Located just off the coast of Cartagena, on the southern shore of Tierra Bomba Island, is a beautiful boutique hotel that happens to be both woman and Black-owned.

Blue Apple Beach House was founded in 2016 by Portia Hart, a British-Trinidadian, who quit her job at a yacht brokerage company for a trip that would change her life. Hart was supposed to visit Colombia to learn Spanish with some friends, but she decided to stay when they returned home.

“One day I was on the phone to my dad, and I was like, ‘I’m going to use my savings and set up a beach club,” Hart told Meet The Leader.

Her reason for starting a beach club was that she couldn’t find any like the ones in Ibiza, the south of France, or Mykonos.

Blue Apple is described as a “laid-back place” where like-minded locals and in-the-know visitors to Cartagena can enjoy lazy days, music, and great food in a beautiful setting.

There are many rooming options for visitors, but the most popular are the cabana. The Manzana cabaña offers panoramic views, a king bed, a private plunge pool and outdoor bathtub. The Mamon cabana is the most romantic, offering a large, ocean-facing balcony and outdoor rainforest bathroom.

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In addition to the Beach Club, Hart owns a boutique hotel and rooftop in Cartagena known as Townhouse featuring 11 suites and two bars.

“I am very proud to lead a management team that is entirely young, BIPOC, gay, female, didn’t finish high-school or a combination of the above,” said Hart. “Our staff is encouraged to provide an attentive, but relaxed and personal service, as if you were guests at their own homes.”