While some areas of Colombia have seen dramatic increases in high-end tourists in the past decade, only a few intrepid travelers go far enough beyond to get to Santa Marta. So you won’t have hours of research in front of you to figure out where to stay. Book a room at Hotel Boutique Don Pepe and relax.
We don’t think Santa Marta is going to stay a secret forever. The region has some of the country’s best Caribbean beaches, backed by dramatic mountains, and the Spanish colonial city center is also one of Colombia’s most attractive to stroll around.
Hotel Boutique Don Pepe is in a building dating back to 1530, just as the Spanish crown was getting a foothold in South America. The building also supposedly held Simon Bolivar’s body for a while after he died of health problems in 1920. The namesake patriarch Don Pepe bought the building in 1996, but never got to see his dream of turning it into a hotel realized: he died a few months later. It finally did open in 2013, however with 12 rooms and polished service to serve visitors looking for a top place to stay.
In this rambling colonial structure, it’s easy to find your own little spot for quiet conversation.
Multiple furnished patios make it easy to find your own personal hangout, perfect for relaxing and enjoying sunset. Buzzers on each patio allow you to summon a bartender if you need a cold beer or a cocktail. Private romantic dinners can also be arranged on one of those terraces with a violin player, candles, and roses.
One of those places to relax is at the courtyard pool surrounded by lounge chairs. Some of the rooms open onto this area, so if you want easy access, book a room on that level. One room is equipped for easy wheelchair access, which is not always easy to find in Colombia.
There are 12 rooms and suites in all, with nine of them on upper levels with more light coming through glass doors. All feature copper bathroom fixtures, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a large TV with some English-language stations, a desk, a mini-fridge, L’Occitane bath products, and robes and slippers.
The best option is the Rosa y Pepe Suite with its large living room with an antique dining table, draped king-size bed, and a private patio with a jetted tub.
The hotel’s namesake was a banana entrepreneur and the main restaurant is named after that plant’s flower: Bacota. It’s a formal, elegant space serving Colombian and international items and breakfast here is included in the rates.
See more photos and our full review of Hotel Boutique Don Pepe in Santa Marta, Colombia.
See reviews of the other best luxury hotels in Colombia.