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Occidental Cartagena
Ranked #47 of 158 Hotels in Cartagena
Reviewed 2 May 2012

We (my wife and I, both in our late 50s) spent a week at the Occidental Grand Cartagena in early March, 2012. We found the hotel very clean and the staff exceptionally friendly and always trying to please. We had no complaints about the food and were especially pleased by the nice selection of delicious Colombian fruit. The shuttle service between the hotel and the walled city was excellent. It's about a 20 minute ride. Our main complaint was a limited amount of shade around the two pools and that people continued to "reserve" the shaded areas by leaving their towels there - and this, despite having being told not to do so. People also need to be aware that because of the communicating doors between the rooms, you can hear what's going on in the room next door, especially if your neighbours are inconsiderate and don't keep their voices down. I think the staff needs to tell the guests about keeping noise to a minimum.
We had an exceptionally good guide for our visit of the old city and for a trip the following day to the mangrove in La Boquilla. His name is Henry and he not only speaks excellent English but is smart, funny and charges a very reasonable amount for his services. I can provide contact details upon request. Email dmonkman1@cogeco.ca

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Monkmaga P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 May 2012

I have traveled extensively. I am fairly laid back but have stayed all over. Lets face it does not matter where you stay its the experience and what you make of it. Place was gorgeous, totally relaxing, pools were breath taking over looking the ocean, steam room was fantastic. resort is small but it made me realize how much i love small resorts. Beach was OK, great for walks.

I read through all the reviews and the only major issue was sand flies and mosquitoes. We got killed and had welts that itched and burned for a week after we got back. But the rooms were awesome we got this enormous upgraded suites. Nicest I have stayed in just gorgeous. Cartegena is stunning and fun.

Food was great, Never sick. Would come back. Again the only issue was the bites, am I the only one who noticed this. We even lathered on mosquito repellent.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank JackLifeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteles_Estelar, E-Commerce at Occidental Cartagena, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2012

Good Morning Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your recent stay at Estelar Grand Playa Manzanillo Hotel. We are very pleased to read your review and learn that you enjoyed your time with us. We appreciate your comments which are very important to us. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back next time.

Kind Regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This was our fist time in Cartagena and we had a great time. We went with a group of approximatley 20 people. The hotel was nice, there was some confusion at check in but it was taken care of quickly. I was not a big fan of the decor and furniture in the rooms but it all worked. Food was a little better than I expected. Service was good. Beach was crappy though...not very clean and not the Carribean beaches that I have been used to...dark sand and dark water ( no seeing the bottom here ). The walled city was by far the best part of the trip...amazing history, lot's of nice restaurants, and of course the buildings and the streets reminded me much of being in a small town in Europe. One more off the bucket list !

Room Tip: we paid the extra for a suite with hot tub...was nice to be on the ground floor....worth spending th...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank luv2snorkelCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I went for a 2 week stay in late Feb, 1st week of March 2012 and found the whole experience delightful. The room was kept very clean....comfortable beds, big shower, & good view + balcony. On arrival you are greeted by dancers & mocktails. I can't say enough about the pleasant & helpful staff; the food was very good & non-stop. If you didn't like something at lunch, just step over to the grill & they will make something else at all 3 meals. Loads of variety where to eat & when, pizza at late night available also...also fresh water, coffee & juices always available. The beach bar was busy place, plus other smaller bars set up during daytime hours. I felt that they tried to think of everything to cover your needs, even a computer room with 5 to use equipped with Skype & cameras. The entertainment committee kept things hopping around the huge main pool, but there was also a huge "quiet" pool if you preferred that....then there was some form of musical entertainment each night. The beach is wide so it was good for walking; there are sandbars so you can swim if it is not too wavy...but the sand is not white sand beaches like Fla or the Caribbean, but it is acceptable enough. Beach cabanas are free.
Free shuttle into town on a schedule and it was about 20 - 25 min drive. I heard some people complain about the distance but bus is air conditioned, so what is the problem ??.....relax &
enjoy the view ! The bus tour that Sunquest sells is worth it for $35
It was my 2nd trip to Cartagena, a city and the people that I just love. I can't wait to go back.
I see other reviewers complaining about the wind....it was especially windy this year; no one can help that, but If you stayed within the walls of the city as I have, you would be happy for the breeze....ha ha.
You would have to be a very picky eater indeed to not enjoy the food.....I am a good cook and found the food REALLY excellent considering the number of guests they are feeding. So when you go to Cartagena.............
I would like to recommend a guide for the city....his name is Henry, just ask around....everyone knows him and he speaks excellent English....or I do have his email & phone number.

Room Tip: I preferred my ground floor room in building A, or opposite building which was B, I think....becaus...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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7  Thank Sarnia_OntBarbiegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Hola everyone. We were down to the resort for the 2nd week of March - two families, with 4 adults and 4 kids (ages 9 - 15).

First the positives:
Very good food
Friendly staff
Clean resort
Free shuttle into Cartagena
Nicely decorated and appointed rooms

And the negatives:
Very VERY windy (windy season is apparently January to April)
There is nowhere to escape the wind and it blows from 9:30am to midnight - hard!
Quite a small resort
Quiet - nothing going on after 9:30pm
The "shows" were abysmal
Nothing for kids to do - no kids club or teens club, no staff, etc
Beach could have used a clean up
The staff are all learning - the resort is new - it will get better, I'm sure
They ran out of alcohol one evening
The staff is slow (especially bar service - maybe to save alcohol??)
The poolside games were extremely intrusive, not fun and loud
No store onsite - no magazines, no aspirin, no suntan lotion, nothing.

All in all, there is a lot of potential for this resort - I can't imagine that it will ever be a great place to take kids - it's just too small, with not much to do. But the staff will get better, their english will improve, they will learn to ask if you would like another galss of wine. That comes with practice.

I am not a particularly hard-marker - I generally give resorts a 4 or 5 star, but this resort leaves too much on the table to give it more than 3.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank JohninTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Cartagena

Address: Anillo Vial Via Manzanillo del mar Km. 4 | No. 9-85, Cartagena 985, Colombia (Formerly Estelar Grand Playa Manzanillo)
Phone Number:
Region: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Cartagena
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cartagena
#17 Spa Hotel in Cartagena
#37 Romantic Hotel in Cartagena
Price Range: ₹ 10,076 - ₹ 22,497 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Cartagena 3.5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Occidental Grand Cartagena Resort***** hotel's objective is to provide luxury, all-inclusive services on the seafront on the beautiful beaches of Manzanillo Bay. It is close to the cosmopolitan city of Cartagena de Indias. It has a contemporary design and a very calm ambience, and our guests' first impression is of an idyllic resort to relax and unwind in. Have a dip in the pool, stroll around the beautiful lush gardens or enjoy the 24-hour drink and snack service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Cartagena Hotel Cartagena

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