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
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Game-changing city pad in a 17th-century mansion with a hip pool scene, designer interiors and a Miami Beach vibe
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.