things people ask us
What is blue apple?
A 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?
30 minutes by boat from Cartagena de Indias, on southern shore of the island of Tierra Bomba, facing the open sea.
relax 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 we are very proud of our soundtrack. On weekends and bank 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, too.
How many people will be there?
Our hotel sleeps up to 24 people in 10 rooms. During the day up to 100 people might have lunch at Blue Apple. For private events, we can host up to 200 people for a full-service lunch or dinner.
Are children 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).
What is the beach / water like?
The beach in front of Blue Apple is small, sandy and natural. The water is much clearer and more turquoise than any of the beaches in Cartagena, but it is not the kind of white sandy beach you find in the Rosario Islands. While a few of our enterprising neighbours might stop by to sell their wares, our beach is rarely used by anyone other than Blue Apple guests.
Is there good snorkelling?
The best people to answer this question are PARAISO DIVE, our onsite dive school.
Any rules I need to know?
Colombian law applies here with regard to illegal substances and minors, and while every gal has the right to make a living, for the comfort of all our guests, we do not tolerate prostitution.
reserving & getting there
How do I book a room?
Online, right here.
How do I book a daypass?
Online, right here.
can't 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 the internet.
How do I get there? Do you have a boat service?
Yes, we do. The journey takes 30 minutes from Cartagena on our boat.
Where does the boat leave from and at what times?
The boat departs from the Marina Santa Cruz in Manga at 10am, 12pm and 4.50pm. You MUST have a reservation to get on the boat.
Can I catch the boat from the old city / Pegasus Dock?We can drop you off in the Historic Centre at the Pegasus dock but we can't do pickups from there.
can I arrive 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, as we give priority to people with reservations. 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 hour and a half wait until the next shuttle.
How extreme is the boat ride?
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. We do not recommend taking the boat if you have recently had major surgery.
Did someone say motorbike?
If the tide is very high or the sea is unusually rough, we use a dock which is 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.
How do I get there from the airport?
We can arrange airport pick-ups, please contact us.
How much does it cost?
Transport to Blue Apple and back again costs 90,000 pesos (around $27) and includes use of our facilities - pool, a sun-lounger, towel service and the volleyball court and kayak. After that, you simply pay for whatever you eat and drink in the restaurant. We have a minimum spend of 100,000 pesos per person, and we do not allow guests to consume food and drinks from outside. SUPs can be rented for 10,000 pesos.
Can I reserve a beach bed?
Yes! We have beds for everyone and each bed comes with towel service. Let us know if you prefer to be by the pool (close to music), on the beach (quiet) or in the garden (secluded) when you make your reservation. Please be aware that priority of allocation goes to members and hotel guests, and then depends on a first-reserved, first-allocated basis.
Is it a fixed or all-inclusive menu?
No. We have an a la carte menu that allows our guests to enjoy exactly what they would like. We offer a wide range of food, including healthy, veggie and gluten free options.
How early can I get there?
If you’re coming in your own boat, you can arrive from 10am onwards. Our first boat pulls into Blue Apple at around 10:45am.
What time will I get home?
Boats leave Blue Apple at 4pm and 5:30pm, arriving in Cartagena between 30 – 45 minutes later depending on which dock you disembark at.
What’s included in my room rate?
Room rates are per room, based on two people sharing (unless otherwise specified), and include breakfast and access to the beach club and all of its facilities (pool, volleyball, snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, sun-lounger, towel service).
What’s not included in my room rate?
Transport to and from Blue Apple, residents’ taxes (19%), lunch, dinner, drinks and activities.
Can I reserve a lounger at / access the beach club?
Yes, and more! Your favourite sun-lounger will be reserved for you every day of your stay, including your day of check-in and check-out. No need to get up early and throw down your towel. You’ll also have unlimited access to all the other basic facilities of the beach club at no cost.
What can I do from the hotel? Can I go back and forth between Blue Apple and Cartagena?
If you’re worried about being stuck on an island, don’t be. We have around 20 different activities on offer from the hotel, and you can also do day trips back to Cartagena. Please see our activities page for more information.
are there other restaurants nearby?
Within walking distance, no. However there are options for lunch, reachable by boat or by land within around 30 minutes.
Do I have to pay sales tax (IVA) on my hotel room?
If you are resident in Colombia, you will be charged an additional 19% on the listed room rate. Sorry.
Do you offer a full board option?
Yes we do. Full board costs an additional $60 per person per day and includes breakfast, 2 courses at lunch, 2 courses at dinner and a soft drink with every meal.
Can I use the beach club on the day of check-in and check-out?
Absolutely. You can enjoy the beach club before your check-in and until 5:30pm on the day you check-out. We can store your belongings in reception where we also have a safe.
what time is check-in / check-out?
Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is by 11am. You are welcome to arrive early (on our 10am boat) on your check-in date and enjoy the beach club's facilities. On the day of check-out, if we do not have a private event, you are also welcome to stay all day and enjoy the restaurant and pool area.
Do you have a shower I can use after I 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
How do I make a group reservation (10+ people)?
For groups of 10-40 people, we require advance payment to guarantee the reservation. We will also arrange a set menu with you before your arrival. The package is 220,000 pesos per person which includes food, drink, beds and transport. If you're more than 50 people we require privatisation of both hotel and beach club. To organise your group reservation or private event, email us.
We are on a Bachelor / Bachelorette party. Are we welcome?
We welcome well-behaved bachelors and bachelorettes. 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, we don’t accept ladies of the night (even in the day) and we do reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who appears under the influence.
Can I get married at / privatise Blue Apple?
Blue Apple is available for privatisation and we are the perfect spot for an easy-to-organise friends and family day before or after your Cartagena wedding. We can also host beach weddings, working with your wedding planner. For more information on private hire, please email us.
Can we bring our own alcohol and pay a corkage?
Yes, but this option is only available for full privatizations, and we charge a one-off, unlimited corkage fee. We do not allow smaller groups to bring their own alcohol unless the circumstances are very special or the event’s host is a Blue Apple member.
I’d like to rent the whole hotel; how does it work?
You can contact us for a quote to rent all the rooms, and then simply let us know if you would like exclusive use of the whole place, or if you’re happy for other people to use the beach club during the day. Privatisation of the hotel alone costs from around $2,000 USD per night and complete, exclusive use of hotel and beach club costs from $6,000 USD per night.
How much does membership cost?
1,000,000 pesos per person per year. Membership is offered purely on an individual, per person basis. We do not offer family memberships.
I’m not a member, can I still come to Blue Apple?
Yes. However, at high season and holidays, you should know that priority reservations are always given to members and corporate members.
How many members do you have?
We have limited memberships to 150.
What benefits do I get as a Member?
As a member, your transport is free and there is no minimum spend when you're here. Your guests get a discounted boat-transfer, paying just 60,000 pesos for the round-trip. You also get priority reservations and fantastic rates on our hotel rooms. Join today.
Can anyone join?
No. You have to be recommended by two members, and we have ultimate discretion. Completion of the membership application form does not guarantee a successful application. Membership at Blue Apple is subject to approval.
things we never thought you'd ask, but you did, so here's our reply...
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 and will you heat it up?
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)
Does the 90,000 pesos include lunch?
No. The charge of roughly $27 dollars covers an hour in a boat, a swimming pool, a sun lounger, a beach towel, a kayak, giant games like Jenga and Connect-4, snorkels, a garden full of flowers to look at and a small army of people to take care of you (including a full-time playlist curator). We couldn’t fit a decent lunch into that budget as well.
Do you offer all-you-can-eat / all-you-can-drink?
No. We are not a Chinese restaurant in a suburban mall.
I live locally / am a backpacker / am on a budget / am visiting in low season / hate paying full price for things… Can I have a discount?
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. Discounts on the boat and entry to BA will always remain a privilege of members, if you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, just ask.
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 to +573167506979 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 (like this one) if we do not reply at 10pm. It will not help you to get a place at our table.
I’m an overseas resident, can you deduct the tax from my day?
Negative. 8% food tax is applied on all food and drinks, and 19% sales tax on all activities and souvenirs. We cannot remove these taxes, and we cannot advise on reclaiming them either. The only tax exemption you may benefit from is on the 19% tax on accommodation.
I'm on my honeymoon / about to propose – can you organise me something romantic?
We had one wedding, two proposals and three honeymoons in our first six months - so the romance is alive and well at Blue Apple. 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 use public transport to get to Blue Apple?
Between the hours of 7am – 5pm you can, but we don’t recommend it. It’s extremely time-consuming, quite complicated and overall will not save you much more than $4. But if you must:
Go to La Bodeguita dock at the other end of the quay from Muellle de los Pegasos, and ask to board a public boat to Bocachica. You’ll pay 5,000 pesos plus a 3,000 peso tax. There is no timetable, the boat will leave when it is full. Average wait time, 20 minutes. The boat will stop at 2-3 villages before getting to Bocachica (approx 40 minutes). At Bocachica, get off and ask for a moto-taxi to take you to Playa Mamon. Locals pay 4,000 pesos per person. Depending on your luggage, Spanish ability and bargaining skills, you should be pleased if you get it for anything under 6,000 pesos. Total cost: 12,000 – 15,000 pesos. Total journey time 1 – 2 hours. Do not expect anyone to have any small change for large bills.