Captivating Cartagena is one glorious mess of historic grandeur on cobbled alleys, vibrant structures and plazas, and bougainvillea-covered balconies. What’s more, the old town, Cartagena de Indias, boasts 13 km of centuries-old colonial stone walls! It’s no wonder that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What’s more, Cartagena is the undisputed gay-friendly queen of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. There are many gay hotels in Cartagena with very warm and friendly staff. Cartagena might not have as big a gay scene as Bogota or Medellin, but it does have a scintillating gay scene that’s centered around the old city. You’ll find the liveliest gay bars and clubs here, but rainbow flags seem to fly all over the city. Apart from this, the city also celebrates a wonderful Pride festival and even has an unofficial gay beach, Playa Hollywood!
Besides its gay scene, there are so many Top Things To Do In Cartagena. Hop onto the bright-colored Chiva Bus for a night tour of the town, complete with Latin American tunes playing in the background. Check out the famous mud volcano in Indigena and the gorgeous Rosario islands. And, of course, who can forget the city’s amazing food scene filled with lip-smacking Colombian delicacies? If you’re dying to check out Colombia’s Caribbean coast, then Cartagena is where you should be. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Cartagena.
Allure Chocolat by Karisma
Located right on Cartagena Bay in Cartagena de Indias, Allure Chocolat by Karisma is one of the plushest gay hotels in Cartagena. Part of the Karisma hotel group, the hotel says what it offers; not only do chocolates end up on your pillows, but they even get delivered to your room every day! Any hotel is as good as its staff, and the ones here are very lovely, warm, and gay-friendly. Plus, they help in organizing everything from excursions to dinners. The best feature here is the rooftop infinity pool, which looks out all over the old city and the Caribbean Sea. Right next to the pool is the bar, from where you can conveniently order cocktails and bites.
The daily breakfast of Colombian coffee, fresh fruit, and cereal is a great way to begin the day. Plus, the restaurant and wine bar take care of all meals and drinks. Inside the classical facade of the hotel, you’ll find modern rooms with views of the city or the gardens. Aside from minibars and cable TVs, they all come with floor-to-ceiling windows or French doors that open onto private patios. Rounding up the features here are the swish granite bathrooms with bespoke toiletries.
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Media Luna Hostel
LGBTQ social butterflies and all-night partiers, this place is for you. Behold Media Luna Hostel, one of the wildest and most fun gay friendly hotels in Cartagena. The hostel sits right down the street from City Club, where the hottest gay parties in the city take place. What’s more, it’s within walking distance of old town, making it a great base to explore Cartagena too. Set in a riveting riad-style structure, all rooms at this hotel overlook a lush inner courtyard. A tantalizing pool is the centerpiece and is surrounded by vibrant wall art, sun loungers, and palm trees. Whether it’s the rooftop, the ping-pong table, or the pool, there’s always a constant buzz here. Aside from an extremely enthusiastic staff, the hostel has a litany of facilities and activities, including bike rental, laundry, salsa classes, football, yoga, and rooftop cinema screenings.
Since the hostel is self-catered, the huge kitchen is a blessing for whipping up quick and inexpensive meals. Even then, the adjoining café serves light dinners and the most delicious breakfasts. Don’t miss the Wednesday night rooftop parties, which is the prime place for meet-cutes. Choose between simple, immaculate dorm rooms or private ones, all of which have small windows that let light in and are equally noisy because this is a party hostel!
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Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena
On the northern borders of the old city lies one of the most romantic and luxurious gay hotels in Cartagena, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. The hotel sits in the compound of a 17th-century converted monastery and boasts a fascinating history and impeccable service. The 1621-built structure retains much of its Spanish colonial style and original features such as cannonballs, paintings, crypts, central water well, and even a gigantic marble archway. So, you can only imagine just how much thought has been put into the hotel, which discerning gay travelers will absolutely love. A line of top-hatted, white-suited concierges welcomes you, and the hotel even offers round-the-clock butler service. Facilities are aplenty, with the best being the outdoor swimming pool which is the biggest pool in the old town!
After a refreshing dip in the waters, a visit to the spa, which has a whirlpool and a hammam, is rather welcoming. In fact, you and your partner can enjoy champagne and strawberries in the whirlpool all by yourself too! Furthermore, the gourmet restaurant is the finest in all of Cartagena, while the lounge and pool bars are extremely gay-popular. Rooms are split between the converted part of the structure and the traditional convent building. Nevertheless, the all-white rooms come with cloud-like beds, wooden floors, and private balconies with excellent views of the old town and the sea. Complimentary extras also include a booklet of legendary stories, a personalized ‘room scent,’ and pillow menus. Sigh.
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Bastión Luxury Hotel
Value for money? Check? Old town location? Check? Luxurious? Triple-check! Bastión Luxury Hotel not only ticks all the boxes for an excellent staying experience, but it’s also one of the chicest gay friendly hotels in Cartagena. Contemporary décor melds with, rather than clashes against, the colonial touches. As you look up, you’ll see ceilings made from hand-carved guayacan wood. You’re greeted with an iced fruit cocktail which takes the edge off the outdoor heat. Water babies will especially love the modern outdoor swimming pool that sits beneath traditional wooden beams. Moreover, it boasts spectacular views of the old and new city, and the Caribbean Sea too. There’s a small but lovely spa too, along with a hot tub and a small fitness center. The staff here can even arrange for romantic beachside dinners – candles, violins, et al.
Even the restaurant here is the pinnacle of fine dining in the city, but it’s the breakfast that takes the cake. Eggs Benedict is a favorite, and the best bit is that service begins as early as 6 am. Also, the rooftop pool area serves bar food and fresh fruit cocktails all day long. All rooms are decked out in swanky mod-cons, but we’d suggest the Suite De Los Reyes as it comes with a hydro-massage bathtub. If you don’t want to splurge, the windows of Room 102 open to the most magical and secluded courtyard ever, complete with water features. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the Best Hotels in Cartagena, Colombia.
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Movich Cartagena de Indias
Posh living comes to town at Movich Cartagena de Indias, one of the most bespoke and exclusive gay hotels in Cartagena. The hotel occupies an enviably serene and tranquil location right in the heart of the old city, especially since the gay scene is right down the street. So, this hotel is perfect for gay travelers looking for an upscale experience in the heart of the walled city, albeit with quieter surroundings. The lobby, with its large sofas, tall white bookshelves, and hanging lamps, makes an immediate impression. Even the rooftop with potted leafy plants and swish circular daybeds is a great hangout spot.
In terms of facilities, both the rooftop and the ground-floor restaurant serve delicious Colombian meals with creative twists. Breakfast is one indulgent affair with a bread basket, seasonal fruits bowl, and à la carte options such as arepas, baked eggs with salmon, and French toast with bacon. However, the crowning glory is the rooftop pool, hot tub, bar, and restaurant with incredible views of the city. Rooms are decked out in soothing whites, plush king beds, and swanky mod-cons such as televisions and minibars. But, it’s the marble bathrooms that you’ll love, complete with whirlpool tubs and Loto del Sur toiletries.
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Hotel Las Islas
If you don’t mind staying slightly away from the city, then look no further than the Hotel Las Islas. Located on Baru island, a 45-minute boat ride from Cartagena, it’s one of the most exclusive and secluded gay friendly hotels around. The resort feels like a cross between the French Riviera and Ibiza, complete with clean whites, navy blues, natural wood, and thatched roofs. The resort blends rustic charm with refined luxury and comes with a whole lot of amenities. Begin your day by enjoying a refreshing dip in the freshwater pool before heading down to the private beach area. During the day, indulge in snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, or simply lying on a sun lounger. Three restaurants and bars serve delicious Colombian and international delicacies as well as drinks.
What you’ll also love is the personalized attention given by the staff. This is especially true for room service, which is round the clock. The best of them all is the decadent Spa Niña Daniela, which sits surrounded by the lush island foliage and is truly a space to unwind. When it comes to accommodations, choose from treetop and seafront bungalows, each of which is named for a Colombian island. Furthermore, they all come with private pools, jacuzzis, huge patios, free Wi-Fi, and premium bath products. What more could you want?
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Boutique Hotel Casa del Coliseo
How would you like to stay in a 17th-century villa? That’s what we thought! Welcome to Boutique Hotel Casa del Coliseo, one of the most historic gay hotels in Cartagena. Despite lying smack dab in the center of the old city, the hotel offers a home-like, peaceful, and private ambiance that makes for a much-needed escape after a hectic day in Cartagena. The whole place is designed such; think natural fabrics, neutral hues, sculptures, objects, and artwork on the walls and in alcoves. The entire hotel is full of Instagrammable spots such as bikes under a spiral staircase and beautifully arranged chairs right beside a bookshelf. Even the huge drawing room with book-laden coffee tables, large sofas, and vaulted ceilings makes for a nice R and R place.
The rooftop swimming pool, which is well-kept, quiet, and secluded, is a boon. The rest of the facilities feel equally homely, whether it’s the in-room masseuses or the à la carte dinner. Don’t miss breakfast which includes either traditional Colombina dishes or eggs served with hot bread, sliced fruit, and fresh juices. The homely feeling extends to the merely 12 rooms, which come with essential mod-cons and lovely bathrooms with robes, slippers, and L’Occitane products. The best of them all is the Coliseo suite, which has a ridiculously cute private balcony.
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Life Is Good Cartagena Hostel
The very name sums up the ethos and motto at Life Is Good Cartagena Hostel. This trendy and gay-friendly hostel lies right in downtown Cartagena, right down the street from all its gay bars. Also, it’s close to most of the city’s excellent sights, which is what makes it so popular with travelers looking to explore Cartagena. That said, this is one fancy-schmancy hostel, making it the perfect affordable base but with all amenities. Begin your day with a full complimentary breakfast as you chat with your fellow mates. Afterward, relax in the jacuzzi on the terrace, which also has a barbeque, sunbeds, and lots of seating.
Moreover, the onsite bar-restaurant also offers delicious Colombian fare, which means you don’t have to step out for dinner either. Or, you can show off your culinary skills in the shared kitchen! For a small fee, you get access to a ton of extras, such as bike hires and airport shuttles. Even the rooms, including the dorms, are gorgeous with privacy curtains and very comfy bunks.
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Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery
One of the coolest and chicest gay hotels in Cartagena is Casa Lola Deluxe Gallery, which lies in the equally cool and artsy neighborhood of Getsemaní, just outside the walled city. There’s something innately bohemian about this ten-room hotel, which nevertheless offers oodles of colonial luxury. The hotel occupies two 17th and 19th-century structures which a multilevel roof terrace. What’s more, you’ll find a heavenly maze of pools that wind their way through the rooftop amidst lush tropical gardens. Relax in the inner courtyard with a book or wind up in the spa for a treatment or a massage. And of course, they offer some of the most stunning views of the city. If that wasn’t enough, the affordable prices include a hearty American breakfast as well.
The hotel is decorated with an excellent mix of modern, artisanal, and antique elements, and it shows in the rooms too. Soft yellow lighting and elements such as exposed beams, stone walls, plush beds, and spa-like bathrooms make for a very romantic ambiance.
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Just steps away from some of the city’s best sights sits Sophia Hotel, one of the loveliest gay friendly hotels in Cartagena. Tucked into Cartagena’s historic center, this hotel is very popular with the LGBTQ set. A majority of the praise goes to the picture-perfect rooftop pool and bar. The secret sauce of the cool waters, sundowners, and amazing views make this property very popular. Equally popular is the bottle-adorned wine bar and restaurant, which serves Colombian dishes with a twist. Wash it all down with a regional tipple. Don’t skip breakfast here; they serve traditional Cartagenan cuisine, juice, fresh fruit, pastries, and bread in the lush inner courtyard.
Choose from 15 different rooms, plus the gorgeous Hagia Sophia suite, which has a private terrace with spectacular views across the bay. Nevertheless, all rooms come with minibars, wicker lounging chairs, and rain showers in the bathrooms, plus large panoramic windows.
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Hotel NH Cartagena Urban Royal
Occupying the top spot on the list of best gay hotels in Cartagena is Hotel NH Cartagena Urban Royal, which sits within the walled city. In fact, it sits a short walk from some of the city’s long-running and best gay bars, making this a great modern base for LGBTQ travelers. Choose from 28 rooms and suites, which feature a bevy of mod-cons such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and swish bathrooms with free toiletries. What’s more, many of them even enjoy stunning views of the buzzing Plaza de Los Coches.
Although it has a host of amenities, the highlight of this hotel has to be the rooftop terrace with a long and languorous infinity pool. Not only does it have loungers by the side so you can unwind after a swim, but it also offers jaw-dropping views of the city. Moreover, it’s also home to a superb restaurant that offers homemade Caribbean and Colombian specialties.
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Just So You Know:
- Cartagena is the gay friendliest city in Colombia after Bogota and Medellin.
Get Some Culture in Cartagena:
- Cartagena Pride: One of the biggest Pride celebrations in the Caribbean, Cartagena’s Pride sees a fabulous and vibrant parade, a hot boat party, gallery openings, speeches, and lots of drag shows. Pride is when this city is at its absolute gayest.
- Rumours Festival: These annual gay circuit-party events take place for five days along with Cartagena Pride. Think 20 guest DJs, gorgeous locales, and the hottest guys.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Cartagena:
- The City Club: Every Thursday, the party heats up at this place and goes on till the wee hours of the morning. A free drink aside, there are two dance zones playing circuit-style and electronic style music. And, of course, it’s filled with beautiful queer people.
- Le Petit: It’s the time to disco at Le Petit, an LGBTQ disco bar that lies within the city’s historic walls. During the day, it’s a nice spot to hang out. By night, it becomes a buzzing place, especially during the weekends.
Best Gay Saunas in Cartagena:
While the gay scene in Cartagena is growing, there’s no word on a gay sauna yet. While hookup apps are still a favorite way of meeting people here, you might have meet-cutes at Cartagena’s unofficial gay beach, Hollywood Beach.