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Reviewed 17 March 2012

My wife and I stayed at Playa Scondida for 3 nights in Mid February. Bedatriz, the wife and co-owner met us in Cartagena by the boat dock and we went to the B&B in a crowded, public boat. If you can afford the private boat ride it is much more comfortable. It is $200 each way and it takes about an hour from Cartagena to Playa Scondida. Or pay around $25 for the public boat ride. We made it to the secluded and beautiful B&B and enjoyed an amazing lunch cooked by a local cook who lives in the Village nearby. The food was very good throught the 4 day stay.

We liked the location very much, the hosts are friendly and hotel or more accurately B&B with all meals included is family-like. There is no beach at Playa Scondida, just a boat dock, but the owner, Fernando is always willing to drop you off with his boat at a sandy beach nearby and pick you up later or you can pedal back to the hotel in a Kayak. That's about a 20 minute Kayak ride. You can also jump for a refreshing swim from the dock. We were there during a dry season, so no mosquitos. Get mosquito spray for travel in the rainy season. Playa Scondida is a quiet place for a quiet vacation. Bring along magazines and books because there isn't much to do after dinner. We were usually exhausted form the day's activities and went to bed early. One morning we went snorkeling in the Islas Rosarios nearby with Fernando as a guide, also visited a bird sanctuary on the way and saw some amazing birds. Another day we took the 2 new mountain bikes that Fernando just bought and went for a bike ride along the coast. I only recommend it for people who are in good shape. We ended up about 10 miles down at an amazing beach, called Playa Blanca. All beaches around Baru and Cartagena have vendors selling from Jewelry to food. It gets a bit annoying at times, but it is a part of the scene. Overall, the trip was great and our stay excellent and we will return to Playa Scondida. PS, they just started taking credit cards....and both Beatriz and Fernando speak good English! They also make for good company if you don't bring friends or kids along.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Davidoff670
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2012

My friend and I stayed at Playascondida 3 nights in mid December. The good things: great location, amazing cook, lovely staff always trying to acommodate our needs and well blended into the nature. The closesst beach to the hotel is a paradise, white sand and turquoise water. However it is quite small and there are way too many sellers.

I have read many reviews saying that the owners made their stay excellent by making them feel like at home and trying them like part of the family. That was one of the reason we decided to stay there. Also because the owners speak English and my friend only speaks English. We got told the owners would come the day after our arrival, then the day after that, and in the end we got told that they had decided to stay in Cartagena. We only saw one of them in Cartagena for the check out (who is indeed lovely). It is the only hotel in our 2 weeks vacacion in Colombia where we couldn't speak English. My friend spent 4 days communicating through me, not what we expected.

We were the only guests. No one gave us a warm welcoming briefing about what to do, where to go, how to make the most of the stay. We got there at lunch time, ate, and we were asked what's that we wanted to do (?!). Management should have been there. Staff was lovely but it's not their job to advertise the activities in my opinion. Our lovely cook went home at 7.30pm after dinner, and with no tv or other guests, my friend and I spent 3/4 hours reading while trying to fob off dozens of mosquitos. It had rained the days before, so the mosquitos were a nightmare. We tried to play board games but the mosquito nightmare got in the way! We got bitten alive in those 4 days despite going through a couple of repelent bottles.

The other downside was the method of payment. The owner met us at the port in Cartagena and we went to the office, we were told they don't accept cards. We had to walk half an hour in the pouring rain to find a BBVA ATM (only one that works with European cards). We complained about this and we were told that we had been informed by email that they only accepted cash. Well, I've since then reviewed all the email correspondence and there is NO information about method of payment. I'd say, for a B&B that charges £150/night, a card device should be a minimum.

I recommend this place in high season, but not in low season if the owners aren't there and it's rained recently.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Monikafromlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2011

The owners Fernando and Beatriz are very welcoming and were sure to make certain that we were comfortable, eating well and relaxing. If you are looking for a very relaxing spot away from Cartegena, this is the place to be. Note there is not a beach; the property is set among mangrove trees, but there is a nearby beach and is a short boat ride away (Fernando took us here). Be sure to bring bug / mosquito spray. The boat ride to the property was very unpleasant as the boat was old, very crowded with locals going to various spots outside of Cartegena, and the driver had no concern for the "rough" waters. if you can arrange for more of a "private" boat to the island via Beatriz, i would pay the extra money to do so. The ride back from Playa was "private" and very pleasant.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank S J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2011

We really enjoyed our stay in Playa Scondida. The location of the hotel is lovely right in the middle of mangroves, the owners were very welcoming and food was absolutely delicious. When we mentioned that it was our honeymoon they prepared a very romantic dinner on a small hotel pier with Champaign and candles. At some point we were so fascinated with the food that I even asked Ledies (the cook) to give me some cooking lessons, which she did with a great enthusiasm. Our lovely room and bathroom were cleaned every day. We were looked after very well and we enjoyed every minute of our stay. We hired a motorbike and rode it along a village road; we also took a kayak and visited empty picturesque paradise looking beaches around. We liked the place so much that we stay 3 days extra. Beatriz and Fernando (the owners) felt like part of the family by the end of our stay. We definitely would like to come back. Ksenia and Mark, UK.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank KseniaandMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2011

To visit Isla Baru and the nearby Islas del Rosario, I wanted a more laid back, earthier experience than what I was getting in Cartagena, and I found it at Hotel Playa Scondida. The establishment really captures the natural beauty of the islands, but offers an exceptionally comfortable experience. Fernando and Beatriz, the owners, are like old friends by the time you sit down for dinner, one of the many and delicious meals included in the price. All sort of activities are at your disposal - kayaks and snorkeling gear are also provided, and it's very easy to arrange excursions to other islands - do not miss the aquarium or aviary on Isla Grande, and the coral reef snorkeling is absolutely fantastic.

If you want to commune with nature, make some new friends, and enjoy all the best of island culture, then Playa Scondida is for you!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank krisrolla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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