of the desk I found a welcome letter from the Regency Club team along with a card with the Club service hours: continental breakfast from 6.30 to 10.30 AM, snacks from 11 AM to 5.30 PM, and cocktail from 5.30 to 7.30 PM.
Welcome letter and Regency Club service hours
Juan Valdez coffee maker
Ironing board/iron, safety box and complimentary beach slippers inside the closet
The bathroom consists of separate shower and toilet, and a fairly large vanity area. The selection of toiletries included shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing lotion and a face soap bar. Other items such as dental or shaving kits are provided on request.
Washbasin / Vanity
Rain shower and toiletries
The hotel has several pools on floors 10 to 12. The largest pool is located on the 10th floor and has a children’s area and infinity pool for adults. It also has a large area of sofas and sun loungers as well as a dining area at the Amacagua Grill & Bar.
Amacagua Grill & Bar on the 10th floor
Sun loungers area
Infinity pool on the 10th floor
The family area is located on the 11th floor, with two smaller, shallower pools for the little ones. On the 12th floor, however, the pool is only for adults. All three floors have infinity pools overlooking the ocean and the Old Town.
Family area on the 11th floor
Adults pool on the 12th floor
Old Town views from the 10th/11th floors pools
Sunset from the 12th floor pool
Amacagua Grill & Bar, located on the 10th floor, provides food & beverage service in the pool area. In addition to the sun loungers’ area, there is a shaded dining area open for lunch and dinner service. They also offer private cabanas next to the infinity pool. Mojitos were good!
Amacagua Bar & Grill
Mojito with ocean views
The fitness center is located on the 12th floor nearby the adults’ pool area. The space consists of two separate workout areas: one for cardio workout (static bicycles, elliptical, treadmills, climbers, walkers) and a free weights/fitness room. Towels, fresh water and a fruit service are available at the entrance.
Free weights and fitness area
Cardio workout area
Bay views from the walker
Cocktail @ Regency Club
The Regency Club offers a daily cocktail service from 5.30 to 7.30 PM. This service was one of the highlights of my stay. A good selection of food choices, both in variety and quality, that puts to shame many club lounges I’ve been to.
The spread included cold cuts and cheeses, salmon, caprese, olives and pickled vegetables, and a selection of fresh baked bread rolls. Ceviche, shrimp cocktail, chicken curry and a potato soufflé were offered as main courses, and all of them were delicious. Dessert options included chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake.
Beverage selection consisted of aguardiente (anise-flavored and highly alcoholic local liquor), rum, vodka, gin and whiskey. No top shelve brands though. Wines (red, white and sparkling) were Chilean. The CabSav was very interesting!
Cold cuts, olives & caprese
Main courses and details of the cocktail food service
Cocktail food service
Nespresso & tea selection
Dine & Wine
The hotel offers, in addition to the Amacagua Bar & Grill by the pool, a more upscale dining option at the Kokua Restaurant & Bar, one floor below the lobby. Despite the hotel’s high occupancy that day, the restaurants and bar were rather empty during the dinner service. I guess in the evening hours guests prefer to go out and explore the dining option in the Old Town.
As we had already something to eat at the Regency Club, we went to the pool bar and ordered a snack and some wine. The beef skewer was delicious and reasonably priced.
Lobby bar & lounge
Night views from the pool area
Cartagena bay night view from the pool
Snack and wine
Both the pool and the upstairs bar offer portable battery chargers for your devices! I was offered one when asked for a power outlet at the pool bar.
Protable battery charger @ pool bar
Breakfast @ Regency Club
Continental breakfast is offered daily at the Regency Club from 6.30 to 10.30 AM. The breakfast spread consisted of a cheese and cold cuts selection, cereal, fresh fruits and fresh-squeezed tropical juices. Warm options included scrambled eggs and baked potatoes. Sweet rolls, sliced bread and freshly baked baguettes were also available. I loved was the watermelon water in a dispenser, very refreshing.
Breakfast spread at Regency Club
The Hyatt Regency Cartagena is a nice property. Even though they only opened two months ago, the operation of the hotel is running smoothly and I didn’t experience any inconvenience that would tarnish my overall good impression of the property.
The facilities and spaces have a sober yet stylish feel and I loved the use they do of local handcrafts as decoration objects. The spaces are ample and diaphanous, with lots of natural light. Three pool areas for different activities and public with beautiful views over the ocean and the city.
For 8000 points/night, this property offers good redemption value, considering that its lowest price ranges from 120 to 300 US dollars for a standard room (depending on the season). If you get Diamond benefits (or Globalist in a near future), this redemption value is definitely maximized.