For my five-day visit to Medellín, I based myself at the Medellin Marriott Hotel, a well-located property and one of the city’s few hotels bookable on points.
Ricky also stayed here for three nights as he followed in my Colombian footsteps. We’ve included a few of his notes and photos in this review.
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Medellin Marriott Hotel – Booking
The Medellin Marriott Hotel is a Category 4 Marriott Bonvoy property, going for 20,000 to 30,000 points per night, depending on peak pricing. It’s poised to attract business travellers, with higher points rates during the week and very high cash rates all around.
Against prices regularly exceeding $300 (CAD) per night, the hotel offers very good value on paper as an award booking. Making use of the Fifth Night Free benefit and a string of mostly off-peak nights, I paid 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for five nights.
At a rate of about 1.9 cents per point, that redemption far exceeds our Points Valuations.
Like Josh, I ended up redeeming 25,000 Bonvoy points per night for my three-night stay at the Medellin Marriott Hotel, achieving a strong redemption value against the cash rate.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Location
The hotel is located on the edge of El Poblado, Medellín’s central district for restaurants, nightlife, and general tourism.
It’s about a 10-minute walk north to the core. Once you’re in the heart of El Poblado, you can easily explore the lively, hilly, tree-lined streets on foot.
As you venture around the city, it’s about a 20-minute walk from the hotel to the nearest metro station in either direction.
Right around the hotel, the landscape is a bit more of a business district, with office towers and shopping malls. I found it to be a very safe area to walk around, although I have heard a few anecdotes of robberies – so keep your wits about you, as always while travelling.
Just a few blocks south, there’s also a Category 2 Four Points by Sheraton hotel, if you’re looking to enjoy a similar location at a lower price point.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Check-in
The first impression of the Medellin Marriott is a bit more grand than you might expect for Medellín or the mid-range Marriott brand, with high ceilings, bright warm lighting and accents, stonework and faux stone tiles, wood panelling, and a lot of faux marble.
The front desk is off to the side on the left. There’s not much space to queue as the lobby is dominated by seating.
There’s a café on the right side, selling snacks and drinks.
I tried my luck at suite-talking in the Marriott Bonvoy app before check-in, but the hotel was adamant that any upgrade could only be confirmed upon arrival, and ultimately none were available.
Otherwise, check-in was straightforward, and the front desk staff generally spoke very good English throughout my entire stay.
I was offered a choice of welcome gifts. I opted for the wine and cheese upon my Thursday evening check-in.
Perplexingly, these were delivered to my room sometime on Friday evening while I was out in El Poblado until early morning, and I returned to discover some questionably-fresh cheese which I never ended up eating.
Instead, I enjoyed my red wine over a video chat with some of our Prince of Travel Royal Platinum members.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Deluxe King Room
I was put in a Deluxe King Room on the top floor, Room 1217.
My room was at the far end of the hallway from the elevators. On the mountain-facing side of the building, I had views of the high-rises and hotels of El Poblado.
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Ricky stayed in Room 1211, with sweeping city views, which I’d say are preferable.
The room was large enough to not feel cramped, while still making efficient use of space. At the entryway, there’s a pantry nook with a mini-fridge underneath, and a closet beside.
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Across, there’s a sliding door to the bathroom. The aesthetic matches the marble décor of the hotel’s public spaces. The space is well-lit with ample counter storage space. The only drawback was the shower-tub, which was perfectly fine, but all else being equal I always prefer a shower-shower.
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Décor in the main room is simple, with neutral tones, sleek wood, and a departure from the marble overload elsewhere. The room is centred on the king bed, with dual reading lights.
Across from the bed, there’s a TV mounted above a storage unit, with shelving and a safe underneath.
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To the side towards the window, there’s a desk, again compact yet functional. I used this space for a bit of work during my stay.
There’s also a chaise, a fine spot if you need a different position to lounge in, or just a place to toss half-worn clothes for tomorrow.
My room had an adjoining door to the next room – useful for families sharing a larger space, but there was a bit of noise particularly from the doorway, whereas the rest of the room’s walls (even on the same side) were much more effective at insulating sound.
I did notice a wet spot forming on the floor near the window during a rainstorm – the perils of staying on the top floor. I was lucky not to have any of my belongings in the area at the time.
Otherwise, I found the Deluxe King Room to be perfectly fine, although it didn’t stand out in any way.
My own suite-talking attempts also fell somewhat flat, although the hotel was indeed quite full during the time of my stay based on the available rooms that I could see on the Marriott app. Thus, I appreciated the hotel upgrading me to a 12th-floor Deluxe King Room with city views.
The room was a useful home base for my time in Medellín, and I appreciated the comforts of daily housekeeping and a comfortable workspace in a city that seems more geared towards the hostel-hopping crowd.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Breakfast
Due to COVID-19, elite breakfast was unavailable in the Club Lounge. Instead, I received a complimentary buffet in The Market, the hotel’s main restaurant. Breakfast was served from 6:30am until 10am.
Starting with the basics, there was a large selection of familiar and exotic fruits, pastries, charcuterie, and yogurt.
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You can also get waffles and pancakes with appropriate fruit and syrup toppings, although the stock was inconsistent from day-to-day and hour-to-hour.
As for traditional Colombian fare, the options rotated a bit each day, including calentado, cooked meats, and fried breads such as empanadas.
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The highlight of breakfast, however, was eggs made to order. The restaurant staff can take your order either milling about the buffet or at your table, and they’re pretty proactive in seeking you out for eggs while they check on your coffee.
There’s a set menu of omelettes with a few vegetarian and meat options to choose from. I had the regional omelette three times during my stay, containing cheese, chorizo, and some other odds and ends – my ideal omelette. It’s served with a huge slab of fried farmer’s cheese on the side, very tasty but way too large to finish.
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Overall, I’d say this was the best hotel breakfast I had in Colombia. The selection of basics was similar across the country, but I found the quality here to be a bit more consistent, with more variety as well. Plus, the extras like the omelette bar and waffle station set this buffet apart.
I don’t have all too much to add here, besides another vote for the omelette regional – each morning here at The Market, a few cups of black coffee and a plate of the protein-laden goodness served me well as I did my best to get a head start on work before heading out for the day’s excursions.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Dining
There are two restaurants at the Medellin Marriott Hotel, both attached to the lobby.
The Market is the main room, hosting breakfast in the morning. For lunch and dinner, the menu transforms into an international selection.
The options are comprehensive but looked unspectacular for the most part. I ate a meat pizza the night I checked in. It was alright – I would’ve opted to eat somewhere more interesting if it hadn’t been a long travel day.
The other restaurant, Nau, is more of a lounge concept with a sushi menu. I didn’t eat at Nau, instead taking my time to explore the restaurants of El Poblado.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Club Lounge
The Club Lounge is located on the 11th floor, with sweeping city views.
There’s a good variety of seating, including couches around a TV area, a high table for groups, and low tables for pairs.
There’s a conference room at the back, which I used for some privacy to make a few video calls with a bit more comfort than the desk in my room.
During my stay, the Club Lounge was closed for breakfast, but open from 1pm to 10pm. Throughout the day, there’s a large selection of snacks to choose from, including salads, nuts, chips and dip, pastries and desserts, coffee, and of course bottled water.
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From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, they put out a few more hot options for a stripped-down dinner service, including a rotation of cooked beef and vegetables, cheese quesadillas, and fried stuffed potatoes. There’s enough food here to constitute a full meal.
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All of the food in the lounge is complimentary, making it a great option in a pinch if you need a snack on your way out or just a day off from foraging around town.
The lounge also offered each guest two complimentary drinks per day, my choice of beer or wine. This made for a nice “double-dip” with my welcome amenity before a night out.
Service in the lounge was quite good, with friendly staff on duty to eagerly top up my drink and answer any questions I had with just the right amount of a playful language barrier.
I stopped by the evening hors d’oeuvres service a few times in-between daytime and nighttime activities. I particularly liked the ceviches that were on offer, which rotated through different types of seafood and preparation styles.
Like Josh mentioned, I thought the Club Lounge evening spread was fulsome enough to serve as a dinner replacement, especially if you’re happy to overload on cured raw seafood like I am.
Medellin Marriott Hotel – Other Facilities
On the 3rd floor, you’ll find the hotel’s gym and spa.
There’s a rooftop pool on the 4th floor, with good city-facing views.
You’ll also find a conference centre on the 2nd floor, with space for hosting events.
I enjoyed my stay at the Medellin Marriott Hotel. The location was perfect in my opinion, just close enough to El Poblado and public transit to make the city’s highlights feel accessible, but just far enough from the heart of the action to have a peaceful sleep after a long day.
The facility was solid, both the hard and soft product. It doesn’t especially pop, but it punches above its weight. In particular, complimentary food for elite members (both breakfast and in the Club Lounge) was a strength, which along with location I’d say are two of the more important considerations if you’re looking to support a rich travel experience that isn’t focused on the accommodation itself.
The value of redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points here is exceptionally strong on paper, and I was very happy with what the hotel delivered in practice. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again, though I’m also curious how the nearby Four Points Sheraton stacks up for a more budget-conscious visit to Medellín.
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