Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
What it is
A 123-room former 17th-century convent that’s been remade into one of Cartagena’s hippest hotels.
What it isn't
A coverup. The 1621 Convent of Saint Clare of Assisi still has its wells, confessionals, hidden windows and even crypts, if you know where to look.
What we think
Nuns, so accustomed to lives of voluntary poverty, would be taken aback by the pampering luxury now housed in their former home. Even courtyard-facing “starter” rooms are enormous, at 280 square feet or more, and each is fitted with sumptuous Sofitel MyBeds, Bose docking stations, LCD TV’s, Nespresso coffee machines, Lanvin toiletries and...this, they’d really bawk at...a pillow menu, so you can select your desired level of plushness. All this is really nothing compared to the garden of earthly delights you’ll find in the hotel’s public areas, including chandelier-lit Restaurante 1621 and an Instagrammable al fresco pool.
You're here because
Staffers are incredibly doting, as you’ve read in their bottomless certified 5-star reviews.
Thankfully, the chefs at Restaurante 1621, housed in the nunnery’s former dining hall, don’t aim for piety. The menu is deliciously gluttonous. You have a terrible time deciding between the roasted scallops with sweet potato puree and duck magret with roasted peach and steamed brioche, and then it hits you: you’re not a nun! You order both, and smile.
Restaurants & Bars
El Claustro - Brasserie
Restaurant 1621 - Gourmet Food
Chilling Bar - Poolside Snack Bar
El Coro - Lobby Bar
El Coro Lounge Bar
A ten minute drive from Rafael Nunez International Airport, the hotel is a block away from Playa de Pescadores (fisherman’s beach) and Casa de Gabriel Garcia Marquez (yes, the author’s former house, where you can take your picture before a mural of his smiling face).