Avenida Carrera 7 #69A-22, Bogota, Colombia
Travelers to Bogota have two Four Seasons hotels to choose from. This one is the right choice for leisure travelers looking for a stylish stay near a culinary hot spot in Colombia's capital.
Even before the Four Seasons sign was added to the exterior, this building stood out. Built in 1946 by Colombian artist-architect Santiago Medina Mejia, the structure combines French and Spanish styles. Inside it features beamed ceilings and multiple fireplaces. Artist Moises Garcia provided elaborate wood carving and the iron work and stones salvaged from the Convent Santo Domingo were used to create columns.
Medina and his family lived in the building for many years (hence Casa Medina). Then the building was converted into eight luxury apartments before being set for demolition in 1980. New owners and a listing on Colombias heritage list saved the building. After two years of renovations, it re-opened in 1988 as the 24-room Charleston Casa Medina Hotel. An expansion in the 1990s added more rooms and, in 2014, the landmark building underwent another transformation, opening as a Four Seasons hotel.
Now sporting 62 rooms in two towers, the hotel retains a manor house feeling despite its size. Tower A, in the original building, is home to 32 rooms. Charming original elements include stone pillars, intricately carved wooden doors (no two are alike), a dramatic circular staircase, lamps shaped like bird cages (Medina loved birds), and stained glass work depicting even more birds.
Some groups of rooms on the top floors of Tower A can be combined into four-room groupings with lovely common areas that have seating and fireplaces in between. Room 403 in Tower A is the right choice for romantics, with a decorative ceiling and a stone fireplace.
Rooms in the newer Tower B blend in with the feeling of the original wing with beamed ceilings, wood floors, and antiques to achieve a historic ambiance even though they're new. The spa is also in Tower B, offering four treatment rooms, steam rooms, and an adjacent gym.
Most of the rooms at the hotel have king-size beds and room size range from a generous 258 square feet to a palatial 1,162 square feet in the penthouse suite. As noted, some rooms have working fireplaces and small patios or terraces. All rooms have antique furnishings, air conditioning, a minibar with a Nespresso coffee maker, and tea service, Acacia Colombian bath amenities, a lovely robe, and plush slippers, while the signature Four Seasons bed has mongrammed bedding.
The hotel is located on busy Avenida 7, so there is some street noise during rush hours. However, rooms have double-paned glass in the windows to keep street sounds to a minimum.
Even though old-school, hands-on, personal service is a hallmark of the Four Seasons, the hotel offers guests some technology as well. The Four Seasons app, for example, lets you schedule turn down or room cleaning, request more bathroom products, set a wake-up call, and more. I still preferred to ask staff members directly. They always knew my name.
The Castanyoles restaurant is owned and operated by the Four Seasons and it's a destination for locals as well as guests. The breakfast buffet in the sunny atrium is varied and relaxing and Sunday brunch is an even more bountiful event.
Speaking of food, the hotel is located in Zona G (for "Gastronomic Zone") where some of the restaurants at the forefront of the city's culinary ascent are located. Within a few blocks you'll find Cantina y Punto, helmed by a Michelin-starred Mexican chef, legit barbecue at La Fama, elegant fine dining at Rafael, and much more.
Web Address: www.fourseasons.com/bogotacm/
Total Number of Rooms: 62
Published rates: $484 to $2,535 double occupancy including breakfast
Review by Karen Catchpole, photos by Eric Mohl.