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.
Estelar Playa Manzanillo
Nearby Hotels
US$ 284
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
US$ 199
Hilton.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Pool
Hotel Caribe(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 170
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Dann Cartagena(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 131
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
Hotel Las Americas Torre del Mar(Cartagena)
US$ 172
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Almirante Cartagena Colombia(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 121
US$ 115
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Holiday Inn Cartagena Morros(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 143
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hampton by Hilton Cartagena(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 105
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Hotel Boutique las Carretas(Cartagena)(Great Value!)
US$ 104
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
US$ 475
US$ 420
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Reviews (1,322)
Filter reviews
1,322 results
Traveller rating
498
496
191
84
53
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
498
496
191
84
53
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsquiet poolmain barfree shuttlenativo restauranta la carte restaurantsall inclusive resortbeach barsmall resortdark sandthe entire resortold citygreat resortwalled cityrecommend this resortadult only poolnightly entertainmentboogie boards
Filter
Updating list...
275 - 280 of 1,322 reviews
Reviewed 10 March 2012

We spent two weeks at the end of February, first of March. If you are a novice traveller, looking for a beautiful beach, a gentle surf, great ocean swimming, shady palm trees or palapas with a "soft" breeze, interesting nightly entertainment, hot food; this place is "not" for you.

However, if you're looking for fairly good food, friendly staff, a clean hotel, reasonably priced and a very unique and exciting city nearby; the Occidental Hotel is the place to be.

We found the beach to be dull and the strong winds sandblasted you in the afternoon. The noise level from the main pool (activity director and ghetto blaster music) extended to the sheltered palapa area where permanent shade was available. Shade was very elusive and the strong winds necessitated the lowering of pool umbrellas; hence your stay was ended at the pools if you weren't a sun worshipper. We had a lovely room in building #3 but you couldn't sit on the balcony because the sun was too intense in the afternoon. Building #1 had shade all day long so if you were chased away from the pools due to strong winds or lack of shade; you had a place to go.

The highlight, for us, was the old city of Cartagena. The free shuttle was a bonus, exploring the old city with its unique architecture, restaurants, stores, people watching and visiting the historical sights, made this trip very worthwhile. U.S. money was accepted in the old town and at the resort for tipping; no problem. Credit cards are used a lot as well; even encouraged for tours from the hotel. Our friends had no difficulty retrieving money from the many banking machines (also in English). Our focus, once we discovered the beauty and excitement of the old town, was a routine visit to the city to explore so I cannot comment on other excursions.

Room Tip: Building #1 has shade all day. Bottom floors, even though there were more bugs, made it easier to access your washroom facilities since there were only a few public restrooms located on the property.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank HamiltonLovebirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteles_Estelar, E-Commerce at Estelar Playa Manzanillo, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2012

Hello HamiltonLovebirds,

Thak you for your comments we will working always for new services. we see that your stay was greatfull excep for the sun and your recomendations about the Swimingand, activities will received.

We hope see you soon.

Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2012

We booked this all-inclusive and visited in mid-February. This is a new resort, not crowded and full of Canadians! The majority of the people we met vacationing that week were from Ontario.

The Country: We chose Columbia because it represented a new experience, and when you mention 'we are vacationing in Columbia' people look at you like you're crazy. I can attest that this was one of the safest countries I have been in. We took advantage of the shuttle to the Old Town a few times. It was nice to get out and stretch the legs after eating, drinking and relaxing! The weather was predictable (beautifully warm morning to night). Sunblock is a necessity! There are very few excursions to book through the resort, but I heard the night life in Cartagena is hopping if you are bold enough to go it on your own!

The Resort: Clean, fresh and welcoming. There were two buffet restaurants and one a la carte, the food was standard resort fare but we were never left hungry. There is a pizza bar that will receive an honourable mention (too bad it was only open at dinner time)! There is one main bar and a couple small bars. The drinks were adequate, and each day offered special mixes. There are only 3 low-rise buildings, it is not a congested resort- easy to navigate around. Two pools offer the choice of a quiet environment, or a more lively one with daily entertainment (Spanish lessons, games, water polo, etc.). If you prefer the beach, you can relax under a tiki hut or by the water. We upgraded to the deluxe room with a hot-tub, well worth the extra $$. Air conditioning and WiFi worked flawlessly. Although the staff were friendly, most struggled with English- but this is a new resort and time will remedy this (we are guests in THEIR country). Service was good. Great value for the money.
The only beef I have is not with the resort, but with vacationers who arise early and place their towel on the shaded lounge chairs. This act is frustrating when I recognize the chairs remain uninhabited most of the day, except for the towel.

Room Tip: Choose the deluxe rooms, with or without the hot tub. Nice size bedroom with TV and bathroom, large seating area with table, couch and TV.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank RobandChristina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteles_Estelar, E-Commerce at Estelar Playa Manzanillo, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2012

Hello RobandChristina,

Thank you for your comments. We see that your Stay was greatfull and your comment will be received for your next stary.

We hope ypu see you soon.

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2012

At the Occidental Grand Cartagena (Estalar) Feb 27 - Mar 5 2012 - and it was fantastic! Booked back in November and became worried with the poor reviews, but all the concerns appeared to have been addressed or exagerated, and we have very few concerns.
Rooms: Clean, and new. Regular rooms are tight, but I don't go to spend time in my room, we did take ear plugs, but they were not necessary. Suites were very spacious, and had wonderful large patios, and a large tub.
Staff: Most staff understand some basic english, but really appreciate if you try to speak spanish. If they are not sure, they will try to make it right, and will search out help and aim to please as best they can. Always a smile from all. The activity staff are encouraging to get involved.
The food: I am SUPER picky, and have a hard time even at some restaurants at home, however there was always something. Lots of fresh fruit with each meal. If you want your meat well cooked - be very specific. Order the pizza for supper for sure, not to be missed.
Beach: Dark sand, but clean, warm water, shade near the resort and the sea. Lots of space to walk, and lots to see. Beware of the dogs on the beach, they are friendly and just want to lay under your chair, or walk with you - they do not beg for food, but are excited to be around, and may be a tripping hazard. The reviews of cows on the beach were only true one day we were there, and the security chases them away time and again. There is a vendor on the beach willing to negotiate prices; rings, necklace, earrings, etc. Also there are women on the beach doing massages (not from the resort) but for $30 it was a great 40 minutes of listening to the water, and very relaxing. Great sunset nightly.
Excursions: Not too many to choose from, but being a small resort it's nice to meet people and spend time with them as well. VERY difficult to book a tour as our Sunquest rep was not able to be located all week. On the last day she was found behind a building on her cell phone.
MUST DO: Make sure to get in touch with Henry who is a tour guide in the walled city - snowfull1066@hotmail.com is his e-mail and he will be sure to get back to you. His prices ($10/person (2 of us)) for as long as we wanted was fantastic - lots of history, willing to answer any question, wonderful english, and his connections make the tour extra special. DON'T miss him - he is truly wonderful, and knows his stuff!
Weather: it is hot during the day, and very windy at night. A light jacket for the evening and something to keep the hair out of your face is a good idea - lots of sunscreen is also required.
Suggestions for travellers: Take a travel mug, as the weather is so hot, your drink will get warm easy, make sure you take what you need as there is no store, lots of sunscreen, small bills for tippng, and enjoy! We ordered Colombian Pesos in Canada before we went as there is no exchange at the resort.
Suggestions for the resort: A small store or availibility of things to buy would be useful (sunscreen, batteries, tooth brush, snacks) An extra bar staff in the evening would be useful, I think this would give more of an evening life to the resort if you didn't have to wait so long for a drink. A coffee maker in the room would be great - or a coffee area in each building for the morning i.e. by the main floor elevators. Turn the music down at the pool just a bit, and remind the staff they don't need to yell in the microphone. An option for more umbrellas around the pool, or shade for a small portion in the pool. For a new resort, the service is great, and you can tell from previous reviews that lots of care has been taken to improve. We will reccommend (and have reccommended) this resort to friends looking to relax and have a great time. Keep up the good work. Free wifi is great, as is the free shuttle service.

Thanks for a good time, we miss you already Colombia!!

Room Tip: No need to pay for ocean view - we had a straight view of the ocean, and did not pay the extra for it. The suites have more space if you are travelling with a group.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank KassM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

We as a group of 10 travelled to this resort between Feb 20 to the 27th. We read all previous reviews knowing this was a new resort.We were apprehensive at first as the first reviews had a negative spin to them.The month prior to going all reviews were outstanding which put us at ease.
I won't go into too much as the reviews speak for themselves. Take the negative ones and toss them aside and go with the mostly positive as this is what truly represents this resort. The Occidental group have listened to the initial shortcomings and have addressed them totally.
The food is very good and I question anyone that says they can't find anything or the ones that start a review out saying they aren't picky eaters.The rooms are new and comfortable.The pools are very good and warm. The staff are certainly at the top of their game and are trying to master the English language daily. I would ask that the tourists try to speak a few of their words as they are tickled when we try.
The weather was second to none and if you want a vacation with superb warm weather then this is the place.The wind picks up in the later part of the day but is welcomed as it is still in the 30's.
My only hope is that this resort will remain in the same price range next year as the price was outstanding for what you get.It is obvious Colombia is realizing the tourist trade is where its at and are going all out to get the worlds attention.
Our group of 10 had been to numerous places in numerous countries and overall this place is a winner so do go and experience a great vacation.Do go into Cartegena as it is totally safe and a great cultural and historical experience. Trust me one trip will not be enough as it offers such a great experience.
We dined at a restaurant called SALOU which is a short block from the bus drop off and outstanding was the word.The chef practiced in Vancouver and speaks english and treated us to a sampling of the menus favorites.Our taste buds popped as we couldn't believe the food we had.Highly recommend this restaurant you will not be disappointed.
I won't go on other than say it is a trip you won't regret and for the price it is such a great value and if it is available next year they will have10 returnees that were extremely happy.

Room Tip: a suite in building 3 is a must
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Lionel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteles_Estelar, E-Commerce at Estelar Playa Manzanillo, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2012

Good Morning Mr. Belanger,

Thank you for your positive review of your recent stay with us at Estelar Grand Playa Manzanillo Hotel. We keep on working hard to provide our guests an excellent experience during their stay. Hoteles Estelar is very pleased that you have found the best service in our hotel. We would like to invite you to visit other destinations where we can provide you the same excellent service.

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

My husband & I went on the horseback riding from the hotel cost 100,000 pesos for the 2 of us. Went at 10am first ride of the day.( Book at the Spa). My husband has never been on a horse but enjoyed every minute of it. Seen the back roads of the hotel, nearby fishing village, other side of the cliffs which has other fishing huts, beach. Our guide that morning didn't speak one word of English. That didn't bother us because he would point to the birds and used hand signals to communicate.Our ride was about 1 1/2 hours and was worth it.They don't mention the horses when they talk about the excursions which is a shame. I only found out from a previous review of the hotel. Deserts are okay at the resort but raid the kids Zone for the excellent ice cream.You'll be hooked. Order from the menu's for the Italian or from the Grill . The lasagna and pizza are excellent. We had the beef ribs from the Grill they melted in your mouth. Like that its a smaller resort got to know some of the other guests . Staff were great tried their best to keep everyone happy.

Room Tip: Were on ground level. Building 3 . Roosters will wake you up in the morning no need for alarm clock.lol
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank lrelax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews