Hotel Bellavista in Cartagena
The Bellavista is a seaside resort hotel which preserves enough of the character and charm of a bygone era - the original structure was built in the 1920’s – to make more than a few Colombians comment that it deserves to be named historical patrimony.
It is located half a mile north of the old walled city, quite literally just a stone’s throw from the beach. From May through early November you can enjoy swimming there and if you get out early enough in the morning you’ll see as many egrets and pelicans gathering around the fishermen while they pull their nets into shore (photos) as you might in any other area around Cartagena. As a matter of fact, there is no better place in the whole of Cartagena to see the pelicans flying in formation because everyday they follow a route coming out of and returning to their principle nesting area which goes right over the jettie out in front of the Bellavista. So the hotel lives up to its name, beautiful view. For decades this place has been a favorite of intellectuals, artists, students, musicians – in addition to just everyday people – coming from the interior of Colombia or in their peregrinations from other South American nations, Europe and North America.
The owner, Enrique Sedo, was born and raised in Colombia by parents who were Catalán and French. He lives on the premises and speaks good French and English as well as Spanish. His thermos of mountain coffee is never empty. For many years he maintained a sanctuary for wounded birds animals. So there will always be a former street dog at Mr. Sedo’s side that has had the good luck in its wanderings to find a home there at the hotel. And there was a time not so long ago when there were still sloths and iguanas living in the trees and even some alligators – babillas – out back.
The Bellavista which has a capacity of 60 rooms is our most affordable recommendation. Rooms with air conditioning are available and, if you like, a room with kitchen facilities can be arranged so that you can do your own cooking. There is also a cafeteria where you can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner.