Rooms in Guatemala City
Replies: 29 - Last Post: Nov 12, 2012 8:20 AM Last Post By: braxman
Nov 8, 2012 8:57 PM
Rooms in Guatemala CityWe have now reserved our rooms for Tikal, Flores and Antigua. It is now time to book a couple of nights in Guatemala City. Which hotel would you recommend which would beclean, central, safe, quiet (if that is possible in a City) and hopefully under $75.00/night. I am thinking of staying in the historical center. Thanks again for any suggestions. Next will be to look for a room in Lago de Atitlan for early January so suggestions for Atitlan would also be great. Many thanks for any suggesstions.
Nov 8, 2012 9:19 PM
1The best hotel in the historical district (zone one) is the Panamerican Hotel, an old hotel with good reviews and good local cuisine http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g292006-d309015-Pan_American_Hotel-Guatemala_City_Guatemala_Department.html I always stay at Hotel Sevilla, a good clean hotel, in zone one also, for less money. But the Panamerican Hotel I'm sure is well within your budget and it's a better place to stay.
Nov 9, 2012 5:43 AM
2The Centro Historico has few upscale hotels (and $75 a night in Zona 1 definitely puts you into the upscale category). As Delmonte mentions, the Pan American is the classic choice. The only other real contender is the Royal Palace http://www.hotelroyalpalace.com
which is a bit more modern but still has plenty of atmosphere (in the lobby at least - the rooms are fairly standard) and I like it because it's right on the 6a Avenida which, ever since they turned it into a pedestrian strip and kicked out all the CD sellers, is one of the mellower streets in the neighborhood and is now filling up with cute cafes, good restaurants, etc. The Royal Palace I believe comes in right around 75 a night. The Pan American is a fair bit cheaper I think (and only half a block off 6a Av, so in terms of location, nearly equal).
Nov 9, 2012 5:54 AM
Nov 9, 2012 6:24 AM
4That's good advice, Greggo, particularly if you're long on time and short on money. But I've found that somewhere like Guatemala once you start paying more than say 50 bucks a night you more or less know what to expect (with the help of trip advisor, guidebooks, forums, etc). And some people don't want to spend day 2 of their 3 day stay somewhere going around looking at all the other hotels they could be staying in.
I'd amend the advice to never pay up front for your entire stay - if the place is so shonky that your problem can't be resolved by changing rooms or fixing the showerhead or whatever, it's simple to check out ahead of time. Getting a refund on accommodation paid in advance can quite often be another thing, though...
Nov 9, 2012 6:46 AM
Nov 9, 2012 6:59 AM
6Imo TA is an excellent tool, but you do need to use it enough to develop a knack for reading between the lines. With the help of TA we've loved every place we've stayed in Central America, year after year.
Nov 9, 2012 7:08 AM
Nov 9, 2012 8:27 AM
8Thanks so much for your great suggestions, advice and comments. We usually don't book rooms ahead of time except that from what we can understand this is high season and Christmas season which means that the best value hotels or those in our budget seem to be booked up. I have spent too many hours in high season in other parts of the world to find a decent hotel during high/tourist season so this time I would like to spend less time looking for a room and more time discovering new sites and maybe enjoying a good Guatemalan coffee!!!!
Nov 9, 2012 8:28 AM
9Personally I have found the local touts to be a better resource than TA reviews.
In entering my trips on TA, I found that fully 80% of the hotels/hostels I stayed at in Mexico/CA weren't even reviewed on TA. The % in Asia was lower but still a good 40% were not listed. Never had a bad hotel when the ratio of price to quality of accommodation was factored in.
As an example check out Tapachula Mexico, a main crossing between Mexico/Guatemala, any site will only show about 3 hotels in the $80 price range. Get off the bus & you will be approached by touts for the 4 perfectly adequate hotels, within site of the station for $10-12/ night.
Why waste time on TA???
Nov 9, 2012 8:43 AM
10curiously, with only a couple of notable exceptions (San Pedro La Laguna springs to mind), I find Guatemala to be almost entirely tout-free.
Tapachula isn't much of a tourist town - more a place to stay if you get stuck between bus connections - I'm not surprised that there are few online reviews for it.
It's all just information, and for me, the more the better, although filtering is of course the key.
Nov 9, 2012 9:04 AM
11Braxman, you know the touts are in Antigua. Until people recognized me here and knew I lived here I was getting hit on a lot.
Agree about Tapachula, only high end hotels listed on TA, but with all the BS on TA I don't use it anymore. In Tapachula within a 2 block area around the OCC bus station there are hotels in a very agreeable price range for the budget traveller. I found them on my various visa runs.
Nov 9, 2012 9:24 AM
12I think the reason TA is good for me and not so much for others of you is that I vacillate between budget travel and mid-range. I can see how most truly budget accommodations wouldn't be listed because budget travelers would be less likely to take the time to set a new listing up.
When I'm traveling with a group in tow, I book everything in advance for a variety of reasons and select mid range places which is when TA comes in handiest; it's really an invaluable resource for me. If you're just finding budget lodging as you go in order to keep flexibility in your travels, I can see where it would be of little to no value.
Just another case of 'to each his/her own'. Or maybe it's 'one man's ceiling is another man's floor'? Happy trails, all!
Nov 9, 2012 9:28 AM
13I guess that makes sense. I spend very little time in Antigua and can't remember the last time I arrived by bus, which is where I assume the touts hang out.
Hard to imagine someone struggling to find a hotel in Antigua, though - swing a tepezcuintle and you hit a place to stay in that town.
Nov 9, 2012 9:59 AM
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