Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel – Radisson Cartagena Review

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Out of the best beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia, Radisson Cartagena is an exceptional option for families. Known formally as Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel, we found it to be one of the best Cartagena hotels on the beach. It’s an even better option for traveling families. Read more to find out why.

COVER Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel review

Out of the best beach hotels in Cartagena, the Radisson Cartagena is an exceptional option for families. Known formally as the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel, we found it to be one of the best beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia. It's an even better option for traveling families. Read more to find out why. cartagena beach hotels | Cartagena hotels on the beach | Colombia family travel Cartagena Colombia travel tips | cartagena colombia beach | Radisson hotels | colombia beaches

Radisson Cartagena Review: Best Beach Hotels in Cartagena Colombia

When we made Colombia travel plans, we knew that we wanted to visit Cartagena. First of all its Spanish colonial history and location on the Caribbean certainly appealed to us. Then the more I read about things to do in Cartagena, I knew that it would make a great spot for family travel in Colombia.

We teamed up with the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel after lots of research into the best Cartagena hotels on the beach. It was the right choice, and we’re happy that they decided to partner with us. There are a lot of beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia, but we now know that the Radisson Cartagena is an exceptional choice for families.

In fact, the only complaint my kids had is that we filled our Cartagena itinerary too full and didn’t spend enough downtime in the hotel! Read on to hear about what we liked, what we love and other important info about the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel.

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The Room – Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

bed Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

We chose a Junior suite. The suite opened into a large foyer. Doors to two main rooms (and respective bathrooms/showers) on the left and right. In the main bedroom, we had a comfy king size bed with floor-length windows overlooking the pools and the Caribbean beyond.

Double curtains kept everything dark in the mornings. Yet when opened the spacious room felt even more so. The Radisson Cartagena’s white/aqua color scheme keeps everything bright.

junior suite foyer Radisson Colombia

suite kids beds Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

Out of the best beach hotels in Cartagena, the Radisson Cartagena is an exceptional option for families. Known formally as the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel, we found it to be one of the best beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia. It's an even better option for traveling families. Read more to find out why. cartagena beach hotels | Cartagena hotels on the beach | Colombia family travel Cartagena Colombia travel tips | cartagena colombia beach | Radisson hotels | colombia beaches

The kids shared the other half of the suite. Usually, you’ll find a sofa and lounge chairs here, but the Radisson Cartagena was kind enough to put in two single beds for us. Having two toilets for a family of four is nice. Having two full showers when traveling with teens is even better. Both showers were closed in glass-box style, so no puddles on the floor. A lever toggled between hand-held and rainshower rinsing options. On the marble counter were quality toiletries from the Rituals brand. Next to them a hair dryer and thick comfy towels.

Each room had a large TV and desk with a workstation that I used in the evenings. The wifi was decent for hotels in Cartagena. I had fairly consistent 5 to 8 Mbps download speeds during the day, but it slowed down in the evening when more people were likely using.

Other amenities included a safe, a coffee machine and big closets. Storage space is big for us — we like to put our stuff away if we’re staying more than a day or two. We had four nights at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel, so we loved having the deep closets. Even our suitcases and backpacks were all put away and out of sight. The automatic closet lights are an extra bonus, as we could easily access things in the dark once the kids are asleep.

bathroom toiletries Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

safe coffee maker

The Pool – Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

pool Radisson cartagena beach hotels

pool view kids Radisson beach hotels in Cartagena colombia

Most Cartagena beach hotels have a pool, and Radisson Cartagena offers three options for cooling off. Two pools sit on the first floor with views of the Caribbean. Both pools are shallow, but the designated kids’ pool is shallow enough for young ones. The Radisson Cartagena pool isn’t as large as you may find in some tropical destinations: don’t expect to do laps here.

On the other hand, it’s clean, refreshing and close to the beach, the restaurant and the bar. The size should not bother families with kids under 10. There is plenty of room for them, and if you need more space then the beach is right there.

Head to the 10th-floor roof and you’ll find three Jacuzzis. There are also a number of loungers for relaxing or catching some rays. This is a great spot at sunset, but remember that it closes at 8 pm.

roof jacuzzi 2 Radisson Cartagena Review

roof jacuzzi 1 Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

The Beach Access

Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel is seconds from the sand, with its own private entrance to Boquilla Beach. A security guard stands at the entrance/exit. There he checks your name and room number when you leave and return. The sand on Boquilla Beach is gray, which diminishes the azure tones we love so much about the Caribbean. However, the beach is clean and offers good swimming and other fun activities for families, such as kite surfing.

Boquilla beach path Radisson Colombia Review

The beach has its share of hawkers and touts, so expect to be approached about buying a necklace or visiting a beachside restaurant. That’s Colombia, not the Radisson Cartagena. It should also go without saying that you should always keep an eye on your valuables on the beach as well.

You’re no longer on the property of the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel after all. Radisson Cartagena staff makes sure that all visitors understand this. For instance, before leaving the property, the guard on duty showed us a bilingual note.

We went to the beach twice and had few problems. Sure there were guys selling souvenirs and the like, but with the strong “No” and a smile, they gave us no problems. We took kite surfing lessons one day ten minutes up the beach, while another day we just went for a walk.

The Breakfast Buffet – Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

breakfast buffet 3 Radisson Ocean Pavillion Colombia Review

For hungry teens, we recommend the breakfast buffet at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel. We had attentive service while we chose from a good variety of hot and cold items each morning.

When we travel, each member of our family enjoys breakfast in a different way. Our daughter goes for cereals and pastries. Our son goes all protein: eggs, cold cuts, and other meats. My wife sticks to fruit, while I eat in a little bit of everything.

We were all able to find what we wanted at the Radisson Cartagena breakfast buffet. Our girl hovered around the bread stations, trying muffins and cakes while dabbling with the three flavors of yogurt. The boy went straight to the omelets made-to-order while Keiko loaded up on pineapple, guava, watermelon, and other seasonal fruit.

breakfast buffet 2 Radisson Colombia Cartagena Ocean Pavillion

breakfast buffet 1 Radisson Cartagena Review

Large Variety

As for me, I sampled all of these, as well as whatever was in the steamer that morning. We stayed for four nights, so I was happy that several of the breakfast options changed each day. For example, there was coconut rice and small beef skewers. Another morning we tried tortillas española (Spanish omelets) and croquettes with yucca and cheese.

The Radisson Cartagena breakfast staff patrolled the restaurant looking for upturned coffee cups, which were filled promptly. One waiter named Erik served us each morning with a smile. He must have realized that I drink coffee with my meal because on the second morning he brought it to me as soon as we sat down.

If I had any complaint about breakfast at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel it would be the temperature in the restaurant. The room was two of our three mornings, but that could be more of a Colombia thing. No one else seemed to mind, (neither did our kids) so Keiko and I just wore a long-sleeved shirt.

The Service

Service was good at every stage of our time at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel. We were greeted with a smile by the doorman and front desk whenever we entered, and wait staff always treated us warmly. I spoke to Carlos, the night manager, a few times in the evenings when we needed some extra towels. Then the morning we checked out, the door staff was kind enough to take all our luggage carefully to storage while we explored the city one last time.

The Location – Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel

lobby Radisson Cartagena Review

Many of the best Cartagena hotels on the beach sit north of the city and its airport. That’s where you find the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel. This location has its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros, of course, is being right on the sand. Another is that you’re quite close to the airport, which makes arrivals and departure day easier. The Radisson Cartagena’s beach location also makes quite peaceful and quiet at night. Being north of the city means it’s away from the bustle of party areas like Getsemani.

There’s a disadvantage as well: distance to the old town. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to get there from the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel. That’s not far, but if you want to step out into the action of downtown Cartagena, you’ll need to take a taxi first.

At the time of writing, the Radisson Cartagena had luxury taxis waiting at the front and it cost around 15,000 Colombian pesos (approx. USD $4.50) to take you to the walled city. As an experiment, we walked to the road and hailed the small yellow taxis used by locals. With some brief haggling, we got the price down to 12,000 pesos (USD $3.70). The price to return from downtown to the Radisson Cartagena was about the same. I highly recommend using the taxis used by the hotel. They are large, spacious SUV-style cars and don’t require waiting or haggling.

The Extras

atm business center Radisson Cartagena

Additional features helped make our stay at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel even better. For example, my son enjoyed the gym on the top floor. I appreciated the printer in the business center when wanted a hard copy of a map. The Radisson Cartagena also has an indoor play area for little kids, and our family enjoyed several of the lounge areas for reading and games of Uno. We also greatly appreciated the free luggage storage after we checked out. That gave us an entire afternoon to explore more of the city.

The most important extra for us was having an on-site ATM, which made getting money stress-free. Yet perhaps one of the best extras we felt at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel was somewhat intangible: the kid-friendly atmosphere.

At many four- and five-star hotels in Colombia and elsewhere, young parents may feel concerned about the noise and ruckus that children bring with them. At the Radisson Cartagena, however, it was obvious that kids were more than welcome.

Our Verdict: One of the Best Cartagena Hotels on the Beach

Is the Radisson Cartagena for you? What did we really think of our stay at the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel? After researching beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia and then staying at the Radisson, we can tell you what we think.

What We Liked

The pools were clean and refreshing after muggy Cartagena afternoons. Direct access to the beach also a plus. Friendly service is always welcomed.

What We Loved

The big hearty breakfast buffet was an integral part of each morning for us. The room size and layout was perfect for a family with teens. They had their space and Keiko and I had ours. We didn’t have to share a bathroom and we could work without disturbing the kids’ sleep. The room was impeccably clean and bright, as well. Decent wifi, too, which is crucial to us. 

Other Info 

The location north of the city was a minor hindrance, and one we happily accepted to be in one of the top Cartagena beach hotels. Taxis were required to get to and from the walled city. That said, taxis in Cartagena are safe, cheap, and widely available. We never waited more than 5 minutes to get a taxi. 

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Disclaimer: Our stay was sponsored by the Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel, but my opinions are my own and I chose this place to feature because I knew that it would be one of the best Cartagena hotels on the beach to write about. And I was right. Also, this article contains affiliate links, that means that if you book one of the best beach hotels in Cartagena Colombia using one of my links, we might get a small commission. You pay no extra, so don’t worry. Also, everything you see here is just my personal opinion. I only recommend Cartagena beach hotels that I believe will genuinely help you get the most out of your visit to Cartagena Colombia. If you know of other top Cartagena hotels on the beach that we should feature, please get in touch!

Comments

  1. Awesome Jason. I’ve heard awesome things about that town too.

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