The Best Hotels In Colombia
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The Best Hotels In Colombia

The best hotels that this corner of South America has to offer

Whether you’re exploring its urban landscapes, coastal sanctuaries or notorious coffee culture, Colombia will cast a spell on you. This South American country is known as the birthplace of magical realism, made famous by the author Gabriel García Márquez – and is it any wonder, when this is a place where magic really does occur in the everyday? Alanna Ospina checks out the best hotels in Colombia. 

Where To Stay In Colombia

Four Seasons Bogotá

Bedroom with white linens, a brown leather headboard, and arched glass doors leading out to a balcony.

Situated in Colombia’s capital, you’ll find Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá in the upmarket Zona Rosa or ‘Zona T’ district, where many of the city’s well-heeled residents live. Located in a modern red brick building, the Four Seasons is in the middle of an area where restaurants, bars and shopping centres abound – and it’s where the local bogotanos go to party. The Four Seasons has 63 bright and airy rooms and suites punctuated by sleek interiors, dark wood panelling, modernist furniture, marble bathrooms and incredible comfy beds. There is an underground spa with a steam room and sauna for hotel guests to soothe aching limbs after a long journey (or after climbing up the 1605 steps to Bogota’s Monserrate Mountain, for the best views of the city).  Sit and have breakfast on the street-facing terrace of the Biblioteca restaurant for cups of perfectly roasted coffee, dishes of eye-poppingly colourful fruit, and avocadoes the size of your head (which haven’t travelled far to get to your plate). For lunch or dinner, head to Osk (on the opposite side of the pavement) for innovative, flavourful Nikkei cuisine and one of the hottest tables in the city. 

BOOK IT: Nightly rates start from £360 on a room-only basis. fourseasons.com

HAB Hotel

 

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For those wanting to experience Bogotá like a local, the Chapinero neighbourhood is vibrant and bohemian – and it’s home to some of the best gourmet experiences and nightlife in the city. In the heart of Chapinero is the recently opened, design-led HAB Hotel, run by husband-and-wife team and design duo, Nicolas Vergara and Ana Maria Calle, who have transformed three brick Victorian-style mansions into a hip boutique hotel that offers the essentials in a stylish setting. Step across the grand threshold and into the 55-bedroom property, which has been simply designed with bold colour patterns and modern fittings. House plants create a tranquil atmosphere, while art pieces are by local Colombian designers and craftspeople. The HAB Café promises a farm-to-table dining experience; start the day with a Breakfast Sandwich and a Mambe Latte (a Colombian matcha made from Amazonian coca leaf). A two-minute walk from the hotel is Flora, a soulful Italian restaurant for when you’ve overdosed on arepas. For night owls and ravers, Theatron Latin America’s biggest gay club, is a short walk away. 

BOOK IT: Nightly rates start from £55 on a room only basis. habhotel.co

Townhouse Cartagena

Lobby with wooden shelves and bright bouquets of flowers

On Colombia’s Caribbean coast is Cartagena. It’s noisy, it’s beautiful, it’s bright and it’s vibrant, with music playing on every corner. Cartagena is an old colonial city whose history is evident in the historical Spanish architecture in the Walled City; the colourful palenqueras; and the ladies with bowls of fruit on their head – a symbol of the city and the people who led slaves in Latin America to their freedom. Though the city of Cartagena sprawls along the coastline, most visitors will end up in its Historic Centre, the epicentre of the city’s cultural attractions and where Townhouse Cartagena is located. Just like the city, the hotel is colourful and fun, with Colombia’s varied birdlife painted on to each bedroom door and bold murals and paintings (all by young Colombian artists) plastered across the walls. Head up to The Rooftop at Townhouse for sunset cocktails, DJ sets and keeping cool in the plunge pool, while downstairs spot Members Only is for casual dining during the day and a piano speakeasy at night.

BOOK IT: Rooms at Townhouse Cartagena start from £135 per night based on two sharing on a room only basis. townhousecartagena.com

Blue Apple

Hotel bedroom with grey accents, wooden furniture and a colourful abstract mural above the bed.

Jump on a boat and swap the wonderful craziness of Cartagena for Tierra Bomba island, a short 30 minute ride away. On its southern shore lies Blue Apple Beach, an eco-retreat and B Corp that is solar powered and zero-waste. This converted private home-turned-luxurious-beach-getaway has 11 rustic rooms, a restaurant, poolside cabanas and a chic boutique.  There is a cosy, laidback, island vibe. This is where locals and those in-the-know flock for lazy days on sun loungers in a Caribbean Island paradise. The focus is on great food washed down with plenty of Provençal rosé and delicious cocktails, all set to a tropically inspired soundtrack.

Both Townhouse Cartagena and Blue Apple are run by Portia Hart, who left Europe for Colombia eight years ago with the dream of learning Spanish, but fate had other ideas. In addition to the two hotels, Portia has launched an environmental social enterprise, Green Apple Foundation, that is setting the blueprint for responsible tourism in Colombia.

BOOK IT: Rooms at Blue Apple start from £215 per night based on two sharing. This includes return transport by boat to the island, full board dining and VIP access at the beach club. blueapplebeach.com

Hotel Las Islas

Treetop hotel room with four poster bed.

Barú is one of the most beautiful islands off the coast of Cartagena, and it’s the antithesis to the hustle bustle of the city. The majestic sea lolls lazily against the white sand beaches, encouraging a slower pace. While there are now a number of rustic hotel offerings across the island, Hotel Las Islas is the most luxurious, with a tempting selection of rooms and suites – either up high in the trees in impressive Treetop Bungalows rooms on stilts, or in the Sea Level Bungalows with sunset views. For ultimate privacy and romance, book a room on the Private Island, Isleta, which is a 5-minute boat road away from the main resort, and especially magical to return to at nighttime under a clear starlit sky. Resident guests include a family of racoons, who frequent the reception most days, and a breath taking amount of colourful birds (Barú alone is home to 135 native species). Although the food wasn’t a highlight, the setting of each of the restaurants is memorable. Sit above the water and watch the wildlife over breakfast at Tía Coco, enjoy a lazy lunch on the beach at Choco, and sit in what feels like a bamboo cathedral for dinner at Las Guacas. Head up to the bar afterwards and look at Jupiter through a giant telescope. 

BOOK IT: Nightly rates start from £291 on a B&B basis. lasislas.com.co

El Cielo Hotel

Rooftop pool with plants and white sun loungers

While it was once solely associated with Pablo Escobar, Colombia’s infamous drug king pin, Medellín is now one of the country’s most-visited cities, with a thriving creative and cultural scene. El Cielo Hotel is in the heart of El Poblado, the smartest district in the city, which is buzzing with cafés & restaurants including their own Restaurante El Cielo, a fine dining experience which offers a fun and immersive Colombian degustation menu (overseen by Juanma, who is recognised as one of Latin America’s best chefs). Rooms are elegant, with wood panelling, marble floors and brass features. A live plant wall in the lobby and luscious plants in the rooms add a touch of nature throughout. Head up to the rooftop for spectacular views and cocktails, or head out explore the city – for an off the beaten track tour with some of the city’s insiders, check out Comuna 13 with Withlocals

BOOK IT: Nightly rates start from £209 on a room only basis. elcielohotel.com