Casa Pestagua

Spacious, serene, romantic

Calle De Santo Domingo 33, Cartagena De Indias 13 001


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At a Glance

A massive historic mansion has been turned into an 11-room hotel that transports visitors back to a more genteel era.

Indagare Loves

  • The freshly renovated roof deck common area with a Jacuzzi and views over the city and the Caribbean
  • Suite Mirador (#11) with two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and a massive bathroom with a sunken open shower
  • The romantic private dining table in the hotel restaurant’s wine cellar built in what was the original cistern
  • Dashing co-owner and manager Claude Pimont whose easy hospitality and knowledge of Cartagena improve any stay


When Count Pestagua, shipping magnate and one time mayor of Cartagena, set out to build his mansion in the 17th century, he declared his desire to have the most beautiful house in the city. He succeeded with extravagant touches, including a nine-foot-wide, curved stone staircase that’s still in use today.  A private developer eventually bought the crumbling mansion and carefully restored it while preserving its antique details, such as elaborate frescoes and carved wooden ceilings.

French investors then bought the property and used their knack for hospitality and a commitment not to polish away the property’s history to create one of the most authentically historic hotels in Cartagena. The cavernous mansion has only eleven guest rooms, all of which are different, set around a double interior courtyard and garden with a reflecting fountain, al fresco restaurant, sitting areas, an outdoor bar, small spa and a large swimming pool shaded by a massive mango tree. There is so much space that even when Casa Pestagua is full (which is often) it’s still possible to find an appealing corner to retreat to with a good book or a good friend.

Details like wood floors, beamed ceilings, antique furnishings (many from the original house), tapestries and salvaged gilt mirrors add to the atmosphere. This is clearly a house with history but modern comforts such as mini-bars, Wi-Fi, TVs and safes have been incorporated along with vast marble bathrooms. As one of the owners pointed out, the building has been saved but not sanitized. Minor water damage, small cracks and other natural ravages of time are managed but not erased, giving Casa Pestagua a feel of authentic aged beauty.

Who Should Stay

History and antiques lovers and anyone who values privacy, peace and individual service in a hotel that may not be perfectly polished but that feels like home in the middle of the walled city.

Written by Karen Catchpole

What's Nearby

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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