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Hotel Marlin

Hotel Marlin
Calle de la Media Luna 10-35, Getsemani, Cartagena, Bolivar
(035) 664.3507 or 664.9193
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hotelmarlincartagena.com

Overview: Hotel Marlin is the sister hotel of the more upscale Casa Mary, located right around the corner. Marlin is a backpacker favorite, offering a mix of dormitory and private accommodations at backpacker prices.

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Neighborhood: It's located in the heart of Cartagena's Getsemani neighborhood, on main east-west thoroughfare Calle de la Media Luna, and features a wide selection of private rooms with private baths: some with fan only, and some with AC. All rooms also offer cable television.

How to Get There: If you're arriving in Cartagena's Rafael Nunez Airport, it's just a $10.000 ($5) taxi ride. Everyone knows where Calle de la Media Luna is, as it's one of the main east/west thoroughfares cutting through Getsemani.

Management/Staff: Reception and staff are friendly and well-trained.

Rooms: If you're backpacking or traveling on a budget and want to be in Getsemani, Hotel Marlin is the place to be. You have the privacy and comfort of a private room, with comfortable mattresses. 

Shared Rooms: There are affordable dormitory accommodations available.

Private Rooms: Rooms with a fan are just $50.000, while rooms with AC are $70.000. These are low season prices, however. If you're going to be in Cartagena during high season (December, January, Semana Santa, July, August) you should always inquire ahead of time.

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Amenities: The real draw here is the common areas. There's a large lobby which is decorated with a lifesize marlin, and an aquarium. It's a perfect spot to sit down for a minute, enjoy a tinto, and read the newspaper. Or, you can head further into the hostel and enjoy the vibrant courtyard, filled with creeping vines and tropical foliage. Head up to the second floor, and you'll find a delightful parlor area decorated with antique hardwood furniture and impressive paintings. 

There's also a picturesque bougainvillea-lined balcony which offers photo-worthy views of the Colombian authenticity you'll find along Calle de la Media Luna. There is a large kitchen with bar-style seating for guest use as well. Hotel Marlin also offers the Agencia Marlin next door (just to the left of the building). They offer invaluable advice on planning trips to Panama, or to other popular Caribbean destinations Barranquilla and Santa Marta. If you're headed to one of these locations, they have a special relationship with transport company Marsol: for just $21.000 they will pick you up at your hotel, and then take you as close as possible to your destination in Barranquilla.

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Conclusion: All in all, Hotel Marlin offers everything to the discriminating backpacker or budget traveler: a great location, clean and comfortable rooms at a reasonable price, a helpful and friendly staff, an in-house travel agency, amenities such as balconies, kitchen-use, cable TV, and free wifi, and you're just steps from everywhere you want to be in Cartagena. Hotel Marlin comes highly recommended by Colombia Backpacking.

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