Review: W Bogota Hotel

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Introduction
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.

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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.

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W Bogota Hotel driveway

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W Bogota Hotel signage

We walked inside the ground floor lobby, which is where the reception desk was located.

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W Bogota Hotel reception desk

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?

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W Bogota Hotel reception desk

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.

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Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts pamphlet

Separately he handed us a letter outlining the hotel’s special Fine Hotels & Resorts perks.

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Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits

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.

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Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts spa credit

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.

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W Bogota Hotel elevator

The concierge desk is located on this floor, right near the elevators to the guest rooms.

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W Bogota Hotel lobby

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.

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W Bogota Hotel lobby

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W Bogota Hotel lobby

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W Bogota Hotel W Lounge

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W Bogota Hotel W Lounge

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite guest bathroom

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite guest bathroom

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite 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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite living room

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite desk

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite minibar & coffee machine

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite minibar

There was also an espresso machine there.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite coffee machine

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite living room

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite living room

The couch faced a flat screen TV, and was separated from the bedroom by two rotating doors.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite living room TV

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…

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom

The bed also faced a flat screen TV.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom TV

There’s a daybed (again, not very well padded) by the window, and a big, bright lamp.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom

The room had great views of sprawling Bogota, which goes as far as the eye can see (despite the lack of skyscrapers).

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite view

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bedroom & bathroom

The bathroom featured double sinks.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bathroom

Then there was a large soaking tub in the middle of the room.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite bathtub

The shower was well designed, and featured full size Bliss toiletries, as is often the case in suites at W properties.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite shower

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite toiletries

For that matter, there were a good number of toiletries and amenities in the bathroom in general.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite toiletries

Then the toilet was in a partitioned off room.

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W Bogota Hotel Fantastic Suite toilet

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.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen restaurant

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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The breakfast buffet, as well as cooked to order eggs, were included for booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts. The breakfast spread was excellent.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

One table had the cold options, including cold cuts, cereal, salad, cake, yogurt, parfaits, fresh pastries, etc.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

Then there was a separate table with fresh fruit and sparkling wine.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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).

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen breakfast buffet

The buffet was more than filling, though one morning I also had an egg white omelet.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen cooked to order eggs

The first night we also had dinner at the hotel, given that we were tired after the nearly two hour drive from the airport.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

I had a gin & tonic to drink, which was served Madrid style.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen gin & tonic

Before dinner we were offered a tasty selection of warm bread.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner 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.

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

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W Bogota Hotel Market Kitchen dinner

We also ordered room service one afternoon, and the total for the below came to ~$25.

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W Bogota Hotel room service lunch

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.

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W Bogota Hotel spa

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.

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W Bogota Hotel whirlpool

Next to that was the gym, which had a good amount of modern equipment.

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W Bogota Hotel gym

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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?

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Comments

  1. interesting about the horrendous traffic. when i visited bogota, it was over the christmas period and there were hardly any traffic delays at all. got from the airport to parque de la 93 in about 30 minutes. cool city though! i enjoyed it.

  2. I go to Bogota for work a few times a year. I want to stay at the W, but our local office steers us away from staying there owing to the traffic situation. We end up staying at the Hilton, which is fine, but unmemorable.

  3. Great report, Ben! Thanks.

    Just two remarks: Firstly, that there is a Hyatt under construction. Not sure about the opening date or other details. Secondly, about the price level. The COP has suffered from very substantial devaluation over the last 12 month or so (almost 50 percent!). That’s why everything grown locally seems incredibly cheap. However, for our Colombian friends it’s not so funny, since imported goods have become unaffordable.

  4. Probably a dumb question but here goes: Do I have to use an Amex CC to pay for the hotel room if I go through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or can I use the Citi Prestige CC?

  5. Lucky, I’m pretty sure I was there the same time and saw you guys at the bar one night!

    We largely agree with your assessment, though I wasn’t as bothered by the room layout–though my husband certainly would have been less pleased by the open bedroom into bath area, perhaps. (I was traveling with my best friend, who had his own room).

    Service was good, but there were flaws with the breakfast restaurant and in room dining a few times. Concierge and bar service were phenomenal, though. Management was pretty responsive to my complaints, though–and comp’d a few items afterward to compensate for the service miscues. All in all, I’d return. You didn’t mention, but the air con worked beautifully…and it was unusually hot that weekend. (Unlike the Four Seasons Casa Medina, which lacks any air con!)

    For the record, we had bad traffic but not as bad as yours. It took about an hour to get to the hotel from the Aiport and to get back. It took 45 min to reach the Plaza de SImon Bolivar the first time, but it took only 20 min the second and third times when we dined at the Four Seasons or Harry Sasson or Criterion.

    Bogota was spectacularly beautiful and with great food and culture…and very cheap exchange rates. Traffic was the biggest nightmare. That being said, I’d return in a heartbeat!

  6. Memorable journalistic skills such as “pissed me off” and ” douche fest”.
    I don’t understand your insistence on using such vulgar language unless your describing your sexual perversion in which case that’s a private matter.
    P.s what’s a douche fest douche bag?

  7. Ben, does AmEx FHR only show discounted 3rd or 4th night free options when you search for specific dates that offer this benefit or is this a standard option that is listed for properties? Is there an easy way to see which properties are offering this benefit in a city? Thanks

  8. Stayed 5 days at the W in March. Beautiful new property but priced $250 per night for a regular room w/breakfast is US pricing while everything else in the country is soo cheap in comparison. We also had Service issues similar to Bill: Missing toiletries due to supplier problems (no soap the entire hotel), no bottled water (SPG Gold), room service struggled taking 2+ hours, lacking amenity included in my booked package, no upgrade (package implied there would be one), it was a fight to get 4pm check-out.

    Outstandingly friendly people otherwise but we did tip out equivalent to 120 USD total over the stay. Tough to find small local bills for tipping. The currency is in flux and no-one has change. I agree with Bill though, great food & culture. Will return.

    Agreed! Those sheer curtains = not enough coverage. When Montezuma’s revenge strikes, you want drywall for privacy. That place echoed!

    Also agree with Market Kitchen recommendation. Ended up eating 3 meals there due to quality & value.

    Gym was great and at 8,500ft you really feel the burn. Wi-Fi worked everywhere including the gym.

    Concierge was amazing and set-up a trip to Andrés Carne de Res the 2.5 sq mile restaurant run by a local university. It’s 30 minutes north. Highly recommended. They also have a crazy 7-story bar run by the same organization 10 minutes south. Traffic was rough but using Uber the rates were 1/3 the cost of W private drivers. We used a mix but never yellow taxis. W location is extremely safe corporate park, I didn’t mind the drive at all knowing I was in good hands.

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