Best hotels and hostels in Venezuela

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Santiago

    Travellers unwilling to brave Caracas right after landing can check in at this seaside lodge in Macuto, a 20min ride east of the airport. Owned by a native of the Canary Island of El Hierro, it boasts cosy rooms and a fine tasca (tavern).

  • Lodging in Los Llanos

    Las Churuatas del Capanaparo

    Las Churuatas del Capanaparo is a remote camp that sees few foreign tourists; situated on the southern bank of the Río Capanaparo, 110km south of San Fernando de Apure. It’s just inside the Parque Nacional Cinaruco-Capanaparo, the only national park in Los Llanos. The owner, Riverito, is quite the llanero story-teller, and charges BsF150 per day for very basic accommodations in one of the seven churuatas – palm-thatched huts with beds for four people, plus hammocks, cold-water bathrooms and electricity. The price includes breakfast and dinner prepared by his wife, Rosario, but safaris are extra and go for BsF200, depending on your choice of walks, boat trips, horseback riding or fishing. There are also indigenous settlements nearby that you can visit. The camp is not far from the San Fernando–Puerto Páez highway, near the ferry crossing on the Río Capanaparo. Call in advance and they can arrange to pick you up in Puerto Páez. In the rainy season be sure to bring insect repellent.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Gabial

    A solid midpriced option in a sleazy part of town, the Gabial is a sparkling, efficient operation, with professional, English-speaking staff. Its 95 cool, comfortable units boast quiet air-con and spacious bathrooms. Though it's on the sterile side, value-conscious travelers don't mind and the place fills up fast.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel La Mirage

    At the southern end of a string of lo-tels, the Mirage is a nondescript nine-storey block with basic comfortable accommodation. Besides the low rates, its chief attraction is its 'family' environment, meaning it's one of the few lodgings along this seedy strip that doesn't rent rooms by the hour.

  • Lodging in Isla De Margarita

    La Casona

    The wonderful La Casona, a much-needed charmer among Margarita’s surfeit of expensive and mediocre posadas is located in Carapacho, a small, sleepy village away from the island’s coast that enjoys some lovely views toward the mountains in the distance. Run by a German-Venezuelan couple, the extensive property takes in a popular restaurant, a good pool and several buildings containing 24 rustic apartments amid a well-tended garden. Apartments all have their own balconies or patios and are very pleasant, with white walls and wooden furniture. The entire place is a real refuge from the crowds and over-development that plagues the island elsewhere. Taxis from Porlamar should cost around BsF60, though again you’re much better off having your own transportation here given the village’s remoteness.

  • Lodging in Archipiélago Los Roques

    Acuarela

    This artistic posada comes with 12 gorgeous and creative rooms. It also boasts open-topped patios and a breezy rooftop terrace with hammocks. Italian Chef Cossimo Muscoguiri, who hails from Puglia via a New York City restaurant, is an absolute culinary Da Vinci – this is one posada where you don’t want to skimp on the meal plan. Outside guests are also welcome at the restaurant with reservations (three-course meal BsF150 to BsF200). Prices here are for high season, when full board is mandatory, as is a seven-day minimum. English, French and Italian are spoken.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Alba Caracas

    The government took over this former Hilton in 2007, but it remains a five-star option in an unbeatable location – facing Parque Central and connected by a footbridge to the Teresa Carreño cultural complex. Its trump cards are a convenient location for museum hopping, lofty views of the concrete jungle from the top floors, tennis courts, a couple of pools and a state-of-the-art gym. Ironically enough, however, is it the socialist hotel that is one of the few in the city to charge for wi-fi, a whopping BsF17 per hour.

  • Lodging in Los Llanos

    Hato El Cedral

    About 65km southwest of El Frío is Hato El Cedral. If you want to experience the Revolution first-hand, come to El Cedral, which is now the property of the Bolivarian government. You’ll eat with the workers, and there’s a school on the grounds for their children. Most say the level of service has gone down since the government takeover, but it’s still worth visiting for its unbelievable array of wildlife and quadrilingual guide, Rafael, who speaks French, German, English and Spanish.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    The Backpacker’s Hostel

    Occupying the second floor of the Nuestro love motel, this is Caracas’ only shoestring-oriented option amid a hostel atmosphere. It’s run by a doting Portuguese couple and offers up-to-date travel information, free luggage storage and a 2nd-floor terrace where travelers gather under a mango tree, firing back cervezas (beers) and ogling the gritty streets below. It’s ultra-basic, but fills a niche. Sadly, you need a teleporter to get in and out safely given its location in Sabana Grande.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Gran Meliá Caracas

    One of Caracas’ grand dames, the 436-room Gran Meliá is its largest luxury hotel. It’s set back from Sabana Grande’s tough streets by a gala driveway, leading to an urban oasis featuring a startling sunset-toned lobby, wildly popular pool with cascading fountain, and a restaurant that makes its Sunday brunch look like a work of art. It’s cheaper than Altamira and Las Mercedes’ luxury options, but you won’t come out ahead due to the compulsory need to use taxis for any movement whatsoever.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Gioly

    There’s no tourism-oriented hospitality at this 45-room, is-it-or-isn’t-it love motel (they shy from reservations), but it’s hard to beat for price and location, set on a bustling, working-class but safe commercial street in Chacao, just two blocks south of Centro San Ignacio. Recently renovated rooms are surprisingly nice, with LCD televisions and some with extra room for small tables. You can walk to everything in Altamira, La Castellena, El Rosal and Los Palos Grandes from here, day or night.

  • Lodging in Around Río Caribe

    Hato Río de Agua

    A further 8km east beyond Hacienda Aguasana, you’ll find the entrance to Hato Río de Agua. This buffalo ranch, which occupies a 1000-hectare chunk of marshland to the south of the Tunapuy–Bohordal road, has 380 water buffalo as well as caimans and abundant bird life. The ranch’s usual occupation has been the production of buffalo meat and cheese, but it has also turned to tourism. An attractive campamento, consisting of five conical cabañas and a thatched restaurant, sits 2km off the road.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    The Hotel

    This sleek, boutique business hotel offers a collision of Bali and Milan inside an L-shaped white sentinel building in modish Las Mercedes. Everything is designed for the hip young exec, from the lobby brimming with flat-screen TVs to the globally decorated DVD-equipped rooms. Shower-shy folks should avoid if not traveling solo: these all-glass numbers next to the bed leave little to the imagination (echoing local sentiment that it’s merely a boutique love motel!).

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel New Jersey

    This basic and clean low-rise in the somewhat easier-going section of the center near Parque Central makes a shady budget choice. Rooms are relatively large and well maintained, with a cheery palette of colors and assorted decorative elements from over the decades – though it must be said, from a security standpoint, that this was the only hotel in Caracas that let us see a room unaccompanied. The atmospheric attached tasca is usually packed with businesspeople.

  • Lodging in Isla De Margarita

    Posada Penicao

    Macanao’s only hotel, Posada Penicao is a charming place with twelve comfortable and rustically designed rooms surrounding a pleasant courtyard restaurant that serves up a decent menu of seafood and grilled meats. It’s open to the public, too, though it’s best to call ahead and check they’re open. This posada makes a great base for exploring this side of the island, though you’ll need a car if you want to stay here.

  • Lodging in Las Trincheras

    Centro Termal Las Trincheras

    This hotel steeped in aged colonial appeal, offers around 100 light, comfortable rooms with hot water and cable TV. The price includes use of the baths, sauna and other facilities. There are three food options and the main restaurant offers all-day service for hotel guests and day visitors. It’s usually easy to get a room during the week, but on weekends the hotel is full to bursting and reservations are a must. There is also a Corp Banca ATM in the lobby.

  • Lodging in Mérida

    Hotel Prado Río

    Set in vast, walled-in grounds, the Prado Río offers the faded glory of the Venezuelan bourgeois, now maintained by a small army of Bolivarian worker-bees. Besides the 13 spacious rooms in the main hotel building, there’s a colony of 66 cabañas arranged in the form of a Mediterranean town with a further 84 rooms. The complex is well maintained and adorned with flowers, and has its own restaurant, a large swimming pool and outdoor bar.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Ávila

    Opened by Norman Rockefeller as a venue for Caracas' jet set to stay in the 1940s, this old-world hotel high above the city in hilly San Bernadino may have seen better days, but remains secure, friendly and full of character. Rooms all have a safe and TV, while the public areas include an oval pool and beautifully maintained gardens.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Paseo Las Mercedes

    Since so much of Caracas life revolves around shopping complexes, it figures that a hotel should be part of one. The prevalence of white wicker furniture gives an oddly Club Med feel to the rooms at this upscale offering in the chic mall of the same name, but with lower prices than other top-end hotels in the city (rates drop another BsF120 on weekends) and a prime location for restaurants and nightlife, it’s hard walk away based on inept decor.

  • Lodging in Caracas

    Hotel Altamira Suites

    Sitting on lush grounds a few blocks north of Plaza de Francia, this extremely secure corporate hotel is designed for longer stays. Suites come in two classes but the layout is the same, with a kitchen, living room and narrow balconies. Ongoing renovations have thrown in a masculine touch to the kitchens, and brighter hallways on floors 2 to 4 and 10 to 13. The hip 360° Roofbar offers a panoramic cocktail for the city’s bold and beautiful.