ROOM: We stayed in a Grand Class Suite and were very happy with it. It was spacious, tastefully decorated, had a beautiful bathroom with jacuzzi tub, and a comfortable king-sized bed. Our only complaint was that is was a bit musty.
GROUNDS: The reception area is beautifully grand and the interior waterfall garden with fish pond is really pretty. However, the small outside property is poorly manicured; (i.e. loose stone pathways, unkempt gardens, and a filthy pool that looked like a swamp!) The hotel is bordered by a 4 lane highway and construction of a high rise apartment; not a tranquil setting!
RESTAURANT: The hotel restaurant is very pretty but the food quality was poor, the service was rushed, and it was very expensive. Don’t waste your money here...take the free shuttle to the Fontabella Mall and eat at one of the great restaurants here. (We ate at Tres Fretellis and were very happy).
SHUTTLES: Here is where this hotel failed miserably not just once, but on THREE OCCASIONS!
1) The hotel’s shuttle picked us up at the airport. 5 minutes into the drive, the driver abruptly pulled over and hailed a cab. Without explanation, he loaded our luggage into the cab (which was a crappy old car with a broken windshield and no seat belts). Seeing the concern on our faces, the driver told us that he had to return to the airport for an emergency. (Even though he hadn’t received any phone calls from the time he picked us up). I was terrified...I thought that we were going to get driven to a remote location and robbed as I began to wonder if the shuttle was even from the hotel in the first place! Thankfully, we did arrive at the hotel after getting lost. However, the hotel didn’t seem to want to pay the cabbie. We didn’t say anything at the time because we were exhausted and it was our first time in the country...we thought that maybe that is how things are done in Guatemala. (We later learned that this is not so since we had great experiences at two other hotels!)
2) We paid the hotel $150 USD for a transfer to Lake Atitlan. We were picked up in an old Mazda Protege by a driver who spoke no english. The car broke down 4 1/2 hours into the drive (we were told that the total transfer time would be 3 hours) on a narrow winding mountain road at a blind corner. My husband assisted the driver to change a flat tire while our luggage and I sat at the roadside hoping that we wouldn’t get hit or robbed. After the tire change, the brake light lit up on the dash and the driver began vigorously pumping the brake pedal; suggesting that he had no brakes. (Scary when you are on a mountain road!) We slowly descended into a small town and stopped at an auto repair shop. We sat in the car for 20 minutes while the driver spoke to a mechanic. (We had no idea what was going on since the driver spoke no english). After that, the driver seemed lost and began asking anyone he saw for directions. After 5 hours, we arrived at our destination. We were upset about the small, uncomfortable, and poorly maintained vehicle and driver that spoke NO english and didn’t know where he was going; (2 other transfers that we booked through 2 other hotels provided spacious vans with knowledgeable, english speaking drivers).
3) Upon arriving at Vista Real for our second stay at the end of our holiday, we told the front desk employee about both negative transfer experiences that we had. By this time, we had 2 other hotels to compare it with and it was obvious that Vista Real had some serious issues when it comes to transfers. The employee didn’t seem too concerned and promised us that this stay would be problem-free. We decided to take the free hotel shuttle to the Fontabella Mall. Before we left, we grabbed a piece of paper with the hotel phone number and joked that they might forget to pick us up. The shuttle driver dropped us off and told us that he would meet us at the same location at 9:15pm. We waited at that spot until 9:50pm and no-one had come to pick us up. There were no pay phones at the mall, but luckily a mall employee was able to call the hotel for us...they actually forgot about us! I couldn’t believe that they would leave a couple of non-spanish speaking tourists in downtown Guatemala at 10:00pm! We were the only people on the shuttle...it wasn’t like they dropped off 6 and picked up 4; they just totally forgot about us! The driver finally came at 10:00pm and gave us a lame excuse. Upon arriving at the hotel we asked to speak to a manager who couldn’t believe what happened to us and apologized, offering us a 20% discount on our 2nd stay. This was hardly compensation given that all 3 instances put our safety at risk!
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Vista Real Guatemala City
- Hotel Vista Real Guatemala Guatemala City