In one of the most beautiful, well-preserved cities in the Americas, Cartagena de Indias, located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea in the north of Colombia, groups will find colonial architecture, vivid nightlife, fascinating culture festivals and lush landscapes, as well as several archipelagos and islands ideal for feeding one’s soul.
And what does this port city offer the MICE industry? “This city,” says Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country part of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, “is revolutionizing the regional meetings industry by mixing its broad background and expertise hosting world-class events, with its unparalleled cultural offer. Cartagena is also an ideal destination for incentive travel thanks to its advanced infrastructure and wide meaningful experiences offer for this sort of tourism.”
In this charming city one finds the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. Located in the city’s historical center, this hotel is an exemplary venue for small groups that want to embrace the destination’s heritage. Built in 1621, it was originally a convent, and over the centuries has served as a charity hospital, prison and medical school. Today it’s one of Cartagena’s loveliest five-star properties ideal for intimate-sized groups looking to mix business with local immersion.
The 125-room and -suite hotel features gourmet cuisine, a world-class spa, exquisite decor and an array of unique meeting spaces for planners who want to offer their attendees something a little different. For example, the Salon Santa Clara (for up to 300 persons) was the old convent chapel and displays a beautiful transverse arch. In the very intimate Salon la Espadaña—which is located next to the chef’s garden—the group’s VIPs (up to 11) can meet around an imposing imperial table or in the cozy lounge area. The Salon Sol, meanwhile, has space for up to 45 people, and can be used for a teambuilding experience such as a dance class. Salon Luna might be just the space to host an intimate themed coffee break (it holds 24 people), while Gran Salon Clarisas (for up to 48) is the place to opt for an exclusive dinner with its high ceilings and wooden beams. —Paloma Villaverde de Rico