A country still in its infancy somewhat where tourism is concerned, Colombia may not jump out as a luxurious destination when compared to other areas of the world.
But donâ€™t let this fool you into thinking luxury canâ€™t be found here. The cities of Bogota and Cartagena in particular are home to some wonderful properties, and with Colombiaâ€™s national airline now flying into Bogota direct from Heathrow four times a week, why not indulge? Here are my top 5 luxury hotels in Colombia:
Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia
The Sofitel Bogota is a perfect start to a Colombia trip. The rooms are stylish, spacious and cosy, with the option of booking one of five private suites if youâ€™re looking to indulge. The hotel itself is situated in the quiet, upmarket Chico neighbourhood. This is a great location for exploring the city, with a number of cosmopolitan restaurants and bars nearby. Alternatively, sample the gastronomic delights of the Sofitelâ€™s own professional culinary team, who serve up tasty Mediterranean and Colombian dishes.
The Orchids Hotel
Situated in the heart of the Bogota, The Orchids Hotel is a unique neo-classical home lovingly developed into a boutique property. In my opinion, Orchids offers the ultimate in personalised service and boutique luxury in the capital. It has just eight rooms with butler service and little extras, including a tailor-made breakfast served when and where you like, a library and Jacuzzi. Around the house you will also see paintings, sculptures and handicrafts made by local artists, which are all for sale.
Casa San Agustin
Casa San Agustin is my favourite boutique option in the walled city of Cartagena, with original art work and architecture that give an insight into the cityâ€™s rich history as a 17th century Spanish stronghold. Just 24 rooms and 6 suites make up this small but perfectly formed property, which was developed out of three colonial buildings in the centre of Cartagenaâ€™s Old Town. Casa San Augustin has something of an exclusive air about it and with plenty of luxurious extras, including private balconies, plunges pools or jacuzzis youâ€™d be a fool to give this charming property a miss.
Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
Though the Sofitel chain is known for its luxury properties, the name isnâ€™t synonymous with individuality, so to step into the beautiful colonial architecture of the Legend Santa Clara is a real delight. Original features abound and during the renovation process a number of archaeological artefacts were found which are now on display throughout the hotel. A huge pool and great views are at your disposal, and donâ€™t forget to sample the cocktails in El Coro bar â€“ an absolute must if you stay here!
The Charleston Cartagena
The Charleston is a grand restored 17th century convent that sits on the edge of the walled city. With gorgeous dÃ©cor and a spacious rooftop pool, there are plenty of reasons to spend a night or two here. Take advantage of the excellent spa, or enjoy some down-time on the roof-top lounge area, before taking a dip in the propertyâ€™s swimming pool. If you really must, the hotel also has a good gym. Impeccable service blends seamlessly with a stunning location, right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
Craig Burkinshaw is a Founder Director ofÂ Audley Travel.