Hotel Cartagena


What began as a very complicated and confusing brief, turned out to be one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on. Here I created a brand narrative based on several clashing client cues and wound it together in a beautiful story that is romantic, radical and very unique.


In an exceptionally competitive environment where a new restaurant or bar opens every weekend, something with character personality is essential to stand out and with Hotel Cartagena, every touchpoint echoes this story of collected things or memories that have been left behind by guests of a fictional hotel, owned by a character named Mrs Buendia.

A lot of the narrative has been inspired by the novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and this can be witnessed even in the naming of the house cocktails. The press release was written in the first person in the voice of the sassy and eccentric Mrs Buendia which really stood out amongst the clutter and was one of the factors that ensured that the launch was a resounding success.

The team worked with an illustrator to bring the character of Mrs Buendia to life and the client team fed off the concept for a lot of their inspiration too which was a wonderful collaboration.


Motel keys with ‘Buendiasms’ became the bar tabs, while branded cigar matches and mix-matched coasters formed the other bar collateral.


The drinks menu was designed almost like a journal, complete with  illustrations and Mr’s Buendia’s scribbled notes on certain menus items or ingredients decorating the pages – her presence is felt throughout the collateral whether branded or not.

menu-inside-mockup Drinks-Mock-2

The dessert menu is brought to the table in the form of a personal card with a personal handwritten note and sealed with a kiss from the owner herself.


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