A Solid Hotel Choice Right Outside the Old City
Summary: The Ermita Cartagena is the only Marriott property in the city of Cartagena. Located right outside the walls of the Old City, the hotel is only 15 minutes away from the airport via taxi and a short 5-minute taxi ride into the heart of the Old City. Most of the hotel’s amenities are solid, with a few improvements that we would recommend. Overall, we were very satisfied with the hotel, especially at the price per night we booked the room at.
The Good: We were able to book our room, originally a King Room which was upgraded to the Premium Ocean View room, for 9 nights for a total of $965 USD. A great price for that length of time! The room was very spacious with a very comfortable bed and living space. The AC was working fantastic, which trust us, comes in clutch in the steamy August weather of the city. Our location allowed us to stay away from the crowds present in the Old City, and there was a local supermarket a 2-minute walk away which we visited a couple of times. There was also a nice senora on that same walk selling some delicious fried arepas de desayuno and empanadas (offer to pay more for the fresh ones)! Even though the hotel is right next to the road, we didn’t hear any of the “chiva party buses” roll down Avenida Santander after midnight. The staff were friendly and reliable, and the breakfast offerings were decent to start the morning off. Since we were Titanium Elite members, we were given the choice between the breakfast buffet (mostly consisting of two different egg options, a protein, various Colombian acompanantes (offerings), a soup, and selection of breads & fruits) or from the menu. We suggest you try all the tropical fruits they were offering, as they were so fresh and tasty! We also ordered room service for the first night that we came in, ordering the chicharon con yuca (fried pork grinds with yuca), beef sliders, and buttered shrimp, all delicious. The rooftop bar was great for both the drinks and the views, especially during the sunset (and we are sure the sunrise views would have been fantastic as well had we waken up earlier).
Areas of Improvement: The showerhead could be improved as the one in the room only allowed for the overhead rainshower setting. Our room only had two drawers for clothes – we made due with the bench that was underneath the tv but if you wanted to put your clothes away, you are out of luck. The pool was full the one time we attempted to use – it is a small pool for the number of guests the hotel hosts. Expanding the pool doesn’t appear to be an option but perhaps they can set up a time pass system.
Keep in Mind: The “sea view” the room offers is obstructed by electrical wires and the traffic outside, so don’t expect a “pristine view.” We expected this to be the case since the hotel is located roadside from Avenida Santander. If you want those pristine views, seek those views from one of the many beautiful beaches on the islands right off the coast (we suggest visiting the Eteka Slow Lounge Beach Resort)! Also, if you are in a pinch for some fast food, order from the Rappi app!
Final Verdict: The Ermita House is a really great hotel for your next trip to Cartagena if you are looking to stay near the Old City. The positives of the hotel (location, price, breakfast, spacious rooms, rooftop) more than made up for the few improvements we would recommend. If you are flexible with your travel plans to Cartagena, the Ermita House can serve as a cost-effective, “mattress-run” hotel if you are pursuing Platinum or Titanium status (like we are)! Most importantly, visit Cartagena for it’s beautiful views, amazing cuisine, and overall slow pace of life. We rate the hotel 8.5 out of 10 stars!
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