Nutibara Hotel
El Centro Medellin


Cl. 52a #50-46
La Candelaria, Medellin

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Nutibara Hotel in el Centro

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Nutibara Hotel in El Centro Medellin's Oldest Hotel

Hotel Nutibara is a popular and iconic hotel located in the heart of Medellin. For many people it is their go-to choice due to its convenient location, close to several of the city’s prime tourist attractions in El Centro. Being centrally situated, it’s only a short walk to the Parque Berrio metro station, making it easy to explore the rest of the city.
Within a stone’s throw from Hotel Nutibara, you can discover a lot of tourist attractions, including the Museo de Antioquia, the Plaza Botero, and several noteworthy churches, such as Iglesia de La Candelaria and Iglesia de la Veracruz.

Brief History of the Nutibara Hotel

Medellin, Colombia, named after the birthplace of Hernan Cortes, remained largely unnoticed for 300 years until modern aviation spurred its transformation into a thriving capitalist haven. By the mid-20th century, this once quaint coffee trade center had morphed into a bustling industrial hub of South America’s western coast, housing 3 million residents. To mitigate rapid urban expansion and protect the city’s aesthetic heritage, leaders in the 1940s developed a master plan. This blueprint aimed to modernize Medellin with fresh avenues, parks, housing, and business buildings, while preserving its architectural history. In line with this vision, Paul R. Williams’ design for the Nutibara Hotel, inaugurated in 1945, became a cornerstone of this architectural transformation, marking the city’s first large-scale hotel.
In 1937, long before its metamorphosis into a city of millions, Medellin was a relatively insular town with a population under 115,000. Recognizing the region’s untapped potential, local developers proposed a luxurious hotel, hoping to attract Colombia’s elite with amenities on par with those in Miami or Los Angeles. In acknowledgment of its significance, the Colombian government granted the hotel a ten-year tax exemption.
Construction for the Nutibara Hotel began in 1938 and spanned four challenging years. Working abroad, Williams and his crew encountered numerous complications, from sourcing materials to navigating unexpected delays in equipment deliveries. Despite these challenges, which included importing 90,000 bags of cement from the U.S., Williams remained committed to honoring the local landscape and culture. One notable gesture was his decision to construct a concrete cover over a nearby river, turning it into a lush, tree-lined plaza that quickly became a city landmark. The hotel’s architecture seamlessly integrated indoor and outdoor spaces, with vast gardens and patios featuring local flora and offering guests an authentic Colombian experience.
Paul Williams’ design for the Nutibara Hotel was a masterful blend of the modern South American style mandated by Medellin’s city planners and the traditional elements resonating with Colombian sensibilities. The hotel deftly combined urban sophistication with a country-like charm. Distancing itself from the grandeur of Californian hotel lobbies, Nutibara’s public spaces were intimate and light-infused, embodying Medellin’s culture of personal business interactions. While the design was undeniably contemporary, Williams ensured that it retained a “Spanish touch,” staying true to the local heritage and expectations.

Inside Nutibara Hotel

The Nutibara Hotel, a true Medellín landmark, holds a special place in the city’s heart. Just about every taxi driver is well acquainted with its location. This establishment boasted a rich history, having been built nearly seven decades ago. In its heyday during the 1950s, it reigned as the premier hotel in Medellín, capturing the essence of a bygone era.
The hotel features a total of 132 rooms, offering four distinct room types: Standard, Superior, Suite, and Presidential. The Standard rooms came in various configurations, with options for a double bed, two twin beds, or three beds to accommodate different guest needs.
Every room within its walls was equipped with modern amenities, ensuring your comfort and convenience. These include a television, air conditioning, a small security safe, hot water, and a minibar. Additionally, the hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi access for its guests. A select few rooms even feature private balconies, providing a glimpse of the city.

Shopping Nearby

Right around the corner from the hotel is the downtown shopping district known as El Hueco, where you can hunt for numerous bargains and immerse yourself in the local scene.
For those looking for a more unique shopping experience, Palacio Nacional is also nearby. This shopping mall stands out with its hundreds of small shops, offering all kinds of different goods and wares.

A Food Court Inside a Hotel

A highlight on the hotel’s first floor is its food court, reminiscent of a typical shopping mall. Here, you can indulge in a variety of fast food options, with places like Mis Carnes Parrilla, Mimo’s, and Juan Valdez Café. It is a convenient choice for those seeking a quick and satisfying meal within the hotel.

An Affordable Option

For many travelers, including those on a budget, the Nutibara Hotel represents excellent value for its price. Location and affordability are key factors that make this hotel a great pick. The hotel’s proximity to the airport bus stop, conveniently situated right behind the hotel, further solidifies its appeal for budget-conscious travelers.
Overall, the Nutibara Hotel stands as a symbol of Medellín’s past and present, offering a mix of nostalgia and practicality. Its storied history, central location, and budget-friendly rates makes it a reliable choice for those looking to explore the city of Medellin.

Getting There & Parking​

Getting to Hotel Nutibara from the airport in Medellín is a relatively straightforward process. There are several transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get to the hotel from José María Córdova International Airport (MDE).
Taxi: This is one of the most convenient options. After exiting the airport terminal, you’ll find an official taxi stand. Make sure to use these authorized taxi services to ensure your safety. Inform the driver that you want to go to Hotel Nutibara in the city center, and they will take you directly to the hotel. The journey typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions, and will cost you a fixed rate, which you can inquire about at the taxi stand.
Airport Shuttle: Some hotels in Medellín offer shuttle services for their guests. If you have made prior arrangements with Hotel Nutibara for airport transportation, look for their representative holding a sign with your name in the arrivals area. They will guide you to the shuttle and take you directly to the hotel.
Bus: If you’re traveling on a tight budget, you can take a public bus from the airport to the city center. Look for the San Diego bus, which is an airport shuttle service that runs to San Diego Mall in the city center. Once you arrive at San Diego Mall, Hotel Nutibara is within walking distance. However, this option can be less convenient if you have a lot of luggage.
Car / Private Driver: If you prefer a more comfortable and hassle-free experience, consider booking a private airport transfer service in advance. Many companies in Medellín offer this service, where a driver will be waiting for you at the airport arrivals area with a sign bearing your name. They will assist with your luggage and take you directly to Hotel Nutibara.
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