Selina Cartagena Review + Tour

Did you know Colombia has some of the most stunning sunsets in the world? The Selina Cartagena rooftop is one of the best spots in the city to view them! 

This location is a can’t miss if you visit Cartagena along your travels and the Selina Cartagena is the best coworking spot in town. I stayed nearly three weeks at this Selina location as part of their Colive package and will happily return. 

Selina Cartagena Highlights

Pros:

  • 2 Rooftop Bars + Restaurants
  • 2 Rooftop Pools
  • Great Location- Walkability!
  • Great Security
  • Best Coworking Spot in the City

Cons:

  • Bar + Restaurant Service is Poor
  • Music can be Heard in Some Rooms
  • May have to Cross the Road to get to Your Room
  • Social Activities can be Disconnected
  • No Overflow Bathrooms

Selina Cartagena Overview

The uniqueness of this Selina location is that it is in two separate buildings across the street from each other. Each building has unique offerings- like each building has its own rooftop bar and restaurant, each has a rooftop pool, and both buildings have guests rooms. 

Other amenities, like the coworking space, and shared kitchen are located in just one building where guests may have to cross the street to access them. 

We’ll breakdown each amenity by building so you know what to expect!

Both buildings and all amenities, except the cowork space, are open and available to all Selina Cartagena guests no matter which building their room is located in. Which means double the choices nearly every day!

This Selina location offers everything travelers and digital nomads may need with additional experiences that make this location really stand out.

Selina Cartagena Location: Getsemani  

The location of this Selina cannot be beat for easy walking access to Cartagena’s top three sights: The historic City Centre, the trendy and lively Getsemani neighborhood, and access to the harbor where many boats for day tours to the islands and beaches depart. 

Ubers and taxis were rarely needed other than the airport, which is not far, or to a particular beach location. Selina guests can walk to almost everything in under 10 minutes.

Safety at Selina Cartagena

As a solo female traveler, safety is always top of mind and Cartagena is one of the safest cities in Colombia.  While safety can never be a guarantee in Colombia, I felt comfortable walking around the local areas, including the historic city center and Getsemani alone both day and night during my stay. 

In addition to being a generally safe area, each Selina building has its own security guard a the front door 24/7. Non- Selina guests visiting guests rooms, cowork, or the rooftop clubs must check in at reception before being permitted and are not allowed in the buildings after hours. 

Ambiance of Selina Cartagena Buildings A and B

The guests rooms in both Building A and B are similar in decor and style, but the internal courtyards of the buildings are quite different, and the ambiance on the rooftops couldn’t be more different.

Building A opens up to a high-level ceiling with draping greenery and vines. Along each floor level are rail edges painted in blue to pop against the white interior walls. 

Building B’s center is part grand staircase and the open area is used as seating space on level 2 and for a hanging chandelier art from floors 3 and 4. 

Selina Cartagena Bars + Restaurants

With two bars and restaurants with different rooftop ambiance- Where do we start? Selina guests get the best of two worlds with this dual building set up .

Building A Restaurant + Bar: Corriente Latina 

The rooftop restaurant, bar and pool atop Building A, Corriente Latina, boasts vibrant pops of color and stunning view across the Cartagena harbor and skyline. 

This rooftop is where guests enjoy can take in the open air while enjoying their breakfast, then switch seats to a lounger and laze your day away poolside.

As the sunsets, choose from two levels of view spots here as the day fades off behind the harbor waters. Guests can take in the sunset form the mail level near the pool, or go up the hidden staircase to a second level for an even clearer elevated view. 

At 6p, guests can enjoy their free welcome drink at Corriente Latina and dance the night away to the almost nightly DJs spinning dance music along the rails. 

Building B Restaurant + Bar: Tacos La Neta

Across the road you’ll find a more chill morning vibe that turns alternative and rock in the evenings. 

Tacos La Neta, the rooftop restaurants and bar in Building B, is a quieter morning spot. When weather permits, guests can take in a morning yoga class from the rooftop as no breakfast is served on this side. 

Adorned by waving banners and wicker lampshades, the rooftop of Building B is a whole different world.

In the late morning, the energy steps up as alternative rock music begins playing when guest start arriving for pool side lounging. This rooftop offers a slightly larger pool and more pool loungers than Building A. 

If the music is playing then you know you can order your fave Mexican favorites like burritos, tacos, and guacamole. As the day fades into the night, live bands playing rock and alternative, and the occasional throw back, will be leading the dance floor. 

Activity Center: Club Selina 

The activity center at the Selina Cartagena is loving referred to as Club Selina. Located on the backhalf of Building A acts as the Activity Center for larger events and is available to rent as a private space. 

In the cooler months and when the rooftops are unavailable, events happen in Club Selina inside Building A. This is where guests can enjoy yoga classes in the off season as well as professional events like digital nomad networking and skill share presentations.  

Ready to Book at Selina Vila Madalena?

Shared Community Kitchen

Club Selina is exclusively in Building A, and the shared kitchen is the amenity exclusive to Building B. 

The large, open concept kitchen and dining area makes this a useable, social, and a great place to dine in. 

Chefs can prep and prepare food across two long counter tops or the large center island. The kitchen is well stocked with two sinks, and two stoves (Confirm).

When you are ready to enjoy your cuisine, choose from table or booth seating under the basket decor lamps. 

Kitchen cleanliness was well kept and the open L shape made it easier to spot the utensil or plate you’re looking for.  

Selina Cartagena Coworking

The cowork space at Selina Cartagena is the best in town due to its combo of great wifi, air conditioning, and endless views and coffee.

The Selina Cartagena coworking space is a dual level space offering beautiful views of the harbor and an open patio.

Each level of the Selina Cartagena Cowork space has a variety of work areas to choose from.  There are plenty of hot desks and outlets, as well as designated seating, a series of phone booths and a meeting room.

If you’re looking for more information on the Selina Cartagena coworking space, check out our in-depth article where we explore pricing, wifi speeds, and amenities. 

Coworking is an additional charge for guests not visiting under a CoLive or CoLive Flex package. Access passes are available on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

The Library

Insider Info:

There is a hidden gem at the Selina Cartagena for guests looking for a quick and easy place to read a book or write that quick email- and it’s free to all guests! 

The hidden secret is the small library on the second floor of Building A. While partially visible to guests as they walk through Building A, this area remains hidden because guests don’t know how to access it. 

Access to the Library: The portion of the library visible is along the back wall. The entrance, however, is along the side wall on the right

Next to the luggage storage area on the main floor of building A is a narrow staircase that looks like it leads to nowhere. If you go up that staircase and turn at the top, will find yourself in the Selina Cartagena Library. 

Along the wall of the library is a large variety of books for the Selina book exchange where you can take a book to read, and leave one when you’re done. There is also a seating area with two pull up tables, a rushed chair in the corner, and mini bench. 

Selina Cartagena Reception

The reception area at Selina Cartagena is a hub of energy! Guests staying in both buildings check in at Building A. The former check in in Building B is now a set up tour and event displays.

The well-staffed desk is a multi functional area assisting guest with check in, but also laundry pick up and drop off, and it functions as the tour and activity desk. This is by far the busiest Selina front desk I have ever seen and is often staffed by 2-4 workers at a time to accommodate.

Like all Selina locations, there is a 24/7 grab and go section of snacks and beverages in the reception area. This grab and go offers i guests more healthy snacks like nuts and granola in addition to chips and cookies. 

Luggage storage is available at this location. There is a luggage storage room near the back of Building A that is locked at all times and is accessible only with one of the security guards. 

Guest Rooms at Selina Cartagena

Let’s take a look at the rooms here at the Selina Cartagena. Room quality and style did not vary much between the two buildings with just a few minor differences. So don’t worry which building you may get assigned to. 

Building A, the one with all the plants, is where the suites, standard rooms and a few dorms are. Standard rooms are on floors 2 and 3 with dorms and some standards on the first floor. 

Selina Cartagena Rooms Overall

Windows to the outside are rare at any room level at Selina Cartagena due to the building structures being up against the neighboring buildings. 

The best chances of a room with a true window, is in the back corner of each building and is not guaranteed. 

Don’t worry, the rooms do not feel dark or small. They all have white walls and trendy decor to make teach room feel welcoming and many have a window that opens to the hallway. 

Cleanliness

I did not have any concerns regarding the upkeep and cleanliness of the rooms or shared bathrooms at Selina Cartagena. Rooms and restrooms are cleaned daily. There was exceptional extermination as well. 

Dorm + Community Rooms

The dorm rooms on this side were different from the dorms in Building B in two ways, many had a series of about 5-8 steps to walk up once inside the room’s door as opposed to a straight flat entrance like the dorms in building B. 

The dorms in Building A are smaller more intimate dorms holding 4 or 6 guests and are all located on the first floor. Where the larger dorms of 8+ guests are in Building B and are located on floors 3 and 4.

All dorm rooms in both Buildings have their own bathrooms so only your roommates in your rooms are sharing with you.

There is no sharing of dorm bathrooms with other rooms in either building, which also means there are no overflow or alternative bathrooms to use if your assigned bathroom is occupied.

Micro + Private Shared Rooms

Micro rooms, also know as semi-private or private-shared rooms, are private guest rooms that share a bathroom with other micro room guests.

Micros are offered at the Selina Cartagena but are exclusively in Building B. There are no micro rooms in Building A. Micros are on floors 3 and 4 of Building B. 

Micro rooms, however, do share a bathroom with about 2-3 other micros rooms. Each floor has a single bathroom of one toilet and shower for the micro rooms on that floor. With only one restroom and no over flow restrooms for the building or dorms, micro guests must wait till their restroom is free.

The Micro rooms here in Cartagena are larger in square footage than micros at other Selinas and it was a refreshing change. Micro room here has nightstands and overhead lighting in addition to an open area perfect for luggage. 

There was an inconsistency between micros rooms here on whether or not they included a clothing rack to hang clothes from in the room’s open area. Some had them. Others did not.

All micros at Selina Cartagena are internal rooms with a window to the hallway. So no natural light or great views- which is typical for the  micro room offering at Selina.  

Standard Rooms + Suites

Standard rooms were typical of standard rooms across Selina locations with plenty of open space, attached private bathroom and the occasional seating or desk area.

Standard rooms are located on the second floor of Building B, and across floors 2 and 3 of Building A. 

Insider Info:

Standard rooms on the second floor of either Building A or B provide the best quiet sleep as they are often the furthest from the rooftop evening events.  The rooftop music can go till midnight each night and later on the weekends. 

Standards rooms on the first floor of building A, while even further from the rooftop, are along the main walking routes in and out of the building so you may hear guests entering and exiting the building. 

Selina Cartagena Review

I enjoyed Cartagena greatly and my stay at the Selina was a large part of that enjoyment. I didn’t know what to expect upon my arrival and ended up having a great time- both at the Selina and outside it.

For the number of guests that stay at this location, there is room for improvement on better social activities, wellness offerings and service. This could be a major Selina location with a few minor adjustments.

The location, the decor, and ambiance are so fun and enjoyable it’s easy to look past these minor things and have a great stay.

The neighborhood is wonderful and full of energy. I loved wandering to find something fun to do or see- solo or in a group.

I will likely be back and will stay at the Selina Cartagena. Excellent location and the rooftops really cannot be beat.

I experienced challenges with the shared bathroom situation due to a lack of overflow restrooms, so when I return, I will get a room with a private bathroom.

I also love the energy and music on the rooftops each night too, but when I head to bed, I like quiet. So to reduce the noice in my room, I’ll request my room be on the second floor.

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you around the world soon! This has been Acacia for Adventure On the Side.

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