A beautiful small hotel lovingly restored from three colonial buildings to create an exclusive but relaxed 30 room accommodation option in the centre of Cartagena's Old Town.
Hotel Las Islas
Las Islas offers thatched 50-plus rooms that spread out over extensive grounds, interwoven with mangroves and jungle foliage, and interconnected by boardwalks.
As a guest, you have use of the hotel's private strip of soft, clean beach and large ocean-facing swimming pool. There are numerous water sports on offer, as well as a spa and outdoor massage tents. It's very much a self-contained resort, with a choice of three restaurants and a small coffee shop. Although, you can venture out on boat trips to explore the Rosario Islands (we can especially recommend a tour to see the area's bioluminescent plankton.)
Many of the rooms have views over the surrounding Caribbean Sea, and some rooms have their own infinity pool, while others are snuggled amid jungle vegetation. There's a real sense of privacy and seclusion, heightened by the staff's attentive service.
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The sylish rooms feel like upmarket beach cabañas — they resemble rondavels with thatched roofs — while the interiors are all sleek, polished woods with maps on the walls, cream linens and hammocks. All rooms occupy their own bungalow. You can choose from an oceanfront room with a private infinity plunge pool and terrace, or a jungle-view room, which has a Jacuzzi and seating area. There are also two suites.
Some rooms are Maldivian-style overwater bungalows, while others are treehouse-like duplexes with staircases. Every room has a TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, plush toiletries, an en suite bathroom, air conditioning and bicycles, which are handy for getting around this sprawling property.
One of the great advantages of Las Islas is how easy it is to reach. From Cartagena, you have a 30-minute drive to the port and then it's a 20-minute boat ride to the resort's private dock. The hotel sits on its own private beach and grounds.
Food and drink
You can choose from four bars and three gourmet restaurants for lunch and evening meals, some with views out to sea. One bar is set in a tower in the middle of the resort, overlooking the entire island. Breakfast is buffet-style, with American and continental choices, plus Colombian classics such as arepas (corn cakes). A beachside cafe serves fresh ceviche, among other dishes.
Please note that this resort is adults-only.
Facilities and activities
You can take part in snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding and kayaking, and there's an evening boat trip to observe the bioluminescence on nearby reefs. There's also a gym, a spa, a sauna and treatment rooms.
Environmental and social responsibility
The hotel makes an effort to employ residents of Isla Barú and other local communities, and provides training opportunities.
In our mind, this is by far the best luxury beach property in Colombia. There are an array of activities on offer and the entire resort is really well thought-out - plus extremely restful.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
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.
Alfiz is situated in Cartagena's historic centre, in a colonial house dating from the 17th century.
Located in the heart of the old town this boutique hotel offers all the luxury and service one would expect.
Originally a seventeenth century convent, the Sofitel Santa Clara is a beautiful example of Spanish Colonial architecture with rooms looking over the Caribbean ocean.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
This half day tour takes you to the Castillo de San Félipe de Barajas -the greatest fortress ever built by the Spanish in the colonies. It is an impressive structure erected between 1639 an 1657.
This leisurely half-day tour on foot of Cartagena’s idyllic old colonial town works wonderfully as a small history lesson combined with some stunning architecture.
Time to take to the waters of the Caribbean for a day trip out to Hotel San Pedro de Majagua located on one of the islands of the Isla Rosario chain.