Located in the historic walled city of Cartagena, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena is housed in a former convent that dates to 1621. An extensive renovation carefully maintained the original character of the building (broad, winding staircases, scenic balconies, a lush interior courtyard and a 17th-century chapel) while adding contemporary art and streamlined furnishings. The best room to book is the ultra-luxe Presidential Suite, a 1,227-square-foot, butler-appointed palace located in the oldest section of the hotel.
With its location along the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena is easier to reach than ever thanks to new direct flights operating from hubs such as New York and Ft. Lauderdale. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena is located in the colonial city, where a fortified wall historically protected inhabitants from outside invasion. Despite its city-center address, the hotel captures a resort feel through its palm tree-lined outdoor pool with ocean views, while the peaceful spa reinforces that notion with treatments that rely on nutrient-rich local fruits (like the refreshing papaya and mango exfoliation).
This being the tropics, you’ll want to plan your trip when Cartagena is at its coolest, from December through April, with daytime temperatures in the 80s. From May through November, you’ll catch the city’s rainy season, when steamy temperatures will require a dip in that oceanfront pool. After the sun subsides, the pleasures of Cartagena’s evenings are yours for the taking. A combination of live son cubano bands and salsa dancing at one of the city’s famously vibrant clubs will keep you up late into the night.
This authentic and historic hotel offers a glimpse into Cartagena’s past while offering plenty of opportunities to connect with present-day Colombian culture. Sign up for salsa classes with local dancers, learn about South American wine from the in-house sommelier or rub elbows with the locals who gather at the El Claustro brasserie or in the El Coro Lounge Bar for its excellent live music and signature mojitos. The infectious music and ice-cold cocktails may keep you up late, but your remarkably comfortable bed (featuring the brand’s exclusive MyBed design) will only be a short stroll away.
Photos Courtesy of Sofitel Santa Clara