Cartagena is the tropical escape that all the smart Bogotans have adopted as their weekend getaway. It is also a tourist haven, with its old city walls containing an inimitable tropical fantasy that it has packaged and sold well.

Our initiation into Cartagena started at Casa Bustamante. This once-upon-a-time private villa has been lovingly converted into a very spacious 6 bedroom villa-hotel.


The villa aspect is enticing and is what makes the stay so unique. From the carefully maintained gardens in the front, with palm trees paving the entrance, to the stylish lounge area, with its former livingroom decorations still in tact, to the outdoor pool and terrace – every element has a touch of uniqueness that belongs to the fact that it was once a private residence.


Rooms are large, as are the beds. The private patio is an elegant touch that adds an extra dimension/living space to the interior of the suite. The bathrooms were satisfactory, although could use a touch-up of maintenance in places.

Breakfast, enjoyed on the terrace, offers several options. If you’re the more adventurous type, you might opt for the traditional Colombian – deep fried dishes. We weren’t too keen on these but the fruit bowl somewhat compensated for it.

We would recommend Casa Bustamante for its uniqueness and beauty, although it is probably worth exploring Cartagena’s gourmet scene if you’re looking for the taste of Colombia.

Carrera 2 # 42-67 Barrio Cabrero, 130002 Cartagena de Indias
(+57 5) 6600457

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