Carrera 7 Nº 69 A- 22, Bogota, Colombia
Conveniently situated close to most of the headquarters of multinational firms and one block from a foodie's paradise, the Zona Gastronomica of the city, Casa Medina is a no-nonsense luxury hotel. With just 53 rooms and one restaurant, it wins repeat business through personal service and excellent rooms.
At Casa Medina, modernity mixes with occasional dashes of antiquity, a wall hanging or a colonial themed painting clash incongruously with some contemporary furniture. As part of the Charleston chain, the Casa Medina meets fine international standards that are required for the international CEO crowd. Built in 1945, the building is considered a heritage site and so strict restrictions are in place. In practice, this means you have to appreciate thick oaken beams and low ceilings rather than more conventional modern hotel dimensions.
Don't be put off by its location directly on the capital's busiest artery for once inside the smog stays at the door. Of the 58 rooms, all are soundproofed and equipped as you would expect with the luxuries of a contemporary establishment, W-Fi, plasma televisions, orthopaedic mattresses and ample bathrooms. Over the 23 years that this hotel has been open they have been able to perfect their standards and cater to those concerned about security. Guests know they can check in here with no worries.
The Grand Suites are a sight to behold, spacious, functional and stylish, complete with a working fireplace in the bedroom to ward of the evening chill of the high altitude Bogota nights. While the bedroom boasts a large plasma television so does the sitting room, in addition to a comfortable sofa, an armchair, and what resembles a bank manager's desk. Alternatives to the Grand Suite are the Superior, Superior Deluxe, Junior Suite and Casa Medina Suite, all which offer more or less the same amenities in a different size and layout. Some rooms have angled ceilings and exposed beams. Even the smallest standard rooms (with queen bed) come with robes, slippers, minibars, electronic safes, iPod docks, and scales in the marble baths. All suites add a fireplace and a cordless phone.
There is no pool but a small gym will suffice and for those recovering from red eye flights there is also a massage room. The tiled internal terraces offer both covered and open-air options for breakfast or late afternoon tea. The hotel restaurant, with its dark panelled walls, matured wooden floors and walls painted an eating room red, resembles a gentleman's club more befitting London's Pall Mall. It has a wine list equal to any you'll find in Bogota. For your evening aperitif the hotel bar lends itself nicely and could be no finer place to enjoy a well-deserved gin and tonic after negotiations in one of the Casa Medina's business meeting rooms.
Casa Medina is not a place that pours on the frills, making it feel somewhat like a high-end executive apartment with turndown service. There are no boutiques or shops within the building, but in terms of location the Casa Medina wins hands down. It offers a great service and comfortable rooms, plus it is less than 50 yards from some of Bogota's finest dining options.
Web Address: Casa Medina
Total Number of Rooms: 58
Published rates: $200 to $578
Review by Richard McColl, photos courtesy of Charleston Hotels
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