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“Just loved it!”
Review of Casa Loma Minca

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Casa Loma Minca
Ranked #1 of 18 Minca B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2012

Before leaving the Colombian Caribbean coast for good on my travels I decided to make my way to Minca, and I was not disappointed. Up the hill with possible the best vantage point in Colombia is the Casa Loma. Simple and clean rooms make way for an accommodating and friendly place to stay. You can camp there too but I preferred to take a room and enjoy the spectacular views.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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Thank R N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 June 2012

Minca and Casa Loma are a paradise. Just outside Santa Marta and away from the heat. There are beautiful waterfalls where you can easily chill for a whole day. I loved Casa Lomo's food and its staff.

Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank hemyhel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2012

We stayed one night at Casa Loma Minca. Unfortunately we arrived at night which meant we climbed the very wet muddy steep hill to the hostel in the dark. There are two ways up to the entrance to the hostel, we took the signed directed route which took us around the side of the steep hill in the dark, being unknown territory in night time it felt like we were going to fall off
the edge of the hill with our heavy packs! Or never get there! Of course we arrived safely but take the other route up, and arrive in the day if with your packs as it's much easier! The place itself is very much a hostel, very basic, bathroom not very clean, shower is freezing cold (of course we had cold showers all along the coast of Colombia but the water is more lukewarm plus it's much hotter, here it is very cool, esp at night), it's a young crowd and when we were there we were kept awake with ppl talking and listening to music. It seemed like a home away from home for ppl there no feeling of Colombia at all. I think I would have preferred to stay in town so you can go out to restaurants, the discoteca, cafes
etc there - the view up at Casa Loma is good but not really worth it with all you have in town and if you want a more local feel. It was also hard to get a taxi from Santa Marta to the town in Minca. Most taxis did not want to take us as they said the road is bad (it is) or too far etc
and the couple of taxis who would take us quoted expensive prices, in the end which we paid. In Minca there are a few nature spots to visit, we went to an ok waterfall and there are
supposed to be alot of birds everywhere but I guess we went out too late as we saw none on our long walk to the waterfall or around Minca. Unfortunately it rained the afternoon before we left heavily, we waited for it to clear for a long time but nothing. We were then told by the owner that we should get down to the town before 4.30pm because it's harder to get taxis back into town. That information would have been useful when we arrived on first thing that day - we went down immediately and after a wait in town managed to share a taxi with some other ppl from town to Santa Marta. It's pretty expensive to get to/from Minca and the drive each way takes quite a while and as we only stayed one night wasn't really worth the time. There are much more beautiful places in Colombia where you can still find tranquility so if you have the time explore further but if you don't and have to stop in Minca it may be worth spending 2 nights as the journey time and cost isn't worth it.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mioymia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stephanie c, Owner at Casa Loma Minca, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Thanks for writing about your stay in November 2011.

Good news! We now have a new concrete and stone path all the way up to the entrance of casa loma. This makes climbing up the hill to casa loma a whole lot easier. However, if you are arriving at night it is still best to bring a torch.

We have recently written a new web site to give out more information in advance to our customers. www.casalomaminca.com

Plus, we have produced a full Minca / Casa Loma information pack which we have been using from December 2011 and they are given to guests as part of our check in procedure.

Part of our attraction, offering and environment is that we are set away from the town up in the forest offering complete tranquility and no neighbours / shops or roads with an amzing view. If you want to be near the resturants and biliard bar (there is no discoteca in Minca!) it may be best to stay in town, although we are within 10 mins walk.

Minca is a paradise and the view from Casa Loma spectacular!! There are a number of waterfalls, swimming holes, bathing spots in the river, tropical birds galore - for example we regularly see toucans and hummingbirds from our house! At the same time you will see the sea, the forest, the mountains plus the city and town all at the same and is truly unique.

Taxi services have now improved and it is possible to get a taxi at anytime if you arrange it in advance and pay the full fare (25.000 for the car). However, shared cheap taxis (6000 per person) are available up to around 5.30pm most of the year,. November is high rainy season and so the road is a bit more difficult to pass in this month.

Hopefully, you can see that we have already made lots of progress since your stay.

Thanks for coming to Casa Loma Minca.
Jay / Steph
Owners
Casa Loma Minca

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Reviewed 2 June 2012

Leaving the bustle of Santa Marta behind and the backpacker haunt of Taganga I decided to head off to the lesser known Minca. This was the right thing to do. After a short 45 minute drive up into the Sierra Nevada I reached the charming town of Minca. A river flows through the middle where you can bathe, kick back and switch off.

But, let me talk about the Casa Loma. Perched on the top of a hill that offers not only views of the lush vegetation of the Sierra Nevada, of the town and also way out over the bright lights of Santa Marta and the ocean this is the place to come to unwind and spend a few days.

My room was on the second floor with views over the valley. The weather was amazing allowing for some impressive photo opportunities. I almost wish there had been a storm to see the lightning in the valley below!

Jay and Steph have created the type of place I dream about when I am stuck at my desk and yearning for a tropical escape. They are accommodating and incredibly friendly hosts offering all sorts of advice on what do and where to go and most importantly how to achieve this. Breakfasts and meals are a communal affair in an open plan social area surrounded at the edges by a verdant and exotic garden.

Their rustic wood cabin on the hill is their home and this is reflected in the care, love and attention that they have invested here. Come to the Casa Loma and feel like one of the family.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank LCAMompos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2012

Casa Loma is a little slice of heaven. Sitting above the clouds and the lush jungle canopy at sunset is an experience not to be missed. It is a perfect place to relax, enjoy wonderful company, and get 'away from it all'. Thank you for providing this place for people to see the beauty of Minca from a perspective that is beyond spectacular.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank lisanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2012

I arrived at Casa Loma a week ago and have started volunteering here now. The owners are fantastic, laid back and always on hand. The place is rustic and full of art and books to look at. Everyday you wake up to an amazing early morning view and at night get to see every type of sunset scene possible. There are loads of wonderfully picturesque walks to do just down the hill, areas to swim in the river and waterfalls, as well as chances to visit and volunteer with the local school, farm and families. Casa Loma welcomes every type of traveler with a ready smile! Loving it here, and will stay at least a month more, hope to see you!

Room Tip: The Mirador...perfect for couples, the best view in the house and full balcony with seating!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Clairedals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

We were disappointed with our experience at Casa Loma. Having read the good comments on here and it being recommended by our hostel in Santa Marta, we were looking forward to it.

The hostel is situated in a beautiful spot, with incredible views over the surrounding hills and down to Santa Marta city, and the sea.

Firstly - our private room had no electricity.. at 70,000 COP per night, it would have been nice to have been told this, before we booked. When I asked for a spare candle, I was given two stubs of candles which lasted about ten minutes.

On the first night there were no soft drinks left other than water, and dinner at 12,000COP was not great..stodgy veggie pasta - "a bit like glue" said one of the other guests.

The staff decided to have a few drinks on our last night, which we have no problem with.

We got the impression that they were mostly volunteers, who just weren't taking the fact that there were paying guests to stay here, too seriously. The music went on until 2am (there is no where else to sit, it's either with them, or in your room, (where you can hear it loudly).

Consequently, breakfast the next morning was a shambles - the poached eggs resembled two blobs on our plates, cold coffee and fresh juice which tasted like garlic. Another guest later told us that the reason the juice was so bad was because one of the staff had added pickle from the fridge to the juice, and proceeded to laugh about it with the owner later on in front of them.

The main toilet was grubby, and the bin constantly overflowing, the place looked like it hadn't been swept for a long time, and the two tables in the main area where people eat had bits of food all over them.

Such a shame. You can see that this place has great potential, but come on guys - get your act together. You can't charge people that amount of money for accommodation and food, without treating them as paying customers!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jenlou81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stephanie c, Owner at Casa Loma Minca, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2012

Hi, Firstly we are sorry you were disappointed with your experience at Casa Loma. What a shame that we didn't have the chance to talk face to face on this while you were here.

The price of our tree house is 60.000 for 2 people. So it works out at 30.00 per person with private balcony, hammock and rocking chair, and a great view.

Part of the charm of this rustic room is that is doesn't have electric and we do provide candles to add to the ambience. Your are right - and yes we agree this should be mentioned to you upon booking - we will do this in future. It is always stated when arriving and is listed on our new web page www.casalomaminca.com

However, again apologies if not having electric affected your stay.

There was a night where a long staying guest plus a volunteer was leaving after several months in one case and one month in the other and we had a few goodbye drinks, which many guests participated in too.

However, at 12.40 I personally turned this off in the house and we went up to the garden to continue but we apologise if your sleep was disturbed up to this hour. Agreed - paying guests always should come first! Usually our cut off for music is mid-night but we did go over by a little.

The bathroom is cleaned twice a day and bins emptied, but we agree the environment in which we live it when it rains can lead to it appearing dirty at night with many people using it in muddy shoes etc and we also recently fixed a slow leak that we think added to this so that has improved things.

Again, on the juice front, it is mango season here so we have 100's of fresh mangos which we use in our cooking and for our breakfast juice. There was a mix up one day between the jugs which we didn't know about until afterwards as no guests told us that the juice tasted of garlic and ginger because a chutney was used instead of the fresh mangos cut up for juices.

I asked around the hostel in order to apologise personally to anyone who had drunk this but all said no, their juice was ok so it appears you may have already left by then. Sorry about this mistake but rather than laugh at you we were making light of a human mistake which happened. Our fault!!

Thanks for coming to casa loma and sorry if you left disappointed. Personal service is one of our main aims so we will use your comments to help us in future. Equally, to everyone else please read our others reviews for some balanced feedback.

Jay - Owner / Manager
Casa Loma Minca.

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Additional Information about Casa Loma Minca

Address: Minca Hill, Minca 470008, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Minca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Minca
Price Range: £11 - £32 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Loma is a beautiful wooden hilltop house that offers one of the most amazing views from any hostel in Colombia, particularly at sunset!Situated above the town, you’ll overlook Minca, Santa Marta, the sea, plus the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and forest all at the same time—truly unique!Surrounded by tropical gardens and indigenous stones and paths, we offer complete tranquillity with no roads, cars, shops or neighbours; coupled with great food including our famous curry nights! ... more   less 
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