Paradise in a walled city: why I love the Alfiz Hotel Boutique!

Finding peace and quiet in Cartagena’s walled city is really hard. It’s really, reeeeeally hard. For the past few days I’ve been getting to know this incredible city and, as I always have to do, I’ve also had to find some quiet corners to sit and do my work. Which is how I know it’s hard. Anyway, I found the Alfiz Boutique Hotel, (Calle Cochera del Gobernador, 33-28 Centro Histórico) and I’m seriously IMPRESSED.

It’s right in the middle of everything, so technically you should still be able to hear the city’s steady soundtrack of salsa, horse hooves and carriages on cobblestones, and vendors yelling ‘dulce de coco para los locos!’ but you can’t hear a thing. It’s like you’ve been transported to another planet. A planet with a swimming pool.

GLORIOUS! You need a swimming pool in Cartagena, even a small one like this, because it’s the kind of hot that melts your brain. This little pool here, on the second floor of what was once a colonial mansion and before that, a series of high-ceilinged storerooms, was originally a kind of basin to collect rain water, Ana Maria, who works here explained to me yesterday. The British consulate used to live here, as well as a few French bootleggers.

There’s all kinds of fascinating history here in the Alfiz Hotel Boutique as much as in Cartagena’s walled city. It’s the stuff of legends, swashbuckling pirates and slavery and I never want to leave!

The Alfiz Hotel Boutique, being more than three hundred years old, has converted its rooms into different themed hotel suites, most of which have a spiral staircase between the floors. Mine had a huge bathtub in one corner. I could almost imagine a naughty ex-royal having a party on the ground floor complete with buxom women spilling out of frilly off-the-shoulder dresses.

Breakfast is served in a cute little courtyard, cooked on the spot in a tiny outdoor kitchen and served beneath whirling fans. If you want, you can hide away all day in the leafy green sitting area, or sprawled on your pool lounger, but the girls at the desk can also arrange a fun tour for you. So much to doooooooo. How will I ever leave Cartagena now?!?

Thanks Alfiz Hotel Boutique. I can fully imagine recreating a few scenes from Romancing the Stone within your pretty walls 🙂

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