Thanks to Trendland friend Relais & Chateaux, we had the chance to experience a perfect gateway in Cartagena, Colombia. After a short and inexpensive (average $350 round trip!) 4h30 flight from New York, we arrived into the warm and sunny weather of the Caribbean.
Cartagena is one of the few places in the world that effortlessly possesses an old world charm very similar to Havana or Casco Viejo, Panama. The center of Cartagena’s beauty resides inside its historical walled city – A quick walk through ‘La Ciudad Vieja’ really transports you back to another time – back to when the Spanish colonized the place in the 1500s.
We spent our five days adventure at the gorgeous Casa Pestagua who is part of the Relais & Chateaux family and which, in the 18th Century, was the home of Count of Pestagua. The quiet boutique Hotel with exquisite marble bathrooms was perfect to relax, rest and rejuvenate. We enjoyed reading around the pool surrounded by lush green vines and palm trees protecting you from the very strong sun.
We went island hopping for a full day between Isla Grande and Baru, finishing our trip at the Blue Apple Beach House with a yummy fresh seafood lunch and a nap under their beach cabanas.
The food in Cartagena was great and inexpensive, a mix of seafood dishes at La Cevicheria or enjoying Colombian specialties like the Mote de Queso at Juan del Mar.
With its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial homes, and charismatic citizens, Cartagena is the absolute perfect place for your next vacation or a long weekend.
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It is said that Casa Pestagua is the most beautiful house in Cartagena. Painted ceilings, carved stone windows, courtyards and royal palms… this Moorish-inspired colonial palace was built in the eighteenth century, in time of splendour for the city and Spanish galleons laden with gold and precious stones. Under their double ceilings, the rooms are unmistakably romantic; the pond invites you to refresh yourself amidst a beautiful exotic garden, whilst the restaurant under the arcades inspires aristocratic meals. Claude Pimont, the charismatic Maître de Maison, welcomes you with such warmth you will feel as if you were the actual Count de Pestagua!
Casa Pombo is among the oldest houses in the city. Built on a lot highly prized since the period for its location next to the Cathedral and the State Capitol, with and open view of Bolivar Square, the main plaza of the walled city.
Pombo House has foundations dating back to the beginnings of Cartagena, wich was sttled in 1533. In 1804, this aristocratic mansion belonged to Don Manuel de Anguiano, commanding officier of the Rotal Army and later hero of the War for the Independence. The Pombo family, with Cartagena tradition and noble heritage, the assure in their next 150 years of ownership and exceptional conservation of the house’s colonial architectural features