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Driving down the winding lane that leads to this hotel, you feel like you're approaching a working farm. What you actually come across is a carefully preserved, two-level hacienda that was the home of the Montoya family.

Well-maintained gardens that are often busy with hummingbirds and farmland grazed by herds of white Cebu Brahman cattle encircle this intimate property. Owner Santiago has decorated its interiors with his own bright Abstract-Expressionist-style paintings - a repeated motif of concentric circles using a variety of different techniques and materials. Local guadua bamboo also helps shape the hacienda's construction and decor. This combines with Montoya's art to create a home-from-home that's full of personal touches and rusticity, while being very comfortable.

Built around a tiny interior courtyard with a small fountain, the seven rooms face onto a balustraded gallery. They all have some outdoor space, and there are plenty of quiet corners in the gardens and by the swimming pool, if you're seeking seclusion. There's no restaurant as such, but breakfast, lunch and dinner are cooked and served on the premises to a high standard by a local restaurateur. There's also a small honesty bar.

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Audley Travel specialist Fiona

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Rooms

Each of the seven rooms is simply but attractively decorated. Some have balconies overlooking the pool or the hacienda’s hummingbird feeders. Those without balconies have a semi-private, plant-enclosed patio strung with brightly patterned hammocks. All rooms feature the artwork of owner Santiago and are spacious with tiled floors, an en suite bathroom, complimentary Wi-Fi and a TV.

Location

Hacienda Bambusa sits on a bluff overlooking a river valley in the province of Quindío, the very heart of Colombia’s coffee-producing region. Surrounded by spongy, fervently green low hills, it’s only half an hour’s drive from Armenia’s airport, an hour and a half drive to the coffee-region towns of Salento and Filandia, and a two hour drive to the hiking hub of the Cocora Valley.

Food and Drink

Breakfast is a buffet affair, but you can order some items (such as eggs) à la carte. There's no set dining area - venues change every day, so you might dine facing the pool one day and overlook farmland the next. For dinner, you're usually offered three options, including a regional Colombian signature dish and a Western alternative.

Families

The property has no adjoining rooms, but the staff will try and accommodate families by giving them adjacent rooms. We think the property's small size also makes it a convenient, safe place to stay for families.

Facilities and Activities

There's a swimming pool with loungers in the hotel's gardens, a sitting area with coffee-table books, and a cabaña near the pool. The staff can arrange guided nature walks, bird watching (more than 100 species can be seen in the grounds), and horse riding on request. You can also borrow a map and explore the property's pineapple, plantain, ginger, orange and cacao plantations.

Our opinion

This place feels like an oasis. If you're looking for a change of scene after exploring Colombia's cities, and you're hoping to relax in a rural setting, we'd say this is the best property in the Zona Cafetera.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.