Casa San Agustín

la No. 36 44, Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Occupying three whitewashed colonial buildings sheltered from the bustling streets of Old Town Cartagena, Casa San Agustín sits on the site of a former aqueduct and channels its heritage with a swimming pool that tunnels through its stately remnants. Inside, common spaces feature a mix of Colombian art and artifacts with contemporary wicker furnishings and marble floors. The 20 rooms and 10 suites are cozy and a bit more polished than those found at other historic properties nearby: Units feature 200-year-old wood-beamed ceilings and iron canopy beds topped with Frette linens; some have patios with hot tubs or brick terraces with views of surrounding buildings. But there’s plenty of space to unwind throughout the property, namely a library with original frescoes and a lounge with a long wooden bar and ceiling-high wine cabinet. It’s a good idea to make reservations in advance for dinner at Alma, considered among the city’s best restaurants, where the upscale international cuisine includes fresh ceviche and dry-aged beef cured on-site.

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Stay in Cartagena like royalty

Staying at the Casa San Agustin was a dream. This small luxurious hotel is tucked away from the bustling street activity, and has amenities that could quite possibly keep you from leaving the place. Begin your day with a complimentary breakfast, take a few laps in the pool, followed by a mojito (or 3 mojitos), lunch, and if your body allows, take a few steps outside the gate and you’ll be quickly immersed in Cartagena culture.

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