THROUGH THE EYES OF SORREL MOSELEY-WILLIAMS
If you are deciding where to stay in Cartagena – look no further than Amarla Boutique Hotel. As soon as the vast wooden front door closes, you will find yourself tucked away in a true refuge. This is a tranquil sanctum that is a world away from Cartagena’s buzzy Ciudad Vieja throng. Once you take in the scene – the low romantic lighting, the trickle of a fountain, the gentle whirring of a ceiling fan – you will begin to realise that Amarla Boutique Hotel is an abode designed to heighten your senses.
A welcome beverage was brought over while I checked in. The refreshing and zingy red juice called jugo de corozo, was made from a local Caribbean fruit that was freshly pressed. Believed to be perfect for reinvigorating weary bodies and minds, which helped to make the already-easy check-in more seamless.
Amarla’s own story goes back some three centuries to colonial times. Its thick walls designed to keep its residents both cool and protected. I climbed the stone stairs to one of seven en-suites that are named after local birds. I opened my door, and was immediately cocooned. The charming tropical and botanical prints, king-size bed donned with Egyptian threads, white wooden shutters and cool air made it a most conducive place to rest. After a lengthy overnight flight to Cartagena, I had no problem in giving Quetzal, named for a particularly sacred avian, a 15-hour run for its money. Despite being flat out for so long, I still almost ordered breakfast in bed.