My SO and I spent a couple of nights at the hotel "Arhuaco" last January. Our experience regarding the quality of the service provided by the staff, the location and value was great!!.
There were a couple of things that I would like to mention in this review. The first one is location. It’s a fact, location, location, location. The hotel is located in the area call “El Rodadero” This area is a 20 minutes away from the airport. The taxi fare from the airport to El Rodadero is around $15,000 COP. The hotel is located one block from the beach, which made it perfect for those moments when you are at the beach and you need to go to the bathroom but you don’t want to use a public potty. There are a lot of restaurants, small supermarkets, pharmacies, ATM machines, bars and souvenir shops in the same street as the hotel. But sadly, location could be a double bladed knife, which brings me to the second thing that I want to mention, “Noise”. Because the hotel is located on a main strip there is a lot of noise around the hotel. Therefore, the rooms which face the main strip are not soundproofed and the level of noise that you can hear at night coming from the street could be very overwhelming, particularly the noise that comes from a bar which is right in front of the hotel.
When we checked in, we were given room #316, this was a large room, with 2 double beds, LCD TV screen, small refrigerator with some drinks and snacks in it, AC and a big bathroom with hot water, hair drier and some toiletries which you need to pay for them if you use them. I noticed that the bathroom was in need of a facelift (not a big deal). The room has a balcony and it faced the main strip. Around 3:00 AM in the morning, we had to request a change of room because we couldn’t handle anymore the noise coming from the bar across the street. Unfortunately, bars in Santa Marta closed at 4:00 AM so we had to hear the noise from 8:00 Pm until 4:00 AM. Sadly, the rooms are not soundproof; therefore it felt like we were trying to sleep inside the bar. When we made the request to change rooms, the staff at the front desk, submitted our request and she said that they have some inside rooms available but she apologized for not being able to make the change right away because there was no maid service at that hour and we won’t be able to change rooms. Keeping in consideration that we were awake and we couldn’t sleep, my SO and I, decided to take a stroll on the main strip.to our surprise, it was very safe to walk on the street at those early hours. Finally, the bar closed at 4:00 AM (that is the legal time for the bars to close) and we were able to go to sleep. Next morning, as soon as the woman at the front desk saw us, she told us that they have a room ready for us but it will be facing the parking lot. Honestly, we did not care, about the view so, we did the change. This time we moved to room #306 and it was perfect, clean, big and quite. So, if you are a light sleeper stay away from the rooms that are facing the main strip. The one problem was that the bed was a little uncomfortable because you can feel the springs while trying to sleep. Request the ones with a view of the pool or the parking lot. Anyway, views are not important here, you will spend most of the time away from the room.
Our issue with the noise brings me to my third point, “Service Level”. The service level provided by the staff at this hotel is GREAT!. Everybody from the bellboy, to the maids, to the waiters and waitresses and to the staff at the front desk offers a kind or service level that I have seeing only in a very few places. Every time that we asked for something, somebody was there to help us. The level of friendliness, courtesy and service is an A+++. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that they follow the Caribbean culture so things take a little while to get accomplished but they are so incredible nice that it makes the wait more pleasant.
While we were there, we booked a trip to “ El parque Tayrona” through their tour company. The tour was good and the service provided by their staff was good.
The only complaint that I have is regarding the hotel reservation center and their website. I started planning the trip to Santa Marta in mid-September 2010 and every time that I tried to contact their reservation center the person in charge was unresponsive. I tried to make the reservation through their website, but whoever designed it, it created the most unfriendly user website ever. I ended up doing my reservation through “Despegar.com” their services are A+ and their prices one of the best ones in the market.
So, to conclude this long review, if you book your next vacation at the hotel Arhuaco, you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy it!!
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Arhuaco Hotel Santa Marta
- Sol Arhuaco Santa Marta