Hotels from boutiques to major chains are opening in Colombia, including new entries from brands such as InterContinental, Hilton, Sofitel, Sonesta, Ibis, and Wyndham.

“In recent years, Colombia has achieved international recognition as a tourism destination,” says Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport Colombia. “Between 2009 and 2011, the country opened more than 1,600 new hotel rooms, emphasizing confidence in Colombia and the hotel industry.”

Here is a sampling:

Cartagena
A UNESCO Historical and Cultural World Heritage Site bordering the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena offers Colonial charm and modern architecture, and as such is attractive for incentive groups. New hotels include:
Holiday Inn Cartagena Morros
is IHG’s seventh property in the country. The newly built hotel has 140 rooms with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. It is located near Rafael Núñez International Airport and about five miles from the Old City of Cartagena. Offerings include five conference rooms, two boardrooms, a business center, fitness center, pool and full-service restaurant with Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine.
Sonesta Hotel Cartagena has 118 rooms and meeting space for up to 250 guests.
Estelar Playa Manzanillo has 194 guest rooms and three meeting rooms.
Las Americas Hotel offers 250 rooms in its traditional Caribbean hotel, Las Americas Casa de Playa, and 279 rooms in its new modern hotel, The Americas Torre del Mar. The resort’s convention center accommodates 2,000 guests in its ballroom plus additional indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.
The InterContinental, set to open in 2013 with more than 282 rooms.
The Sheraton Cartagena, also opening in 2013, joins its sister property in Bogota.

Established hotels in Cartagena include the Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara, built in a restored monastery with 119 guest rooms and seven boardrooms, and the 341-room Cartagena Hilton, with its own convention center that includes a Grand Ballroom seating 1,500 guests plus 14 other meeting rooms.
Other Cartagena meeting venues include the Heredia Theater, built in 1625 as La Merced Church, and recently restored as a theater, with top-of-the-line technological features.

For teambuilding and adventure events, the archipelago Islas del Rosaro, with 23 islands, is 45 minutes away by boat. by the name of Islas del Rosario It features white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and one of the most important coral reefs on the Caribbean Coast.

Bogota
Called the “City with a Heart,” Colombia’s cosmopolitan capital, Bogota, is a popular for both business and leisure travel. By 2014 there will be 2,253 new rooms in Bogota. Among them:

Sonesta Bogota has 126 rooms and 2,600 square feet of meeting space.
JW Marriott Bogota has 239 rooms and more than 5,800 square feet of meeting space in 11 meeting rooms.
Ibis Bogota Museo Hotel has 216 rooms in Bogota’s largest business district
Bogota Hilton, has 245 rooms in Bogota’s North District. The hotel’s 10,000 square feet of meeting space includes a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and 8 meeting rooms.
Aloft Bogota Airport Hotel with 142 guest rooms and 1,000 square feet of meeting space in two rooms.
NH Parque de la 93 with 137 guest rooms and four meeting rooms for 12 to 120 attendees.

Aside from the city’s various hotels, those looking for creative settings to stage an event could consider the Gold Museum, or the elegant National Museum, housed in a 19th-century fortress that can accommodate up to 350 guests in its auditorium. The Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, which contains an auditorium and convention center with capacity for up to 800 attendees, in addition to a food hall that accommodates 300 guests.

Cali
Known as “The Salsa Capital of Colombia,” Cali is the country’s third-largest city. Among its hotels are:

Hotel Spiwak Chipichape, Cali’s first five-star property opened in late 2010 in the heart of Cali’s developing business and commercial district with 226 suites and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
InterContinental with 320 rooms and 18 meeting rooms including the Gran Salon Ballroom.
Four Points by Sheraton with 181 guest rooms and more than 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
Mercure Cali Casa del Alférez Hotel with 60 rooms and 4 meeting rooms for up to 60 delegates.

Medellin
As the second-largest city in Colombia, Medellin is known as the city of “Eternal Spring,” and as a city with great gastronomic and commercial offerings. Hotel news includes:

Four Points by Sheraton with 123 guest rooms and five meeting rooms, the largest of which is 180 square feet.
InterContinental, with 294 rooms that overlook the entire city from the property’s lush location in El Poblado. The hotel has more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom that seats 1,300 guests for a banquet.
Medellin TRYP by Wyndham, with 140 rooms including junior suites and TRYP by Wyndham's signature family rooms. There are four divisible meeting rooms, the largest of which holds 260 for a reception.
As one of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial cities in South America, Medellin possesses Colombia’s best public utilities infrastructure in the country. Visitors can ride the urban cable car to Arvi Park, which celebrates nature as well as the wealth of social, cultural, and gastronomical heritage found in the region. The modern Explora Park has 236,720 square feet of indoor activities and more than 161,000 square feet of outdoor public areas, adding up to 300 interactive experiences to choose from. The park features an aquarium, exhibition halls, an auditorium for 3D movies, a children's salon, a TV studio, as well as theme rooms that delve deep into Colombia's natural richness.

Barranquilla
Sonesta Hotel Barranquilla, with 126 guest rooms, a full-service business center, and 2,600 square feet of meeting space, the hotel is 450 miles north of Bogota overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Colombia’s Coffee Triangle
Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle encompasses three mid-sized cities: Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindio, all of which are close to each other with their own airport and infrastructure for mid-sized events. Visitors have the opportunity to get to know coffee farms and natural parks in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Colombian geography. A few popular meeting spaces include the Expofuturo Fair, Exhibit and Convention Center; the Recinto Del Pensamiento Convention Center, Los Fundadores Cultural and Convention Center, and the Hotel de Pereira Convention Center.

Situated on the northwestern tip of South America and in the geographic center of the American continent, Colombia is positioned at one of the world’s crossroads. Learn more about the country as a meetings and incentives destination by visiting the Colombia Travel Web site.