Michael: We received another question and are glad to answer it. “I will be in Bogotá for a couple days. What is the best hotel to stay at?” a reader asked.
With over eight million people in the city covering 668 square miles and millions of visitors each year the choices are numerous. This South American capital has over 250 hotels. And everyone has a different opinion. I remember once someone asked a similar question on a Colombian blog site. They received answers from ten different people with just as many different hotel recommendations.
Before I provide my gringo idea of an answer perhaps it is best to turn the question over to my wife. Not only is she a life long resident of Bogotá, but in her jobs with international corporations she often found hotels for visiting executives and board members.
Graciela: There are a few things to consider. The first question is what part of the city you want to stay in. You may have a meeting or work in a specific location. Maybe there are certain museums on your list. It is usually best to be close to where you will be going. Pick the wrong location and you could easily experience a one to two hour drive to get there. While the city has many excellent hotels perhaps you feel better with a hotel where the reception desk speaks English. Once again we have several to choose from.
Michael: Ok, I am going to make a few assumptions. Yes I realize how dangerous doing such is, but with so many places to choose from narrowing the search down helps. I am going to work with the idea that the reader asking the question is perhaps coming in for a weekend, maybe has a meeting on Monday and wants to get a flavor of Bogotá.
My choice, when considering all things, goes with the Hacienda Royal Hotel in Usaquen. Every time I have been there the receptionist speaks English. The rooms are nice. Walk out a door from the place and you enter one of Bogotá’s better malls, Hacienda Santa Barbara. There they have plenty of money exchanges as well as a wide variety of stores. And yes, there are some coffee shops where you can sit in an atmosphere that is both inside and outside.
However the very best part, in my opinion, is the magic that happens when you walk out the mall’s Entrada (Entrance) 5. It opens to a street where good food, and on weekends, Colombian artisans sell their wares in a flea market environment.
One of our favorite places for lunch is on that street. You can see our review of Felinos here.
The market covers a large area including a second one on the other side of the central park, up a few blocks and past the parking lot. There is no doubt that you can find unique gifts to take back home to friends and relatives.
Graciela: I agree with Michael that Hacienda Royal is an excellent choice. However it may not be for everyone. Over the years I have placed many executives at the Morrison Hotel at Calle 84 No. 13-54. All had nothing but good comments for it. The area has many restaurants and places to shop. It is well located for getting to other parts of the city.
There is a group that has small quality hotels located around the city. A few of them are in barrios (neighborhoods) that are not profitable for large hotels. The name is bh hoteles and this is their website.
Michael: La Fontana by Estelar Hotels impressed me. Like many other places it is in a great location with a mall, Unicentro, near as well as good eating establishments. But what really sets it apart is that it is excellent for any foreigner marrying a Colombian and having guests from outside the country. There is a chapel on site and large room for a catered reception.
Graciela: Definately consider the Morrison and Hacienda Royal. However to make it easy for potential visitors to see what other hotels the city offers we have a page listing many of the better places in the city along with a link to their website.