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The Art House Medellin

At a Couch Surfing party in Medellin Colombia last week I started chatting with another Australian Expat by the name of Gerard Cole.

He mentioned that he had just opened a new guest house in the heart of Medellin, and asked me to check it out. So I did, and I have to say it is one of the best places I have stayed in South America.

So I thought I would ask Gerard to share The Art House story with the Maloney on Marketing family. Enjoy!

The Art House Medellin Website

The Art House Medellin Website

What is The Art House Medellin all about?

What we offer is a healthy alternative to the Hostels in Medellin. The Art House is not a hostel and we are not trying to immitate one.

We identified that Medellin is a great city for living, working and studying, so we designed our guest house to cater for tourists who want to stay here for more than a weekend.

We also wanted to open our guest house outside of the touristic areas of Polado and Parque Lleras, to give our guests a better taste of the Medellin Culture.

We are both seasoned travelers so what we have tried to create with the Art House is something different to a hostel/hotel, a place that is more connected with the neigbourhood and community.

How did you get started?

After living in La Magnolia, Envigado for a number of months we decided that this was a great suburb in which we wanted to share with other tourists.We were quiet surprised that such a great, friendly suburb was almost unheard of to tourists.

We searched for about 4 weeks to find the best house which we could renovate and turn into something liveable, spacious and comfortable for our guests.

Once the contract was signed, we installed a new kitchen, new hot water system, a new rooftop terrace, hammocks and curtains.

We had a tradesman paint the house and fix alot of problems, such as broken toilets and faulty power outlets. All this took a little over 2 weeks to complete.

How is it different from other hostels and hotels?

The biggest difference is our size, comprising of only 5 rooms, it means that we can offer a more personal service to our guests.

The Art House Medellin Lounge Room

The Art House Medellin Lounge Room

Our prices are on par with hostels in Medellin, but we beleive we offer more free additions to make living hear more comfortable, things such as; free laundry use, a fully equipped large western kitchen with modern appliancies which brings back the enjoyment of cooking on the road, free BBQ use on the terrace and deluxe new quality double and queen sized beds.

We don’t have a reception desk or a bar,  but what we offer is a home away from home.

Where did the name The Art House come from?

It was the first name that came to mind, but we both beleive that its sums up the vibe and culture of our guest house.

We are both interested in photography, learning spanish and dancing, and we know of many private schools in our nieghbourhood which offer a number of such courses.

We activly help our guests find the right course to suit their interests.

 

Who is your guesthouse targeted at?

The Art House is targeted at couples and tourists who want to spend a couple of weeks or months in Medellin, guests who want to take short courses in such things as spanish, salsa dancing, painting, cooking or photogrpahy.

We have a number of hiking trails and waterfalls in the immmediate area so we also encourage outdoor enthusiastes.

All of our rooms have double or queen sized beds which are perfect for couples and our western sytle kitchen is fully equipped to cook a great meal.

Why Medellin, and in particular the suburb of La Magnolia?

Medellin is a great city and has been on the backpacker radar for a number of years now. It’s safe, clean, modern, but it also retains many tradtional Colombian charms.

In particular,  La Magnolia, Envigado is a great suburb of Medellin. We chose this area because, after living in La Magnolia for 3 months, it has an almost un describable charm.

It’s a combination of a number of things, street parties, family BBQ’s on the side walks, a large number of family run groceries stores and resturants, locals who are proud of their neigbourhood and beautiful gardens on every street.

Everything you need to live comfortably is within a 5 min walk of of our guesthouse, everything from gyms, small cosy bars, family run resturants, butches, fruit and vegtable markets, clothes shops and parks.

What is there to do around the area?

Hiking. There is a number of excellent hiking trails which follow beautiful rivers and waterfalls. These can be accessed by a short 20min bus ride. There are also 3 modern gyms and 2 outdoor gyms all within a 5 min walk.

Learning.  A private school 2 blocks away offers Spanish, Dancing and Painting courses which are very affordable.

Drinking /Dancing. Explore the surrounding streets and stumble across a large number of small cosy traditional bars for that authentic Colombian experience.

For dancing, a 5 min walk to central Envigado and you can choose from a long list of large clubs which are very lively on the weekends.

 

The Rooftop Terrace is a clear highlight of The Art House. Tell us a bit about it.

This was the selling point when we chose the property.

The Art House Rooftop Terrace

The Art House Medellin Facebook Page

It’s a great area to throw a party or just chill out with a beer and a BBQ.

It has lovely views of lush green mountains. and the city of Medellin.

How do people usually find out about The Art House?

A number of methods at the moment, from word of mouth  to hostel booking websites.

As we are new and small, we think that word of mouth will be our greatest form of marketing and getting “bumbs in seats” as the phrase goes.

Our aim is to have a large number of customer reviews on hostel booking websites to increase our appeal to tourists, as we know that these booking websites are extremely popular with backpackers.

How is The Art House using Social Media such as Facebook?

We use Facebook to post information on parties and activities which we hold, and then to upload photos from these events.

The Art House Medellin Facebook Page

Todd and Gerard - Owners of the Art House Medellin

It’s an informal way to promote our guesthouse.

What’s next for The Art House team?

Since we have only been open for 1 month, our aim is to achieve a high percentage of occupancy.

Once this has been achieved we may open a similar lke guest house possibly in the same area.

We both have other plans in the pipeline too, Todd is looking into promoting medical tourism in Medellin and I am planning on opening a gymnasium in the future.

Todd and Gerard - Owners of the Art House Medellin

Todd and Gerard - Owners of the Art House Medellin

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Categories: Hostels, Interview

Author:Chris Maloney

Chris is a multi-channel marketing strategist and one of Australia's most awarded young marketers.

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5 Comments on “The Art House Medellin”

  1. Amied
    October 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I wish that place was up and running when i was there for 5 weeks a few months back. I will be returning to Medellin at some stage and would def give this place a go.

    • October 9, 2010 at 10:10 am #

      Yeah definitely check it out if you head back Amied. It has buena onda

  2. October 2, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Looks very good and making note for future reference…

  3. Tom
    October 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Great prices for private rooms, i’ll be in Medellin in Jan 2011 and will definitely be staying there.

    • October 9, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      Great to hear Tom – I hope you like it as much as I did

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