Occidental Grand Cartagena is located about 15 minutes from the airport in Cartagena in an area called Bahia de Manzanillo.
Having spent 4 days there recently here's my take on the property.
192 Rooms spread over 3 buildings each with 5 levels and yes they have elevators makes for a perfect size resort.
No long walks to the beach, and quick access to the pool areas of which there are three.
The Quiet pool area just outside the main buildings with its own bar service, means you can leave your room and be poolside within 2 minutes max and sipping on that Mojito that you've been longing for.
Okay so you don't want to start your day off drinking, then keep on walking past the front desk and a minute later you're at La Palapa a buffet style restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food selection is varied according to time of day obviously, breakfast with fresh fruits, yogurts, fresh juices, eggs, bacon pastries, omelets and more, and of course great Colombian coffee, lunch an dinner offer a greater variety of entrees.
To the side of La Palapa is a small pizza restaurant.
Feel like dining a la carte, the air-conditioned Le Bistro offers a variety of theme evenings focusing on the foods from Peru, Mexico, Spain, the Orient & Mediterranean region, with superb presentation and of course complimentary wines to go along with your dinner.
Several bars serving, domestic and international drinks but the premium brands have a surcharge for them.
The pool areas located close to the buffet area, includes an infinity pool and a small children's pool, close by you'll find the gym, the spa, sauna and Turkish bath along with a beauty salon/hairdresser, should you need one.
Take a walk down to the beach and you will find loungers and palapas. The beach is wide, golden brown sand and you can walk almost forever. As you move away from the waters edge the packed sand gives way to a looser texture. There is a water sports facility that provides non motorized water sports free of charge. Diving, Jetskis and ATV's are available at an additional charge.
Several different categories of rooms. The deluxe room is the standard offering for Sunquest with 2 queen beds with balcony or patio. Air conditioning, wide screen cable TV, mini fridge that is restocked daily with beer and soft drinks, hair dryer plus an iron and ironing board. As well there is a digital controlled safe in all the rooms. Other categories are available and some with a hot tub. All rooms have FREE wireless internet that is the fastest I've had in all my travels and the fact they don't charge for it is a plus, other resorts should take a lesson from these guys. If you didn't bring a laptop you can use the computers in the business center free of charge.
Feel like playing some tennis, they have 2 lit courts, plus a basketball court, horseback riding is also available but at an additional cost.
Golf - there will be at the Karibana golf course just a short distance away, still under development.
Once you've exhausted yourself from taking it easy, it's time to explore the historical walled city and UNESCO Heritage site of Cartagena.
The hotel provides a free shuttle to town several times a day, it takes about 25 minutes from the lobby to the drop off point inside the city at Cafe Del Mar. This is where you will have to return for the pickup back to the hotel.
In conclusion this is a great resort for those who want to relax, and take it easy without all the hustle of the main city yet have the option to go and explore the Old City with it's designer shops, great restaurants and historical charm.
Questions? you can email me at [email protected]