THINGS PEOPLE ASK US
WHAT IS BLUE APPLE?
An 11 room boutique hotel and beach club born of the combination of years living in the French Riviera, holidaying in Ibiza and then not quite finding what we wanted here in Cartagena. Inspired by the legendary Anjuna in Eze, France, we are not a place only for the young, rather for the young at heart. For anyone who enjoys good food, good music, good wine and good company.
WHERE IS BLUE APPLE?
Bocachica, island of Tierrabomba. Around 25 minutes by boat from Cartagena, on southern shore of the island, facing the open sea.
WHAT'S THE ACCESSIBILITY LIKE?
Blue Apple is at the end of a 30 minute boat ride and a 200 metre sandy track. We are very sorry to admit that we are not wheelchair accessible and the hotel was not built with accessibility in mind. This said, we have welcomed guests of all abilities, mobilities and ages and most importantly, (just like if you were visiting a friend's home) our team is experienced in and willing to adapt anything we can to make your visit a delightful one, maintaining your independence and dignity. If you are differently abled and have questions, please reach out.
CHILL OR PARTY?
A little bit of both. Blue Apple tends to be quiet during the week, while weekends are livelier. There is always music and on Fridays, weekends and holidays we have a DJ who plays a mix of European and Latin house, reggae, champeta, soul and jazz. The vibe is beach lounge more than beach rave. Sometimes we have live music. Up to 150 people can stop by during the day. In the evenings it is always chill from 6pm onwards.
HOW IS THE BEACH & OCEAN?
Our beach has volcanic sand, which is not white like you'll find in the Rosario Islands, but it is natural, clean and leads out onto a wide ocean. The sea, like we people, changes with her mood, the weather and the season, ranging from turquoise in the mornings to slate grey on stormy days. Like all Colombian beaches, it is public, but is rarely used by anyone other than Blue Apple guests. The house reef is an excellent dive spot.
CAN I SNORKEL?
No. The beachfront at Blue Apple leads out to open ocean and although we have a house reef, it is at 6 metres and the surface water can be choppy. Much better to book a 1 hour scuba dive (no certification necessary) with our PADI certified Dive Center, Paraiso.
ARE CHILDREN & PETS WELCOME?
We love well-behaved children at Blue Apple during the week, but to allow all guests, including parents, a day of relaxation, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are only for the over-12s. (We bend this rule for members). We do not have children's menus, high chairs, a play area or a nanny service. Pets are welcome but bear in mind we have our own. If either child or pet causes a serious nuisance, we may ask you to remove them.
You cannot bring your own food and drinks. And, while every girl has the right to make a living, the only people making money here at Blue Apple, are Blue Apple: Sex tourism and prostitution are not tolerated. In summary: Have a good time, don't be a d*ck.
RESERVATIONS & GETTING HERE
HOW DO I BOOK A ROOM?
Online, right here.
HOW DO I BOOK FOR LUNCH OR THE DAY?
Online, right here.
CAN I PHONE?
You can try, but we have no signal on the island, so it is much easier for all of us if you stick to whatsapp.
HOW DO I GET THERE? DO YOU HAVE A BOAT?
Yes, we do. The journey takes 25 minutes from Cartagena on our boat.
WHERE DOES THE BOAT LEAVE FROM? WHAT TIME?
The boat departs from the Muelle de la Bodeguita in Manga at 10am, 12pm and 5pm.
CAN I COME IN MY OWN BOAT?
Yes, there is a dock about 200 metres from our gate. If conditions are a little rough or your yacht is too large to dock with us (lucky you), we might be able to send our boat to collect you. Just ask.
DO I HAVE TO RESERVE?
It’s always a good idea. This is especially true if you would like to come in our boat. Our boat has a limited capacity and if you’re not reserved and there’s no space, it’s a long wait until the next shuttle.
WHAT'S THE BOAT RIDE LIKE?
The water is usually smooth, and much calmer than the infamous Rosario Islands ride. In windy weather the sea can be choppy, but it isn’t white-knuckle. Getting on and off the boat requires some agility so please let us know if you have limited mobility.
DID SOMEONE SAY MOTORBIKE?
If the tide is very high or the sea is unusually rough, we use a dock in the village, around a mile from Blue Apple. From the dock to the hotel you will then ride pillion on a motorbike taxi. The journey is about 5 minutes. There is no additional cost, and the advantage is a quick view of the impressive historic fort as well as passing through the village itself.
WHAT ABOUT AIRPORT TRANSFERS?
From the airport to Blue Apple door-to-door is 1 hour. You should leave Blue Apple 3 hours before your flight departure time. We can arrange airport transfers both ways, please contact us.
FOOD & DRINK
WHAT'S THE CUISINE?
We take our eats SERIOUSLY and we are proud to be the only real culinary destination in the islands of Cartagena. Who said an island day doesn't have to be a gastronomic adventure? Forget deep fried fish and ceviche. We serve up what you don't see everywhere else. We are inspired by the Mediterranean but we work with local ingredients, so you could call it Mediterranean-Caribbean fusion. We aren't fully farm to table, but that's the general gist.
WHO IS THE CHEF?
Our kitchen was built by Chef Silvestre Saiz Cortazar, born and trained in Ibiza and raised in the kitchens of Bogota. Pedro Mosqueda has taken over the mantel of Executive Chef, having cut his teeth in some of the best restaurants in New York. We also run a Chef Residency and love to have talent from all over the world spend some time with us and leave their mark.
A lot of us have been vegetarian or vegan at some point and we are proud to have a decent offering for non-meat eaters. We know how many of you are lactose or gluten intolerant, so don't you worry - loads of gluten and dairy free here too (even our locally made Italian gelato). Our kitchen is not kosher or halal.
WHAT'S IN MY FOOD?
Mostly, local things! We are very conscientious about what we buy and what you put in your body. We only serve meat that is sustainably raised and ethically treated (including how far the animal travels to be slaughtered). Sometimes you'll eat meat raised right here at Blue Apple. We only serve seafood of adult reproductive size from a sustainable source. If you don't see beef or salmon on our menu, it's because we don't think its good enough for you or the planet. Some ingredients are imported from other regions or countries, but we measure our carbon footprint and do our best to mitigate our impact.
WHAT KIND OF DRINKS DO YOU SERVE?
We were the first beach club in Cartagena to have a wine list, so let's start there (and yes, we sell rosé by the magnum). Our cocktails are made with fresh juices and most of our gins, rums and beers are from right here in Colombia. We champion local, independent brewers and distillers. But sure, you can still get a bottle of Don Julio 1942 :)
LUNCH & DAY PASSES
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS AND HOW MUCH?
CLUB DAY PASS WITH BOAT TRANSFERS ($25)
Our most recommended option! You choose if you would like a sun lounger ($5 - $30) and then simply pay for whatever you eat and drink in the restaurant. On busy days, we have a minimum spend of 120,000 pesos per person.
ALL IN ONE CLUB DAY PASS WITH BOAT TRANSFERS & LUNCH ($65)
Includes a 2 course lunch (choosing from a reduced menu) and one cocktail. You'll still need to choose and pay for your sun lounger additionally. Of course you can buy additional food and drinks, too.
REGULAR RESERVATION WITHOUT BOAT TRANSFERS ($0)
Coming on your own boat and want to book lunch? You can choose to add sun loungers too. This is a great option if you're visiting the Rosario islands but want a decent meal. Stop by for a late lunch and enjoy the sunset.
WHICH SUN LOUNGER?
Poolside (near the music and action) or Beach (quiet, removed from everything). The bigger VIP sun beds and beach cabañas are suitable for 3 people laying down or for a group to use more like a base or table for the day. We recommend you choose your lounger or bed when you book, to avoid being disappointed when you arrive. If you don't choose a lounger or bed, you can enjoy a sofa lounge and your lunch table at no cost (subject to availability).
The beach club is open to day visitors from 11am - 6pm. Our restaurant is also open for dinner from 10am - 11pm and everyone is welcome.
WHAT TIME WILL I GET BACK?
Boats leave Blue Apple at 4pm and 5:30pm.
STAYING AT THE HOTEL
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE RATE?
Room rates are per room, based on two people sharing (unless otherwise specified), and include one day's access to the beach club and facilities (pool, volleyball, sun-lounger, towel service) per night booked. If you book direct with us, it also includes your transport by boat and your breakfast.
HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY?
We spent 5 months here during the pandemic and never got bored, so really it's up to you. There's lots to do (horse riding, scuba diving, mountain biking, boat trips to the islands, visits to other beach clubs, day trips to Cartagena) and loads more not to do (chill by the pool, get a massage, have lunch, chill on the beach). We recommend a 3 night minimum. 1 night is really NOT enough.
WILL I GET THE BEST LOUNGERS AT THE BEACH CLUB?
Your favourite sun-lounger will be reserved for you every day of your stay. No need to get up early and throw down your towel. On the day you check in, you can choose your lounger by booking it here (with your boat).
CAN I GO INTO THE LOCAL VILLAGE?
You can, and it will blow your mind. Bocachica is a village with no running water and no paved roads, but so much soul you won't believe it. Do not expect chic restaurants and bars. This is island life, dialled up to 100. Is it safe? Yes. But be respectful - leave the diamonds in the safe.
ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN FEES OR TAXES?
Foreign residents pay no tax on hotel accommodation. For Colombian residents, IVA has already been included. We charge a one off Carbon Offset & Social Impact contribution of 20,000 pesos (around $5) per stay which helps mitigate the CO2 from your boat ride and make the property zero waste.
CAN I DO ALL INCLUSIVE?
We offer full board with all food and soft drinks for $85 per person per night. We do not offer all inclusive bar. This is not Cancun.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY / LEAVE LATE AND ENJOY THE BEACH CLUB?
Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is by 11am but as long as we don't have a private event, you can enjoy the beach club before your check-in and until 5:30pm on the day you check-out. But we can only guarantee you one day per night booked. If we have a private event, we will let you know, and in that case you may only be able to arrive at 3pm or you may need to leave the property at checkout 11am. Early checkin and late checkout are subject to availability and carry a cost of 50% of your night's stay.
CAN I SHOWER AFTER CHECK OUT?
We have an outdoor shower for rinsing off sand and salt, and you can change in the bathrooms, but we do not have a full daytime shower room.
GROUPS, EVENTS & PRIVATE HIRE
WHAT'S THE MAXIMUM CAPACITY?
For daytime events, we receive groups of up to 250 people. Overnight, we have 11 rooms and up to 30 people can sleep on the property. In neighbouring hotels and private villas there is accommodation for up to 100 people.
HOW CAN I RESERVE FOR A GROUP?
For groups of 13+ people, you will need to contact us. We require advance payment and will also arrange a set menu with you before your arrival. If you're more than 70 people we require privatisation of both hotel and beach club. To organise your group reservation or private event, email us.
ARE BACHELORS / BACHELORETTES WELCOME?
A bit like pets and children, we love hosting well-behaved bachelors and bachelorettes. Ladies, you can even book a (tasteful) lap dance! We just ask you to let us know - in advance - what kind of a group you are. This will help us to arrange a great experience for you, while being considerate of our other clients. Please be aware that all the usual laws concerning drugs and minors apply and we don’t accept ladies of the night (even in the day). We reserve the right to refuse entry if you're not following the rules.
CAN I GET MARRIED AT BLUE APPLE?
Probably not, unless you're good friends with the owners. We don't host weddings, but we are the perfect place for the day before or after, with all your friends and family.
CAN I PRIVATISE THE WHOLE PLACE?
Without a doubt, Blue Apple is the best staffed and serviced villa in the islands of Cartagena, and it is available to rent out as a villa.
FULL PRIVATE HIRE:
Blue Apple is yours and yours alone. The popular choice for celebrities and rockstars. From $8,000 USD / night (F&B included)
Yours from 6pm - 11am, shared with others during beach club and restaurant opening hours. From $3,000 USD / night (Bed & Breakfast)
CAN I BRING MY OWN BOOZE?
Yes, but this option is only available for full privatisations, and we charge a corkage fee. We do not allow smaller groups to bring their own alcohol unless the circumstances are very special.
B CORP, SUSTAINABILITY & REGENERATION
WHAT IS A B CORP?
There are loads of sustainability certifications out there. We chose B Corp for two reasons. Firstly, because it still placed making money at the center of the operation - we are a for profit business in a capitalist world and we don't think sustainability should be philanthropy, rather a part of how we all do business. Secondly, because it places as much emphasis on social equality as environmental conservation. We believe strongly that humans who are healthy, happy, and well taken care of, are better placed to take care of our planet. It was also super rigorous and hard to achieve!
YOU SEEM LIKE A PARTY PLACE, HOW CAN THAT BE ECO-FRIENDLY?
Who decided that kindness and consideration had to be quiet or boring? We play music (lots of it from underrepresented groups) and we drink, then we recycle our bottles. Sustainability should be a part of every demographic's lifestyle, and every business, not just nature reserves and yoga retreats.
YOU SERVE ITALIAN BOTTLED WATER, WTF?
This has been the hardest thing of all to reconcile. Flying water around the world is frankly, outrageous. However, the folk behind San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna do do much more than any local water company to recycle their waste, support local communities (including our own non-profit, Green Apple) and promote responsible gastronomy in our industry, that the partnership feels right. It doesn't mean we won't campaign for them to produce Colombian SP one day! Colombian water companies, take note! It's also worth noting that as a priority, we offer all our guests local water from reusable containers - free of charge.
WHAT CAN WE FEEL GOOD ABOUT IF WE CHOOSE BLUE APPLE?
We hope, everything. With tips and bonuses, no one at Blue Apple takes home less than the established living wage in Colombia, and our lowest wage is a minimum of 15% above the national minimum. Most of our team are from the island and have been with us for years. 70% of what we spend stays in our local community and all the animals you eat here had a happy (antibiotic free) life and a trauma free death (as much as death can be trauma free). Our seafood is mostly local and occasionally imported, because we only serve from sustainable stocks which are responsibly run. No Chilean farmed salmon. The products in our store are from local businesses, mostly female and BIPOC owned, all with responsible production lines. About half our power comes from our solar panels, and we can recoup around 50% of the water we use, through our 100% natural wastewater treatment system. Oh, we are also 80% waste free. We won't even get into the Green Apple Foundation.
ARE YOU PERFECT?
Definitely not! We have A/C in the rooms. We still send half a ton of waste to landfill each month. We get everyone and everything here on fossil fuelled boats (which we offset, but still). Our kitchen garden isn't as productive as we would like. We've still got about 30% of our supply chain to improve. And then there's that Italian water...
We've been really lazy about measuring CO2, so that's the next big project. Add to that some serious work on biodiversity, professional development for staff and converting our boats do biofuel or electricity. It never ends...
BARTER - RESIDENCIES
WHO CAN APPLY?
Our residencies are not just limited to art. We also welcome yogis, chefs, photographers, environmental engineers. Anyone with a skill that can benefit us or our community. They're not for influencers though. Ever.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Send us a proposal. We get a ton of enquiries from people saying 'I'm great at marketing' and it's not enough. Tell us your skills, but also an idea of what exactly you think you can do for us and what you're looking for in return.
WHAT DO I GET?
Our base offering is board and lodging in our Pitahaya Cottage. The deal includes accommodation and 3 meals a day at Blue Apple (although the cottage has its own kitchen as well). The standalone bungalow cottage is set deep in the grounds of Blue Apple - about 8 minutes walk from the beach - and has A/C and hot water as well as a small living room.
CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME?
Yes, and either they also offer something, or they simply pay a stipend of $40 USD per day to join you.
HOW LONG IS A RESIDENCY?
From one week to one month.
WILL YOU PAY MY FLIGHTS?
CAN I GET ART MATERIALS THERE?
I'M WORRIED I'LL GET ISLAND FEVER?
Residents spending more than a week are welcome to enjoy the odd night in our sister property Townhouse, right in the center of Cartagena's Historic Walled City. You can also go to and from the city in our boats whenever you like at no cost.
CAN I GET THERE BY CAR?
No. We are on an island and there is no bridge. There are two options – a 30-minute boat ride or a 5-minute helicopter ride. If you’re interested in the chopper, speak with our friends at Galavanta.
CAN I BRING MY OWN FOOD FOR YOU TO COOK?
We aren’t going to lose it over a banana in your bag, but we do not allow guests to bring their own lunch and we do not prepare food brought in from other places without a very good reason and advance notice (real life examples: extreme allergies; strict kosher diet; small baby)
CAN I GET ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT, ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK?
No. We are not a Chinese restaurant in a suburban mall.
CAN I HAVE A DISCOUNT?
Lol, no. We don't ever compromise on quality, so please don't ask us to compromise on price. Our prices enable us to buy good quality ingredients, pay our staff fairly and maintain Blue Apple to the standards you expect.
HOW DO I GET THERE FROM LONDON?
We can't advise on the cheapest flight routes, however for convenience we do recommend Amsterdam - Cartagena with KLM or London - Bogota direct with Avianca. From Bogota you can use Avianca, LatAm, Copa or Viva Colombia (low cost) to get to Cartagena. There are around 30 flights a day.
YOU HAVEN’T REPLIED TO MY CALL / TEXT / EMAIL AND IT’S BEEN 5 MINUTES. SHOULD I PANIC / COMPLAIN / CONTACT PORTIA ON HER PERSONAL PHONE?
Try not to. Send us a WhatsApp and we promise will get back to you before the day is over. We reply to reservations enquiries between 9am – 9pm. Please do not send us abusive messages if we do not reply at 10pm. It will not help you to get a place at our table.
I LIVE OVERSEAS, CAN I GET TAX DEDUCTED?
8% food tax is applied on all food and drinks and is non-refundable. 9% sales tax (IVA) applies activities, souvenirs and hotel accommodation for Colombian residents. With the exception of hotel accommodation for foreign residents, we cannot remove these taxes. You can apply at the airport for a refund on IVA (19%) on activities and souvenirs. It takes about 2 months to be processed.
I NEED SOMETHING ROMANTIC, STAT.
Romance is alive and well at Blue Apple, we have a couple proposals a month these days. We can assist in planning your perfect beachside proposal, and help with all manner of romantic touches to make your stay with us extra special, just email.
CAN I GET THERE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT?
Between the hours of 7am – 5pm you can, It’s time-consuming, quite complicated but a real adventure, and a little cheaper too. Here's how!