We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (80)
Filter reviews
80 results
Traveller rating
43
23
7
2
5
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
43
23
7
2
5
Show reviews that mention
All reviews eco lodge open air stayed for nights fernando ac
Filter
Updating list...
8 - 13 of 80 reviews
Reviewed 15 April 2016

Playa Scondida is a bit of an interesting place. You must get there by boat, which takes about an hour in pretty choppy waters. The return trip in the afternoon was not exactly fun. The afternoon winds in this area make the seas very rough. Make sure you stow all your bags in the hatch and put a towel around you, if possible. Be prepared to get soaked. The place itself is very clean and the staff are nice. The meals were all very good and we actually had to ask for no desserts or afternoon snacks because we're not used to eating that much! The owner, Fernando speaks excellent English and tries to make sure you are happy. Unfortunately for them, the locals from Cartagena come to a beach bar 400m across the inlet from them to party. So, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons it is filled with partiers and boats all blaring their stereos. I feel badly for the owners, but I wouldn't recommend staying here on weekends. The only blessing is that they all leave to boat back to Cartagena about an hour before sundown. You can swim off the dock in front of the property. It has a bit of a mushy bottom, but nothing too yucky. The water is warm, but gets a little choppy in the afternoon. They have A/C, but sometimes the power goes out. It did so a couple of times while we were there, but came back on fairly quickly. Fernando said they are looking at installing a salt water pool on the property, which would be nice for the afternoons.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Angie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beatriz Helena U, Asistente administrativo at Hotel Playa Scondida, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2016

We thank you for your comment. Each day we aim to improve on every detail to achieve such good reviews

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2016

My girlfriend and I were planning a trip Cartagena from Chicago and knew that we wanted some beach time. After conducting extensive research, we learned that we had to go to Baru if we wanted to experience the best beaches in the area. We decided to stay at Hotel Playa Scondida and are SO glad that we did. I'll start from the beginning.

A day or so before our trip, we received an e-mail from Hotel Playa Scondida stating that we needed to get to the marina by 8:15am. Our flight didn't arrive till the afternoon, so that option was out of the question. I replied to the e-mail and they offered a pick-up from the airport to a private boat for 300,000 COP. While we thought that was a little expensive, we decided to do it because we didn't want the hassle. Even though our flight was delayed, our transportation was there waiting. We learned the seas were too rough to take the boat and instead they drove us there. The car ride was not ideal, as the car has to drive along a narrow beach and there were cars getting stuck. It was a little scary at first, but we arrived safe and sound after about a 90 min drive. This is no fault of Hotel Playa Scondida, but just be warned that I have no idea what we would have done if we did not arrange this transportation though the hotel ahead of time. The hotel is difficult to get to--which is part of the appeal.

Upon arrival, my girlfriend and I were a little surprised that there wasn't a beach on the property. This is my fault and I didn't do enough research. However, this turned out to be a good thing. The hotel has a private boat that takes you to this little island across the way that has a private beach. It was very cool to be on this private beach, but the beach wasn't exactly our favorite given the amount of trees on the beach. It was beautiful, don't get me wrong, but we were expecting something different.

The next day we took a boat to Islas del Rosario. The blues of the water were breathtaking. We opted not to go snorkel and instead went to this pretty cool aquarium that is in the open sea. Following the aquarium was the best part of our trip--our boat driver took us to this island that seemed to be completely disserted. We had a BEAUTIFUL white sandy beach literally all to ourselves. I wish we would have learned about this the day before and spent more time there. It was an experience that was just like out of some romantic movie. It was so so nice.

We also spent an afternoon laying out on the dock. It was so relaxing.

My girl is OK at speaking spanish, but not great. But english-speakers: have no fear. Fernando (whose wife owns the place) was always available and was willing to go out of his way for anything we needed. He and his team worked to arrange transportation from his hotel all the way to Minca. He told us that he was willing to do anything to make our trip to colombia as stress-free as possible.

Every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is included in the cost. Every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) was exceptional. The cook does an awesome job at exposing you to local dishes. We had a smile on our face for every meal.

A few things you should be aware of before you go:
Bring bug spray and reapply often. While you have a roof over your head at night and are in a private cabin, nothing is completely sealed off. The outdoor showers were pretty fricken neat, and romantic.

Be aware that every where at Hotel Playa Scondida is exposed to the elements. That means that besides your rooms, everything is open-air. This is how all hotels are in Baru (and hence, you need buy spray). Also, reapply sun block often.

We had a beautiful stay at Hotel Playa Scondida and would definitely come back in the future.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Doug R R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2016

I partly enjoyed our stay at Playa Scondida, the staff are friendly and attentive. They want you to have a good stay.

When we arrived they offered the Spanish speaking couple that got off the boat with us a choice of what room they wanted, we had no say and got the room they did not want on the ground floor. The other couple took the top floor room with a mini balcony.

It was not a major issue but we had booked a 3 bed room via Expedia, we instead got a 2 bed room which is not what we had booked. It seems that the room the other guests chose had the 3 beds. We still paid the same price even though we did not get the room we booked. Not good practice to allow one guest to chose what room they want but not other guests!

You are only 5 minutes boat ride from Playa Azul which is beautiful. They boat you across or you can kayak. It is a white sand, turquoise water beach. Nice to spend a few hours relaxing.

The rooms are rustic, essentially beach huts! They are nice but too expensive really for what you get.

We knew they were rustic before we booked and the fact that they were beach huts was part of the charm.

The bathrooms offer limited privacy, the shower is sort of outdoors. You can hear everything in the room next to you as the walls are paper thin.

The food tastes great although I had a really bad stomach later in the evening, unlike a previous reviewer I had not drunk anything at the beach so have to conclude it was due to the hotel food. It is I guess just one of those things that happens when you travel!

It is a small property but there are multiple areas to sit, the hotel has no beach front so the seating areas are decks, hammocks etc.

It is tranquil, very relaxing.

It is nice!

It just feels too expensive for what you get, we paid Colombian Peso $1,090,000 which is about UK £250 at current exchange rates.

An OK hotel, fantastic staff but you can get better for the amount you pay elsewhere in the area. We stayed at a great Rosario Island hotel for much less.

To compare the same date we stayed at Playa Scondida you can stay back in London at the 5* London Hilton on Park Lane for £212. Whilst this hotel is nice it is not in an expensive city like London and it is not worth over a million Colombian peso a night!

If you know what you will get is rustic meaning basic then this hotel may meet your needs. They have trips like snorkelling and the drinks cost extra but the prices are very reasonable. They don't rip you off with the cost of drinks.

I enjoyed our stay here apart from the upset stomach, a nice hotel with great staff.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mp609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2016

I stayed at Playa Scondida during the Christmas holidays and - although the staff, especially Rafa and Eddiefredo - are absolutely lovely and the venue is pretty, and the hotel still deserves a rating of poor.

Cons:
1) We came to Playa Scondida to relax. Unfortunately, this was impossible, as during the whole time we were there music was blaring from the opposite beach from noon until at least 5 pm. We could barely sleep an afternoon nap and definitely couldn't sit on the deck to relax. Another family came during this time, heard the noise and checked out on the same day. Other guests also complained - at least between ourselves. It might have been different had management, which was aware of this, taken the initiative to offer some sort of recompense to the guests to make up for this.
2) Traveling to Playa Scondida was a nightmare. We were offered three options to get there, including the public boat, which we chose. When we got to the port, the public boat was not allowed to take off by the authorities. Okay - not the fault of the hotel. However, a representative of Playa Scondida who was there - instead of telling us to wait for the next boat - took us to wait for an hour and a half in a house which she locked and kept telling us "15 more minutes and a taxi will come, the driver is stuck in traffic"- and didn't update or provide any information. The taxi did come nearly two hours later, and the taxi driver explained that he was so very late because his car was broken (not traffic). Why they couldn't arrange another car is beyond us. We ended up arriving at 2 pm instead of 10:30 - wasted hours on a short holiday. The first thing the management told us when we finally arrived "this was out of our control". Surely, for real service, the first thing they should have said was "so sorry, here, have a cocktail and we will make it up to you"
3) Tons of mosquitos, continuously bitten despite putting on DEET. As were other guests.
4) Stayed one night in the top room, where the bed was pooed on by some creature during the night. Again, no recompense offered.
5) Worst mojito I have ever drunk

Pros:
1) 5 minutes away from a beautiful Caribbean beach, where if you walk far enough away you will not be hassled by vendors
2) Lovely staff and continuously changing menu
3) Beautiful architecture
4) Free snorkeling and kayaking (which other hotels charge for)

Room Tip: The upstairs rooms don't have a bathroom, you have to go downstairs to the bathroom
  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank 972Dana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2015 via mobile

I absolutely must give props to Playa Scondida after our wonderful stay. I did a ton of research and almost ended up 2 docks down at Sport Baru but SO glad I didn't! There aren't a ton of overnight accommodations easy to find for this area, thankfully Playa Scondida is so popular on Trip Advisor with detailed reviews or else I could have been very disappointed with this island.
If you are seeking a quiet getaway near Cartegena this is an excellent option. I read all about Playa Blanca and the obnoxious vendors- couldn't bring myself to plan a day trip knowing it could end up feeling more like a hassle. Scondida is great for a night or more of peaceful island time, with the option to mix in other activities. Staff will take you to a smaller private beach by boat, or snorkeling nearby for free. They also have kayaks and bikes you can borrow for free. For a fee you can take a trip to Isla Rosario, get a massage (I did this, $40,000 pesos and worth it!) or rent jet skis from local vendors.
What makes this place so great is its size and service. It's very small with only 4 rooms, so you're never there with more than a small group. We happened to be the only couple the 2 nights we stayed and had the place to ourselves, but there are so many different areas to relax separately it would be quiet either way.
Hands down the service is what blew us away. Rafa is the lead manager and great at making you feel welcome. Very attentive and warm. Eddie Fredo is groundsman and captain, will shuttle you around by boat. The chef, ashamed I don't remember her name, is amazing at her job and makes delicious 3 course meals along with a different fresh juice every breakfast, lunch and dinner. My only regret on this trip was buying a coco loco on the beach (unaffiliated with hotel), the likely culprit behind a very nasty intestinal bug we caught leaving us unable to fully enjoy the last 2 days of delicious meals and fun. Despite our state, the staff did everything they could to make us comfortable and enjoy the trip. Thankfully the owner, Fernando, was also there for part of our stay and kind enough to take us on a wild goose chase through tiny Baru seeking medical care. It turned out to be a memorable adventure! We left feeling truly fulfilled. 100% recommend!

Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank Katie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews