I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cartagena for a two-night stay on my jaunt to Colombia.
This property was the first Hyatt-family hotel in the country, having made its debut in 2016 as part of Hyatt’s ongoing efforts to expand its footprint and bringing the upscale comforts of the Hyatt Regency brand to Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
In This Post
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Booking
In choosing a Cartagena hotel, I decided to stay a few nights with Hyatt to give myself a chance to requalify for Hyatt Globalist status this year, since I had already racked up a fair chunk of elite qualifying nights with Marriott in early 2022.
(My alternative choice would’ve been Ermita Cartagena, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, where our team member Josh had stayed and will be reviewing in the next installment.)
The Hyatt Regency Cartagena has moderate room prices, starting at around $170–200 for standard rooms. I was able to book at the best available cash rate of $170 per night for the two-night stay.
As a Category 3 property with World of Hyatt, booking on points would have cost me 12,000 Hyatt points per night. At our current valuation of 1.9 cents per point (CAD), paying cash was a much better deal than redeeming Hyatt points for this stay.
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Location
The Hyatt Regency is located on Playa de Bocagrande, Cartagena’s more built-up seaside area with high-rises, premium hotels, and plenty of beaches nearby.
The hotel features 291 guest rooms and 28 suites in a modern skyscraper overlooking the Caribbean Sea and the bustling Cartagena Port, and its entrance faces directly onto the beachfront.
Cartagena is one of South America’s most vibrant cities, with many options for fine dining, nightlife, and the city’s famed Old Town, which has become a must-see attraction.
Old Town, also commonly referred to as Walled City, is known for its colourful architecture and rich history. It’s approximately a 20-minute walk or three-minute Uber ride, which would cost around COP 6,500 ($2–3).
In terms of Cartagena’s other attractions, the ferry dock to one of Colombia’s 46 National Parks, the Rosario Islands, is less than a five-minute drive from the hotel. Meanwhile, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas fortress is situated a 13-minute drive away.
The Plaza Bocagrande mall is situated just next door to the hotel, with several restaurants and storefronts to explore for those interested in shopping, dining, or simply avoiding the sweltering heat in the comfort of some air-conditioning.
Lastly, Cartagena’s Rafael Núñez International Airport is around 15–30 minutes by car from the hotel, depending on traffic. A one-way Uber will cost approximately COP 18,000 ($6).
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Check-in
The ground-floor lobby is bright, spacious, and modern, with a colour scheme of whites, beiges, and light browns. From here, a dedicated set of elevators brings you up to the hotel’s main lobby on the 11th floor.
There’s a bar and lounge in the 11th-floor lobby where you can stop by for a drink, with stunning ocean views from the patio outside.
I attempted to “suite-talk” my way to a better suite upgrade, but was only offered the Ocean View King Room due to the hotel’s high occupancy this weekend, which I was nonetheless quite happy with.
Via another set of guest room elevators, I headed to Room 3002, which was situated on the 30th floor at the very top of the building.
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Ocean View King Room
The rooms at the Hyatt Regency Cartagena feature floor-to-ceiling windows with plenty of natural light. The ocean-facing rooms naturally offered some spectacular views, which were very much the highlight of this room type.
The room finishes drew upon beige and neutral tone, incorporating yellow accent colours into the wall behind the king-sized bed.
A small glass work desk with a wicker chair was situated at the left corner near the window. In the opposite corner is a small armchair and ottoman with a lamp and side table.
Colombian-inspired artwork adorned the room, showcasing the local craftmanship style, including a few hand-carved wooden pieces like the bench at the foot of the bed.
A small cabinet near the end of the entryway features a coffee maker, water, and a complimentary bottle of red wine as a welcome amenity.
I very much appreciated the extra bottle of liquor, given that the country was going dry on the weekend of my visit to Cartagena due to the national elections.
The bathroom features marble countertops with a single sink and mirror.
Directly across is the glass-enclosed shower with a rain shower head, as well as a separate chamber for the toilet.
The room also featured a walk-in closet with ample storage space and a full-length mirror, which led to a second entry point into the bathroom from the foyer.
While it would’ve been fun to maximize my Globalist benefits and pair the hotel’s killer ocean views with a suite upgrade, I ultimately found the Ocean King View Room to be more than sufficient for my needs – which mostly consisted of nursing hangovers during my time in the room.
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Regency Club
As a Globalist member, I had access to the Regency Club next door to me on the 30th floor. This would actually be my first time taking advantage of a club lounge offering at a Hyatt hotel as a top-tier member, so I was especially curious how the experience would turn out.
Access to the Regency Club is also available for those who book either a club room or a suite.
The Regency Club offers breakfast, snacks, and drinks throughout the day, including complimentary alcoholic drinks from 4–6pm (although not this particular weekend due to the elections), and an hors d’oeuvres spread in the evening.
There is a variety of seating available throughout the lounge, including two-person tables, larger dining tables, and more casual seats laid out around sofas.
Breakfast in the mornings was offered in a self-serve buffet style. The buffet consisted of a few hot items, like scrambled eggs, sausages, pancakes, and Colombian fritos típicos (an assortment of fried bites), along with a cold spread of fruits and cereals.
Further egg customizations could be ordered directly from the kitchen.
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Truth be told, the breakfast wasn’t all that great, and the service was a bit slow. Indeed, this was probably one of the more disappointing Globalist breakfasts I’ve had, as Hyatt’s top-tier membership has been otherwise very rewarding in terms of my morning meals thus far.
The best part of the lounge? Much like the other ocean-facing spaces of the hotel, it was no doubt the expansive views of the Caribbean Sea.
Hyatt Regency Cartagena – Other Facilities
Within the hotel are two restaurants: Kokaú Restaurant & Bar and Amacagua Lounge & Grill.
Kokaú focuses on local flavours of Colombia with international influence. On the other hand, Amacagua Lounge has a cozy setting and offers everything from coffee to entrées to signature cocktails, and is known as one of the top restaurants in Cartagena.
The hotel’s fitness centre is open from 10am–6pm, and is blessed with lofted ceilings, plenty of natural lighting, and mirrors to make the space feel even larger.
It’s a well-equipped gym with multiple treadmills, spin bikes, ellipticals, and a few weight machines.
Finally, by far the highlight of the hotel’s wellness facilities is the three-level outdoor infinity pool setup, divided between family and adults-only pools
The pools overlook the Caribbean Sea and the buildings of Bocagrande, and it’s a pretty awe-inspiring place to soak in the views.
One pool has a shallow area with chairs placed directly in the water for lounging, which is one of my favourite ways to relax poolside.
I spent a few hours in the morning out here in the sun, soaking in the infinity-edge views, and I thought it’d also make for the perfect place to take a dip after spending a day in Cartagena’s scorching heat.
The Hyatt Regency in Cartagena is a well-rounded property that offers a comfortable space and excellent facilities for a reasonable price point.
One of the hotel’s major attractions is undoubtedly the triple-layered infinity pools overlooking the seaside, as the Hyatt Regency is one of the best properties in the area with this feature.
The rooms are spacious with simple but culturally rich decor, providing everything one would need for an enjoyable stay.
Additionally, the hotel is steps away from beaches and shopping, and has a fairly convenient location near many of Cartagena’s popular attractions. Even the sites that are further afield are easily accessible via a cheap Uber ride (as is the case throughout the country).
The only real weakness of my stay was the somewhat lacklustre breakfast offering in the Regency Club, where I found the quality to be mediocre and the service slow.
Still, I’d happily recommend this hotel for a Hyatt loyalist visiting Cartagena, and it’s perhaps worth a try even for those who are new to the chain given its stature as one of the city’s best upscale hotels.