My family and I spent a week at the Barcelo Guatemala City in early January. The stay was not only enjoyable but remarkable for the professionalism of the staff. Although I'd give the hotel my own top recommendation, some people see things differently and seem to find complaints with ice-makers that make the wrong-shaped ice, or conditioner that looks like shampoo. My own observations were not enough to compromise my judgment that it's an excellently run hotel.
My wife and I travelled separately, and my twin sons (6) and I were able to check-in early. Without ever being rushed, we were able to kill time in the sportsbar/restaurant while we waited for my wife. When my wife arrived, our multiple WiFi devices (iPads, laptops, Blackberries) exceeded the default limit of two per room. The front desk gave us additional WiFi codes immediately.
The room was quite nice. We were given a balcony room with a view of the pool. We'd also been assured the beds were queen-sized, although I suspect the queens of Central America may be a little smaller than the North. My wife complained that she found the bed hard; having never slept on a bed that was too hard, I couldn't agree, but some people are more sensitive to that than I.
When we realized that the shower door opened inward, making it impossible to assist the boys with their showers, we were given a new room straight away--not a protest, not an eye roll, not even a sigh. (This also ameliorated the disquiet of a balcony room with little boys.)
The heated pool was terrific. One might quibble with what seemed to be an overdose of chlorine, but better red eyes than bacteria. The poolside bar was not open, although I noted the staff cheerfully bringing drinks to loungers by the pool. There is also a sizable hot tub adjacent to the main pool.
In addition to the pool, there was also a full service gym on the premises, as well as (it appeared) a number of options for pilates or aerobics classes, massage--including hot stones (?)--and other physical fitness amenities. We took advantage of the outdoor basketball/volleyball/soccer court. Here again, when my son somehow managed to kick his ball over a 15-foot wall and into an empty lot adjacent to the hotel, the staff was wonderful in running through a subterranean maze the following morning to reach the ingress to the lot and ultimately, retrieve the ball.
The breakfast buffet was included in the price of our room. We had stayed here before in 2005 (when it was the Marriott) and remembered how spectacular the buffet was. If anything, it may be better now. Every kind of muffin, bread, roll or bagel can be had, as well as: several kinds of dry cereal; a chilled fresh fruit bar; yogurt; juices. There is an omelet station that includes tipica add-ins (those one would find at a Guatemalan table) in addition to traditional items like tomatoes, ham, mushrooms, etc. The hot buffet has at least two egg dishes (always including one egg white only dish), bacon, sausage, refried black beans and fried plantains, as well as usually some kind of sauteed vegetables (squash, peppers, etc.). The daily rotation also featured either waffles, french toast, or pancakes (and maybe something else--I can't remember). [I didn't go for those, but my wife did object to the fruit syrup that appeared to have been applied in the chafing dishes, rather than leaving the diners to apply their own syrup or not.]
Guatemala City's not exactly a safe place for nighttime strolling, but the hotel is very close to what's now called the "Zona Viva" according to street signs. It's an area with plenty of restaurants and different options from tipica food to U.S. chains, bar-b-q and even a Swiss restaurant. There is also a McDonald's (with a huge play area) right next door to the hotel. For convenience, we ended up eating a number of dinners in the sportsbar, Strikers, which had a perfectly acceptable kids' menu.
At checkout, as with our mid-stay relocation to the new room, the bell staff was exceedingly efficient, friendly and warm. As we checked out of the hotel, we realized that for an unrelated reason, we would need copies of our passports. The front desk made copies for us free and without suggesting for a moment that it had been anything but a pleasure.
Everyone in Guatemala--be it a restaurant, grocery store, gas station or bank--says "para servirle" when providing assistance. The staff at the Barcelo took this ["at your service"] to the limit. It's as wonderfully run and accommodating as any hotel I've ever stayed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Barcelo Guatemala City hotel is set right in the heart of the city, in the main business district, and surrounded by restaurants, shops and places of entertainment in Guatemala City. Its elegant 383 rooms offer high-speed Internet connection and numerous facilities to make your stay an enjoyable one, be it for business or pleasure. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, Barcelo, Priceline, Hotels.com, Otel, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Booking.com and Tingo so you can book your Barcelo Guatemala City reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Guatemala City Hotel Guatemala City
- Marriott Guatemala City
- Guatemala City Marriott
- Guatemala City Barcelo