My readers may remember Dr. Richard Eljadue Martinez, DDS one of the dentists profiled in Hidden Gem. He still maintains an active dental practice in the heart of Cartagena.
Dr. Eljadue also has a small hotel, Portal de San Diego in the middle of the historic district of the El Centro district. (This is where I have been staying during my return visit to Cartagena – and as you should know by now, No – not for free – that’s not my style*.)
Portal de San Diego
Calle 2nd (segundo) de Badillo No 36 – 17
Portal San Diego is a charming hotel, a typical property with just a few rooms in the heart of one of the most interesting areas in Cartagena. It is more than miles away from the high rises of Bocagrande and the modern, all access beach resorts lining the coastal highway – it is a world away. The rooms are clean, comfortable and European in style – fast internet, hot water and air conditioning make it the perfect hideaway for a writer like myself with a myriad of nearby restaurants and cafes to supplement the complimentary breakfast. It’s been such a nice place to relax and write while I’ve been here in Cartagena that it would be a crime not to mention it.
Since my first visit to interview Dr. Eljadue – he has added a small bar, Bar del Portal aside the hotel. It’s a cozy, intimate sort of place, with a retro early 1960’s feel; everything is sparkling clean with crisp lines, and cool lighting. Frank Sinatra or any of the Rat Pack would be perfectly at home in its relaxed atmosphere. Normally the music is pure Colombiano – but for me, they’ve added a bit of Puerto Rican Reggeaton to the playlist.
One of the bartenders, Jesus (not pictured) looks a lot like the singer, Prince when he was younger and we joke about that as we sip Aguila and enjoy the evening.
*I do not accept gifts, payments or gratuities from any of the physicians or dentists profiled. *