Bonnie

November/December travel to Colombia - Nov 23 - Dec 17, 2017

Traveler: Bonnie S. - Local specialist: Marine Guérin

Thank you Marine for all of the calls to check up on us. When our guide handed the phone to me, I knew it was Marine and could talk to her about how things were going.

Guides and transfers:
Every guide and transfer showed up on time or early. We soon learned that this country runs on time. Our first transfer was not an exception but was a bit of a shock when they arrived 30 min early and we were not quite ready. This happened to be the only bus trip we had.

The guides who stood out as exemplary were: Elvis at Calanoa, Fernando at Villa de Leyva, and David and driver who picked us up at Hacienda Combia. David and the driver (sorry, can't remember his name) were so much fun and went out of their way to make our stay excellent.

The one exception to all of the good guides was the one at Tayrona. He told us at the beginning we had to keep up with him as we had a long trip and that's exactly how it was. When my foot got stuck in the mud he was far ahead and not there to help, he never slowed down or stopped to interact with us, when we passed buildings he didn't stop to explain what they were. We had to keep our heads down to keep up the pace while still looking ahead to keep him in our sight. Not a fun trip!

Hotels:
Loved Casa Pizarro in Cartegena and the area it was in. Really liked staying in a residential area with lots of restaurants nearby.
Maloka Barlovento was so beautiful. Would have loved to stay there another day so we could see the beach. We only had time to see the building we stayed in. Bit of a shock to find only cold water shower. This may be normal here, but this is not normal for us. Maybe a heads up would have helped.
Posada Suenos De Antonio in Barichara was lovely and peaceful. Really liked the patio and view.
Casa Deco in Bogota was in a good location but our room overlooked a hostel and could be noisy.
Calanoa Lodge was excellent! The food was superb, our cabana was superb, and all of our interactions with staff (even if we didn't speak Spanish) was superb!

Hacienda Combia had a lovely setting, but was the big disappointment of the trip. When we arrived I asked for water and was told that it was only supplied with dinner. All other hotels had water accessible either in the form of the first bottle free or a fill up station. Seeing as we could not use the water from the tap to even brush our teeth, this was a major drawback to this isolated hotel.
We asked for a glass of wine with our dinner and were told that they did not have this and we could buy an overpriced bottle.
The food was the most disappointing. We spoke with them about the selection and they added a couple of things to the menu, but this didn't really help. Really, really disappointed in 4 dinners here and no option to go elsewhere. The meals we were offered were a stripped down version of the regular menu.
We didn't feel welcomed here.

We loved Colombia and would like to thank kimkim.com and Marine for making it such a memorable trip. We will definitely recommend the country and booking company to anyone who will listen.

Marine Guérin profile photo
Marine Guérin, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Bonnie,

Thank you so much for this extensive review - this is really helpful to us!
I am glad to see you enjoyed Colombia and had a great time here. We will let the guides and drivers know how much you appreciated their services!
Your comments are duly noted about Hacienda Combia most of all, we will try our best to improve that with the hotel or propose another housing option. I apologize for not giving you a heads up about the cold water in Maloka Barlovento, you are absolutely... read more

Hello Bonnie,

Thank you so much for this extensive review - this is really helpful to us!
I am glad to see you enjoyed Colombia and had a great time here. We will let the guides and drivers know how much you appreciated their services!
Your comments are duly noted about Hacienda Combia most of all, we will try our best to improve that with the hotel or propose another housing option. I apologize for not giving you a heads up about the cold water in Maloka Barlovento, you are absolutely right! I hope you had hot weather as it usually is and you did not miss the hot water so much.

I would also like to say what a pleasure it was to have you here. Thank you for your fantastic attitude and curiosity!
And a very happy new year to you!

Marine