The best hotel near Cartagena?
First, the hotel of which I will speak is not directly in Cartagena, but that is finally only a detail. The hotel is located on the Baru peninsula and is brand new, less than a year open and was built by Aviatur. According to the employees, the boss, Jean Claude Bessudo, was personally responsible for planning and execution on site. Anyway, I do not want to hold you any longer and reveal the name, it’s the Hotel Las Islas in Barú.
How to get to hotel Las Islas?
Of course, I would not be me if I went the normal route. So I flew from Bogotá to Cartagena and made me smart about the alternative transport routes to Barú and finally found some information. At the airport in Cartagena I took the taxi to Castillo de San Felipe, one of the city’s landmarks. There I waited for the Collectivo (local bus) to Pasacaballos. It just cost me COP 2,000.– and lasted 45 minutes. Arriving in Pasacaballos, I did not even have to search for further transport. At the station, young boys stormed the bus and praised their travel services on their motorcycles. That cost me another COP 20,000 .–. By the way, Pasacaballos is a small coastal village, south of Cartagena.
The ride on the back of the bike was not very comfortable, but I had previously chosen my luggage so that it was suitable for motoring. The ride was extremely nice though. With the wind in my face, I could enjoy the scenery, which also came in different ways. The road that leads to Baru is also new and you no longer have to drive along the beach, but still have the sea on the side of the road. We drove through the town of Baru and came to the front gate of the hotel, where we were first turned off with an angry face, until I explained that I had a reservation.
How to get into hotel Las Islas?
Since it was Sunday, the security guards probably thought that we were lost on the way to Playa Blanca, which is also on the same route. Anyway, I think I was the first guest, since the opening, who arrived on the back seat of a motorcycle, the average fare for one night finally costs USD 500 .–.
Arrived at the front desk (there are 2 receptions, one for land and one for water) I was picked up with a golf cart. After checking in at the main reception and boat dock, we drove to my bungalow. The hotel is located in the middle of the natural environment of the island and interventions were made only where necessary. Because of this, one must always be careful not to hit the roof of the vehicle on a hanging branch.
Rooms and services of hotel Las Islas
Arrived in the bungalow, I was pleasantly surprised and when my driver opened the balcony door, I wanted to start immediately to a joy jump. I had a private pool with a view over the sea and the bay. Once again, a female companion was missing for such a spectacular visit … but I was here to work and not for pleasure. In any case, the bungalow was equipped with everything necessary. There was air conditioning, fan, the bed was super comfortable, and the location was absolutely great.
After arrival, I quickly packed my most necessary things and went on a tour of discovery. 50 meters next door I found the beach, which is not overly large, but meets all requirements. It also has a restaurant that serves fresh fish daily, as well as a bar and enough beach chairs. There is also a raft with free drinks (including beer). So you swim out and in a cool box awaits the reward, is there anything better than that?
Next, I set out to explore the clubhouse, which also serves as a restaurant for dinner. The four-story building is generous in its space and has several terraces, an air-conditioned library, a lookout and the restaurant. It has a fantastic view, so it is the perfect place to take photos or let the drone rise.
The next day I went to the breakfast restaurant at 06:00, which is located on a floating platform. Not infrequently, I have been told, the guests swim to breakfast. The buffet is rich and it lacks nothing. An official tour was imminent and fortunately a golf cart was waiting as the whole area covers about 50 hectares and is equipped with over 50 bungalows. These are either built by the shore, some have a private pool, others are designed as tree houses. The whole hotel has been created in harmony with nature. On the forested paths you are therefore usually in the shade and, from time to time can see interesting animals. Each bungalow has bicycles.
The hotel has a gym, a shop offering handmade local handcrafts, and a spa, which was the next station to visit. There they have a futuristic machine, which brings the human vibrations back into balance. At least that’s what I understood. There are yoga classes, indoor and beach massage. The spa leaves nothing to be desired in my opinion. After a short trip to the helicopter-landing pad, we visited two bungalows in the trees and another directly by the shore with pool. I can only say spectacular. In the tree bungalows, at the bottom of the stairs, you have an intercom, including camera, to contact the residents.
Getting to Cartagena from hotel Las Islas
However, time flew by because I was busy filming everywhere to document everything. In the evening they offered me a great dinner and I made an interview in the kitchen.
The trip back the next day I shared with Robert and his daughter Vanessa. The cost of traveling with a private vehicle is around COP 450,000 .—one way. Vanessa, barely in her teens, was thrilled with the hotel and the possible activities. We immediately made an interview.
In retrospect, I can summarize, the Hotel Las Islas in Baru is a very nice hotel and quality requirements are satisfied. It is very romantic and therefore perfect for couples. However, it is certainly suitable for families with children, as you can enjoy the private beach and a number of activities and excursions are offered. The food is great and the existing installations provide all the comforts.
Blog Frank Spitzer