Cartagena has been on our list for awhile, those pretty colored buildings lining the walled in streets of the old city; yes, those are the kind of cities we live for.
We had the amazing opportunity of visiting Cartagena at the end of May and we had the best time. We stayed at Hotel Caribe, the oldest resort on the peninsula just south west of the old city. The location was really convenient, it was about a 20 min taxi ride from the airport to the neighborhood of Bocagrande. Day trips in to the old city were a ten min. car ride. All taxi rides were really convenient to find, as they wait right outside the hotel and whenever you’d like to leave they’re readily available.
The Hotel has a fabulous all inclusive plan for families as well as other accommodations that make this one of our favorite family friendly resorts we have ever stayed at.
The family sized room was incredibly spacious, ours was a king size bed and a separate alcove with three twin sized beds. They also have the same room layout with two sets of bunkbeds for your children.
We spent the majority of our time in the pool. Hotel Caribe has a remarkable miniature version of an Olympic pool as well as the largest shallow/kiddie area we have ever seen. There is also a divide between the two, so you don’t have to worry about your children swimming into the larger, deeper pool if you’re not ready for that. Poolside, there is music, a bar and an outside restaurant, making it easy to grab whatever you may need while you lounge poolside. We highly recommend the barbecue burger, quesadilla, penne bolognese and the roasted chicken.
While you’re there, we think you should plan on walking the property over and over. One, because it’s gorgeous. The old world, caribbean details are just stunning with lots of spindled wood work and gorgeous doorways and tiles. But, also because of the mini zoo that is across the property. The hotel is home to 20 sloths (All.of.the.heart.eyes.), two dozen tiny deer, and an assortment of brightly colored, tropical birds like toucans and parrots. Our children absolutely loved this feature of the resort and it is the reasoning behind their vote of Hotel Caribe being their favorite hotel they’ve ever stayed at.
Hotel Caribe has their own private beach, though the property is actually across the street from the ocean, they do have a private walkway, guarded by both a gate and security man, and they’ll escort you across the street to the beach where you can sit under cabanas or rent an umbrella or just stand in the ocean with your feet enjoying the Caribbean Sea while rain drops fall from above, which is what we did.
The buffet breakfast is loaded with fresh fruits, waffles, pancakes, muffins and cheeses and outside they have an omelette maker who will whip up any type of omelette or eggs you’re wishing for. We didn’t try any of the lunch or dinner buffets, but they’re also included in the all inclusive package that you could get for your family.
Hotel Caribe is owned by Faranda Boutique and they have a couple of other hotels in Cartagena that you could check out, especially if you have a smaller sized family. La Factoria was our original first choice, but they do not have room to accommodate six people. However, the location in the old city and the perfect design detail in the lobby and courtyard make me want to go back and rent two rooms, at least for a night or two. It’s just beautiful. They also have a gorgeous lap pool with a ladder that takes you to a lower level swimming area! This might be the actual reason why we want to stay there 😉
The old city of Cartagena is just beautiful, with corner carts selling fresh tropical fruits and palettes (popsicles) and vendors lining the sidewalk with their items of hats, baskets, jewelry and art. You’ll be approached every few minutes to buy something, but a polite, “no, gracias.” was always well received. I can’t speak on behalf of all travelers, but our little family felt safe and that is what’s important to us!
Hotel Caribe has an all inclusive deal for $135 USD a night per adult. Welcome drinks for the adults and a special ice cream delivery for the children. Breakfast, lunch, dinner buffet are included daily or menu service at their poolside restaurant. Snacks, twice daily. Unlimited National beverages. Kids under 12 are 50% off.
Our stay was in partnership with Hotel Caribe and though we were gifted our stay all thoughts are 100% our own and honest.