Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
This 121-room luxury hotel, the Old City's first, is carved from the shell of a 17th-century convent in the quiet San Diego neighborhood. The older section—17 stately, recently renovated suites with high ceilings that face onto the courtyard gardens and its colorful toucans—is grand enough to host a head of state. The other 105 rooms in the 1930’s addition are comfortable, if undistinguished, and many have views of the sea and Cartagena's city walls. The Santa Clara recently upped Cartagena's already impressive dining ante by opening of 1621 Restaurant. Housed in the convent’s former refectory, it serves Latin-Americanized Mediterranean fare in a distinctly French ambience (even the waiters greet you en Français), and boasts over 250 labels of wine from Europe, South America, and beyond.