I wasn't able to get a direct flight to Santa Marta so I had to fly to Barranquilla and spend the night before taking a two hour bus ride the next day. The reviews on TripAdvisor for Sonesta seemed good so I took the chance, arriving at 1 am after a flight from Bogota. Front desk staff were helpful, but I wanted a drink and the hotel bar had closed and there is nothing in walking distance (it's attached to a mall but everything was closed). I ended up having a beer from mini-bar ($7,000/$3.50 US). The bed was very comfortable as well.
The room was great, with really strong air conditioning and a huge shower. I didn't like that they charged for the coffee in the room; I've never seen a hotel charge for that. Nor did they give complimentary bottles of water, but the water is potable here so that wasn't a big deal.
Internet throughout the hotel was solid and employees, for the most part, were very helpful and friendly. The only rude employee was a waitress during breakfast who just didn't seem to care. I had to ask three times for a cup of coffee. Breakfast itself was nice. They had freshly squeezed juices, pastries and pre-prepared scrambled eggs, as well as an egg station where you can have fried eggs or omelets freshly prepared.
The hotel wasn't full so they allowed me a late checkout at 2 with no charge so I had time during lunch to go to the rooftop pool. It was small but clean and had nice views of the city, although I couldn't see much of the river.
Overall, it's a very decent hotel for a short stay. I didn't have an opportunity to explore the area since I left the next day but it seemed very residential without a lot to do without having to take a taxi to the city center.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sonesta Barranquilla is a modern hotel with tasteful accommodations. Facilities include a spa and gym while the rooftop pool and Turkish bath offers panoramic views of the Magdalena River. Rooms at the Sonesta Hotel are spacious, with French windows allowing plenty of natural light. All are equipped with an LCD and cable TV, free Wi-Fi and minibar. Guests at the Sonesta Hotel Barranquilla can enjoy sushi at the lobby bar, or dine at the hotel's restaurant. A daily breakfast buffet with fresh fruits, juices and pastries is available. The hotel offers a convenient location next to the Gran Boulevard; the city's largest shopping center. It is also situated only 9 miles from Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport. Free private parking is provided. ... more less
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