Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Bogota, Colombia

Old Jul 21, 15, 5:55 pm
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Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Bogota, Colombia

I'll be heading south in a couple of months and would like opinions of both these properties, location, security, accessibility to attractions/restaurants, would I need to rent a car, public transportation, taxis ok??? etc.
Thanks,
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Old Jul 21, 15, 6:00 pm
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I stayed at the JW a couple of years ago but was extremely impressed at the level of service. The security was good and I felt very comfortable walking around alone (I'm female) to the various nearby restaurants and the office
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Old Jul 22, 15, 9:41 am
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JW is in the financial district and closer to shops, restaurants, etc. The FS Marriott is by the airport and a taxi ride away from anything decent. If price isn't a factor stay at the JW, you'll be very happy.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 2:24 am
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JW for everything except airport access. Better in literally all respects - location, rooms, lounge, fitness center. Quite a nice property, really. One of the nicest lounges I've ever seen.

I would only choose Marriott for a quick overnight with easy airport access. JW is in Chapinero, IMO best area of Bogota to stay. Dollar very strong right now, so the fancy restaurants nearby are quite reasonable. Steak dinner at Harry's Bar for $40.

And as a sign of Bogota's return to normalcy, they no longer have bomb sniffing dogs at the door

Originally Posted by danola View Post
would I need to rent a car, public transportation, taxis ok???
Suggest you read up on Bogota. Rent a car=insane. Public transport? How's your Spanish and tolerance for crowds? Taxis? Yes and no.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Suggest you read up on Bogota. Rent a car=insane. Public transport? How's your Spanish and tolerance for crowds? Taxis? Yes and no.
Thanks for the JW recommendation - I've driven in Mexico City, Acapulco, Buenos Aires, so insanity is a state of mind...I wasn't planning on driving full time but maybe a one day rental to see something out of town. Fluent in Spanish but not a real fan of BIG crowds. Taxis - yes and no ???? why ???
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Old Jul 23, 15, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by danola View Post
Thanks for the JW recommendation - I've driven in Mexico City, Acapulco, Buenos Aires, so insanity is a state of mind...I wasn't planning on driving full time but maybe a one day rental to see something out of town. Fluent in Spanish but not a real fan of BIG crowds. Taxis - yes and no ???? why ???
Sorry for the cryptic response.

Taxis are cheap and plentiful. They can be dangerous. Not unheard of for pax to be held up at gunpoint and driven to ATMs to empty their accounts. Many people (including locals) will hesitate to flag one on the street, and instead only take one that's been called (which creates a record).

Taxis from the airport are safe. Taxis from your hotel are safe. Taxis you call are safe. There is some risk in flagging one down on the street (though I still do it - it's certainly not as bad as Cali, where it's considered borderline suicidal to flag one down).

If you've driven in Mexico City, Bogota would be similar, including day of week restrictions.

Public transit not a great option for tourists. The Transmilenio (bus rapid transit) is extremely overcrowded and serves limited routes.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 10:28 am
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I dont know the JW Marriott, but the FS Marriott always impressed me. The beds there are amazing! Location is a downer though.
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Old Jul 25, 15, 4:42 am
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JW Bogota is, with Sofitel, one of the best hotels in town.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 12:13 pm
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JW

JW is all around a class act. Service and rooms are excellent. Lots to do in the area and the "mall" is a short walk away with plenty to do.

Regarding taxi's - I agree with everyone else for the most part - If you have Internet access on your phone, get the app "Tappsi". As a female travelling solo with limited Spanish (I get by, just not fluent) I never felt unsafe.

If you have time to do some touring, I highly recommend the hotel service.
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Old Apr 3, 16, 6:16 pm
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I'm planning a May 2017 Galapagos vacation. We'll visit Quito, but now I'm thinking what else we might want to tack on to this trip. On previous S. America trips, we have visited Peru, Chile, and Argentina. So I'm considering stops in Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia before going on to Quito.

The homework I've done on Bogota seems to indicate that many of the tourist sites are in the Candelaria section of the city. Neither the JW nor the Marriott are located in that immediate area. But the gist from this thread seems to be that the JW is preferable to the Marriott.

A few more questions:
1. To get from/to the airport to either the Marriott or the JW, does this mean we should plan to take a taxi? Can someone give me an idea of the cost?
2. Am I understanding correctly that taxis either from the hotel or "hailed" via the phone app Tappsi are the best mode of transport for the tourist within the city?
3. I have an unlocked GSM phone that I use for international travel. Usually, in Europe, I just buy an inexpensive SIM card for the country I am visiting. Will this work also for Colombia? And will I still be able to call for a taxi from that phone even if it isn't a smartphone? (My USA service is with Verizon, so I think my other option might be to pay Verizon so that I can use my Verizon smartphone in Colombia.)

Thanks for any tips. These local hotel threads have been quite helpful when visiting other countries.

Searching this forum brings up 2 other short threads on Bogota:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marri...st-2013-a.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marri...y-reports.html

Last edited by GetawaysRus; Apr 3, 16 at 7:08 pm
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Old Apr 4, 16, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
A few more questions:
1. To get from/to the airport to either the Marriott or the JW, does this mean we should plan to take a taxi? Can someone give me an idea of the cost?
2. Am I understanding correctly that taxis either from the hotel or "hailed" via the phone app Tappsi are the best mode of transport for the tourist within the city?
3. I have an unlocked GSM phone that I use for international travel. Usually, in Europe, I just buy an inexpensive SIM card for the country I am visiting. Will this work also for Colombia? And will I still be able to call for a taxi from that phone even if it isn't a smartphone? (My USA service is with Verizon, so I think my other option might be to pay Verizon so that I can use my Verizon smartphone in Colombia.)
These really aren't Marriott questions, but here goes:

1. The Marriott is about a mile from the airport. They have a shuttle. The JW is 30-45 minutes away. A taxi will cost about $10 US. You can arrange transport through the hotel for a bit more, but they tend to use multi-passenger vans which I find not very comfortable.

2. Yes that's what people will tell you. There is a higher risk factor if you hail a taxi on the street. But people do it nonetheless.

3. Technically, you need a Colombian ID (cedula) to buy a SIM, but I believe the smaller shops will sell you one. Verizon has a $25/month international plan add-on that makes international service merely overpriced as opposed to prohibitively expensive.

And you didn't ask, but the JW is a better property for everything except ease of airport access.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 6:02 pm
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GetawaysRus - I agree with everything from Kacee. I'll just add some thoughts; you'll also see that I posted a trip review in one of those other threads for the JW and would recommend that over the Marriott if you want to sight-see.

1. Regarding a car; I had the hotel send a car to pick me up as I was arriving a bit late; they sent a very professional driver, who had a giant white 12-passenger van. I was the only passenger. Not luxurious, but a brand new van. Overall, I'd still arrange through the hotel for peace of mind but that's me. I also had the hotel arrange a return car, which was a more normal small SUV with a (again) very professional driver.

2. I was only on the ground one full day (mileage run) and wanted to sight see, which as you've found mostly means getting to Candelaria. I used a hotel car for the afternoon, which again removed any stress about finding a taxi, using an app, or the supposed concerns regarding safety of hailing a taxi. I don't recall how much I paid overall but was certainly MUCH less than a 3-hour car and driver in SF or NYC, I'm thinking in the $50-60 USD range. Another very professional driver, meaning a gentleman in a suit and tie. None of my drivers spoke English, which was not an issue for me visiting the known tourist sites but could be a concern in other situations.

3. For cell phone/data, I just stick with Verizon's international data-roaming, at $25/100mb not bad. I use the hotel wifi for uploading photos, etc. but good to have your familiar phone for Google Maps and quick research while you're away from the hotel. I had 5 dots LTE on Verizon the entire time I was there.

If you're there on a Sunday morning, and if you're remotely athletic, the Sunday Streets ("Ciclo via") goes right by the JW. Ask the doormen, they can arrange a bike for you. There were thousands of people out, all ages and types, families, etc., enjoying biking, walking, jogging on the city streets they close down. Really wonderful to see how popular it was - I was there on a balmy day in February; not sure about a humid day in August!

Last edited by Brucemcdou; Apr 5, 16 at 2:59 pm
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Old Apr 4, 16, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Brucemcdou View Post
I was there on a balmy day in February; not sure about a humid day in August!
It's never hot and humid in Bogota. The elevation's over 8600 feet. Bogota is either cold and rainy or crisp and sunny. Usually cold and rainy.
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Old Feb 22, 18, 10:18 am
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Marriott property in Bogota

Looking at a stopover in Bogota for 3 days on my way to Machu Picchu this summer. Which Marriott hotel is better as a combo of quality and location? The JW or the Bogota Marriott?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 22, 18, 10:38 am
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JW Bogota vs Marriott Bogota
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