First the good side. Casa La Fe is solidly managed. Someone has thought through what travellers need: a hotel map shows where to find ATMs and recommends and locates some good restaurants. Check in is efficient. The happy hour, with a free glass of wine or beer every evening is a welcoming touch. The hotel is relatively good value for Cartegena, where rooms and meals are more expensive than the rest of Colombia.
Now the not so good. Most of the standard rooms have little or no natural light apart from through their door that faces onto a courtyard. Most rooms are small and waste the architectural possibilities of the old building. As rooms are packed in the hotel can feel very cramped when it is full. There is really no atmosphere here. For me, the only rooms with a feeling of space and air were on the top floor facing the square. This is where I had another problem. Still facing trans-atlantic jet lag, I really wanted to sleep. Amplified music from the square blared on late into the night. Not even some sort of salsa soundtrack, but euro-vision karaoke. This was repeated the following night and I went to check into another hotel to get some respite. This is not the fault of Casa La Fe, however there is little point to having a room if you cannot sleep in it. This would not be a problem for a night owl wishing to sample Catagena's nightlife. The noise blight stops sometime between midnight and 2 am.
Another problem was despite being a family (two bookings with the same surname and a request for adjacent rooms,we were given rooms at opposite ends of the hotel, with lots of narrow corridors and staircases. This got to be a chore.
I also found breakfast to be the most meagre of my trip through Panama and Colombia. I reckon this property probably stood out in the early days when it was first opened. It is still solid and well managed, but has been falling behind newer rivals. I would prefer to pay more for some genuine Cartagena ambience and a quieter nights sleep.
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- Also Known As:
- Casa La Fe Cartagena
- Casa La Fe Hotel Cartagena