Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and San Francisco Investments to Revitalise Three Iconic Architectural Gems in the Historic Heart of Cartagena
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, and San Francisco Investments, a subsidiary of Valorem, a business group with ownership of Colombia’s leading players in media, entertainment, retail and renewable resources, announce plans to open a luxury hotel and private residences in Cartagena, one of South America’s most historic and attractive seaside cities.
Located on the doorstep of Cartagena’s historic walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Cartagena will revitalise and restore several culturally significant buildings dating as far back as the 16th century, including the Cloister of Saint Francis (Claustro de San Francisco) that includes the 16th-century Saint Francis Church; the Club Cartagena, a 1920s Beaux Arts masterpiece; and four renowned theatres, Teatro Cartagena, Teatro Calamarí, Teatro Bucanero and Teatro Rialto. These buildings will be brought to life once again through a careful restoration aimed at preserving the iconic facades and historic architecture. Nestled within the lively Getsemaní neighbourhood, the Hotel and Private Residences will provide guests and residents with convenient access to Cartagena’s vibrant culture and entertainment scene, and its picture-perfect architectural landmarks.
For those looking to explore the Caribbean seaside and island beaches, the nearby Bodeguita Pier allows guests to embark on adventures to Barú Island or the famed Colombian archipelago Islas Corales del Rosario. Business travellers will also have direct access to the city’s convention centre located adjacent to the Hotel.
“We are proud to partner with the iconic Four Seasons brand to build a new luxury Hotel and Private Residences in the vibrant city of Cartagena,” says Carlos Arturo Londoño, President, Valorem. “Paired with Four Seasons exceptional service, the newly restored Hotel and Private Residences will be the most sought-after destination to live and visit and will transform the hospitality landscape in Cartagena.”
“This new Hotel and Private Residences is the perfect project for us to expand our presence in South America, providing us with the rare opportunity to convert such an exceptional collection of historic buildings within a marquee location in one of the region’s most alluring cities,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development and Portfolio Management, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with our partners at Valorem, we look forward to bringing the very best in luxury hospitality to Cartagena.”
With interiors designed by François Catroux and Wimberly Interiors, the new Hotel will feature 131 rooms, including a Royal Suite and a Presidential Suite boasting 4,200 square feet (390 square metres) and 3,500 square feet (325 square metres) of living area respectively. The Hotel will offer six unique AvroKO-designed food and beverage concepts with both indoor and terrace dining as well as the stunning atrium lounge at the heart of the Club Cartagena. The rooftop pool will offer clear views of the Cartagena Bay and the ancient walled city where guests can enjoy the pool bar and grill while relaxing on private cabanas and day beds. A signature Four Seasons spa as well as fitness centre will also be available for those yearning to relax and rejuvenate their body and mind.
Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Cartagena will also include approximately 16 Private Residences, the first branded residential alternative in the Historic District marked by the highest levels of personalised Four Seasons service. The Hotel will also include 16,000 square feet (1,485 square metres) of meeting and event space, all of which located inside splendid historical spaces.
Founded in 1997, Valorem leads a business group that grows profitably and sustainably by investing in companies in the services industry with the view to transform and elevate them with disruptive business models, leveraged on its talent and corporate reputation.
As of December 2017, Grupo Valorem’s assets and sales were USD 1.2 billion and USD 1.3 billion respectively (based on ownership in subsidiaries). Current portfolio includes:
- Caracol Televisión is a private open-air television channel with the highest rating in Colombia. Caracol Next is Colombia’s number one digital content publication network, according to Comscore.
- El Espectador is the oldest newspaper in the country and is recognised for its independence, credibility and objectivity.
- Cromos, with 102 years of circulation, is a prominent magazine with focus on fashion, lifestyle, in-depth journalism and photojournalism.
- Cine Colombia is the largest film exhibitor and distributor in Colombia.
- Koba is the owner of Tiendas D1, the largest and fastest growing hard discount chain in Colombia.
- Refocosta has a complete line of timber products from renewable forests with FSC certification in addition to providing forestry and environmental compensation/mitigation services. The company is also becoming a relevant player in the renewable-energy space.
- Ditransa provides national and international cargo, imports and exports, and last-mile services.
About Four Seasons Historic Hotels
The Four Seasons collection of unique and architecturally important heritage hotels includes buildings whose origins range from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries:
- Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá, designed in 1946 by famed Medellin-born architect Santiago Medina Mejia whose characteristic stained glass windows adorn the exterior
- Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, sensitively adapted over ten years from two Renaissance palaces and set in an idyllic 11-acre (4.5 hectare) garden
- Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, an Art Nouveau landmark in the remarkable city of Budapest
- Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, housed in a century-old neo-classical prison
- Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, transformed from a nineteenth century former Ottoman palace
- Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, the legendary eight storey landmark built in 1928
- Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, a fully restored 19th century palace
- Four Seasons Hotel Prague, comprised of several riverside multi-era buildings
- Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, formerly the iconic Hotel Moskva
- Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, the Côte d’Azur’s most legendary palace hotel, originally opened in 1908
- Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, the former social club that hosted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra, originally opened on New Year’s Eve 1930 and re-opened as a Four Seasons experience in 2017
- Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, the former Port of London Authority, a Grade II listed heritage building overlooking the Thames River
- Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, formerly the famed Astir Palace on the Astir Peninsula a short drive South of Athens
Upcoming historical restorations include the first Four Seasons standalone residential project located in the former home of the US Naval Forces at London’s most historic address, Twenty Grosvenor Square; and the first Four Seasons in Spain housed in a series of heritage buildings comprising the Canalejas complex in Madrid.