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“The Perfect Antigua B&B Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Villa Serena

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La Villa Serena
Callejon del Espiritu Santo #16, Antigua 000100, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 100 Antigua B&B and Inns
Orlando, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The Perfect Antigua B&B Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

We just returned from our Antigua trip and I have to say it was the best Bed & Breakfast experience I and my wife have ever had. The experience was so good that after over a decade of using TA, I decided to register and place my first review.

We went with a large group for a wedding. Everyone stayed at different hotels ranging from high end to low. I don't think anyone was happier with their accommodations than us.

I am a very critical traveler. I use TA and other sites and do a lot of research before traveling. I am always concerned about the negative reviews, but, anyone who had a bad experience here, brought it with them.

Our room (India theme, second floor) was clean, charming and more than ample size. Don't let the theme idea fool you. Theme elements are just tasteful flair, you always feel the Old Guatemala in everything. Design overall is tasteful, exotic and rustic. The bed was very, very comfortable and our room was cleaned perfectly everyday while we were out.

We loved our room, but the courtyard, the smells from the kitchen, the chirping of parrots and buzzing of hummingbirds just called to us constantly, bringing us outdoors. Add a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade offered by our hostess and you have one of those perfect moments you dream about as a traveler.

As for our hostess Marina, at no time did we feel like anything less than family. She was simply amazing. Always available, happy to help, call a tuk-tuk (taxi/rickshaw hybrid), offer maps, guides, advice and always looking out for our interests. She was genuinely interested in helping us to have what we wanted, never trying to push or sell anything, always letting us know the full range of options.

An example: On our first night a tuk-tuk came and she escorted us to it and negotiated the price down to the right amount, making sure we paid fair rate, not tourist rate.

Just one example of many.

As I said, I am very picky, but it is hard to find faults, but if I had to come up with something, here it is:

1- I am used to higher water pressure, but the view from the shower (yes the shower) was so pleasant that I didn't mind spending a few extra minutes.

2- It is about 1 1/2 blocks away from a main road. It was a little lonely walking it home at night so we always took a tuk-tuk back. Also if we left at night we took a tuk-tuk. But let me add, I never (and I mean never) felt unsafe here.

On the other hand, its probably the best location for shopping, as you are only 2 blocks from the artisan market and the general market. SEE THEM BOTH. The artisan market has all the souvenirs your looking for, but the general marketplace is a unique experience, a tight maze that seems to go on forever with vendors selling everything you can imagine. Hanging meats, bags of nuts and spices, jewelry, animals, t-shirts, electronics...I mean everything..

I don't think we would even consider staying anyplace else when we return to Antigua. Even if it was free. We look forward to seeing Marina and Mimosa again very soon.

As a final note, as others have stated, Marina was very responsive with our questions and request before we left and shes fully bilingual.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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92 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    83
    7
    1
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7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

From the second we knocked on the door of this seemingly-unassuming bed and breakfast, we were treated like family for our entire stay. From the modest outside, you would never guess the beauty that awaits on the inside. An open courtyard with cafe tables, gorgeous plants, bookshelves filled with books, a shaded seating area with comfortable seats and magazines and free access to "agua pura" (a purified water jug) 24 hours a day which is a blessing in Guatemala! Marina, the owner of this adorable bed and breakfast, feels like a long-lost relative who wants nothing more than for you to enjoy your stay. Her laid back, "take-a-load-off" demeanor and always-at-the-ready-to-help attitude means she is not only a hands-on owner who greets guests, she is a friend who gives great advice on where to eat and visit in the area and how to get around. She also gives you your space and allows you to ask for assistance and is not pushy in the slightest. She is also a stellar breakfast cook who prepared an amazing veggie omelette with rosemary (wow! yum!), a side of fruit, bread and coffee when I told her I was vegetarian. I got the feeling that this place attracts equally as warm people as Marina as our first morning there, we ate breakfast with a couple who returns to this B&B nearly every year. We talked for hours with them and will certainly be keeping in touch. Our room and beds were very comfortable, clean, and a nice hot shower is always appreciated after a few weeks of travelling with unreliable access to heated water. There is a TV, a safe, a large table and chair and a large bathroom and tub. My only minor disappointment was that I booked a room with a queen size bed, but got a room with 2 single beds for me and my husband. I thought this was my mistake when booking, but realized after our trip that my confirmation of reservation reiterated that we booked a "Queen size bed." We only stayed for 2 nights, so it wasn't much of a problem - though it was part of our honeymoon. :-) It was a bit humorous. I would also say that the decor of the room we were in was a bit dark for my taste as I am someone who thrives in bright rooms, but that is just a preference thing. The bright courtyard and beautiful terrace with hammocks was just steps away from the room, so I just moseyed out there when I wanted to soak up the sun. Although the hotel is not directly in the city center, it is definitely walkable to all main areas of interest. Tuc tucs are 10Q per person to anywhere in the city - that is a little over $1 per person - when we didn't feel up to walking. Marina was lovely enough to book us a taxi to the airport on our last day with someone she trusted. This removed some stress from us. We got there safely and soundly in great time. All in all, we had a wonderful stay and would definitely return! Thank you, Marina!

Room Tip: Make sure you confirm how many/what types of bed(s) are in your room before you arrive.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

We have just returned from our trip to Guatemala. We chose La Villa Serena due to the great reviews on Tripadvisor and we were not disappointed! From the time I first emailed Marina till we departed, she answered all my questions and concerns. We had Marina arrange our late evening pick up from the Guatemala City airport. The driver met us as we exited the airport, loaded our luggage and safely drove us to Antigua, where we were met by Marina. Even though the hour was late she was smiling and showed us to our room, Joya Mahal, on the second floor. As other reviewers have stated each room is uniquely decorated and has a room safe. The sink and tile work in our bathroom was lovely, we had a small french door that opened to tiny balcony for fresh air, a 3/4 wardrobe closet for hanging clothes, a small table that we set our carryon bags on, and a table with a TV (didn't use, so can't comment). Our bed was comfortable and the room quite except for the boom ba's going off ^_^ (Marina said that's how the locals celebrate birthdays ect) There is a roof top terrace to take in the view of the volcano and surrounding area, as well as a few hammocks to relax in. Each morning we had a lovely breakfast in the courtyard, before heading out for the day. On our final morning Marina, at our request, prepared a variety of local fruits to go along with our scrambled eggs & local sausage. So much fun to taste and learn about the local fruits!

Marina's property is in a quite residential area, which was nice to "come home" to every evening. Each day we'd take the pleasant walk to the town center. One day we went to the coffee plantation, Finca Filadelfia, another day my sister and I did the Choco Museo chocolate candy making class, and our 3rd day was spent wandering the streets of Antigua, soaking up the sights and sounds of this amazing city. We enjoyed great food at Hectors and Epicure, which I would recommend.... Fonda's on the other hand, which I would not recommend, (food bland & somewhat boring). Cost of a meals around 120 - 160 Q's

La Villa Serena is a property we would definitely go back to if we are ever privileged to go back to Antigua. Thank you Marina for going the extra mile to make us feel welcomed to your property and Guatemala!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014 via mobile

We bad an amazing stay in Antigua, partly because of the recommendations and hospitality from Marina at la Villa Serena. We loved it! Essentials were excellent- great shower, beautiful breakfast, quiet sleep, few blocks walk from Center, etc. We'll be back. Thanks Marina!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
north america
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

we stayed with marina at la villa serena in 2011 and again in june 2014. our second stay reinforces our high opinion of her place. this b&b is our first and best choice in antigua. there may be other fine places to stay, but marina's personal service, friendliness and generosity are second to none.

the breakfast is always amazing. request a local variety of breakfast (rather than a typical amer/euro one). the fruit plate is top flight. you might hear that you cannot eat strawberries or other small-seed berries in guatemala, but if marina is putting it on a plate for you, depend on the food being delicious and safe.

one word about safety. i brought a *lot* of video equipment for the second part of our trip to a remote area in guatemala. at no time did i feel that my equipment or my belongings were at risk. the people that work there can be completely trusted. one low reviewer stated that the hotel is difficult to get in and out of. getting out is a matter lf sliding the lock mechanism to the side. a cat could do it. getting in is a matter of ringing the bell to the left of the door and someone will open it soon. the place has simple in/egress that makes flapdoodle out of their comments.

i love the rooms. they are built in the central courtyard style with corridors along both levels and access to the roof. the rooms are dark, but they are also cool and comfy without air conditioning. this is intentional and functions perfectly. we enjoy sitting outside the room on one of the many benches or chairs. never tried a hammock, but they seem sturdy and comfy.

the courtyard is an explosion of plants and flowers and beauty. marina is intentional and practiced with the presentation of her b&b. you will enjoy sitting in the courtyard for breakfast surrounded by the product of her green thumb while eating papaya, tortillas and huevos revueltos.

if you want a self-service, bare-bones place to stay, there are a few other locations in antigua that seem fine. if you like central living in air conditioned rooms at a fancier hotel, there are other options you can choose from. if you want to stay at a b&b with charm, friendliness and security, look no further.

Room Tip: if you have 4 or 5 people that can share a room, the multi-level serengeti (sp?) room is an excellen...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

Marina made us feel completely welcome. Lovely B&B in a residential neighborhood close enough to walk everywhere in Antigua. International group of guests. Quiet, serene and friendly. Highly recommended

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014 via mobile

I have never had a better experience with B&Bs around the world than here. Marina is so attentive to your needs and tastes- you feel spoiled. She is also a spice master, cooking delicious, healthy meals that could pass as gourmet fare by any standards. You'll leave feeling rested, detoxed, and better than when you came.

The rooms are darling, tastefully decorated and equipped with wifi (yes!). There are hammocks throughout the outdoor areas so you can lay out and enjoy the peaceful sunrises and sunsets amidst the lush indoor gardens.

Stay here for the best accommodations of your life!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about La Villa Serena

Address: Callejon del Espiritu Santo #16, Antigua 000100, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Sacatepequez Department > Antigua
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 100 B&Bs / Inns in Antigua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a quiet and secluded neighborhood, we invite you to visit our premises and delight yourself in our lush vegetation and our collection of more than 300 hundred orquids. Have a wonderful and restfull night's sleep in an extremely confortable mattress and cover yourself with a cozy down conforter. In the morning have an amazing complimentary breakfast, including homemade marmaledes, fresh juices and Antigua coffe. ... more   less 
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