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“Hotel Tomas Saved My Pickpocketed Day” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santo Tomas Hotel

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Santo Tomas Hotel
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   7 Av 5 - 32 Zona unica, Chichicastenango, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Hotel Tomas Saved My Pickpocketed Day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2010

Disclaimer: We didn't stay at the Hotel Tomas. We were staying at Lake Atitlan, but took a bus to Chichi for the Sunday market, where we were promptly pickpocketed. (Ego salvage: this is despite being seasoned travelers, stashing money in multiple places on our persons, and my husband having lived in Central America for 2.5 years).

As Hotel Tomas is pretty centrally located, once we realized my husband's wallet was gone we hightailed it back there to try to take stock, cancel our cards, etc. They were nice and let us use their guest computer, even though we weren't guests.

But then their guest computer was having issues connecting to the internet, so they actually let us into their personal office to use their computer to get the phone numbers for our three credit card companies. Then they let us use their front desk phone to call internationally to cancel the cards (we paid for the use, but they charged very acceptable rates for this). Once again: this was even though we were not guests.

They were very, very kind to us and saved our butts hugely. We got the whole ugly mess cleaned up within an hour's time, and after our friends bought us some drinks (@ the Hotel Tomas bar) to soothe our wounds, we were back out at the market again with what money the pickpockets didn't get.

In short, Hotel Tomas was really, really awesome to us and helped us really fix what could have been a disastrous and terrible day. I wanted to make sure their good dead did not go unpunished.

Other pros: 1. From what we saw of the lobby area they are very clean and westerner-friendly.

2. They have several birds (parrots) that you can check out, get close to, interact with in their central atrium. Very cool.

3. Clean bathroom.

4. Cheap postcards on sale.

Only cons: Like I said, we never saw past the lobby, but the lobby itself was tourist hell. I think this is probably because of the central location and westerner-friendliness. It was absolutely rotten with every loud, elderly, fat, slow, waist-pouch and visor-wearing group of American/German/Asian/whatever tourists that had just gotten of their bus and decide to walk around in a confused haze.

That was pretty annoying, but what are you going to do? They still saved my skin, and were very, very kind about it, and for that I am and always will be very, very grateful.

Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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125 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2010

I stayed at Santo Tomas for a week in January as part of a mission trip. I didn't know what to expect--I knew we were working at a remote village outside of ChiChi--and I was pleasantly surprised by this hotel. Our room was spacious, the bed was a bit firm but comfy overall, there were plenty of warm blankets and hot water. I was thrilled to find a hairdryer b/c it was a bit on the chilly side. It was possible to get a fire built in the room, but my experience with in-room fires in other countries made me opt to just put on an extra blanket instead.

The room was very clean, as were the common areas of the hotel. The garden was gorgeous and the passageways and rooms filled with antiques. The computer/internet connection worked most of the time and was free! We ate dinner and breakfast at the hotel every day, and I loved the eggs, black beans, and tortillas. They offered decent vegetarian options at dinner and excellent fresh tropical fruit for desserts.

I brought earplugs because of past experiences in other cities, but found after the first night that I didn't need to use them. There was a little street noise--our room faced a gas station--but it quieted down quickly. There were occasional dogs or roosters, but we were up early to travel to the worksite and it really wasn't a problem.

The location was good--close to the market, farmacia, other stores.

  • Stayed January 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
103 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2009

The location is unbeatable. It gives you the ability to take comfortable breaks from the market, and to be able to walk around with minimal belongings. The place is beautiful.

My complaints are that the staff seem disinterested, and the fires in both of our rooms belched thick smoke back into the rooms. There was no way we could go to sleep until we have made sure the fires were out and the smoke had cleared. I'm guessing that the chimneys are either poorly designed, or that they are in serious need of cleaning.

The website claims that the swimming pool is heated. It was freezing.

Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
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Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
446 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 418 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

This large, fairly new hotel, just steps from the twice-weekly market in Chichicastenango, is a gem. Our triple room )actually two rooms) was equipped with a fireplace, which was supplied with wood and fired up by the staff at our request. We were on the second floor, far from the street, and the room was absolutely quiet. Lighting was very poor, as we found to be the case throughout the country. The second floor swimming pool, artifacts and antiques scattered about the premises, the fully equipped bar with fireplace, and the huge restaurant were all unexpected amenities. The lunch buffet, while expensive by local standards, was particularly nice. And the colorful parrots perched around the courtyard during the day were a special treat. Friendly and efficient staff made this a great place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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new york
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2009

Spent Christmas Day 2008 in Chichicastenango and stayed at this delightful hotel - it could not have been better! The hotel is beautifully decorated, the owner is a delight and the staff all charming and very welcoming and helpful. All the rooms have an open fireplace, the food was great and the location could not be better. Everyone goes to Chichi for the market but if you get the cance to stay overnight then stay here!

  • Liked — The hiotel itself and the way it is run
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2008

I recently went to visit my home country of Guatemala (I was born in the US, folks are from there) and took my fiance on this 15 day glorious trip. We had an opportunity to travel throughout the country of Guatemala and got to experience some amazing things.

One of our stops was to visit Chichicastenanago. I have been there before, but it is definitely somewhere I could visit over and over again. This time we had an opportunity to stay there two nights - we got to stay at "Hotel Santo Tomas" - The Hotel Santo Tomas is an idyllic Hotel in the famous “Quiche Village” of Chichicastenango. It is located just a few minutes stroll from the Indian Market and the Church of Santo Tomas. The Hotel Santo Tomas is an attractive place that features a collection of Spanish colonial art, beautiful flowers and exotic birds. The Hotel Santo Tomas has forty-three spacious rooms with fireplaces and all of them are individually decorated. Their restaurant overlooks the courtyard and serves good local and international meals. Our stay was of excellent service, when we arrived it was raining and they immediately brought us in and gave us Mayan hot chocolate and that was the beginning of a wonderful experience. If you have never had the real hot chocolate I definitely suggest you give it a go, it will be the best ever.
The next day we got to go to the Market - best time to go is on Wednesday and Sunday when the market is the busiest. You are sure to find a trinket or two to bring back home to remember the beautiful little village.

Our stay at the hotel was also a great experience - we had a fireplace in our room and at night it is very welcomed. The staff brought us extra wood and cinder to burn, more hot chocolate and plenty of candles to make our stay a very romantic and wonderful experience. The bed is covered in llama made bedcover and kept us nice and warm throughout the night.

In the morning we had breakfast in the restaurant - refried beans and huevos rancheros with warm baked bread. The coffee was so delicious we ended up buying a bag to bring home with us.

One of the most important sites to visit when visiting Chichi is is the 400-year old church of Santo Tomas which is situated next to the market. Shamans still use it for their rituals, burning incense and candles and in special cases a chicken for the gods. Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Mayan calendar year. The Mayan calendar has 18 month of 20 days each.

Word of caution - do not even think about taking photos of the inside of the church, the Mayan Indians are very protective of their culture and have been known to get 'aggressive' with tourist when they photograph their sacred church. No flash, no cameras...respect their culture.

Chichi is definitely one of the highlights of my beautiful Guatemala. Hotel Santo Tomas is definitely the best place to stay.

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Albuquerque NM
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2008

Our night here was booked by our tour operator. The hotel and its patios are gorgeous - colonial architecture, decorated with countless antique masks, crucifixes, ceramics, etc. The room was quite spacious - actually 2 rooms. But the lighting was provided by halogens which were too small for the space; water streamed under the shower door onto the bathroom floor, etc. We went to the dining room and were given menus with a set 5-course dinner: soup, salad, choice of simple-sounding chicken, beef, fish, or pork entrees, dessert and coffee/tea. All that was missing was the price. Wisely we asked. The waiter told me, then wrote it down: 770 quetales per person - that's a hundred dollars each without tip or drinks!!! We went into town and ate at one of the restaurants above the plaza - unmemorable but about $50 total with a bottle of wine and tip. Our best Guatemalan dinner on the trip was as Cacao in zona 10, Guatemala City - superb regional food with a nouvelle twist - with a bottle of wine and good tip about $65 total for both!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santo Tomas Hotel

Address: 7 Av 5 - 32 Zona unica, Chichicastenango, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > El Quiche Department > Chichicastenango
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Chichicastenan...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Santo Tomas Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 43
Also Known As:
Santo Tomas Chichicastenango
Hotel Santo Tomas

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