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 hotel was INCREDIBLE. Every detail from the welcome refreshments to the interior decoration was beautiful. The hotel staff was extremely helpful in planning day trips to other islands and were so nice and accommodating. I didn’t go to the spa but my friends did and had the best things to say about it!
We knew from the moment we introduced ourselves to the front desk and concierge folks that this was a special place. Each and every member of the staff - from the front desk to concierge to waiters and waitresses at Alma (the hotel restaurant) to the maids, service people, front door security and bartender - went totally out of their way to make everything right! Responses to little things like getting a restaurant reservation (advice is to book very early here!!), to questions about the air conditioner, to getting additional water were immediate, pleasant and thorough.
Rooms are relatively large, bathrooms excellent and well equipped. There is a small pool in the inside courtyard.
The restaurant Alma is a gem in itself - excellent drinks, food and menu.
Cartagena right now is sticky and crowded, this oasis is cool, the staff are charming like all Colombians we have met on this trip. Good place to relax from the clamour outside in a well refurbished beautiful house.
A lovely hotel as it was an old convent of the Augostiner Monks ! Lovely decorated rooms, friendly staff ! An oasis to be there ! Absolutely TOP !
The only thing what needs a bit of attention is the housekeeping ! whether they are instructed not to fill up amenities or they are lacking, I do not know , but they don't properly ! they do when you ask and call 2 times, but it should not be like that !
But with a little bit of attention of the management, this can be settled easily !
A lovely place to stay !!
Stayed for 5 nights at this unique property. A collection of old buildings, renovated sympathetically to retain their charm. Stayed in room 300 with a wonderful terrace. The staff were all exceptional, including Katherine, who was wonderful in planning our itinerary and booking restaurants prior to our arrival. Thank you for a great and memorable stay.