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“Acute Professionalism at Barcelo Guatemala” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Guatemala City

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Barcelo Guatemala City
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   7 Avenida 15-45, Guatemala City 01009, Guatemala   |  
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Ranked #5 of 47 Hotels in Guatemala City
Arlington, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Acute Professionalism at Barcelo Guatemala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

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.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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652 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

I recently visited Guatemala via Gate 1 travel (the best travel company in my opinion!)
Hotel Barcelo was superb. Their breakfast buffet was excellent and the choices were incredible. I spent the Christmas/New Year week in this hidden jewel. People were very friendly and sincerely wanted everyone to enjoy their country. I recommend this trip and especially with Gate1travel.com!
5 thumbs up!

Room Tip: I stayed at this hotel at the beginning of the tour and returned from Antigua to same hotel. Both s...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

I usually reserve staying in the Barcelo for the last night I'm in Guatemala. It's conveniently located close to the airport, they have a wonderful gourmet buffet for dinner ($20) and for breakfast, too. The hotel is FIRST CLASS, five dining rooms, excellent service, and free shuttle to the airport. I love staying here! The emloyees all match the stars: 5 STAR.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Louis, MO
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

The key items to comment:
Bed - was pretty hard and i got some sore hips and needed to turn often. Typical of asian beds and older properties, IMO. LInens are high quality.
Room - had no heat as hotel is not centrally ventilated. Staff quickly brought me blanket and portable heater to solve this. This worked perfectly. Wind howled these days and the noise leaked into the window to remind me of it. Temps were much colder than normal this week.

Bath - all fixtures worked very well; shower head large and pressure very good. All gels/ shampoo/ cond were the dispenser type inside the tub. Towels were thick and large - excellent.
Plentyof staff around and security men. Gym and restaurant staff all very friendly and quick to serve.
Rest La Vista had nice quality food for brkfast and dinner buffet.

I walked to the artisan/ craft market after getting instructions. It was 1km and easy to reach on sunny saturday. This is the one heading to the airport, near the zoo.
Pool - very nice area with sun, warm water, not crowded but active. Best thing was that air was cool/comfy but the sun would warm me up nicely without being hot on the pool deck. Pool was very large which is great to swim laps and not feel crowded. Gym, steam and sauna were all very good too.

No real complaints, good cost and very likely to return here for the value/quality of hotel.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Big chain hotel. Big sign. Big fence. Guards in suits. Piano guy playing cheese to hotel lobby bar patrons. I paid 85USD before taxes. Clean, big room. Early check-in (surprise) included room upgrade (whatever that meant - didn't get a balcony and didn't care). Free wifi and hot signal. We had a toilet issue and it was fixed in an instant and then cleaned minutes later. Lots of eating options. 24-hr room service, but I got take-out from the sports bar, which was a forgettable meal. I recommend taking a 15-minute stroll to the Aurora Zoo if you have an hour+ to kill. Some really neat species and dead cheap. This is probably the best airport hotel (at least the biggest and most to offer) that I've stayed at. However, shuttle runs every hour, which I found highly surprising. If they want to play big boy property, maybe every 30 minutes like every capital city airport hotel around the world. If I ever return to Guatemala City and am stuck for an airport hotel I'll stay here.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Came to stay here for 1 day as I was leaving Guatemala (came from the highlands) and moving on to Nicaragua. Wanted to rest up, connect online, and luxuriate in the comfort before my next leg - Barcelo did all of that for me! Inside of the room was large enough and filled with all necessary amenities. Have stayed around the world in some of the nicer properties and I would say Barcelo had one of the best breakfast buffet options, hands down! Great range of options, very good quality - by itself makes the stay worthwhile. Only thing I noticed that the wait staff were scrambling a bit, could be due to high volume during this peak time, so getting a coffee (only thing that you need to ask for) was a little time-consuming.
I needed to get some information from the business desk of the hotel that doubles up as a concierge. Lady working there was extremely helpful who also called up a hotel of my next stay in Nicaragua to confirm a shuttle pick-up! This may not mean a lot in an isolated context, but value is priceless when one doesn't speak the local language and time constraints are there. Thank you very much!
Not really sure what's there to do in the city and around the hotel, but I did end up at Oakland Mall nearby on 31st Dec when everything else was closed. If I happen to be in the city again, wouldn't think twice about checking in to Barcelo again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

This is a high end hotel close to the airport. We got a great room with two balconies and check in was quick. The only issue we had was that we found out (after going to the airport) that we were going to have a long flight delay so we wound up going back to the hotel. We got back into the room before 8:30 am and the room was already halfway made up. I know that cleaning staff can start up early but they must have started at 8 which seems too early.. and we hadn't actually checked out yet. Despite this, the hotel was very nice and immaculate.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Guatemala City

Address: 7 Avenida 15-45, Guatemala City 01009, Guatemala
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Guatemala Department > Guatemala City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Guatemala City
#2 Romantic Hotel in Guatemala City
#3 Luxury Hotel in Guatemala City
#3 Best Value Hotel in Guatemala City
#5 Family Hotel in Guatemala City
#6 Business Hotel in Guatemala City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Barcelo Guatemala City 4.5*
Number of rooms: 395
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 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Guatemala City Hotel Guatemala City
Marriott Guatemala City
Guatemala City Marriott
Guatemala City Barcelo

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