For an intriguing blend of luxury hospitality, history, wellness and culture from super-cool hotel group Amarla, this could well be the hotel for you.
Nestled in the heart of Cartagena’s bustling Old City in an old 17th Century mansion, Amarla Boutique Hotel Cartagena is one of the city’s most chic hotels. It is unassuming from the street, but don’t let this fool you. On entering, this boutique bolthole is an oasis of calm on Calle Ayos and the ideal base for a weekend of exploring Cartagena’s historic streets – an area which is one of the best preserved and has the finest examples of colonial-era architecture in South America.
Founded by British entrepreneurs Asher Warr and Robin Faulkner, Amarla is the innovative hotel group who is pioneering a design revolution in South America’s hospitality arena. Since launching this property – notably their first hotel – Amarla Boutique Hotel Cartagena has put a marker in the sand with its genuine values rooted in local culture, community and design, while redefining the luxury hospitality experience. The group continued to expand with the opening of Amarla Casco Viejo, in 2022. All properties are created in collaboration with a wealth of top local talent from the worlds of food, fashion, and design and offer travellers a cultural haven and respite in the heart of their bustling old towns.
It is little wonder that the historic town in Colombia, defined by tropical vegetation and sun-bleached streets lined with elegant colonial buildings, attracted UNESCO World Heritage status. With a masterful understanding of the balance it takes to straddle both contemporary and classic forms, the hotel’s interiors are bookended by heritage and local touches, paying homage to the golden age of Santo Domingo.
Known as being the darling of Cartagena’s creative set, the Old Town’s reputation as one of Colombia’s hottest cultural destinations was very much cemented by the opening of Amarla Boutique Hotel Cartagena. This property is a striking departure from the staid, traditional hotels that dominate the local hospitality scene and is the epitome of modern heritage – layering a contemporary interpretation of Colombian design with verdant local flora.
In the design, every inch of this seven-room sanctuary has been carefully considered by owners Asher Warr and Robin Faulkner, and the attention to detail is telling. As a signature element of Amarla Hotels, art and culture reigns supreme, with each property taking its main cues from the local address. Each bedroom is decorated with original Colombian artisanal crafts and antiques and takes inspiration from an indigenous bird. Silk kimonos are provided for guests in each room and toiletries are all from the local plant-based brand Loto del Sur. There is no single-use plastic on the property and the team works with several local social enterprise projects to provide training opportunities and support local communities across the city and surrounding islands.
This is the approach they take across all their properties – collaborating with local designers and suppliers to support the local design and artistic community while creating an experience that is eclectic, bold, and colourful is key to their process.
Crowning the property is a bar and restaurant, and rooftop pool, combining al fresco dining with sweeping vistas of the old town. The hotel’s restaurant and bar is very much the talk of the town and features dishes that combine a stunning range of local ingredients, colour, flavour and texture to reflect the local influences. The extensive drinks menu of boutique wines, cocktails and beers from local craft breweries happily accompany the dishes.
Surrounded by history, the Amarla Boutique Hotel is conveniently located in the center of the old town of Cartagena de India, just a short stroll from the bastion of Santo Domingo. This area is one of the best-preserved and finest examples of colonial-era hotels in a walled city, within South America. Carefully designed to reflect the modernist aesthetics of its surroundings, the hotel offers a creative, thoughtful and thrilling addition to Colombia.