Despite growing competition, the 30-room Casa San Augustin, which opened in 2012, is Cartagena’s most desirable small hotel. Three 17th-century colonial mansions combine to form an exquisite and intimate space with a soothing Andalusian theme. Romantic white-on-white rooms with canopied beds, furnishings crafted from exotic hardwoods, beamed ceilings, and mosaic-tiled bathrooms are spacious and feature all the amenities and flawless service that you would expect of a five-star hotel. Premium rooms have a private plunge pool. A historical aura permeates the hotel’s art-filled public spaces adorned with original frescoes. From heavenly massages to delectable breakfasts, refreshing dips in the L-shaped pool, and fine cocktails at the chic Alma restaurant—one of the city’s finest—Casa San Augustin is a haven of impeccable taste and understated luxury. If money is no object, the huge Virrey Suite (US$1,050) has separate living and dining areas, two large balconies with lovely rooftop views, and an outdoor plunge pool.