What are the best hotels in Cali?
Well, it depends.
Cali is mainly famous for salsa lovers. Is it your case?
Do you hope to meet other travelers, or do you plan to enjoy a romantic stay in a luxurious hotel?
As you can see, the perfect hotel will depend on your budget and your expectations.
Don’t worry. I’m here to help you.
I have been exploring Colombia since 2015 and have stayed in Cali for over a month. In addition, I spent a lot of time analyzing internet reviews to find out what the best hotel deals are in Cali.
Here is my winning list:
- Best hotel in Cali to enjoy the culture: Rossa Palma
- Best host in Cali: Hotel Casa Ruta Sur
- Best new hotel in Centenario (quiet district): Casa del Hidalgo
- Best luxurious hotel in Cali: Alko Hotel Casa Nispero
- Best budget hotel in Cali: Magic Garden House
- Best hotel boutique in Cali: Leclerc Hotel Boutique
- Best hotel outside Cali: Las Mercedes Lodge
- Best hotel with a swimming pool in Cali: Hotel Intercontinental
Read on to find out why I chose them.
Best hotels in Cali: Mini-Reviews
The best hotels in Cali share the warmth of the city’s inhabitants and the love for local food. You may also find swimming pools in some hotels, which help you cope with the hot weather.
This section will provide a short analysis of our favorite options: Budget-friendly or luxury hotels, social hostels, or quiet hotels boutique. There is something for everyone.
8# Best hotel in Cali to enjoy the culture: Rossa Palma
Once you enter Rossa Palma, you find yourself immersed in a tropical paradise that reminds you that Cali is also the capital of Salsa.
So, why not take some salsa lessons without even leaving the hotel? After dancing and sweating, you may want to cool down in the outdoor swimming pool or enjoy the very professional spa services available.
- The decoration of the spacious rooms is a sample of the Colombian and Cali culture.
- The rooms are also designed for working, with a desk and high-speed Internet connection.
- Food is excellent (lots of fresh fish and seafood), influenced by Pacific Ocean, Peruvian, and Mexican flavors. Breakfast is included.
- The hotel offers apartments for those guests staying more than 3 days.
- Not all rooms feature air conditioning systems, and the cheapest room is too small.
Prices: from 199,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation policy: 1 day | Location: San Antonio | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: Not all of them | Free Private Parking: No | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Excellent
7# Best host in Cali: Hotel Casa Ruta Sur
Hotel Casa Ruta Sur, which features a living garden façade, is five minutes away from the Gold Museum and Cali’s historic center. Inside this gem, you can get away from it all and enjoy plenty of places to sit or relax on a hammock.
The plants and flowers inside will let you enjoy it even further. You also get very friendly and fast service if you want to relax and have a drink at this typical old Colombian building.
- The beautifully decorated house, whose façade is a living garden, is cozy and comfortable.
- All 10 rooms include a private bathroom.
- Rooms feature a coffee maker, satellite TV, and a small patio.
- The staff is amicable, helpful, and makes you feel at home.
- Rooms can get a bit too warm. Also, noise or voices from other rooms can be easily heard.
Prices: from 138,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation policy: 1 day | Location: San Antonio | Free breakfast: No | Air-conditioned rooms: No | Free Private Parking: No | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Good
6# Best new hotel in Centenario, Cali: Casa del Hidalgo
Even though Hotel Casa del Hidalgo is in a new building, it combines the modern with the rustic, mostly due to its Colombian decorations.
The outdoor pool, the terrace, and the Turkish bath make it a great romantic stay. You can surprise your partner with any of the three plans for couples, including wine, dinner, candles, and rose petals.
- All the rooms have air conditioning.
- Breakfast is included.
- 24-hour concierge service.
- All rooms have free wifi (the connection might not be high-speed).
- The breakfast period is too short.
Prices: from 190,000 COP/2 pers | Cancelation policy: 2 days | Location: Centenario | | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: Yes | Free Private Parking: No | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Bad
5# Best luxurious hotel in Cali: Alko Hotel Casa Nispero
If you happen to sleep in one of the three rooms with a hot tub at Alko Hotel Casa Nispero, it’ll make for a top-class stay at this small yet luxurious and comfortable hotel.
You can also sunbathe on the terrace or go for a swim, with the bar right in front so that you won’t miss a drink. The abundant interior gardens and plants will make you forget the outside world.
It’s one of my favorite Cali luxury hotels.
- Its 10 spacious, luxurious, allergy-free rooms have air conditioning, minibar, balconies, dishwashers, glassware, and kettles.
- It features an indoor garden, a jacuzzi, a bar, and spa services.
- The architecture of the place, both in the public and private areas, is breathtaking.
- The front desk operates 24 hours. There is a laundry room, shoeshine service, and a storage room.
- Getting to the room on the upper floors can be troublesome for people with mobility issues because the stairs are too steep, and there is no elevator. Rooms can be noisy at times.
Prices: From 480,000 COP/2 pers | Cancelation policy: 1 day | Location: San Antonio | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: Yes | Free Private Parking: Yes | Private bathrooms: Yes, some with a hot tub | Free wifi: Good
4# Best budget hotel in Cali: Magic Garden House
The first impression of the Magic Garden House is the home-like feeling. The indoor garden offers a great atmosphere and is ideal for relaxing and listening to the birds singing without leaving the house.
Once you get in through the small main door, you’ll be surprised by how spacious, comfortable, and cozy the facilities are. The kitchen is always open. There you have complimentary Colombian coffee, tea, fruit, and freshwater.
- You will find very tidy and clean rooms.
- The service is outstanding.
- The complimentary breakfast is delicious and varied.
- There’s a beautiful terrace from where you see the city. No buildings or houses in the front block the incredible views from there.
- Waiting times can be too long for guests in the few rooms without a private bathroom.
Prices: From 131,000 COP/2 pers | Cancelation policy: 5 days | District: San Antonio | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: No | Free Private Parking: No | Private bathrooms: Not all the rooms | Free wifi: Good
3# Best hotel boutique in Cali: Leclerc Hotel Boutique
Attention to detail is the game’s name at this cute, comfortable hotel. Its beautiful wooden-floored bedrooms with exquisite bed linen invite you to rest.
The tranquility and quietness of the Leclerc Hotel Boutique are complemented by great local food and friendly and timely service. The free wifi in the rooms makes it possible to work comfortably.
- You can enjoy great decoration and comfort in each of the 10, 15, 18, and 25 square-meter rooms.
- A room for 4 people is available.
- You can bring your pet with you for an extra 20,000 COP per night.
- The architecture is modern and refined.
- Some of the rooms don’t have an open view.
Prices: from 380,000 COP 2 pers | Cancelation policy: 1 day | District: Granada | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: Yes | Free Private Parking: No | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Good
2# Best hotel outside Cali: Las Mercedes Lodge
This hotel and restaurant make you feel as if you were somewhere in Switzerland or Austria, for it is embedded in the heart of a mountain, in the middle of the cloud forest.
Las Mercedes lodge is located outside of Cali and offers a different experience in outdoor sports, walking, and relaxation. The weather is a little cooler than in Cali, but it’s nice.
- You can enjoy playing tennis on a clay court, use the gym, book an onsite massage service, walk through beautiful trails in the forest, go to the river, do mountain biking, or drive your all-terrain vehicle.
- This is a paradise for birdwatching, with about 1,000 species to see. They offer tours.
- The restaurant with glass windows and roof offers a different, pleasant experience.
- Attention to detail, staff service, and food at the hotel are 5-star level.
- The only drawbacks are that you need a 4×4 car to get there, and some rooms require maintenance.
Prices: from 480,000 COP/2 pers (with breakfast & lunch included) | Cancelation policy: 7 days | Location: 30 min away from Cali | | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: No | Free Private Parking: Yes | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Average
1# Best hotel with a swimming pool in Cali: Hotel Intercontinental
The Intercontinental Hotel, probably one of the best luxury hotels in Cali, offers beautiful views of the city and the Cali River and stands out for its outdoor terrace with a vast pool where you can enjoy a cocktail and chat with your friends. After a quick dip, the chic bar is a great option to continue enjoying the place.
It’s a 5-star hotel specializing in organizing events, including private parties or conferences for hundreds of people, so all amenities are in place there.
- You may choose among the 5 restaurants to eat completely different kinds of great food.
- The hotel has 290 rooms, divided into standard type and executive suites, which showcase two separate rooms within the suite: one private space for the bedroom and another for office and living room spaces.
- Included breakfast is “exceptional.”
- But the most attractive feature of the building is the massive swimming pool, where you can also sunbathe and enjoy Cali’s sunny days and high temperatures.
- Certain members of the staff lack training to serve at this level.
Prices: From 477,000 COP 2 pers | Cancelation policy: 2 to 7 days | Location: El Peñon | | Free breakfast: Yes | Air-conditioned rooms: Yes | Free Parking: Yes | Private bathrooms: Yes | Free wifi: Good
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Best hotels in Cali: Booking guide
In the following section, I will provide you with some facts to consider when traveling to Cali, Colombia, the world capital of Salsa.
👉 By the way, I wrote a kick-ass Cali guide. You should read it too before coming. You’ll find tons of tips, activities, and more!
Why stay in San Antonio
San Antonio is one of the most traditional and old neighborhoods in Cali. Despite being a place for many restaurants, bars, and places of interest, residents in the area have managed to keep it friendly and attractive.
Its colonial architecture is a mixture of narrow streets, white or colorful facades, clay tail eaves, and wood window frames and balconies.
The San Antonio viewpoint is among the favorite places for visitors. Watching sunsets from this spot and seeing the city are unparalleled experiences. At this place, there is also the San Antonio Chapel, a baroque-style building.
This hilly neighborhood is filled with trees and vegetation and offers many walking places, such as parks and street sidewalks. The area has some friendly hotels, such as the Magic Garden House, Rossa Palma, Alko Hotel Casa Nispero, and Casa Ruta Sur.
This area is known for being a bohemian place for artists and writers. For this reason, there are many restaurants and cafes, such as El Teatro Mágico del Sabor and Tierradentro Café, respectively.
Why stay in El Peñon
This has typically been a wealthy neighborhood. Nowadays, artists play their live music in El Peñon Park.
The park is an old spot in Cali, known by locals and visitors. You may want to sit and talk, relax, or learn more about the Cali culture.
El Peñon is a neighborhood also known for its gourmet restaurants and street food places where you can try empanadas or the famous champús, a local refreshment made of lulo (a local fruit), corn, and honey.
There are pleasant accommodations, such as the luxury Hotel Intercontinental, which features a gigantic and beautiful swimming pool.
Why stay in Granada
Currently, the Granada neighborhood is considered the Zona Rosa in Cali, in other words, the place that gathers most of the fancy bars and discos in the city.
This populated area has a lot of traffic. Nevertheless, going to a bar or restaurant there is worth the experience, such as Ringlete, which highlights and rediscovers the Valle del Cauca Department cuisine flavors and originally presents the dishes.
There are some great hotels, such as the Leclerc Hotel Boutique.
The area is also the favorite place to party by the LGBTI community. Establishments such as the Maraka Café Bar and QueensCali stand out.
All in all, this area gathers lots of young people that want to enjoy a night out. The district is still in the development process.
Why stay in Centenario
Unlike the bustling Granada neighborhood, the nearby Centenario is a quiet residential area where many older people live. That’s why staying in hotels like Casa del Hidalgo brings you peace.
Centenario belongs to the greater Comuna 2 and is currently made up of a residential and a commercial area, including the Centenario shopping mall, with banks, restaurants, and shops.
More than 6,000 people live in Centenario. There you can find the Institute of Arts, a clinic, and one of the most iconic places in the city: the Plazoleta de la Caleñidad, which pays tribute to the city’s culture.
The hot weather in Cali
The weather in Cali is hot and dry, but don’t be surprised if you see heavy rains and strong winds sometimes during the year. The average temperature all year round is about 29 degrees Celsius.
There are two dry seasons and two rainy seasons during the year. However, even on rainy days, it can get pretty hot, so you may want to go for a swim in places such as the luxury Hotel Intercontinental. This hotel features one of the best pools in town. Another option is the Rossa Palma hotel, whose pool is small, but you enjoy a great, friendly atmosphere.
Cali, the place for Salsa
One of the reasons many visitors come to Cali is to listen to or learn how to dance Salsa, a catchy Caribbean rhythm full of sounds and instruments. Most salsa academies are in the area of San Antonio.
The most famous clubs to dance Salsa are La Topa Tolondra (Near San Antonio), Zaperoco (Granada), El Rincón de Heberth (Alameda), Mala Maña (Near Granada), and Tin Tin Deo.
Security issues in Cali
Cali is not the safest city in Colombia. However, you will enjoy it if you consider some safety tips, like not going to the city’s east.
You should also avoid walking alone at night. You can opt for going out in big groups and trying to walk on well-lit streets.
Like in any big city, don’t give personal information about yourself to strangers and keep a low profile. For example, don’t show off your Rolex, your expensive phone, or your jewelry in public places or while you’re in a taxi.
Keep an eye on motorcycles because many of the guys that snatch or mug do it from a motorbike.
Why I didn’t choose the hotel Dann Carlton Cali
It seems to me that the luxury hotel Dann Cali cannot offer an excellent 5-star experience. Many guests were not happy with the hotel’s staff, either due to lack of training or for not being friendly.
The buffet breakfast is not varied enough for a hotel of this level. It is too basic, according to many reviews. Also, the building is old and lacks maintenance.
However, it is still suitable for a business trip, for it has many meeting rooms of different sizes and a business center.
Other amenities include a beauty parlor, gym, sauna, and spa.
Why I didn’t choose the Movich Cali
The facilities are old and don’t match Movich hotels in other cities. For instance, the fitness center is too small and has not been operating for many months.
Additionally, the service at the restaurant is slow. There’s no pool or spa, and it’s too pricey for its offers.
I decided not to include the luxury hotel Movich Casa del Alferez for these reasons.
How many days to stay in Cali
One day is more than enough to visit the city. Then there are some excursions to organize in the surroundings (Pance River, Pico Loro, San Cipriano, etc.). If you are not a salsa fan, 3 days will be enough. Otherwise, you can easily stay for a month.
Must read: Our list of the best things to do in Cali.
How to move around Cali
Taxis are cheap, and you can use the Uber/Didi platforms. Most tourist districts are nearby, so that you won’t pay more than 10,000 or 15,000 COP.
You can also take the MIO, the metropolitan public transportation service. It can be hard to use if you don’t speak Spanish. Watch out for pickpockets.
You may walk during the day, from San Antonio to Granada. But follow basic safety rules.
How to get to Cali
From Bogotá, other main Colombian cities, or straight from abroad, you can get to the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport.
The airport is located 35 min away from the center. You can take a cab (around 60,000 COP), book airport transfers, or jump on a public bus (Expreso Palmira).
Or you can arrive at the bus terminal from anywhere in the country. Buses are the most widely used means of transportation in Colombia.
A taxi from the Bus Terminal to the San Antonio district costs about 15,000 COP.
Bottom line: Best hotels in Cali
Travelers come to Cali to dance the Salsa and enjoy its lively nights.
For this reason (and for safety), I advise you to stay on the west side, towards the neighborhoods of San Antonio, El Peñon, and Granada. You’ll be minutes away from the best bars and restaurants in the city.
In Cali, you will find luxurious options such as Casa Nispero or Intercontinental and more economical options like Magic Garden and Rossa Palma. And if you want to breathe fresh air for a few days, the Mercedes lodge will be perfect.
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