Check Out The Swank Colombian Resort Where Secret Service Agents Partied With Prostitutes

cartagena colombia beach

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Eleven Secret Service agents were suspended this weekend amid a massive prostitution scandal that overshadowed President Barack Obama’s trade talks in Colombia. The night in question took place at the Hotel Caribe, a five-star beachfront resort in Cartagena’s Bocagrande district, a popular tourist destinations. According to reports, 22 members of the White House’s advance security detail — including five members of the U.S. special forces — capped off a week of “heavy drinking” with a wild night of partying, accompanied by local prostitutes. People familiar with the Secret Service are now calling it the biggest scandal in the agency’s history. 

Although prostitution is technically only legal in designated “tolerance zones,” police enforcement of those restrictions is lax. Luxury hotels like the Hotel Caribe often reserve rooms specifically for prostitutes, and guests pay by the hour. One Trip Advisor review of Hotel Caribe complained that hotel employees tried to pin a special “badge” on his fiancee because they assumed she was a prostitute. 

But that’s not to say that the hotel is seedy. Travel reviews and photos from the hotel website indicate that the resort is enormous and pretty beautiful, with Caribbean views and the largest hotel pool in Cartagena. So while the agents’ behaviour was obviously inappropriate, t’s not hard to see why they felt like letting loose at this seaside spot. 

Hotel Caribe is one of the oldest resorts in Cartagena — it's even been designated a national landmark in Colombia

It's also HUGE — there are at least three different guest towers — so it is not hard to see how Secret Service partying could go undetected

Most parts of the hotel lives up to its five-star rating

But from the looks of it, some of the older buildings are in serious need of renovations

But the hotel's interiors are beautiful — check out the marble floor of the hotel lobby

And the Caribbean landscape is green and lush

The hotel is located in Cartagena's Bocagrande neighbourhood, a popular tourist destination

The neighbourhood, located in between Cartagena Bay and the Caribbean Sea, is best known for its beaches

Guests at the Hotel Caribe have direct access to the water

And some of the rooms even have views overlooking the Caribbean

Here's the view from one of the oceanfront rooms at sunset

There are a lot of guestroom options, ranging from this tiny Petite suite

To this Premium Suite overlooking the ocean. It is not clear which rooms the Secret Service agents were staying in

Hotel Caribe is the only hotel in Cartagena with an Olympic-sized pool

Here's the view of the pool from one of the guest rooms

There's also a separate pool for kids

Hotel Caribe has four restaurants — this one is Punta Incacos, which serves barbecue under a palapa

But according to the hotel's website, the poolside restaurant India Catalina is where guests go to have fun

Cartagena is renowned for its nightlife — here's the view of the Bocagrande skyline at night

Cartagena is thought to be one of the most romantic cities in South America

This picture of the old city at night helps explain that reputation

But prostitution is everywhere, particularly in tourist hotspots like Bocagrande

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