Pale yellow butterflies appear and disappear among the branches of the tamarind tree, leaves now gently fluttering in the afternoon ocean breeze. The dark bird has finished sampling the water at the terrace fountain and, when I shift my glance 20 degrees to the West, the wavelets of the Caribbean reflect the declining afternoon sun. In half an hour, it will be the ideal time for a walk to Tanganga’s pebbly beach to take pictures of the fishing boats and the usually awesome sunset.
Is the western terrace of La Casa de Felipe a great place to enjoy a beer, or what?
One of my first impressions of Felipe and his wife, Sandra Restrepo, was that they truly, thoroughly love their hostel, their guests, and every single moment of life. In the furnishings, the design, the landscaping, the food, the traveler assistance, that happiness passes on to all who lodge here. Could that be why many of the international travelers mentioned that they had stayed longer than originally intended? Always a good sign!
Felipe, whose birth name is Jean-Philippe Gibelin, comes from France and fell in love with Çolombia more than a decade ago. While working back in France, he nurtured his vision of moving to Colombia, something he accomplished in 1994.
What a blessing for the Western travelers who come through by boat, bicycle, bus, taxi, and plane, primarily with backpacks. Catering primarily to travelers who choose to stay in their small dorms, Casa de Felipe does not have many private rooms. Fortunately for my husband and me, they had just completed remodeling a house up the street and it was available. Recommendation: If you want a private room, reserve in advance through www.hosteltrail.com, especially if you are going to be there on the weekend when all the Colombians arrive for respite from city life.
Incredibly well designed, the terraces of Casa de Felipe interconnect but seem separate due to the landscaping. Trees, hedges, and large pots of flowers achieve separation so well that a diner does not realize that there are as many as 20 others eating in the same vicinity, And, speaking of dining, did I mention the friendly and excellent service? The excellent meals? The many languages spoken by guests and staff alike?
Throughout our three and a half months in South America, we often said, “This is a great place yet it does not quite meet the standards of excellence of La Casa de Fellipe.” Check it out and decide for yourself! And bring your iPod because you may be able to select your favorite music to be broadcast to the guests. http://www.lacasadefelipe.com/index.html