I would have loved another four inches of mattress and a small desk, but
it was a great room for the price.
I just returned from spending nine days at the Hotel Calle Real- I
can't begin to express my thanks for the warmth and generosity of
the staff. The Hotel is perfectly situated for the budget or business
traveler who wants to really get a feel for the real Medellin. Tucked
away half a block from Iglesia de la Veracruz, the oldest church in
Medellin, it sits right on one of the major thoroughfares for foot
traffic, the ten block long pedestrian mall between Parque Berrio and
the downtown San Antonio area.
On either end of the block sit great coffee shops, one open twenty-four hours and directly adjacent to the Parque Berrio Metro Station- which links it up to the entire Mass Trans service, one of the best in the world. Incredible bronze sculptures from favorite son Fernando Botero line the area between The Cultural Palace and the Antioquia Museum, with others located at the San Antonio Peace Plaza.
Three great restaurants are within a block as well, El Covacho (which takes credit cards, $8-15) on the second floor above the Botero Plaza Pasteleria; Lenore No. 2, a great all around Colombian chicken and whatnot restaurant with wonderful staff halfway down the block toward the Museum on the same side of the mall ($3-8); and Giovindas, a wonderful vegetarian buffeteria run by the Hare Krishnas, located on the second floor directly across the street from Iglesia Veracruz (adjacent to the pasteleria- daily special includes entree, salad, juice dessert, side and bread for $4~ it ROCKED).
Back to the hotel. The staff, especially Sña Mayra and Sr. Mauritio were helpful, incredibly friendly and always quick to laugh. Rooms were meticulously clean (though spartan). The main desk keeps constant surveillance in the halls and main entrances, So there's an extra feeling of security. This is a downtown area in a major city, and as with all cities it changes character after the business crowd leaves, generally by eight.