Harlem native Shawn Roseburgh, 44, is the owner of downtown Cartagena’s first and only Black-owned hotel, Casa Noir.
An experienced entrepreneur, the father of three is also the president of Roseburgh & Associates, an investment group and marketing firm he founded at the age of 17, as well as the executive director of 4 Future Generations Entrepreneurship & Leadership Foundation.
Passionate about humanitarian work, Roseburgh is known for the annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaways and Christmas toy drives he’s hosted for the past 12 years. He has also orchestrated clothes, food, and toy drives for the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Having traveled to various countries, Roseburgh witnessed the hardships that people around the world endure. This inspired him to develop Not Your Average Missions Trip (NYAMT), a mission trip series that provides the underprivileged with everyday essentials such as toiletries, clothing, books, toys, and more.
Last year, he decided to revisit the beautiful and vibrant Colombian city of Cartagena. While doing so, he fell in love with the city and its people. However, as he explored different areas of Cartagena, he realized that although it was home to a large population of Black residents and saw a great number of Black tourists, it was, in many ways, lacking in its depiction of Black culture and heritage.
“I felt the city needed more Black cultural influence,” said Roseburgh. “I began speaking with friends as well as other native Colombians, researching and gathering information and opinions about Cartagena and what they felt it needed. I soon decided I wanted to open the downtown area’s first Black-owned hotel.”
What was once a vacation destination soon became Roseburgh’s new home. He enjoyed the beautiful weather and inviting people of Cartagena, and knew residing in the city would make it easier to implement his vision and accomplish his goals for the hotel.
In November 2021, his dream became a reality as he celebrated the grand opening of Casa Noir in the downtown neighborhood of Getsemani. Since then, the hotel has welcomed guests from all over, providing them with a unique and memorable hospitality experience.
Upon arrival, guests are wowed by the African tribute mural that was skillfully painted outside on a nearby wall by local artists. Entering the hotel, individuals, couples, families, and groups alike are greeted by the warm and welcoming staff. The paintings and artwork adorning the walls of the hotel showcase Black faces and culture, creating an ambiance of Black excellence.
Some amenities Casa Noir provides include exemplary room service, a rooftop bar, spa and wellness services, rooftop jacuzzi, Wi-Fi, laundry services, in-room complimentary coffee and water, 24-hour guest reception, premium bedding, kid-friendly rooms, airport transportation, and entertainment. The hotel offers inspiring experiences through its Cartagena tour packages that include excursions and visits to various historic and cultural sites.
“We escort guests around the Walled City of Cartagena, take them to the historic Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, and allow them to enjoy Black culture during the African Freedom Tour of Palenque. Our exciting excursions also consist of getting muddy in the Totumo mud volcano, as well as breathtaking beach experiences like snorkeling off of Playa Blanca and the Rosario Islands.”
Roseburgh says he is extremely proud to have seen the creation of Casa Noir through to fruition, and is overjoyed to have designed something that is much more than just a hotel.
“It’s an electrifying vibe…an entire unforgettable experience! It’s an amazing feeling to have accomplished something that no one has ever done before. My motto is ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.’ Trust your journey!”
For more information, follow @casanoirctg on Instagram.