This is my expert guide to help you decide among the best Santa Marta hotels.
Many travelers go to this city to visit the Caribbean Coast. They choose a hotel at random at the last minute.
That’s a huge mistake!
I’ve been to Santa Marta more than eight times, and I discovered many practical tips to pick a suitable accommodation. Besides, I spent ten hours analyzing all the hotels in Santa Marta with a rating of 9+ in Booking.
The winner of this study is Hotel Casa Carolina.
This hotel, located in the historic center, welcomes guests in the best possible way. I can’t imagine a better option to relax upon returning from your adventures nearby.
The other winners of this selection are:
- The best hostel in Santa Marta: Masaya
- The best quiet hotel in Santa Marta: Casa Verano
- The best hotel for couples in Santa Marta: El Cactus
- The best luxury hotel in Santa Marta: Don Pepe
- Best hotel for persons with low mobility: Placita Vieja
- The Best Budget Hotel in Santa Marta: Casa Linda
- The best quality/price hotel in Santa Marta: Mauricio Babilonia
- The best family hotel in Santa Marta: Camali
- The best apartment with a view in Santa Marta: Grand Marina
Read on to find out why I chose them.
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The Best Hotels in Santa Marta
In Booking only, there are more than 385 hotels in Santa Marta.
How to pick the right one?
Easy peasy. I have applied different formulas and criteria, and I chose a winner for each category.
1# My favorite hotel in Santa Marta: Casa Carolina
10/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Casa Carolina is the ideal option to enjoy the city of Santa Marta with comfort and without spending a fortune. You can choose between a double room or a loft. Whichever you choose the staff will make sure that you’ll have a great time.
- A SPA with excellent massages to relax after a long day.
- A swimming pool and various social areas to escape from the afternoon heat.
- Located in the historical center, the best restaurants and bars are nearby.
- Excellent value for the price.
- Comfortable rooms with A/C.
- Take note: Many floors, with no elevator.
Prices: From 202.000 COP | Cancellation Policy: 3 days prior | Neighborhood: Historic Center | Type of accommodation: Hotel
2# The best hostel in Santa Marta: Masaya
9.2/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Masaya is the ideal place to get to know other travelers in the city. This beautiful Santa Marta hostel is located in a colonial-style building and has many dorms and private bedrooms. It will be a perfect option for backpackers.
- An enormous roof with a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and a view to other rooftops of Santa Marta
- The hostel organizes social events every day.
- Located in the historic center, near bars and restaurants.
- Spacious A/C rooms.
- Take note: The hostels are usually noisier than hotels.
Prices: From 38.000 COP (dorm) | Cancellation Policy: 1 day prior | Neighborhood: Historic center | Type of accommodation: Hostal
3# The best quiet hotel in Santa Marta: Casa Verano
9.1/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Santa Marta is a noisy city that wakes up early during the week and sleeps late on weekends. Choose Casa Verano if you prefer quietness. This luxurious boutique hotel is located in an isolated place near the beach of Pozos Colorados.
- Kids are not allowed. You won’t be hearing child crying.
- A pretty garden with a swimming pool, deck chairs, and palms.
- Direct access to the beach of Pozos Colorados, with few tourists and vendors.
- Nice rooms with curtains and double insulated windows.
- Take note: You will be far away from restaurants and bars. Come to relax and don’t move around too much. Just take it easy.
Prices: From 387.000 COP | Cancelation Policy: 3 days prior | Neighborhood: Pozos Colorados | 30 minutes by car from downtown | Type of accommodation: Boutique hotel
4# The best hotel for couples in Santa Marta: El Cactus
9.1/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Sometimes it’s pleasant to stay in a suite with all the conveniences. You can walk around in your underwear or have breakfast in bed. Choosing El Cactus suite is a perfect opportunity to organize a romantic getaway with your partner.
- 8 suites ranging from 40 to 110 m². You could hide if you fight with your partner.
- A big bed and a dresser.
- 2 swimming pools, one of them on the roof.
- It’s the ideal place to watch the sunset.
- Near the best restaurants in Santa Marta.
Price: From 430.000 COP | Cancellation policy: 1 day prior | Neighborhood: Historic center | Type of accommodation: Suites and apartments
5# The best luxery hotel in Santa Marta: Don Pepe
8.7/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Don Pepe is a house that has conserved the authentic ambiance from the Colonial era. Its illuminated stone arcs and the tastefully decorated rooms attract travelers looking for a luxurious stay. Don Pepe is one of the best hotels in Santa Marta.
- The staff is details oriented and meet all the guests’ expectations.
- Comfortable bedrooms with fine furniture.
- The restaurant serves delicious food.
- Nice and well-kept interior patio with a swimming pool.
- A large roof with many resting areas, including a jacuzzi.
The price is steep for Santa Marta.
Price: From 740.000 COP | Cancelation policy: 5 days prior | Neighborhood: Historic district | Type of accommodation: Boutique hotel
6# Best hotel for persons with low mobility: Placita Vieja
8.7/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
It’s challenging to find a hotel in Santa Marta in the old town for travelers with limited mobility. All the more so if you are looking for a private room in a beautiful colonial hotel. La Placita Vieja is one of the rare hotels offering a bedroom designed for this kind of situation.
- The Morro bedroom is specially equipped with electronically controlled beds and a bath with a ramp.
- There’s an elevator.
- The terrace is well distributed with lots of vegetation, a swimming pool, bar, and massage baths.
- It overlooks El Parque de Los Novios, and the best restaurants are nearby.
- A pleasant hotel with spacious bedrooms.
Price: From 438.000 COP | Cancelation policy: 1 day prior | Neighborhood: Historic center | Type of accommodation: Boutique hotel
7# The Best low budget Hotel in Santa Marta: Casa Linda
8.7/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Casa Linda is a low-budget hotel for travelers who seek to stay in Rodadero. Single and comfortable bedrooms. Sometimes, that’s all that you need.
- Cancelation 2 days prior without any charge.
- Apartments with kitchen available for up to a maximum of 5/6 persons.
- The hosts will give you excellent tips to visit Santa Marta.
- Breakfast not included.
Price: From 59.000 COP | Cancelation policy: 2 days prior | Neighborhood: El Rodadero | Type of accommodation: Hotel and apartments
8# The best quality/price hotel in Santa Marta: Mauricio Babilonia
8.5/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Mauricio Babilonia is a B&B with a singular decoration, a mix of different styles and eras. With only 4 bedrooms, travelers will love the home feeling present there.
- The prices are very affordable, and cancellation is available up to 24 hours prior.
- Each traveler gets individual attention from the staff.
- The bathrooms are tiny.
- Most guests prefer the bedrooms on the first floor.
- 5 blocks to the restaurants and bars.
Price: From 120.000 COP | Cancelation policy: 1-day prior | Neighborhood: 5 minutes from the Historic center | Type of accommodation: B&B
9# The best family hotel in Santa Marta: Camali
7.6/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Camali is a new hotel with large interior patios. The kids can swim in the pool while their parents read a book under the palm trees.
- Many family rooms for up to 4 persons. This makes the prices more affordable.
- A large swimming pool for the kids to enjoy themselves without leaving the hotel.
- A Kitchen is available if you don’t want to go to a restaurant every day.
- The neighborhood is not safe at night. Better to take a cab.
Price: From 305.000 COP (4 persons) | Cancellation policy: 7 days | Neighborhood: 8 minutes ride to the Historic center | Type of accommodation: Hotel
10# The best apartment with a view in Santa Marta: Grand Marina
7.6/10 – Tomplanmytrip’s note
Grand Marina is a building with the best view of the coast. Its modern apartments are new and well equipped. The travelers that want to be independent and keep enjoying the services of a hotel will be pleased.
- You can take your pets (paid)
- Reception desk 24 hours if a problem should arise and for access to the pool
- The sunset from the terrace is magnificent.
- There’s a deluxe apartment for up to 5 persons—ideal for a group of friends or family.
- Good natural light
Price: From 380.000 COP | Cancellation policy: 3 days | Neighborhood: Historic center | Type of accommodation: Aparthotel
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How to choose your favorite hotel in Santa Marta
There are several zones and hundreds of hotels in Santa Marta.
To decide where you should stay, let’s begin with the most important: Your plans.
I wrote a kick-ass Santa Marta guide. You should read it too before coming. You’ll find tons of tips, activities, and more!
Learn everything about Santa Marta
And avoid mistakes made by travelers.
Why do you travel to Santa Marta
To me, Santa Marta is just a stopover to travel to a more peaceful place. Other travelers might decide to spend a week because they love the atmosphere.
Let’s see various situations:
→ Stay over an evening and then travel to Tayrona or Minca. You should stay in a hotel in the historic center of Santa Marta. You can enjoy the city and visit 2-3 sights.
The next day, take the bus to the public market (Calle 11 and Carrera 11) going to Tayrona or take Cootransminca (Calle 11 and Carrera 9) to Minca.
→ Trekking to La Ciudad Perdida: The tours to The Lost City leave from Santa Marta. The agencies offer free pick up. It’s a four-day adventure in the Sierra Nevada. You’ll be glad to stay in a comfortable hotel to relax in before and after the trip.
→ To party on weekends: I prefer the bars in the historic center to the clubs in Rodadero. Either way, you’ll find a place to party.
→ To enjoy the beaches. You should be aware that there are no good beaches in Santa Marta. If you don’t mind the crowded and noisy beaches, you could stay in El Rodadero. If not, I would recommend you Pozos Colorados.
Hotels in Santa Marta near the airport
The airport of Santa Marta is located 30 minutes from downtown, right after the Pozos Colorados beach. It’s a tranquil zone (even though tall buildings surround it)
Hotels in Santa Marta with parking
Hotels in Santa Marta with swimming pools
It’s hot on the Coast, and there’s nothing better than a swimming pool to cool off!
What kind of accommodations are you looking for
→ If you like to cook and/or travel with friends, you will need to stay in an apartment. El Cactus offers gigantic suites for couples who want to be by themselves. If it’s a bigger group, the modern apartments at Grand Marina will be a perfect choice. Casa Carolina also has some low-budget apartments.
The safety in Santa Marta
At nighttime, you have to be alert in the streets of Santa Marta. Choose a hotel around Parque Los Novios if you wish to be in the city’s more busy (and safest) area.
How to get to Santa Marta
There are many daily flights from Medellín, Cali, and Bogotá. Once you arrive in Santa Marta, you can take a public bus or a cab (30 minutes) downtown. El Rodadero is only 15 minutes away by car.
If you’re traveling from Cartagena, you’ll have to take a bus. Travel time 5-6 hours.
From Santa Marta, it’s easy to travel to the Caribbean Coast. There’s only one main highway that connects to different tourist attractions like Tayrona, Palomino, and Riohacha.
How long to stay in Santa Marta
With its geographic location, it’s easy to organize many adventures.
You only need a half-day to visit Santa Marta. However, you could stay 10 days to explore the surrounding areas.
To decide how many days you want to stay in Santa Marta you’ll have to choose your activities first.
How did I choose the best hotels in Santa Marta
I have analyzed the hotels of Santa Marta following the next criteria:
- Notes in Booking
- The reviews
- The location
- The atmosphere
- The uniqueness of the establishment
- The comfort
- The experience of the stay
The bottom line
You’ll have to travel to Santa Marta many times if you are traveling to the Caribbean Coast.
Weekends are great for hanging out and parties and enjoying the good restaurants.
The hotels in the historic center of Santa Marta are more convenient for 1 or 2 days. Casa Carolina will be the ideal hotel to relax after your adventure and plan the next ones.
Where to travel after Santa Marta
There are many heavenly destinations on the east coast of the Colombian Caribbean: