Where to stay in Bogotá?
A two-part guest post from adoptive mom Ruth. Thanks Ruth :):
When adopting from Colombia, one of the biggest decisions you will face is where to stay. Out of the many options available, the two that I can speak to personally are the "adoption guesthouses" and renting a private apartment. Keep in mind that my experience is in the city of Bogotá only. My husband and I completed our first Colombian adoption in 2008 and brought home the most beautiful baby girl! Our adoption agency recommended that we stay at a hotel called "Zuetana" in Bogotá, which is sort of a Bed and Breakfast that caters to adoptive families. (Some names of similar adoption hotels in Bogotá are the Halifax, Hotel Paris, Betty's Place, Las Palmas, and El Refugio. In Cali, there is Pensión Stein.).
Since we had never traveled to Colombia before and were adopting for the first time, we went ahead with our agency's recommendation. We had a mostly good experience there, but as with anything in life, there are pros and cons.
The pros of staying in an "adoption guesthouse" are as follows:
1) There are other families there from all over the world who are also adopting and it is neat to share that common experience with them and make new friends.
2) There are many "baby-friendly" items available to use. This means you do not have to pack such items as a crib, high chair, bottle sterilizer, etc...
3) You are provided with 3 meals per day and a maid to clean your room each day.
The cons of staying in an "adoption guesthouse" are as follows:
1) They can be quite expensive. (In 2008, I think we paid about $1,000 per week).
2) The quarters can start to feel cramped after a few weeks as a whole family will share just one small room, and sometimes all of the noise and chaos due to all of the other families coming in and out can be a little overstimulating for parents and kids. [This can be particularly hard for families adopting children that are not infants, where issues with over-stimulation and confusion about new parents can be very difficult.]
Here are some links to adoption hotels: