Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena
What We Love
- Fernando Botero’s giant bronze nude nestled in the lush vegetation of the colonial patio
- An expansive swimming pool that makes it difficult to leave the hotel
- Strawberries and champagne in the hot tub, with a view of the sun sinking into the Caribbean
What To Know
- Classic rooms are not very big, but connecting rooms can be arranged for families
- Cartagena’s beaches are disappointing. For the idyllic Caribbean beach experience you will need to rent a yacht and head to the Rosario Islands
- Bathrooms in the classic rooms are for pint-size guests; for a good soak you will need a suite
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Contemporary colonial chic. Saintly Spanish 17th-century architecture has been given a stylish refit, modern designer touches and a gilded flourish from Colombia’s greatest artists. From Olga de Amaral’s shimmering tapestry painted in gold leaf at the entrance, Fernando Botero’s flirtatious, chubby bronze on the patio, and elegant designer linen threads by Lina Cantillo for the attentive staff, this is a hotel that prides itself on attention to detail from top to toe.
Bed and Bath
Most of the hotel’s 139 guestrooms and suites flank the swimming pool, which dominates the 20th-century Republican wing of the property. Superior rooms on upper levels, nestled under the whitewashed eaves, offer extra headroom and views of the Caribbean. Suites embellished with art by Colombian artists Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Fernando Botero have helped this colonial gem become Sofitel’s fourth Legend property.
The modern-day call to prayer in this former convent means sundowners and Cuban Son in El Coro Lounge Bar, a faux library big on local art exhibitions and killer cocktails. The “librarians” shake a mean mojito into the mix before guests move on to the hotel’s maximalist fine dining restaurant, 1621, which borrows the nocturnal charm of the hotel’s spectacular colonial courtyard for romantic trysts. Reward yourself after a day exploring the city’s architectural charms, and evenings soaking up the nightlife, with a couple of hours of detox at the hotel’s Turkish hammam.
In the Area
To get the lowdown on Cartagena’s nocturnal attractions, there’s Kendrick’s Gin sundowners at the ultra-friendly upstairs bar, El Balcon. Eat sushi at Tabetai and the crayfish and king prawn risotto at Don Juan. If you’re looking to party with a beautiful crowd, the hip hangout La Movida works wonders on weekends. Loved ones left at home will love you even more if you bring home some green fire — Colombian emeralds — from Lucy Jewelry or the plundered treasure on display at Casa Chiqui. Pamper your cultural whims with a visit to NH Galeria.
How to Get There
Excellent property, professional service, very good location and the staff was superb.if you need anything they will provided right away and always with a smile in their face. I really recommend tis hotel 100%.
We are stay our last night of 3 nights at the Sofitel Santa Clara in the Old City Center of Cartagena. It is a great location with plenty to do within walking distance.
The majority of the staff was very friendly, welcoming and professional. The hotel was maintained well with a few exceptions, upon closer inspection.
Our room was one of the colonial suites with two floors and a balcony with a city and a small ocean view. A very well appointed room and very comfortable. But needing a bit of attention, see below.
I would recommend the hotel, but below are some of my observations. Hopefully to make your stay better.
We arrived very late (almost midnight) our first night and the front desk staff was very friendly, professional and welcoming.
The next day we asked about the WiFi since the login we were given wasn’t working. The front desk said to put in your last name and suite number. Which we informed them we had, in every combination we could try. They said the didn’t know why it wasn’t working and try again later. Luckily we had paid our country wireless carrier so we would not be without internet, so we could stay in touch with family and work.
Our first day we had a local guide and driver so we could get to see much of the city. We had a half day walking tour and then a few hours driving tour. Which is highly recommended if you are stay for only a few nights.
The breakfast each morning was included. The food was very good and the staff was very friendly and welcoming.
On our second day we arranged to meet up with friends who were traveling and visiting Cartagena. We explored the Old City Center with them. After being out most of the day. We came back to the hotel (around 3:00pm) to take a rest and get directions to a seafood restaurant our guide had highly recommended and was close by. She said it was one of the best in the city. I couldn’t remember the name, so I asked the concierge if he might know. I told him I could not remember the name but if he could suggest some, I might be able to remember. He simply said there are many in Cartagena. I tried telling him, it was one very nearby the hotel and was supposed to be one of the best. Unfortunately he said there were many and did not offer any names or recommendations. I thanked him and said I would contact my guide for the name. I and my friends stepped into the front lobby next to the concierge desk, so I could contact our guide. While we waited, under 3 minutes, one of the front desk staff came up to us and interrupted us to ask if we were checking in or out of our rooms. I told her I was staying at the hotel and we were waiting on a response from our guide for a restaurant recommendation since the concierge didn’t offer any. She asked us to move out of the lobby into the courtyard. It was rather abrupt and somewhat rude. We were standing in the corner of the lobby, out of the way for a very short time. We went and sat down while my husband asked guest services for dining recommendations. Then the head of the concierge service came over and was a little forceful and defensive. I reiterated what I had mentioned to the other concierge. I said we were waiting on our guide to message us back with the restaurant name. He said he would be at the concierge desk. We heard back from our guide in a few minutes. I went to ask and no one was at the concierge desk and no one was at the front desk. Since we didn’t know where the restaurant and didn’t know if they had reservations that evening. We decided to make plans at the ceviche restaurant recommended by the Guest Services, they said no reservations were needed. Around 5:30 we had drinks in the EL CORO LOUNGE BAR, Gustavo and Dick could not have been more friendly and welcoming. Definitely stop by the bar and also take a look at the crypt. We had plans to meet up with our friends and go to dinner around 8. I went to confirm with the guest services that the ceviche restaurant was open, since it was a holiday and carnival. He assured me it was opening at 7:00 and we should have no problems getting a table at that time.
Around 8:00, we decided to go to dinner and when we got to the restaurant it was closed. Very disappointing. Luckily we found, by ourselves, a very nice restaurant near the hotel and had a very delicious meal.
A few things about the Sofitel that could be improved, one feature light in our room was not working (it worked the previous night), the drain for the shower was a bit backed up, one evening we never had turn down service and one cabinet light downstairs in our room would not turn off. It is a faulty switch. I also notice some trash in the interior courtyard near the entrance.
I went there after flying from Miami, short and wasy flight. I was so surprise by the color, the food and the people! Sofitel legend Santa Clara , thank you for a memorable stay, for sure we will come back