Holiday Inn Express Cartagena
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I got away from the NYC cold to visit Cartagena, Colombia; accomplishing a 30 before 30 goal of visiting another continent. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Cartagena which is in Bocagrande, about 3 miles from the airport and a 10-15 minute drive from the walled city.

The Holiday Inn Express Cartagena is a fairly new hotel and the lobby is very grand. It includes a waiting area on the main floor and upstairs for the meeting and conference areas. If needed, guests had the ability to purchase snacks and goods from a mini retail area. The Holiday Inn Cartagena also has a business area and concierge service that I used to find food and other things to do in my 4 days in Cartagena.

Holiday Inn Express Lobby

Room at the Holiday Inn Express Cartagena

My room at the Holiday Inn Express Cartagena was a single room that included television with cable, a small seating area, mini-fridge, and stand-up shower. Based on the price paid (less than $80 a night), the room was perfect for one or two people.

An added plus was the iPod/iPhone sound dock. I didn’t have a phone charger with me because I set my alarm for the wrong time before going to the airport. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was able to drive the Outlander Sport to JFK and my TSA Pre-check, I don’t think I would’ve made it on my flight.

Holiday Inn Express Bed
Holiday Inn Express Desk

Holiday Inn Cartagena Amenities

The Holiday Inn Express Cartagena includes free breakfast, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and free wireless internet. If needed, you can also use their concierge, maid and guest laundry services. Before heading to the beach on my last full day, I was able to get beach towels from the front desk.

Holiday Inn Cartagena Location

You could tell the area was very touristy because it was surrounded by malls, cafes, the beach was walking distance and the whole strip (which I walked down my second night) had a bunch of American and Italian style restaurants and a few casinos.

Right across the street alone was a McDonald’s and Burger King Restaurant. I really wanted to find authentic Colombian food, but I was better off going to the walled city for that.


If you’re looking for a place to stay that is reasonably priced and not too far from the action, I definitely recommend this hotel. I’ve seen prices as little as $50 a night depending on the time you buy. If you do see a cheap price, get it, because it goes quick.

Have you been to Cartagena before?

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  1. Thank you very much for this post I’m traveling solo to Cartagena in three weeks. Did you go out at night? Feel safe alone? Any recommendations on places to hang safely after dark but not late night

  2. I met a couple from Cartagena a few years ago while in Europe. I promised them that I would visit and I really need to make good on my promise.
    Holiday Inn is doing a lot to rebuild their brand. The room looks nice.

    1. The dollar goes a LONG way in Colombia. I stayed 5 days and spent $8 total on Uber. I don’t even think I’ve paid that little for one trip in NYC.

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