The Star Diamond Standard


French classics in Colombia? Oui oui. This was the sentiment of the Rausch brothers when they opened their French epicurean center in Bogota in 2003. While staying in the country, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Jorge, the executive chef, and I could not have had a better time or been more impressed with the operation. A native of the city, Jorge is well traveled, having spent time in award-winning kitchens in Israel and London. His brother and partner Mark, the pastry chef, perfected his talents in Canada. They are the only Colombian chefs to host their own cooking program on the Gourmet channel, and they have built up quite the reputation for themselves. Their guests are some of the most sophisticated in the country, in part because of their location in the chic Zona G, but mostly because of the incredible job they have done with the menu and the wine list. (They are currently aiming to having the best wine list in the country.) The Rausch brothers have been compared to the Thomas Kellers and Michael Minas of the North American culinary world. When you go, I absolutely insist that you try the kobe beef steak.

Calle 69A Street 5-75
Bogota, Colombia

101 Park House Hotel

While amenities and luxury décor are certainly considerations when naming and honoring a hotel, one of the biggest indicators that a property is Star Diamond worthy is the service and attention to detail offered by the staff. At 101 Park House Hotel, the service set it apart from its competitors. While considered a boutique hotel, each suite includes a fully equipped kitchen, two baths, dining and living rooms with fireplaces, 32-inch LCD digital HD TVs, iHome docking system, home theater systems, and a list of other perks, such as the Heavenly bed and pillow menu.

In terms of dining, the international gourmet restaurant serves worldwide traditional cuisine with new fusion flavors, as well as traditional Colombian dishes. Feel free to take in a few extra calories here, because guests have access to Body Tech, a facility that is considered the best gym in Colombia. My personal recommendation is to burn off some energy in the 80-foot lap pool. After working out, I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the spa, which offers traditional massage treatments as well as a Turkish bath and sauna.

Carrera 21 No. 101-10
Bogota, Colombia

La Cafetiere de Anita

Another giant in the world of French cuisine in Colombia is La Cafetiere de Anita in the city of Medellín, the first fine dining restaurant in the region to claim the Five Star Diamond award. Chef Anita Botero studied in London and has become a respected master for incorporating traditional Colombian flavors with a spark of international fusion. We took advantage of the private VIP salon, which I highly recommend. The wine cellar is superb, and as elegant as the contemporary décor.

Calle 6 sur 43a 92
Medellín, Colombia