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Hoteles Charleston invites visitors for a slice of Colombian culture at – Casa Medina, Hotel Charleston & Santa Teresa

 With a portfolio of three luxury hotels located in Bogotá and the historic port of Cartagena, visitors looking to expect the best from their trip to Colombia need look no further than the prestigious Hoteles Charleston group. The country is poised to take the mantle as one of this year’s top ‘must-visit’ destinations and with Avianca unveiling the first direct flight to the UK this Summer, there has been no better time to come and explore one of the world’s most diverse countries whilst unwinding in such stylish and sophisticated surroundings.

Each of the three Hoteles Charleston properties has its own distinct identity, though they are united in a shared pursuit of world-class hospitality, personalised service and the finest luxury experiences. Testament to this is the fact that the hotels were invited to join the internationally renowned The Leading Hotels of the World collection in 2013 - a global benchmark for luxury. Currently, Hoteles Charleston is the only representative from Colombia, demonstrating their pre-eminence in the country’s burgeoning luxury travel arena.

Hoteles Charleston: Santa Teresa, Cartagena
Traditional colonial architecture meets contemporary Colombian coastal culture in the Santa Teresa, located at the heart of Cartagena’s walled Old Town. Built at the behest of local nobility at the start of the 17th Century, the Santa Teresa was originally intended as a Carmelite convent (the first within the city walls), however during the subsequent War of Independence, it was converted first into military barracks,  then a prison, a girls’ school and even a pasta factory! Retaining many of the original 400 year old features, the Santa Teresa evokes its rich heritage in every corner whilst at the same time ensuring that guests enjoy cutting-edge creature comforts. Little wonder, therefore, that it is the first choice for society weddings, high-level meetings and attracts the great and good visiting Colombia including the likes of Bill and Hilary Clinton.  

Guests can sit back and soak up the spirit of Cartagena over one of the hotel’s trademark cocktails in the recently opened Bar Tito, or sate their appetite in one of the city’s top restaurants – Trattoria Santa Lucia – offering unrivalled views of the city from ] the Plaza Santa. Its acclaimed menu is particularly renowned for its pizza - considered by many to be the best in Cartagena! A second restaurant – The Terraza – can be found, poolside, on the roof of the hotel. The Santa Teresa also offers luxurious spa treatments drawing on ancient Eastern techniques combined with ingredients sourced from the Caribbean to help guests to really relax and unwind during their stay.  

Whilst the majority of the 89 rooms and suites offer views of the stunning Caribbean coastline, the Santa Teresa also has two luxury launchers for visitors keen to explore the dazzling azure waters. The Pershing 62 yacht – The Charleston – is fully manned with a crew of three and is available for daily outings or private parties. Whilst the Charleston 2 is a skippered 32ft Formula 2 boat that can accommodate parties of up to five and is ideal for divers or guests looking to spend time in the neighbouring Rosario Islands or Barú.  

Hoteles Charleston: Casa Medina, Bogotá
The bustling Colombian capital, Bogotá, plays host to the remaining properties from Hoteles Charleston. Casa Medina is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, nestled at the heart of the commercial and financial district and one of only very few landmarks within the city considered to be of sufficient cultural interest to the nation as to be protected by the government. Built in 1945 as a private home, it first opened its doors to guests in 1987 and rapidly established itself as one of the top hotels in the capital. The architectural influences are decidedly European, with flagstone floors, clay tiles, stone columns and intricately hand-carved wooden doors. Each of the 58 rooms and suites have been designed to exceed the expectations of the most exacting of guests, with iPads installed in every room to offer easy access to over 30 of the hotel’s services. The suites have also been installed with working chimneys and a roaring fire will stave off the evening chills.  

The hotel’s location makes it an ideal stop for those visiting on business and, with world-class meeting facilities, the hotel can provide a virtual office as well as host conferences for up to 60 delegates. But this is much more than a business hotel – Casa Medina is a chic boutique property, which offers unparalleled service and discretion, and as such is often favoured by famous faces visiting Bogotá.  

Be it for business or leisure, guests staying at Casa Medina can enjoy some of Colombia’s best fine dining.. The ground floor terrace, an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of Bogotá, is home to Trattoria Santa Lucia, serving deliciously authentic Italian fare (and a sister venture to the restaurant at the Santa Teresa), whilst La Casa offers more diverse international cuisine. The hotel also has an exclusive members bar which guests are invited to enjoy during their stay. Bárbaro has an extensive menu of classic and contemporary cocktails – be sure to try the house special, it has quite a following! Elsewhere, the wonderfully serene spa offers massages and other relaxing treatments, while the more active guest can work out at the gym while looking down over the inspiring Bogotá cityscape.  

Hoteles Charleston: Hotel Charleston, Bogotá
The third hotel, the eponymous Hotel Charleston, can be found nearby in the vibrant Zona Rosa – an area renowned for its many trendy bars and restaurants and luxury shopping. Recently renovated, the hotel is considered by many as one of the most elegant in Latin America combining minimalist design in its 64 contemporary rooms and suites with the group’s trademark comfort and service. Gastronomy is a cornerstone of Hotel Charleston and it boasts one of the city’s top restaurants, La Biblioteca, which has proven hugely popular with discerning locals and visitors alike since it first opened 25 years ago. With modern meeting facilities for up to 30 people, the hotel is a hit with the business community and, with the hotel’s relentless pursuit of perfection and attention to detail, many of its guests return again and again to enjoy the very best of Latino luxury.  

Carmen Gonzalez, General Manager for Hoteles Charleston comments: “These are exciting times: Colombia is undergoing something of a reputational renaissance at the moment – with advances in accessibility, particularly the new direct flight from London, and a huge improvement in the security situation meaning that for the first time, the country can finally put itself on the map as a major international business and tourism destination. We are delighted that Hoteles Charleston is considered to be the crème-de-la-crème of luxury in the region and we look forward to welcoming guests from around the world to showcase not just what sets us aside, but also of course what makes Colombia such a special place to stay.”

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