Where to Stay in Cartagena: Hotel Kartaxa
In a city like Cartagena – a city that’s so rich in soul – I knew that it would only be fitting to stay in a boutique property in the heart of the walled city that possessed a similar dose of personality. During my hotel search, when I came across Hotel Kartaxa, I instantly knew I’d found the perfect place to rest our heads during our brief three night stay.
Deriving its name from references that Cartagena’s Basque community made to the city during the 18th and 19th centuries, Hotel Kartaxa was converted from a hostel into the bohemian boutique property it is today, officially opening its doors in June 2014.
The hotel occupies a Republican style building that was once someone’s home. The property’s 26 rooms span three floors, and each room features décor inspired by an eclectic mix of writers, poets and artists who made significant cultural contributions to Cartagena. Hotel Kartaxa is ideally situated on Calle de las Bovedas, just around the corner from the home of one of my favorite writers, the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
While the hotel is by no means the most contemporary in terms of décor, the rooms are comfortable (when the A/C is turned on full blast) and the bathrooms are nicely updated.
The hotel’s rooftop offers seating where you can enjoy spanning views, and there’s also a small, shallow pool where you can find some relief from the heat and humidity.
Although there’s a breakfast menu, we didn’t feel like being too adventurous with our breakfast orders each morning and stuck to eggs scrambled with ham, a basket of bread, and a cup of strong Colombian coffee.
Apart from the great service, what I love most about Hotel Kartaxa is its location. I mean, walking outside each morning felt like we were walking in a dream. Walled Cartagena is just so beautiful, and we really enjoyed staying in the heart of everything, close to several restaurants, bars, convenience stores and other notable sites.
There’s a school next door to the hotel, but we barely noticed since it was always quiet. However, we often saw uniformed school children walking down our street, and I wondered if they realized how fortunate they are to go to school in such a charming neighborhood.
*During our 3-night stay, we paid a total of $247.20 USD. For current rates and availability, check the hotel’s website.