An honest review: Crab Cay Boutique Lodge, Isla de Providencia
Some accommodation spots we stay in are really special; special enough that we feel they warrant a stand-alone post. So, for these, we’re going to be writing short reviews of our stay. Though you already know we loved our time there, we’re going to be honest about the good and the bad so that you can make your own decision about whether to visit. Our first review is of Crab Cay Boutique Lodge on Isla de Providencia, Colombia. Isla de Providencia is a Caribbean island owned by Colombia but closer geographically to Nicaragua, so you can expect those turquoise waters and white sands that so much of Central America is famous for.
While you’re in the area, don’t miss the following guides:
Our stays with Crab Cay Boutique Lodge (there were two!) were short but oh-so sweet. 3 nights at the hotel cost us 1.89mill COP (£379) for both a ‘deluxe double room with sea view’ and a ‘queen room with sea view’ as we brought a set of parents along for the ride both times. It boasts incredible views of the famous Crab Cay (or Cayo Cangrejo) – a quay that you can get to in 5 minutes in a boat or 15 minutes by kayak. Note that there are no accommodation options allowed on Crab Cay itself, so this is the closest you can get.
Being so far from mainland Colombia, Isla de Providencia has higher prices than the rest of the country, and hotels are no exception. One of the most expensive – and famous in the area – is Deep Blue Hotel. This is modern luxury, just a few doors down from Crab Cay Boutique Lodge. Non-guests can still eat in the restaurant (which serves delish food, but at UK prices) and sip cocktails on the jetty sunbeds. It has a definite honeymoon-for-Europeans vibe to it. Crab Cay Boutique Lodge is not only much cheaper, but carries a much more Caribbean homestay feel. It’s run by a local family of islanders who know Isla Providencia like the back of their hands.
There are 5 rooms for guests at Crab Cay Boutique Lodge, some of which have a second double bedroom within the suite (such as the queen room with sea view). There’s plenty of space to sun on the veranda or chill on the balcony in the shade. The place is adorned with colour in true Caribbean style, though perhaps the outside walls could now do with a new lick of paint.
Crab Cay Boutique Lodge: The good bits
Being the highest up building on this side of the rock, the view of Crab Cay is probably the best on Isla de Providencia. You can also see a fair chunk of Santa Catalina from the main balcony. Most of the rooms have a Crab Cay view.
The host, Jennett – this woman is AMAZING. We can’t thank her enough. Everything we asked for was made to happen with love and care; our entire 8 days on Isla de Providencia felt like they were guided by our very own personal travel assistant. We also met Jennett in San Andrés a month after our last stay so she could give me something I’d left in the room! Jennett’s father pops his head in from time to time; he’s one hell of a character with a long white beard to match!
The beds are HUGE. We could have fit the whole family on there, including step-siblings and grandparents. They’re comfy too!
The whole place feels really clean, and it’s clear that Jennett and her family feel real pride in keeping standards high.
Breakfast is simple, but after the fruit course your eggs are made to order with a number of ingredients to choose from. Jennett is a fantastic cook – one night she made us island-style lobster with homemade patacones, coco rice and juice for 50,000COP (£12) each.
If you’re wanting to get out for a meal, Deep Blue Hotel is just next door, and the restaurant really is excellent. It’s pricey, but worth every penny in our view.
Hot tubbbbb! This isn’t filled 24/7, and there is a small fee for the night unless you’re a larger group with a longer stay, but if you have a chance, sitting in the hot tub overlooking Crab Cay and Santa Catalina at sunset is an experience you won’t forget.
Crab Cay Boutique Lodge: The bad bits
Well, it’s no pain, no gain, and to get those incredible views you’re going to have to walk up some stairs. 93, to be precise. The climb up to the hotel unfortunately makes it unsuitable for those with difficulties walking far.
Crab Cay is situated on the rocky side of the island, where there are no beaches. However, Isla de Providencia is so small that if you have a moped or buggy this won’t be an issue, and in our opinion the views from the non-beach side more than make up for it.
It’s a little out of the way from the main town, which is either a good thing or a bad thing. The area is very quiet (bar the occasional reggae music from the neighbours, and there’s some construction work going on as of March 2019 which should hopefully be finished fairly soon). It’s either a 25-minute walk into town or you’ll need to get a 4,000 COP / £1 mototaxi. You can of course rent a moped (80k / £20 for 24 hours) or golf buggy (200k COP /£50 for 24 hours), which we highly recommend to access the beaches around the island.
Wifi is a no. In fact, to pay by card you have to go to the hotel next door as they have a card machine connection that’s less likely to cut out. For us, it was a nice chance to truly unwind.
Please note, this was in no way a gifted or subsidised stay with Crab Cay Boutique Lodge, and they did not ask us to write this review. We just loved our stay, and believe in spreading the word when we find a gem!
To reserve, contact Jennett at email@example.com.
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