Locals’ Guide Bogota Colombia in Zona Rosa, Bogota, Colombia
Global Yodel recently had the opportunity to stay at Boheme Royal in Bogota, Colombia. The hotel is located in Zona Rosa, a neighborhood overflowing with restaurants, pubs and shops. It’s the perfect home base while exploring Colombia’s up-and-coming capital. After years of civil war, Bogota residents are eager to show off their city to visitors. The Boheme Royal’s super-attentive bilingual staff will help you plan activities, book transfers and make reservations. They also make a delicious breakfast buffet, complete with local dishes like arepas, tamales and plantains. The hotel feels luxurious but is surprisingly high value.
We sat down with general manager Henry Tobon to learn more about Bogota and the Boheme Royal.
Name: Henry Tobon
Occupation: General Manager Boheme Royal Hotel
Preoccupation: Traveling around the world
Tell us about the history of Boheme Royal. How did it all begin?: This hotel was founded in 1991. It is the third hotel of Hoteles Royal, a Colombian chain with locations in Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena, and also Ecuador and Chile. The surrounding neighborhood was originally residential but now it’s a very famous area called “Zona T” and “Zona Rosa” and filled with restaurants.
What is unique about Boheme Royal?: The staff. We give the best of ourselves to our guests. We want them to feel like they are part of our family. We work with passion, love, satisfaction, commitment, happiness, service and we have experience.
How did you end up working at Boheme Royal?: I have worked in the hotel industry for 13 years. First I worked with an international chain in Medellin and then I started to work with Hoteles Royal 11 years ago as Sales Executive, later a Sales Manager and now as General Manager of Boheme Royal.
How many rooms are there?: We have 66 rooms in total, 44 are Superior Rooms, 14 are Business Suite Rooms and 8 are Suite Royals.
What are the best restaurants, bars or attractions near the Boheme Royal?: We are in the best location in Bogotá. We are near Andres D.C. Restaurant; this is one of the icons of the city. Other restaurants include Club Colombia, famous for its Colombian food; Balzac, Luna and Di lucca with Italian food; Watakushi with Japanese food and La Brasserie with French food. We are close to the most important malls of the city.
What is it like living in Bogota?: Bogotá is a cosmopolitan city with a population of eight million people. It is the capital of Colombia and has a subtropical highland climate; the average temperature is 14.5 °C (58 °F). It is a friendly city and you can find many things to do during the day and also the city has very good nightlife.
What is the biggest misconception people have about Bogota?: The biggest misconception people have about Bogota is that it’s unsafe. They don’t realize that this is a great city; we are lovely, helpful, and happy people, and this is a safe city that everyone can enjoy without fear.
Describe your perfect day in Bogota: Enjoy its parks and climate. Go to the malls, drink a Colombian coffee in Juan Valdez and have a great lunch in the “Zona T”. Then you can go to “La Candelaria” and at night go to the theater. If you are here during the weekend you must go to the bike path around the city.
What are the best day trips from Bogota?: Monserrate is built on the summit of a mountain 3,200 meters high. The mountain top offers the best panoramic view of Bogotá, there is also a handicrafts market, good cafes and a couple of excellent restaurants. You can get to the top by funicular or by cable car. Also, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture. It represents a valuable cultural, environmental and religious patrimony.
What is the perfect meal in Bogota?: The typical meal in Bogotá is “Ajiaco”, a soup with potato, chicken, rice, avocado and corn.
What is a little known fact about Bogota?: It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas, not only in Colombia, but also in South America.
What are your three favorite places in the world?: Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and Playa del Carmen.