Cartagena is filled with historic architecture, rich culture and a thriving culinary scene, so it’s no surprise that the South American travel destination is one of Colombia’s most popular tourist spots. The coastal city is surrounded by pristine beaches, but it’s the colorful buildings, vibrant neighborhoods and juxtaposition of ancient sites with modern high-rises that make Cartagena a true stand out.
If you’re planning a trip to the city, then you’ll need to figure out your accommodations. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; you’re in the right place. Whether you’re looking for a boutique stay, centrally located spot or historic property, these are the most luxurious hotels to book for your next visit to Cartagena.
Centro, Calle de la Universidad No. 36 – 44 Cartagena, Colombia
Casa San Agustín boasts a central location in the heart of the city. The boutique hotel comprises three 17th-century colonial homes, which underwent a careful restoration in 2016 that artfully preserved the original architectural details. Throughout the property, Spanish influences on the city are expressed via design elements including wood-beamed ceilings, original frescoes, tilework and handmade iron scones. The 31 rooms and suites feature arched doorways, large windows and balconies, with leather, wood and linen materials. The property’s romantic restaurant, Alma, is nestled in a serene courtyard, with live music and Colombian dishes such as seafood casserole and ceviche, prepared with traditional techniques.
The hotel also has a spa, outdoor pool and a private, secluded beach, called Acasi, that is reserved exclusively for resort guests. Since Acasi isn’t on the property, the hotel offers a separate paid excursion that includes transfers in a private boat and all-day access to the beach.
Calle del Torno 39-29 Barrio San Diego 130001 Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena occupies a 17th-century building that was previously a convent. It was converted into a hotel, the Santa Clara, in 1995, before Sofitel took over and opened up the current property in 2012. Over the years, the 125-room hotel has welcomed guests including Mick Jagger, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Shakira.
The hotel offers 11 room types, all featuring 17th-century design details from the original building. All of the suites have private butler service, secluded balconies or terraces, and feature original artwork by Colombian artists. There are tons of restaurants in the neighborhood, but you can also dine on-site; the more formal 1621 is open only for dinner, while El Claustro is an excellent lunch option. Make sure to take a dip in the pool, and take the time to walk to the nearby square, which is filled with stores and dining spots, including ice cream at Pércimon Centro Histórico Cartagena, and brunch or sunset drinks at Buena Vida Marisqueria y Rooftop.
Centro Histórico, Calle Santo Domingo #33-63 Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
A restored colonial mansion-turned-luxury boutique hotel, Casa Pestagua, the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in the country, reopened in 2023 following a $15 million renovation. It’s composed of 16 uniquely designed suites and rooms, the largest of which is the three-bedroom Count de Pestagua Suite, complete with private elevator access and a secluded terrace with a jacuzzi and both city and sea views. The hotel’s gourmet restaurant, Ánima, is set in a Moroccan-style interior courtyard. Helmed by Colombian chef Herberto Eljach, the menu mixes flavors of Colombia and the Caribbean. Elsewhere on the property, there’s a courtyard with a swimming pool, along with a gym and spa.
Ciénaga de Cholón, 57 Barú, Cartagena de las Indias, Colombia
This serene hotel is a 45-minute boat ride from the shores of central Cartagena. Accommodations take the form of treetop bungalows and private overwater villas, outfitted with outdoor hammocks and dreamy views. Many of the 57 rooms have direct access to private, sandy white beaches, while others are just a short walk from the
When walking through the oversized property, you’ll see plentiful flora, and there are tons of activities, including e-biking, kayaking and snorkeling. For a more relaxing vacation, head to the hotel’s spa, which has a pool, steam room and sauna. The three restaurants serve up dishes with fresh fish, meats and vegetables.
Calle del Cuartel No. 36-77, El Centro, Cartagena de Indias, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Ananda Boutique Hotel is situated in the oldest part of Cartagena, within walking distance of Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias Remnants and Santa Domingo Square. Formerly a colonial house, the property was renovated in 2009, and is now composed of 23 rooms and suites. The superior suites are the most luxurious, with balconies and luxury amenities including Flor de Agua bath products and Egyptian linens. The hotel also boasts a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city, in addition to a pool with sleek daybeds. The menu at the main restaurant, Vedana, is a combination of Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine.