Conrad Cartagena

Cartagena's oceanfront oasis

When you want an escape, the new Conrad Cartagena lets you hide away. Far from the clamor of the tourist-heavy Old City, Conrad’s debut Colombia hotel resides in the up-and-coming Serena del Mar area.

The new town’s name translates to “Serenity of the Ocean,” and the Conrad fits that description — there aren’t any buildings near the remote beachfront property. You’ll feel like you have the sliver of soft sand and warm water to yourself.

Conrad Cartagena stands out with its white geometric-cutout façade, a stark contrast to the surrounding green lush landscape. Enter the oversized white doors with silver lion door knockers (these used to indicate the social status of a Cartagena home and/or the profession of its inhabitants) and you’ll find a breezy indoor-outdoor lobby with fresh, modern all-white décor; an O-shaped black marble bar with mixologists donning loosened bowties; and local art, like Bogota artist Ana Mercedes Hoyos’ gigantic bronze bow-wrapped heads Milagros and Felicia, two palenqueras (the region’s first settlers).

Elsewhere in the hotel, you’ll discover seven restaurants and bars, a tranquil spa, four tennis courts, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Golf is a rarity in Colombia, but players will find a getaway in the hotel’s TPC Cartagena at Karibana. Boasting Caribbean Sea views along the back nine, it’s the first TPC course in South America.
  • Karibana Beach Club offers more than a half a mile of sand, palapas with chaise loungers and plentiful tropical cocktails like the Karibana Coolada (white rum, mango puree, coconut cream, pineapple juice and a dark rum float).
  • Five swimming pools spread across more than 24,000 square feet of palm-tree-sprinkled grounds invite you to jump in.
  • Visit the sleek, serene spa for a body scrub with locally harvested coffee or a cacao facial.
  • From the photo or art screens in the rooms to the larger-than-life female statue with her hands on her hips guarding a corner of the lobby, Colombian art plays a prominent role at the Cartagena hotel.

Things to Know

  • The luxury hotel is more of a quiet getaway than city-center stay. But you can Uber it 20 miles south to the walled city, if you want a change of pace.
  • The dark hallways have energy-saving motion-sensor lights, so you may need to wave your arm to set them off.
  • Drop little ones off at the kids club, which has both indoor and outdoor spaces for frolicking.
  • The beach is a bit removed from the main resort, but a staff member will happily shuttle you there via golf cart.

The Rooms

  • A beach-appropriate crisp white palette with touches of brown adorns the accommodations. Framed photographs of ladies in brightly hued polleras (traditional ruffled skirts that Colombians wear for festivals) add some vibrancy.
  • Despite the open-air lobby, all spacious rooms have air conditioning. They also come with a furnished balcony, Nespresso coffeemakers and pillow menus.
  • Beige travertine bathrooms have soaking tubs with slatted screens that you can open and gaze out through the room’s glass sliding doors. There’s also a separate shower, a double sink, Mandarin Tea by Shanghai Tang
  • Every room has a view, though higher floors afford better vistas of the pools and the coast.
  • The 1,313-square-foot first-floor pool suites have a sizable patio with a private plunge pool, loungers and a dining table.

The Restaurants

  • Biblioteka carries a smattering of books and bread arrives in a wooden box fashioned like a tome, but don’t expect a stuffy library; it’s an airy, modern space. Chef Gabriela Gómez blends flavors from Asia, Europe and Latin America at the property’s top restaurant. Try the beef tenderloin with roasted onion cream, pear, demi glace and a dot of quince.
  • In the morning, go to Adesso Tu for breakfast — don’t miss the simple but satisfying arepas (griddled corncakes) with Costeño cheese triangles, eggs, tomato, onion and addictive buñuelos (light fried dough balls made with Costeño cheese). Then come back for lunch and dinner, when it transforms into an Italian restaurant with pizzas, pasta and other favorites.
  • At the beachside Karibana Beach Club and poolside Sun Bar, order tipples like jalapeño margaritas and local beer like Aguila along with fare such as empanadas, chicken satay and garlic prawns.
  • Indoor-outdoor Sea Salt Grill gives you views of the golf course and the Caribbean Sea beyond it, alongside Colombian dishes like the catch of the day, a fried whole local fish with coconut rice and chorreadas potatoes.
  • Rum is the specialty at lobby bar Son and Ron, but the fruity margaritas also are worth a look. During the weekend, grab one of the gray bar chairs and some Dictador XO rum and take in the live Cuban music.

Babysitting services
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Pet friendly
Getting There
Anillo Vial, KM 12 between Manzanillo del Mar and Punta Canoa, Cartagena, Colombia
NeighborhoodSerena del Mar
CTG (22 min)  
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