Km7 via Cerritos, Entrada 4, Urbanizacion Quimbayita, Pereira – Risaralda, Colombia
With a stunning contemporary design, excellent spa, and highly-rated restaurant, Sazagua is the best option for demanding travelers visiting Colombia’s Coffee Triangle region.
Colombia’s coffee region is filled with hotels, but most are evocative but rustic guesthouses occupying former hacienda buildings or are 4-star equivalent city hotels. Sazagua occupies a higher plane, designed with style and filled with the kind of furnishings and amenities that make it appeal to high-end international travelers instead of just the active domestic market.
Each section of this boutique hotel is a visual delight, with bold colors, striking art, and interesting custom furniture. Checking in is a sit-down affair in the lobby, where a relief featuring horses’ heads is situated over a leather sitting area, flowing into an outdoor terrace area with a view of a mountain range. Beyond this are rolling lawns and well-tended gardens, with an outdoor bar pavilion area and a swimming pool with cushioned hardwood lounge chairs at the bottom of the hill.
Enclosed at the end of the pool is the highly regarded Prana spa. Awash in natural stone, wood, and bamboo, it is accented with fountains and soft lighting that provide a relaxing experience all around. Treatment rooms (including one for couples) are joined by a large circular tile whirlpool, relaxation room, sauna, and tile steam bath.
Only the prices are casual at Sazagua’s restaurant, which aims to be the premier gastronomic stop in the region. Fine place settings and glassware accompany art work indoors and a nice view outdoors. Everything is served with flair and drama, though the group I was with had better luck with the international choices rather than the fancied-up Colombian ones. All the desserts taste as good as they look and service is impressive for such a small hotel.
The bar area is either set up in the pavilion building down by the pool or when the hotel is less busy, next to the restaurant. In the latter case there is a living room lounge feel, with sofas and a fireplace on the covered terrace.
Sazagua’s rooms are outstanding, especially for the price: the very best suite tops out at $220 in high season. Book this Principal Suite if it’s available. It has a huge high-ceiling main room with a custom painting on one wall, a large flat-screen TV, and a library of books to read in your leather easy chair. The bathroom features a Jacuzzi tub, a two-head rain shower for sharing, and a double vanity.
The other rooms are also stylish and inviting though, all of them having exposed beams and an abundance of local artwork. The two junior suites are the next best option with their hammock hanging in an extra room with windows and one has a loft area with an additional bed. The remaining “pine suites” are single-room affairs, but have ample space and are outfitted with good toiletries and Wi-Fi. A strong attention to detail is evident on every surface except for the old-school TVs.
The English proficiency doesn’t reach down to every staff person since this part of Colombia is currently only getting a trickling of foreign visitors, but the manager is fluent and a few other staffers know enough to get you what you need. Overall, Sazagua is a delightful retreat and a fantastic value. Make this your base for exploring Colombia’s coffee country.
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.