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“Pros & Cons to this Conveniently Located Hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel San Carlos

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Hotel San Carlos
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Av. La Reforma 7-89, Zona 10, Guatemala City 01010, Guatemala   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
10% Discount on Weekends!
Ranked #8 of 48 Hotels in Guatemala City
Certificate of Excellence
Placencia, Belize
Level Contributor
61 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Pros & Cons to this Conveniently Located Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We chose San Carlos because of its proximity to the Zona Viva (walking distance, but I would taxi at night). It appears charming from the outside, and inside it is decorated impeccably with antiques, cozy sitting areas, as well as a main bar, restaurant, pool, and front desk area that sells some drinks and toiletries.

However, there were some basic problems with guest services, which I soon found out after checking in. First, they could not arrange any tours for us. Incredibly, they told us they had no concierge service or any kind, which I find odd for a hotel that charges $98 usd/night for a standard room and is located in a prime tourist area.

They also advertise in the hotel about spa services. When we inquired about booking a massage, they informed us since we were not staying in one of the "executive" suites, we could not take advantage of the spa services. Are you kidding me? I have to pay $40 usd more a night for my money to be good enough for a massage? This kind of class system exists in one of the sitting rooms, as well, where a sign prominently announces "For our Executive Guests Only." Way to alienate a portion of your guests Hotel San Carlos.

Next, we asked if we could buy some bottled water. Sorry, fresh out. Wow! All in all, we found the front desk incapable of handling any basic request. The rest of the staff in the restaurant and bar were incredibly friendly, helpful, and eager to please. The food was great and the drinks too.

I used the pool one sunny afternoon, and found the rod iron pool furniture (chairs only, no recliners) to be extremely uncomfortable, with only small cushions, which didn't absorb water very well after a dip in the pool. Speaking of which, no towels for the guests either.

Our standard room was quite large, but the bed was way too soft, the shower didn't drain properly, you had to hold the handle on the toilet down the whole time to get it to flush, and there was no where in the shower to put your shampoo, etc. except on the floor - minor annoyance but worth noting.

We had room 3, which faces Avenida Reforma, so there was traffic noise, as well as police style spot lights they shine on the building (4 in all) for security, which makes it appear as if it is day time out. Luckily, they have good blinds to block it out, but leaving your blinds open at night to enjoy a view outside is out of the question. If traffic noise bothers you, they have plenty of rooms available at the back of the hotel.

Speaking of security, that was very good, with a guard at the main gate (although we found him dozing one morning on our way out). I wanted to like this hotel very much, but there was just too many little things wrong, and their treatment of standard room guests is very counter-productive and archaic.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
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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59 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
82 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This unique, small hotel is staffed by lovely people dedicated to excellent service. The complimentary breakfast offerings are authentically Guatemalan and delicious. Good internet service and good value. Very close to the high-priced hotel district but a reasonable rate.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We received such a warm welcome, excellent friendly service, and some extras included in the room price. The complimentary breakfast off the menu offered many choices. We enjoyed a complimentary rum cocktail in a quaint little bar. The grounds, sitting rooms, and breakfast room are elegant. Will stay here again next trip to Guatemala City.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

Good value boutique hotel near to main centres. Good english spoken by friendly staff. Free breakfast and cocktail for first nights stay. On a busy road so maybe avoid rooms at the front although noise is not bad for a busy city. Charming very green garden with WIFI to sit and work or relax in peace with free coffee running all day.
There was nothing that a reasonable person would complain about. Small restaurant with limited but quite edible local menu with very friendly service at a moderate price.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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 C, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Thank you for you review. It´s great to know you had a nice experience on your visit. We hope to see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

This is is really nice hotel, really warm welcome from Roberto the manager...Wished my sister and I were staying there for more than one night.... We received a welcome cocktail when we arrived, and voucher for an alcoholic drink for later on in the day (turns it's only for a rhum and coke only)...
Airport transfer is included, so before my trip, I emailed the hotel to arrange my transport, and our chauffeur was punctual and waiting for us when we cleared customs...
Breakfast is also included, but my sister and I were leaving really early the next morning to catch a flight for tikal, so Roberto arranged for a box breakfast be waiting for us at the front desk upon check out! And yes, it was! So thoughtful.

Room was clean, nice bar area and pool area....

Would definetely go back there!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

Our extended family of eleven stayed in three rooms at this hotel during Spring break, March 2010. It was a treat. Rooms were clean and interesting looking with kitchenettes which we were able to prepare basic food in. The pool was fun for the kids (5 total), and the complimentary breakfast was good. Also, gated and guarded parking is provided for guests (one car per room I think). The location turned out to be exceptional given that it is located off of the main avenue that during the week leading up to Easter (the week we visited) the avenue is closed to traffic on Sunday and opened up for pedestrians (the route is heavily guarded by Guatemalan police). We had a great stroll, the kids even got to enjoy a pony ride in the park farther down the avenue. I would absolutely recommend this hotel. Nice, helpful staff. Also, the last couple of days of our week-long stay and travels in Guatemala I came down with a bad stomach bug. On the morning my immediate family was to depart for the airport I asked the kitchen staff if they could give me some seeds from a papaya (which I learned about years ago while traveling in Mexico) they were able to give me about a tablespoons worth which I swallowed and by the time we reached the airport I was able to function and get on the flight home. Also, if you are renting a car in Guatemala which I would only recommend if you know someone who lives there and only if you are traveling in a caravan of at least two cars - stop by a U.S. automotive supply shop before you go and buy a two-pack of "blind spot mirrors" (they are about 2 to 3 inches in diamiter) and attach them to the side-view mirror of your rentals - it will make driving in Guatemala *much* easier for you. Have a great trip!

Room Tip: Top floor and in the back so that you get the least amount of night time traffic noise from the aven...
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Miami, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2011

I stayed in hotel San Carlos last month. I loved the experience of my stay. It has beautiful suites, garden & pool view. The service was great. I never had an experience like in hotel San Carlos because the service was extremely personalized. During my stay I had the opportunity meet many executives from important international businesses and embassies. It has a lot of security and it is less than 100 meters form the US embassy which I felt more comfortable.

Room Tip: Ask for suites, apartment and room 5.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ale_sotocr, Director of Sales at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this review, June 20, 2011
Than you for you review. It´s great to know you had a nice experience on your visit. We hope to see you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel San Carlos

Address: Av. La Reforma 7-89, Zona 10, Guatemala City 01010, Guatemala
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Guatemala Department > Guatemala City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in Guatemala City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel San Carlos 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the small and luxurious hotel in Guatemala. Hotel San Carlos is an elegant hotel that offers a personalized service that will make you feel at home. Hotel San Carlos is located in "Avenida La Reforma", one of the main and most beautiful avenue of Guatemala City. About 200 meters from the commercial area, financial centers, embassies and tourist attractions. Ten minutes from "La Aurora" International Airport and five minutes from downtown Historical Center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Carlos Hotel
Hotel San Carlos Guatemala/Guatemala City

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