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Review: Avianca Domestic Lounge Bogota Airport
Review: Hilton Cartagena Hotel
Review: Sofitel Cartagena Hotel
Review: Avianca Lounge Cartagena Airport
Review: W Bogota Hotel
Review: LAN Lounge Bogota Airport
Review: Element Miami Airport
As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist, my options in Bogota were fairly limited. Hyatt doesn’t have a presence, while the best Starwood option by far seems to be the W.
I was happy to see that the W Bogota also happened to belong to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which can be accessed by those with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. This got us perks like a $100 spa credit, complimentary breakfast, etc.
But it gets even better than that. Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts was offering a third night free at the W Bogota. While our nightly rate was originally $180, we ended up paying an average of $120 per night. Given all the perks we were getting, that was awesome.
For what it’s worth, the W Bogota is an SPG Category 5 property, meaning a free night here costs 12,000 Starpoints. That seems high, though paid rates vary significantly. Sometimes they’re under $100 per night, while other times they’re over $250 per night. In our case, paying cash was a no brainer.
I had looked at a map of Bogota before we arrived, and it looked like the airport wasn’t that far from the hotel. While that’s true, what I didn’t realize is that Bogota has horrible traffic. It’s one of the two worst traffic cities I’ve been to in my life, along with Sao Paulo. The drive from the airport to the hotel nearly took two hours (and for one of those hours we maybe moved a total of two miles).
As we pulled into the driveway of the W we were quickly approached by the bellmen, who offered to help with bags. Since we travel light, we declined.
We walked inside the ground floor lobby, which is where the reception desk was located.
I could tell immediately that this was a very “authentic” W property in terms of decor, if that makes sense. I mean, do lobbies get more bedazzled than this?
The associate checking us in was friendly, but the process took forever. That was especially frustrating since we just sat in traffic for two hours, and wanted nothing more than to get to our room.
Towards the end of the check-in process he handed us the standard Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts pamphlet.
Separately he handed us a letter outlining the hotel’s special Fine Hotels & Resorts perks.
As far as the spa credit goes, rather than the $100 being deducted from the folio at check-out, we were given a $100 certificate we could redeem directly at the spa.
The hotel has two sets of elevators — one which takes you between the ground floor reception and the lobby level, and then one which takes you between the lobby and rooms. So we first took the (once again, rather bedazzled) elevator up to the lobby.
The concierge desk is located on this floor, right near the elevators to the guest rooms.
This is also where the W Lounge is located, which was a nice space. There were DJs there at night, and it was generally a pretty happening place in the evenings, without being too much of a douche-fest.
We took the elevator up to the 15th floor, where our Fantastic Suite, 1511, was located.
Upon entering the room and to the right was a half bathroom, with a toilet and sink.
Past that was a living room, which was separated into two areas by curtains — there was a vanity, desk, and small bar area, and then separately there was the lounging area of the living room.
I’m not sure exactly what purpose the vanity served, or if that’s even what it was supposed to be. It seemed a bit odd, though I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise at a W.
Next to the vanity was a desk. While the chair was reasonably comfortable, I found it quite annoying that it didn’t roll, and also didn’t have four legs. It was basically a rolling chair without the wheels, which was a pain to move around.
The minibar setup was impressive. Everything at this hotel was so reasonably priced, including the minibar snacks. The snacks were ~$2-3 each, as were the soft drinks.
There was also an espresso machine there.
The living room itself was stylish, but also not that comfortable. W properties can be style over substance, and the room sort of exemplified that. The couch had virtually no padding, so wasn’t actually comfortable to sit on.
The couch faced a flat screen TV, and was separated from the bedroom by two rotating doors.
I thought the bedroom was super stylish, though once again, rather impractically designed. If we take the bathroom out of the equation, I think it’s actually gorgeous and practical…
The bed also faced a flat screen TV.
There’s a daybed (again, not very well padded) by the window, and a big, bright lamp.
The room had great views of sprawling Bogota, which goes as far as the eye can see (despite the lack of skyscrapers).
The issue comes with the fact that the bedroom was separated from the bathroom by a curtain. Maybe it’s just me, but I actually appreciate some separation and privacy between the bedroom and bathroom.
The bathroom featured double sinks.
Then there was a large soaking tub in the middle of the room.
The shower was well designed, and featured full size Bliss toiletries, as is often the case in suites at W properties.
For that matter, there were a good number of toiletries and amenities in the bathroom in general.
Then the toilet was in a partitioned off room.
Overall I thought the suite was beautiful, though also designed by someone who hasn’t stayed in very many hotels. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the design was offensively dysfunctional (as I’ve found to be the case at some other W properties), but there were still some elements which left me scratching my head.
I should also note that wifi throughout the hotel was excellent, so I had no issues staying connected.
Breakfast was served daily from 6:30AM until 10:30AM at Market Kitchen, located just next to the W Lounge. The restaurant is beautiful, and we also had dinner there one night.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
The breakfast buffet, as well as cooked to order eggs, were included for booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts. The breakfast spread was excellent.
One table had the cold options, including cold cuts, cereal, salad, cake, yogurt, parfaits, fresh pastries, etc.
Then there was a separate table with fresh fruit and sparkling wine.
And then at the far end of the restaurant were some hot options, which were different than you’ll find at many other international buffets (which I liked).
The buffet was more than filling, though one morning I also had an egg white omelet.
The first night we also had dinner at the hotel, given that we were tired after the nearly two hour drive from the airport.
I had a gin & tonic to drink, which was served Madrid style.
Before dinner we were offered a tasty selection of warm bread.
We were hungry since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and both had starters and salads, as well as mains. The food was so reasonably priced.
We also ordered room service one afternoon, and the total for the below came to ~$25.
We used the spa the last day since we had the $100 credit to spend. I really just wanted a pedicure, so Ford and I both got pedicures, while Ford also got an hour-long massage. The total came to $80, so we couldn’t even spend the $100 credit with those three treatments.
The hotel also had a really cool whirlpool in the spa area. I do wish it would have been a few degrees warmer, as it wasn’t actually hot enough to have the effects of a hot tub, but I still loved the concept.
Next to that was the gym, which had a good amount of modern equipment.
W Bogota Hotel gym
Now let’s just talk about the service at the hotel, as well as the location.
I found service to be consistently excellent. The staff were friendly, genuine, and efficient. At times a few of the details were botched, but overall I was very impressed by the service levels at the hotel.
The location of the hotel is a bit trickier. The W seems to be in a more sterile and corporate part of town. Given how bad traffic is in Bogota, it can take 45 minutes to get to Plaza de Bolivar, even though it’s only a few miles away. So there’s not a ton to do in the immediate area of the hotel, aside from some great restaurants.
However, I sort of liked the location, as it was much less grimy than the area we ended up driving to, where a lot of the other hotels are located. This is something to be aware of, though.
W Bogota bottom line
Overall I really liked the W Bogota. I thought the service and overall design of the hotel were beautiful, and especially loved how cheap everything at the hotel was (which is true of Colombia in general, though often you’ll still get US prices at chain hotels). I thought the suite was gorgeous, though at the same time it did boast some of the frustrating W design elements, like the curtain between the bedroom and bathroom, and a shortage of trash cans, which for some reason seems to consistently be the case at W properties.
I’d definitely consider returning to the W if I visited Bogota again. But frankly I’m not sure I’ll be returning anytime soon, as there are other parts of Colombia I’d rather explore first.
Do you have a favorite hotel in Bogota?