Colombia Sees Rise in Hotel Openings and Developments

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Thousands of sparkling new hotel rooms are glittering in Colombia, including high-end brands such as InterContinental, Hilton, Sofitel, Sonesta, Ibis and Wyndham. With its geographical location, favorable climate, and easy access to the United States, Europe and the rest of Latin America, Colombia is a destination ready for discovery.

“In recent years, Colombia has achieved international recognition as a tourism destination and also as an attractive place for tourism investment,” says Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia. “Between 2009 and 2011, the country opened more than 1,600 new hotel rooms with the most prestigious international chains, thus emphasizing confidence in Colombia and the hotel industry.”

From luxury hotels that operate in exquisitely restored historic convents, to cozy, versatile boutique hotels and state-of-the-art hotels in modern neighborhoods, Colombia is a mecca for Latin America hotel development. Here is a glimpse of the hottest hotel news in Colombia’s cosmopolitan cities of Cartagena, Bogota, Cali and Medellin.

Cartagena With the perfect combination of colonial charm and modern architecture, Cartagena is a destination full of new hotel openings and developments. Due to its qualified labor and well-trained professional staff, the city warmly invites tourists to its hotels and attractions, which accommodate every taste and budget.

Hotel News:

• Chain hotels such as the Sonesta Seaway 935, Estelar Cartagena de Indias Marbella, Estelar Playa Manzanillo and more have made their appearance, all opening properties that reach over 1,000 room capacities in 2011.

• Sonesta Collection announced the opening of its fourth hotel in Colombia, the 114-room Sonesta Hotel Cartagena, joining its sister properties in Bogota, Barranquilla and Valledupar. Not to be missed is the much-anticipated Las Americas Hotel that debuted last month.

• Other top hotels in operation include the fabulous Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara as well as the newly renovated Cartagena Hilton.

• Top hotels continue to open and develop in Cartagena, as the city looks forward to the InterContinental, which is set to open in 2013 with over 282 rooms. Further ahead in 2013, the Sheraton Cartagena is slated to join its sister property in Bogota.

• Other upcoming properties in Cartagena include MELIA Hotels & Resorts, IBEROSTAR and Marriott in 2014.

Bogota Deemed as the “City with a Heart,” Colombia’s cosmopolitan and capital city, Bogota, is a popular destination for both business and leisure travelers. It is forecasted that by 2014 there will be 2,253 new rooms in Bogota, up from 1,616 new rooms in 2009.

Hotel News:

• Opened this past March, the much-acclaimed Sonesta Bogota is the third Sonesta hotel in Colombia. The city is also celebrating the opening of Bogota’s luxurious JW Marriott, and the much acclaimed Ibis Bogota Hotel.

• Open since October, the 245-room Bogota Hilton features excellent facilities that are ideal for leisure and business guests, and is perfectly situated in the Bogota’s North District, the perfect location for visiting the majestic city.

Aloft Bogota Airport Hotel has been receiving guests since November, and the Wyndham Bogota in is expected to open in December, with NH Parque de la 93 to follow later this year.

• Hotels in the planning/development stages include a Hyatt property and a Wyndham Hotel Group property in Bogota.

Cali Known as “The Salsa Capital of Colombia,” Cali is the third largest city in Colombia. Visitors fall in love with the city’s seductive energy and passion-filled streets.

Hotel News:

• Debuting in late 2010, the fabulous Hotel Spiwak Chipichape opened as Cali’s first 5five-star property. The hotel is in the heart of Cali’s developing business and commercial district. Celebrating openings this year include top hotel chains such as the distinctive InterContinental, Four Points by Sheraton, and Mercure Cali Casa del Alferez Hotel.

• Future hotel developments include Marriott and Ibis properties scheduled to open in 2013.

Medellin As the second largest city in Colombia, the city of “Eternal Spring” is known for its friendliness and warmth. As a city with a great gastronomic, commercial and tourist offering, it provides countless opportunities for leisure vacations and business.

Hotel News:

• Four Points by Sheraton debuted this year, along with the always-fabulous InterContinental, which overlooks the entire city from its lush location on “El Poblado.”