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“We had two great nights there, but wish I had stayed longer!” 4 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 Deal
Free Breakfast every day.
Ranked #9 of 48 Hotels in Guatemala City
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“We had two great nights there, but wish I had stayed longer!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We stayed two nights in the 2-bedroom apartment that faced the back of the building (read: it was more quiet). The apartment was clean and gorgeous, and a great value if you are two people (like two colleagues) who need a comfortable place to stay and a work space. Each room has its own bathroom (complete with zillions of towel and toilet-paper designs) and was comfortable, and there is a sofa, table, and breakfast bar in the kitchenette. It's still walking distance from some things, and two doors down from the US Embassy. Sadly I had no time to enjoy the pool or any other area of the hotel. The breakfast was decent, and shuttles to the airport are included in your stay. The pillows were not my favorite. There was no AC, but with open windows and a fan, it really wasn't lacking - even my colleague who likes to keep her room cold was still comfortable. The staff are not the best around, but they get the job done. If I come back to Guatemala on another work trip, I would definitely like to stay here again, especially if I can get apartment 301!

Room Tip: Apt 301 has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, lots of common area space, and is quiet.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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57 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
Vienna, Austria
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

I came to Guatemala for business and was booked into this hotel by my local colleague. Initially my experience was fine. The rooms and the breakfast were nice. But one of the issues that I had initially was that some of the reception staff did not speak english.

I was supposed to stay at the hotel for a total of 5 days with a two day break in between for a trip outside of Guatemala City. For some reason the local colleague booked the entire 7 day period (without the two day break), which I was not told about. So, when I got to the hotel they initially charged me for 7 days. The next day I tried to tell the reception staff, but unfortunately that staff member did not speak english, so she called the manager and I spoke to him about that I was only supposed to be charged for 5 nights. He did not want to go to the hotel that day, so I had to wait until the next day to deal with this problem. The next day I go to the reception, the manager is there busy speaking to another employee and the same reception staff that does not speak english is behind the desk. Immediately and without speaking to me, the reception staff began to prepare the reimbursement. The reception staff went through the process of reimbursing the credit card. She then brought it to the manager and he sighed and mumbled something in a disappointing manner and she brought the receipt to me. I found out several days later that as it turned out this reimbursement never worked and the manager had just been too busy to tell me from the beginning. And as the manager was too busy for me, he never spoke to me during the entire process and I subsequently went back to my room after signing the (non)-reimbursement.

Then came the day that I was to leave the hotel for two days before coming back again for another two days. When I left, the same reception staff that did not speak english was there, so I promptly left my key and walked out of the hotel with all of my luggage. I came back to the hotel after two days to find out that I had no reservation. This time the reception staff spoke very good english, but he had to of course call the manager to find out what the problem was. I then spoke to the manager who was very unhappy with me and said that he had canceled the two days at the end of my reservation and that it was ridiculous that I would have wanted to cancel two days in between my stay at the hotel. That's also when he told that the reimbursement never initially worked. Apparently, it did not strike him as odd that I just disappeared without any luggage in the room for two days. He had no empathy and took absolutely no responsibility for any of the confusion. I was charged for these two days without any reimbursement, but I was given the money back in cash for the initial two days that I canceled. Then it got worse. The hotel was fully booked and the manager had no interest in trying to improve my situation as I clearly had no place to sleep that night and it was already 8:00 pm. If it was not for the very empathetic and kind reception staff that night, the manager would have simply sent me out on the street. This staff member took the time to call around to hotels to try to find a room for me. Unfortunately, due to a huge conference that week, all of the major hotels were fully booked. We literally went through dozens of hotels. In the end, the staff member had to call a friend that ultimately found a room at a small unassuming hotel. If it had not been for the kindness and effort of that staff member, I would have surely had even greater problems that night. As it turned out, this new hotel had nicer rooms (with kitchen) and was significantly cheaper.

I would imagine if you have a very straight forward booking and needs then the hotel would have been quite nice. But if you run into any problems that I had, then you may end up without a room and without your money.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Placencia, Belize
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
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.
Stamford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
44 helpful votes 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
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 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
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 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.
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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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