Hotel Casa San Agustin
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- The pristine colonial architecture, with 300 years of history and all modern comforts
- Smiling staff that wants to show off the hotel and the city
- Lounging by the pool early in the evening with one of mixologist John Lermeyer’s grape caipiroskas
What To Know
- Ground-floor pool is a bit of a scene and gets noisy at night
- Premium Rooms with private plunge pools or Jacuzzis are best for seclusion seekers
- Getting to Cartagena’s best Caribbean beaches involves a yacht-bound mission that’s best for adventurous spirits
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
At the heart of the building, an up-lit dogleg swimming pool breaks through a towering 300-year-old aqueduct to unite three elegant mansions. The bright inside-outside public spaces mix Cartagena’s traditional lime-washed stucco with terra-cotta tiles, bougainvillea, swinging daybeds and hardwood Balinese carvings. Beautifully preserved details such as stone gargoyles, 17th-century frescoes and Renaissance and contemporary artworks add a divine counterpoint to the hotel’s colonial, residential-style poise.
Bed & Bath
Designer Kelley McRorie styled all 24 rooms and suites to feel like private residences, with an earthy mix of leather, wool and soft cotton furnishings, polished stone floors and a muted palette of sea-greens and creams. King beds have four-poster ironwork frames and soft Frette linens, and there are contemporary comforts, too, including HDTVs, DVD players, iPod docks and free WiFi. Bathrooms are luxe spaces to freshen up after a city excursion, with walk-in closets, Moorish tiles and Ortigia bath products shipped in from southern Italy.
At the helm of Alma, Casa San Agustin’s upmarket restaurant and bar, are two transplanted Miami tastemakers: Sean Brasel, of Meat Market Miami fame, and mixologist John Lermeyer, from the Delano Hotel. Happily, local flavors make it onto the menu, with spicy Caribbean ceviches, Peruvian tiraditos and an octopus carpaccio lightening the meat-heavy lunch and dinner offerings. Fresh fruit and croissants also do battle with Colombian fried treats for breakfast supremacy. There’s no spa yet, but massages in the rooms can be arranged.
In the Area
The walled city’s growing pack of chefs trained in the Michelin-starred restaurants of San Sebastian will delight visiting gourmets. For a ceviche hit, make for Carlos Accinelli’s La Perla, or check out FM Restaurante and Marea by Rausch for cultured Mediterranean fare in superior surroundings. Salsa lovers can cut a rug at Cachao or Café Havana, while culture buffs should visit the source of Casa San Agustin’s contemporary art collection, NH Galeria, for seminal works by Olga de Amaral and Alejandro Obregon. For gifts, pick up a keepsake at Casa Chiqui, the unique store that added the flourish to the hotel’s interiors.
How to Get There
This was my wife and I's 23rd wedding anniversary trip and it was one of the first trips we had taken without children in a long time. Hotel Casa San Augustin was our first landing spot in Columbia and Luis and Katherine took amazing care of us from the minute we showed up. The service was friendly accommodating and available. Frankly it was pretty perfect. Our room 103 had a waterfall shower a private patio for breakfast and a private pool jacuzzi area. And our room was literally steps from the main pool which as beautifully tiled with a 400 year old wall as a central feature. The pool was incredibly fun for swimming. Not a lap pool by any stretch but l shaped and plenty of room to stretch and relax. The Alma restaurant connected to the hotel is exquisite in architecture service and food. We had dinner once breakfast twice and drinks a few afternoons. Always pleasurable. Always relaxing. Andreas and Gabriella may perhaps being the greatest bartending tandem ever. They were SO kind to us. And make a mean spicy mohito. Thank you Luis, Katherine, Andreas, Gabrielle and the rest of the team. It was a very special trip for us.
This was our first visit to Cartagena and after doing lots of research we decided on the San Agustin. All of the reviews were so great and I can now confirm are very accurate! This property is amazing!! I have travel all over the world and have stayed at great hotels and I have say that this by far was one of the best hotels that I have stayed in. The property is beautiful and the staff excellent!! From the moment we walked in we felt welcomed and taken care of. Everyone went above and beyond. They arranged all of our dinner reservations, airport transportation and tours, we did a private city tour and Rosario Islands both are highly recommended. The front desk staff Paola, Katherine and Luis are some of the nicest people I met in Cartagena. They helped us with everything we needed and on our last day arranged for medical attention for my daughter and son-in-law. They were just amazing!
The restaurant Alma was very good. We had breakfast there every morning. They have a nice buffet with fresh fruit, and assortment of breads, cereal, yogurts, smoked salmon and bagels. You can also order from the menu at no additional cost. Delicious options there as well. Yuly is a gem! She went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and provided recommendations for us to try, she’s the best! We also had dinner at Alma the first night, Roberto provided us amazing service. He also recommended some local fruit juices that he made sure we received at breakfast the next morning, so thoughtful.
Don’t waste your time on the other big hotel names, trust me, we went to see what the big deal was and to be honest that’s all they are is big…. Nothing compared to the San Augustin. This is a five-star property with personalized treatment where they know you by name and will cater to your every need. I can’t wait to come back!! Thank you, Paola, Katherine, Luis, Yuly and Roberto!!
Gladys and the staff truly went above and beyond! Glady set up all my dinner reservations, arranged pickup and drop off at the airport, she even helped me with organizing my best friends birthday party. The property was truly breathtaking and OMG! The food was delicious. I truly can’t wait to go back! I wouldn’t dare stay anywhere but at Casa Augustin. Thanks guys!
Cartagena is a magnificent destination, and after an exhaustive search for the best place to stay, Hotel San Agustin was at the top of our list.
The Old City is limited on high end hotels, and rates can come at a premium if you value location. This was our first visit to Cartagena and I would HIGHLY recommend the Old City if sightseeing is important to you.
Hotel San Agustin offers an incredibly unique experience, and if you are seeking a one of kind, upscale hotel option then you won't be disappointed. San Agustin is a boutique hotel with just over 50 guest rooms and will definitely impress even the most discerning traveler. Location, service and quality of guest rooms were all top notch.
This hotel commands a premium as it's definitely the most expensive option in the city- but you do get what you pay for. While there are other options such as Sofitel Santa Clara, you know you're getting a one of a kind experience with San Agustin.
Located in the heart of the Old City, you can walk everywhere within the walled city and we always felt very safe. The property is just off a small square and there is always activity going on outside so you won't be alone on your walk back to the hotel. There is a Juan Valdez coffee shop at the base of the hotel.
Each of San Agustin's 53 rooms are unique, so don't expect cookie cutter design. We reserved a Deluxe Room, and our room was laid out more like a suite with a separate living room and bedroom area. The rooms do not spare any details, and include Frette sheets, high end bath products and fresh orchids in various areas of the room- all nice touches.
The bed was very comfortable, and the mini bar was complimentary. We always had an ample amount of bottled water available in the room.
Our bathroom had a rainforest style shower and dual vanities. If open space and brightness important, I would make this request prior to arrival as some of their floor plans offer these features (ours did not).
One of the highlights at San Agustin is the restaurant, Alma. Alma's bar area is a fantastic spot to grab a craft cocktail and watch the bartenders in action- they use nothing but the best ingredients in all of their drinks.
Breakfast is included in all the rates, and it was a nice spread each morning. Not as extravagant as something you might find at a Four Seasons etc., but it was definitely nice. My only comment was surprisingly the coffee wasn't great (even though we were in Colombia!) We ended up ordering Americano's which were stronger and tasted more like a darker blend- I'd recommend that if you are picky about your coffee.
Let me just say that Cartagena has no shortage of fantastic dining spots. That said, I'm not sure that we would do Alma again for dinner, despite being one of the most highly rated restaurants in the city. There are SO many great dinner options, and seeing that the hotel is small, I think it's nice to go off property for dinner. My feedback for the hotel is to create a big more ambiance at Alma, especially in the outdoor area. Don't get me wrong- Alma is very charming, but it could use a few upgrades (perhaps some real candles, and dimmer lighting outside at night?).
The service was incredible at San Agustin- from our welcome experience to the concierge to the restaurant. Everyone at San Agustin aims to please and make you feel welcome. Luis at the front desk was absolutely lovely.
The pool at San Agustin was a refreshing feature, particularly after walking around in hot weather. While there are only a small number of chairs, we never felt it was overly crowded. The pool area has a very private feel and the poolside service from the bar is wonderful.
Sadly there is no fitness center available on property, and while we didn't think we would want a gym, we did start to miss having one after the 3rd day. If the hotel could find a small space even for one treadmill and some free weights- that would be a nice feature.
All in all, if you are a picky traveling seeking the best hotel experience in Cartagena, Casa San Agustin is definitely the place to stay!
Beautiful hotel and gracious staff make for a wonderful experience. Here for a total of five nights. Breakfasts were included but ate several dinners and a lunch at the restaurant as well. One of the better restaurants and the bar has exceptional craft cocktails - pairing each liquor with other ingredients — for instance different brands of gin were paired with either Cardamon or Rosemary depending on their flavor profile - but always with a high quality tonic water — fever tree. Rooms were spacious and elegant keeping parts of the rich history of the property — high ceilings and incredibly thick wood beams. Staff was fluent with English and gracious when an issue arose — we had to move rooms and to compensate were given a wonderful upgrade to a suite. Location is central to Walled City — easy walking distance to everything in Walled city.