Cartagena continues growing as one of the top destinations in the Caribbean and all the major hotel chains are either fully established or developing properties in the city and its surroundings. In the last 5 years Intercontinental, Radisson, Hyatt Regency (which I reviewed last year), Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn have started operating properties in the city.
Last December, Conrad Hotels & Resorts inaugurated their 1st property in South America (and 34th worldwide): a beach resort and golf club in Cartagena, Colombia. I happened to be in the area and decided to check what the latest addition to the chain was about!
You can access Conrad Cartagena’s website here.
All my previous stays at Conrad properties had been fantastic and my expectations were set high. This property did not disappointed. From the lounging and dining options available to the kindness and attention to detail of the staff made my 48 hours on their grounds a great experience from beginning to end.
The Official Photo Set
Let me start this review with the official photo portfolio (kindly given to us by the property for this review).
The location of the hotel was probably my main concern before checking in. The resort is located 22 km north of Cartagena.
In a good day with no traffic, it could take you about 30 to 35 minutes to get to the old town, but if there is traffic entering the city add at least 20 minutes to the journey (traffic in Cartagena can be bad).
But once you get there, the location couldn’t be nicer. Definitely not convenient if you’re looking to be all out and about in the city (unless you like to drive or you hire a driver), but it is perfect for a relax/disconnect type of holiday.
The hotel only neighbor is a high-end condo development whom the hotel shares the golf course and gated access with. The hotel has no direct beach access but it offers a beach club instead at the opposite end of the golf course.
If you’re not driving, transportation to/from the city shouldn’t be an issue. The hotel offers round-the-clock luxury cabs to the city or pre-arranged limo service.
The property also offers golf cart shuttles either to the beach club or the golf club, so all mobility concerns I may have had, they had them covered.
Here are some pictures of the hotel exterior during the day:
And some more of the hotel exterior during the night:
Access to the lobby is granted through a stunning white wood gate.
The lobby’s theme is Caribbean Chic. High ceilings, giant fans, clean lines and light colors mix in an open air space. Colombian studio Sokoloff & Sewerin Arch SAS was in charge of the design.
Right across of Front Desk there is a large sitting area with an open terrace to the pool area. There is a piano in this side of the lobby too, and I was informed that on Fridays and Saturday evenings live music was to be performed in that lobby space.
Some other pictures of the lobby space. There are openings both to the front parking area and to the pool area, and shallow water ponds used for passive cooling of the space.
There is a commercial area to the other end of the lobby. At the moment of my visit boutiques hadn’t finished moving in but it is my understanding that as if now it is fully functional.
And it wouldn’t be a hotel lobby without a lobby bar. Son y Ron offers a fair selection of small bites and a rum-based cocktail list to refresh the tropical evenings.
The Pool Area
There is direct access from the lobby to the pool area through a terrace next to the lobby bar. There is also access through a side hallway where two of the hotel restaurants are located.
The hotel offers 4 large pools and a jacuzzi on this space. There is a kids and a family pool, and an adults-only pool right next to the pool bar. The hotel was in soft-opening mode (there was still ongoing work in some areas) and there were not many other guests around: plenty of space to enjoy the pool!
By sunset,a fireplace was lit on the pool area and some projections on the walls took place.