Where to stay in Bogotá? Part 2
When my husband and I received the referral for our son in May of 2010, we considered staying at Zuetana again, but ultimately decided to rent a private apartment for several reasons. The first reason was that we knew we were probably looking at a long stay and we wanted to be as comfortable as possible -- with our daughter we ended up in Bogotá for 9 weeks, and with our son we were there for 7 weeks.
For us, this meant that the kids needed to have separate rooms so as not to disturb each other during naps and at night. My husband needed an office since he was going to be working during our stay in Colombia, and it also allowed us to have a "family room" where my husband and I could hang out at night, watch TV, talk on the phone, etc... and not worry about waking the kids.
The second reason was that we knew renting an apartment would give us a little more privacy. We could walk out into the hall wearing our PJ's (or less!) and not have to worry about it, and we wouldn't have to put up with a lot of noise and hubub.
The third reason was that after doing some research and comparing prices, we found the apartment to be much more affordable than the adoption hotel. Plus, it came with great amenities such as a Vonage phone line that allowed us to make free unlimited calls to the U.S., a computer with free dedicated Internet access, and the best part- a maid who came every day except Sunday and cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and even grocery shopped for us!!
To be fair, the downside of renting an apartment is that it is a little more isolated. If you are a really social person, you might like the aspect of having other families around at the adoption hotel to talk to and do activities with. On the other hand, though, I think there is something to be said for having some quiet, private family bonding time during those initial weeks of becoming a new family, especially if you are adopting older kids or sibling groups.
I want to also mention that we felt very safe in the apartment. It was located in a very good neighborhood, and it was guarded by private security 24/7.
For anybody that may be traveling to Bogotá to adopt in the near future, here are some links to check out for some apartments that can be rented. Hopefully this information will prove to be useful and help you make the best decision for lodging accommodations for you and your new child/children!