This post is part 2 of 4 in the series Best of 2018

Sometimes it’s the big things that make a hotel noteworthy, like impressively serious green measures. Sometimes it’s the small things like one perfect bathrobe, or a stunning view, or an amazing check-in amenity. Welcome to part 2 in our Best of the Trans-Americas Journey 2018 series–our guide to the Best Hotels of the year in Peru and Colombia. Part 1 covers the Top Travel Adventures of 2018, Part 3 covers the Best Food and Beverages of the year and part 4 tells you all about our Top Travel Gear of the year.

Casa Harb boutique hotel - San Andres, Colombia

Casa Harb boutique hotel on San Andres Island in Colombia is home to the best keychain of the year and so much more.

The Best Hotels of 2018

Best bathrobe: There are many things to like about Casa Republica Barranco Hotel in Lima, Peru including the location right in the heart of the Barranco neighborhood just steps from the sea and the wide range of rooms types and prices.  However, we’d go back just to crawl into the hotel’s bathrobes which are that rare combination of perfect weight and perfect fit. Get more about this hotel in our complete review of Casa Republica Barranco Hotel for Luxury Latin America.
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Casa Harb keychain

The charm bracelet-like keychain at Casa Harb boutique hotel on San Andres Island in Colombia.

Best key chain (and more): Casa Harb, on Colombia’s San Andres Island (pictured at the top of this post), is a masterpiece and the vision of one man, owner Jak Harb. The former flight attendant traveled the world and amassed an impressive collection of art, furniture, and artifacts with a focus on treasures from Asia. When he decided to turn the family house into a 6-room boutique hotel he used those finds to create a stylish hotel like no other in Colombia. It’s the kind of place where attention to detail is the order of the day from the sheer curtains on the first floor which were handmade in the Philippines using bamboo fiber to the most ornate sterling silver covered monk’s alms bowl we’ve ever seen to a wide range of wood and rattan furniture and right on down to the key chains which are like fascinating charm bracelets (pictured above).
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Casa Pestagua Cartagena Colombia

One of three garden courtyards at Casa Pestagua hotel in Cartagena, Colombia.

Best check-in amenity: Book a room at Casa Pestagua, a historic Relais & Chateaux hotel in the historic center of Cartagena, Colombia, and you get a free foot massage at the hotel’s spa when you check in. Make your reservation directly through the hotel and you get a free full body massage. And your stay will just get better from there. See why in our full review of Casa Pestagua for Luxury Latin America.
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Biohotel Organic Suites Bogota

Old solar panels re repurposed as tabletops in the bar at the very green Biohotel Organic Suites in Bogotá, Colombia.

Best green hotel: Biohotel Organic Suites, in the Usaquen neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, is owned by a man who’s serious about sustainability. Notable eco features at the hotel, which was built using the criteria for LEED gold certification, include: bamboo flooring, no PVC, two exercise machines in the top floor gym that generate electricity as you work out, living walls and vertical gardens, no air conditioning, water restrictors on faucets, permanent containers of biodegradable toiletries in bathrooms to reduce plastic waste, 72 solar panels on the roof which provide 30% of the hotel’s electricity needs (old panels are used as table tops in the hotel’s bar), an onsite grey water treatment system and rainwater collection cistern, hot water pipes in the walls to heat the hotel (this is the only hotel in Colombia that does this), a biodiesel backup generator, wood used in construction is certified to have been harvested and replaced, atrium-style lobby to maximize natural light with self-rotating panels that reflect the sun, perforations in the structure to encourage fresh air flow, carpets made from 100% recycled materials, and more. Employees of the hotel also get recycling bins for their homes after a few months of service and the employee that reduced at home water use the most in the year gets a bicycle. The hotel also hosts monthly events for kids to learn about sustainability.
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Amantika Lodge Lake Titicaca Peru

Say hello to the best view from bed of 2018 at Amantica Lodge on Lake Titicaca in Peru.

Best view from bed: When you build your hotel on an island in Lake Titikaka, the highest navigable lake in the world, you’re pretty much guaranteeing great views. The 2-suite Amantica Lodge on Amantani Island near Puno, Peru, makes the most of those views with walls of windows that allow you to take in the lake and surrounding snowy peaks of the Cordillera Real right from bed. You know what else you can see from bed? A booze trunk stocked with wine, Bombay gin, Peruvian pisco, Absolut Vodka, Diplomatico run, 1800 tequila, Fernet, beer, mixers, snacks, and more all included in room rates.
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InterContinental Cartagena de Indias

Views of the Caribbean from a stylish tub at the InterContinental Cartagena in Cartagena, Colombia.

Best view from the tub: The the tub in corner suite #1120 at the InterContinental Cartagena de Indias in Cartagena, Colombia is sleek and inviting. Slip in and you realize that it’s also been positioned with a view of the Caribbean.
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Retreat in the Woods Airbnb Sacred Valley Peru

Charming design, a garden setting, that wood-burning stove, and charming hosts are just a few of the reasons that this is the best Airbnb of the year.

Best Airbnb of the year: Airbnbs have become a major part of our accommodation during our journey and we stayed in quite a few great ones in 2018, including this seaside stunner on Providencia Island in Colombia. However, none of our Airbnb experiences have come close to the peacefulness, comfort, friendship, and fun we’ve enjoyed at this modern, light-filled, two-story casita in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru. We spent nearly three months here in 2018 and, in fact, we are writing this blog post from the kitchen table. Why so many days? It could be the relaxing countryside location in a tiny town in the Sacred Valley. It could be the charming style and comfort of the casita itself. It could be the kindness and joy of the hosts. We love it here so much that we’ve invited friends and family down to share the bliss and they’ve fallen in love with it too. So, if you’re planning a trip to Peru work in some time to truly feel Peruvian in our best Airbnb of the year.
Save $40 Use this link to create an Airbnb account and you’ll receive $40 off your first stay

Four Seasons Bogota Spa

Just a few of the showy design elements in the lovely and luxurious spa in the Four Seasons Bogotá hotel in Bogotá, Colombia.

Best hotel spa: Many hotels in Bogotá, Colombia claim to have spas. Often that turns out to be one cave-like treatment room and a sad little Jacuzzi. Not so at the Four Seasons Bogotá. The spa at the hotel is enormous with four treatment rooms with temperature controlled mattresses, including a couples suite for tandem treatments. Change rooms offer steam saunas plus hair products and brushes, deodorant, dental products, shaving supplies and more. The whole spa adheres to a tactile, sexy gold and green theme inspired by the gold and emeralds found in Colombia. An “emerald” wall sparkles invitingly and the floor near the reception desk features tile work done in the town of Boyaca (the work took longer than anticipated and that delayed the hotel’s original opening date). Choose from a wide array of facials, massages, body treatments, and packages (including the spa’s signature treatment which uses emerald dust), then choose from a music and fragrance menu to customize your experience.
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JW Cusco alpaca panchita

Our charming close encounter with Panchita the baby alpaca at the JW Marriott El Convento in Cusco, Peru.

Best hotel animal encounter: The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco offers all of the usual JW luxury and service, Peruvian cooking classes, 1,500-year-old walls, an Incan road, colonial architecture, and the chance to snuggle with an alpaca. Every morning a joyful woman named Bonifacia brings her alpaca, Panchita, to a central courtyard in the hotel. Mellowed out on a breakfast of cow’s milk, Panchita, who is impossibly clean and white and fluffy, patiently allows guests to pet her and take photos. She may even chirp and purr for you. Snuggle up close and you can hear it.
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Palacio del Inka Hotel Cusco suite

One of just 17 Colonial Suites at the Palacio del Inka Hotel in Cusco, Peru.

Best suites: Too often the suites at a hotel are just larger versions of the rest of the rooms but at the Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel in Cuzco, Peru the 17 Colonial Suites live up to suite status. These much larger rooms are located in the colonial section of the sprawling hotel. Each room features antiques, restored architectural elements (carved wood pillars with remnants of gold leaf on them, for example, as pictured above), and original art from the personal collection of the family that owns the hotel. No two Colonial Suites are alike and each has a name in a local language adopted by the Incas called Quechua. High altitude bonus: Colonial Suites also have supplemental oxygen pumped in to ease your acclimatization.
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Hotel Charleson Santa Teresa rooftop pool

The resort-like rooftop pool area of the Charleston Santa Teresa Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia.

Best urban rooftop resort: It’s hot in Cartagena, Colombia, so many of the city’s hotels have pools. Some even have rooftop pools. None achieves a resort-like feeling like the rooftop pool, sitting areas, bar, and restaurant at the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa. Because the hotel is six stories high, much higher than most surrounding structures, the roof also affords impressive views of the rooftops and tiled domes in the city’s historic center, the Spanish-built wall that surrounds the heart of the city, and the sparkling Caribbean.
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Here’s more about travel in Colombia

Here’s more about travel in Peru

 


Series Navigation:<< Best of the Trans-Americas Journey 2018 – Best Food & BeveragesBest of the Trans-Americas Journey 2018 – Top Travel Adventures in Peru & Colombia >>