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Colombia's Hotel Boom

August 12, 2011 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent


JW Marriott Bogota standard room
Even the standard rooms at the new JW Marriott Bogota have a luxury feel.


You won’t have to work very hard to find your clients a new hotel room in Colombia, and it’s not just any hotel room. More than ever you will be able to offer clients traveling far from home the comfort and peace of mind engendered by familiar brands such as Hilton, Ibis (Accor), InterContinental, Sofitel, Sonesta and Wyndham. Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia, says 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Colombia since 2009.

From luxury hotels that operate in restored historical convents, to cozy, versatile boutique hotels and state-of-the-art hotels in modern neighborhoods, they are all there. Travel Agent takes a look, one city at a time:


Amid the colonial charm and modern architecture of Cartagena, there are now more than a thousand hotel rooms. And there is “room” in the city for every taste and budget, including incentive groups.

Chain hotels such as the Sonesta Seaway 935 and two Estelar hotels, Estelar Cartagena de Indias Marbella and Estelar Playa Manzanillo, are among those that have surfaced recently in the city.

Sonesta Collection announced the opening of its fourth hotel in Colombia, the 114-room Sonesta Hotel Cartagena, joining its sister properties in Bogota, Barranquilla and Valledupar. Most of the guest rooms at the Sonesta Hotel Cartagena, on the country’s Caribbean coast, come with water views. Agents should contact Karina Olano (011-57-5-660-7783, [email protected]. com), reservations manger for details.

Other top hotels include the Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara and Hilton Cartagena Hotel. Originally a 17th-century monastery, the Sofitel Santa Clara has 119 rooms, including 17 suites, distributed in two different environments (“Colonial” and “Republican”) with a view over the ancient city, the Caribbean Ocean or the hotel’s internal gardens.

The main-tower guest rooms at Hilton Cartagena are undergoing a makeover and will be ready in July 2013.

For the Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara, agents should contact Sales Coordinator Monica Velasquez ([email protected]; 011-57-5-650-4720, ext. 2006) and for the Cartagena Hilton, Hotel Manager Vinod Agarwal ([email protected]; 011-57-5-665-0660, ext. 112).

Top hotels continue to open in Cartagena. An InterContinental with more than 282 rooms will be unveiled in 2013. Further ahead in the same year, the Sheraton Cartagena is slated to join its Bogota sister property.

Other upcoming properties in Cartagena include a Melia Hotels & Resorts property, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts and a Marriott Hotels & Resorts property in 2014 with a combined 278 rooms.


Dubbed the “City with a Heart,” Colombia’s capital, Bogota, is popular with both business and leisure travelers. It is expected that by 2014 there will be 2,253 new rooms in Bogota, up from 1,616 new rooms in 2009.

The Sonesta Bogota opened in March to much acclaim. Also among recent luxury additions to the city are JW Marriott Bogota, and Ibis Bogota Hotel. For the Sonesta Bogota, agents should contact Hotel Manager Cesar Recalde ([email protected], 011-57-1-658-5500), while at JW Marriott Bogota, it’s best to get in touch with Reservations Manager Silvia Rios ([email protected], 011-57-1-481-6000). 

Leisure and business guests will be drawn to the 245-room Bogota Hilton, slated to open this October, both by the chain’s reputation and the hotel’s sought-after north district location. Other hotels slated to open soon include NH Parque de la 93 hotel later this year, Aloft Bogota Airport Hotel in November and Wyndham Bogota in December. A Hyatt property and a hotel from Wyndham group are in the planning/development stage.


Cali, “The Salsa Capital of Colombia,” is the country’s third-largest city. When the Hotel Spiwak Chipichape debuted in late 2010, it became Cali’s first five-star property. The hotel is in the heart of the city’s developing business and commercial district. Agents should contact Isabel Cubillos ([email protected], 011-57-2-395-9999), the hotel’s reservations manager.

The distinctive 301-room InterContinental Cali is approximately 16 miles from Alfonso Bonilla Aragon Airport and less than a mile from La Tertulia Museum. A colonial-style hotel in an exclusive area of Granada, the 60-room Mercure Cali Casa del Alférez Hotel is 10 minutes from the city center and 15.5 miles from the international airport.

For the InterContinental Cali, agents can contact Reservations Manager Juan Pablo Marmolejo ([email protected]; 011-57-2-882-3225, ext. 7661). General Manager Max Stroh ([email protected], 011-57-2-661-8111) is the agents’ contact for Mercure Cali.


Medellin, the city of “eternal spring” is Colombia’s second-largest metropolis, and comes with great gastronomical, commercial and tourism offerings.

Wyndham Hotel Group has opened TRYP Medellin, the first TRYP by Wyndham property in Colombia. The 140-room, 14-story four-star hotel is on Calle Colombia, in the heart of the city.  TRYP Medellin’s opening reflects Wyndham’s strategy of introducing the TRYP by Wyndham brand in key urban markets throughout the Americas.

The hotel consists of Junior Suites and TRYP by Wyndham’s signature family rooms, which feature a large bed for parents and bunk beds for children. The hotel also has the brand’s specialty fitness rooms, equipped with elliptical machines, treadmills or stationary bikes, and a complimentary fitness kit complete with a workout outfit, exercise mat, mineral water and extra towels. For more information, agents should call Howard Gonzalez, general manager, at 011-57-4-6040-686, ext. 311.

Melia Hotels & Resorts, Ibis and Marriott have announced plans for hotels in the city.



Hotel Spiwak Chipichape
Hotel Spiwak Chipichape is Cali’s first five-star property.


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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | August 12, 2011
The country has added 1,600 hotel rooms over the past two years.