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“Great location, big apartments but poor kit out”

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San Diego 974 Suites
Ranked #14 of 159 Cartagena B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great location, big apartments but poor kit out”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2013

Top location in the old city with loads of bars and restaurants in easy, safe walking distance. Very large apartments - we had both a one bed and a two bed over the 3 week stay as we had a visitor stay with us. Pool on the main roof is lovely. Nice and helpful staff.

However, kitchens are poorly fitted out (dishwahers not fixed to cabinets, minimal cooking equipment, blunt knives, etc) and the "service" varies and is not thorough - some days towels replaced, others not - some days toilet paper provided, others not etc) Also the washing machines were often out of use and the TV's all had a random selection of channels available! There is no "hotel guide" saying what facilities are available and none were described on check-in.

A bit more maintenance, a tiny investment in equipment for each apartment and some domestic staff process and training and this could easily be a 5/5 rated property.

We had a great time in Cartagena overall and would come back.

Room Tip: Ask for the main building - the pool on the roof is much larger.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cracker73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    50
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    1
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

This trip to Cartagena was not in bucket list, but my girlfriend insists and finally convince me, look @ the hotel on line, pictures shown are amazing (yeah!, sure on line everything is magical) contact the hotel by phone, make the reservation for 7 nights, incredible, was very simple!!!....finally the day of traveling...got Cartagena...jump into a taxi and got to the hotel.. from the outside not too much to see (have to admit that when get out of the taxi and the driver says this is your hotel, i was a little bit disappoint) the front doors opens, and WAO!!!...i couldn't believe it! the interior was exactly as the pics on the web site...well a lot better...I was there!!!...Dina the lady in the office was very kind, immediately complete the paper work and in less than 5 minutes she took us to our room...when the doors opens...oh my god..again another wonderful experience.luxury all over!!!..the room is very spacious (this is 1 bedroom room/ apartment, the junior suite) and very clean, the deco is very modern, the appliances are new and very convenient, all you need to cook, if you decide to cook,( there is no need there are enough restaurants very close ) is there...the location of this hotel is very convenient, there is a big all department store EXITO (like wall-mart) just 1 block away, walking distance from must of the points of interest inside the walled city...2 convenience store in every corner of the block, always cold beers in each of it (if you like beer try Aguila in big bottles, with the heat and humidity is a good way to share between friends), the hotel is located a half block from the San Diego plaza, is were the Santa Clara hotel is located, is rated the best hotel in the walled city, the bar El Coro is very nice place to have ..also in this plaza a few restaurants and bars, try bar/ rest el balcon, is located on top of Zebra restaurant and Teriyaki Restaurant, his owner Abdul is a very nice and cool person is always there and you can sit down with him and have a chat, the place is very nice and what i like is that you can watch from the top what is going on in the plaza with out the vendors offering merchandise. Other place to visit in the plaza is Rest. Teriyaki, very good food. Don't recommend Rest Juan del mar, Ratio Food taste/ price is not too good. Other place not recommended is pizza del parque, the service is not good and the pizza is average. Now a good place to have a pizza is one place out of the walled city, the place have no name , but is located next to the hostal espanol, in front of Tasca Maria, passing a bar call Havana, in an area call media luna, this place is a very tiny room, the name of the owner is Andres, the best pizza ever!, I recommend the one with vegetables and the Hawaiian.
The service in this hotel is very good and the staff is very professional , starting from the lower staff, Jairo and Dina, door man and secretary respectively, also Ofelia house keeper, wonderful girl!!! (she help me with my surprise flowers for my girlfriend) and the upper management Janier Martinez and Jorge Ramirez, the y can help you with anything you request.
We had a minor problems with the wi-fi signal, because the router in our room was not configured, unfortunately we arrived on Sunday and Monday was holiday, but we were able to pick up another signal from the same hotel, not too strong but strong enough to browse the internet, the problem was solver on Tuesday morning first hour.
In general this hotel was above and beyond my expectations in service, facilities and location i really recommend this hotel if you want to have an pleasant experience in Cartagena

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Carlos C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2013

We stayed for five nights in the 2 bedroom suite. This was perfect for our family of five. We travel quite a bit, and we have certain standards that must be met. San Diego 974 definitely met and exceeded our expectations. Everything was very clean, modern and tastefully decorated.
There is a large, fully stocked kitchen, modern bathrooms, 3 TV's . Most importantly though - SOFT BEDS! The air conditioning worked very well, which is a must for Cartagena. There was a washer and dryer just down the hall that was available to us. Our condo had a large wrap around patio with a couple of seating areas, some were in the shade.
We usually had the roof top pool to ourselves. It was very relaxing. However, there was not any drink service available. That was fine with us because we had brought our own soft-sided fold up cooler, we filled it with our own drinks and snacks. There are two EXITOS within walking distance of the condo. EXITO is the Colombian version of Walmart.
The location is excellent, in the heart of the historic area. There are several restaurants nearby, all within walking distance. I must advise you that the restaurants are a bit more expensive than you would expect. We went because of the historical significance of Cartagena, not for the beaches. Do not go for the beaches or you will be very disappointed. We hired a tour guide for a day, he spoke English and had a car that he drove us around in when necessary. I would highly recommend him. I believe his name was Duran Duran, we made arrangements through Janier at San Diego 974 suites. Janier was very helpful throughout our stay.
We also rented a boat for a day, we were able to enjoy private beaches that way.
I highly recommend staying here!

Room Tip: We stayed in a two bedroom suite, i think on the third floor. it was in the back of the property. Pr...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Raleigh198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2012

I stayed three nights in a spacious Junior Suite. Everything was like new and well kept. The furnishings were modern and the air conditioning was strong which turned out to be very important in the sweltering heat of Cartagena. The only minor detraction was that the wifi signal was weak depending on where you were in the suite. Even though it is not a hotel, the suite was cleaned everyday and they provided some front desk type services. The staff is very professional and the managers assisted us with phone calls, directions and questions about the city. They took good care of us. I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Rooms with lower numbers are closer to the front door and more convenient.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HappyFeet21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

Not sure if it is only me who stumbles upon beautifully built resort properties that clearly represents the overbuilding of the 2nd-home resort market that happened from the mid to late 2000s however, we stayed in a wonderful hotel (which really feels like a small luxury apartment building) in the old-city here in Cartagena.

San Diego Suites has about 35, very large (700sf to 1500sf (and larger) suites about ten minutes from the heart of the walled-city portion of Cartagena. Accessed from a large wooden door off of the street, one could never tell it is as large as it is. The rooms are spacious with full kitchens, plenty of A/C units, and upscale amenities.

The only drawback was that as with most overbuilt properties that were not sold off in the go-go years, there are areas of maintenance that the owners need to focus on such as....doors that don't close, spotty hot water, dishwashers that aren't secured to their under counter placement, very little interior decor (however, lotsa marble), poor lighting in the rooms.

All in all, is a great spot to stay, especially if you are from the US and accustomed to staying in properties that have more space than you need!

Room Tip: three levels of rooms - - ask for high floor as the hotel is surrounded by a wall and therefore bett...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mr.RideDaWave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medellin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2011

We enjoyed every minute at the hotel. Great location, and a very comfortable and clean room.
Excellent service. Only one reccomendation: they need a first class concierge service!
I'm sure I willi come back to San Diego 974

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jpserani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
miami
Level Contributor
37 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2011

This Boutique hotel is located one block from the Santa Clara hotel, two block from the Exito supermarket, in the middle of the walled city, We talked to Ana Maria the manager and rented the junior suite, The rooms are very nice "Marble floors, nice leather furniture, Brand new appliances, Teak furniture on the balcony, Flat screens on the living room, and rooms, DVD player, wireless internet, Glass showers, Terrycloth bathrobes, , very nice and very quiet. The pictures on the site are accurate, and from my perspective I recommend this hotel, is quiet secure and upscale. The pool is small but the terrace is great for sun bathing.
All the staff was very helpful and was willing to help with everything, Their English is limited to none, However the manager Ana Maria is available to help with any request even if she is not in premises. There is no room service, but places very close by like La Cevicheria is two blocks away and they will deliver. Overall my stay was very nice and comfortable, and I will stay there again.

Room Tip: Junior Suite Close to the Pool
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ppapisimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Diego 974 Suites

Property: San Diego 974 Suites
Address: Calle 39 del Campo Santo # 9-74, Cartagena 575, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 159 B&Bs / Inns in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4.5 star — San Diego 974 Suites 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The design of San Diego 974 Suites combines colonial and modern architecture, creating 13 Junior Suites, Suites and Master Suites with a contemporary environment in the midst of a place with centuries of history. Spaces of one, two and three bedrooms with kitchen, living room and terrace, fully furnished to suit all tastes. ... more   less 
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