By Sheila L Heathcote
The new inn provides a personalized, welcoming alternative to Bogota’s normal accommodations, with the elegant flair of the pre-World War II era. Preserving the historic period in which it was built, the 1930s, the grand Tudor-style mansion, was one of many in the neighborhood. Although many of the old homes have been torn down or converted for other uses, the Bogota Bed and Breakfast Inn overlooks tree-lined streets, where echoes of horse-drawn trolley cars with their clanging bells, can still be heard if you listen with the imagination.
Entering a portal to the past, the grand home’s colorful, Arabian-tiled portico opens on the living room where the ambience of firelight is reflected from the original, diaphanous crystal chandelier, bathing new arrivals in warmth and golden light.
Of the six guest rooms, two are located on the first floor, while three more suites adorn the home’s second level. Here, custom-made beds adhere to the shape of the walls, some of which are rounded, while shuttered windows look out upon the tree-shaded Tesuaquillo Park, just across the street.
“We traced the history of the home back to the 1930s (when it was first built) but the first time the deed documents were recorded was when original family, after living in the mansion more than 20 years, sold it in 1953,” said Beatriz Leon, one of the businesses joint owners.
After two painstaking years of historically accurate renovations, the Bogota Bed and Breakfast Inn was finally ready to open to the public in July of this year. All of the upgrades – including double-paned glass to block street noise on the windows, modern plumbing with gas-heated hot water, and new electrical wiring – ushered the Bogota Bed and Breakfast Inn into the 21st Century without losing any of the home’s architectural ambience.“It took two years to restore the home because we wanted to return it to the way it looked originally, “ Leon added.“We stripped all the white paint from the original ceiling timbers and staircase, removed carpeting and pulled up the old tile flooring to reveal the original dirt and brick floors, which were replaced by high-quality and beautiful natural wood.”“Then we rewired all electrical connections, installed larger plumbing pipes and six modern bathrooms, designed and built custom-fitting bed frames, and had custom mattresses made.”The project did not always go smoothly, however.Leon remarked that a former tenant had removed all the homes interior doors and hauled them away.“So we had new doors built that followed the design theme and era.”Popular throughout Europe and North America, but almost as rare as apple pie in Bogota, the Bogota Bed and Breakfast Inn offers home-cooked breakfast served in your room, insider tips on sightseeing, restaurants and local events, and a convenient location in central Bogota, close to transportation, museums and shopping centers.