Accommodation options in Cartagena include hotels, pensións, campsites and holiday homes and apartments. It's surprising how many of the city's hotels lack in leisure facilities such as swimming pools, especially as most of its bay is taken up by the port and marinas, leaving no room for beaches. However, Cartagena's port is one of the most important in Spain, and with so many historical buildings, monuments and archaeological sites in the city, there's not much room left for large gardens or other leisure facilities in its hotels.
Hotels – The majority of the city's hotels are in the three and four star category. Most are within walking distance to many of Cartagena's wonderful tourist attractions. They all have guest facilities such as bars, restaurants and lounges. Some have libraries, games rooms, children's play areas and gymnasiums. Visitors looking for hotel accommodation that offers more outdoor facilities such as swimming pools will need to look in the surrounding resort areas. Young party crowds who would enjoy a 24hr bar should try the NH Campo Cartagena on the edge of the city.
Pensións – Pensións and hostals are sort of like a cross between a B&B and basic hotel. Unlike the English word hostel that refers to shared dormitory accommodation, hostals in Spain feature private bedrooms, and sometimes bathrooms. Aside from maybe a couple of vending machines or small breakfast buffet, these places usually do not have bars and restaurants. However, they are a cheaper option to a hotel. Try Pensión Balcones Azules in the city centre that has a cafe.
Campsites – Aside from the ‘naturist' campsite in nearby El Portus that we've covered in a separate article, the closest campsite to Cartagena is Camping Caravaning La Manga. This is less than 30 minutes drive from the city centre and located on the Mar Menor coastline. It's a superb accommodation choice for families with young children. It boasts indoor and outdoor swimming pools and gymnasiums. There are also sports facilities, bar and restaurant, supermarket and an outdoor cinema during the summer months. They offer camping pitches and several bungalows.
Holiday Homes & Apartments – These are very popular with large families and groups. Holiday apartments range from studios to large penthouses with several bedrooms and bathrooms. You will also find townhouses, bungalows and villas. They are mostly located in the surrounding residential areas. All should come fully furnished and equipped for self catering. Some private holiday homes and apartments are located within gated communities. These often feature shared leisure facilities such as swimming pools, gardens, parks, playgrounds and even restaurants.