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“Vista Real-e-Unsafe!”

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Hotel Vista Real Guatemala
Ranked #2 of 49 Hotels in Guatemala City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 29, 2009

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!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank StupFD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 11, 2009

The Vista Real Guatemala feels like a beautiful colonial country house style hotel with the facilities of a mdeorn hotel; it makes you fell in between a movie on Zorro and really being back in the 18-19th century.
The staff is extremely courteous and professional and everything is stylized to please the eye though you might need to enjoy older and heavier kind of furniture, thick curtains and glamorous candelabra.
The restaurant serves also good food and the buffet breakfast offers some very nice options; overall it feels more like a business oriented resort and you will see few tourists there (at least in February).
All in all a very pleasant stay

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ulpio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2009

We stayed two nights at the Vista Real, seperated by a few days. We got a fantastic rate the first night, did less well the second. Both rooms were enormous with large, well appointed bathrooms. The beds were very comfortable, the breakfast was superb. Most of all, we remember the Vista Real for the extraordinary welcome and service throughout our stay. One warning: the location is fairly far from the airport, downtown and business sector in the city's "Zone 10."

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank NewYorkerRedoux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2008

I stayed in this hotel for 16 days mainly for business. My wife joined me for 10 days. While we both enjoyed very much our stay in this hotel, we had few complaints, nothing unbearable, but may as well just mention them:
One was that there wasn't enough parking. For two weekends, there were several weddings taking place at the hotel and we as guests were told to park far away from the lobby. We ended up leaving the car in valet.
Second complaint was the internet connection. We had disrupted connections throughout our stay. I had to call front desk more than once per day to have my password reset.
Third complaint was not really associated with the hotel, but it was cold during our stay, about 10C. We called front desk and they provided a portable heater. Only worked for one day and had no replacement!
Other than that, the food was excellent, the cleanliness in the room was superb, staff was friendly, they provided a cell phone during our stay; so I was able to call my wife while working. Althought I did not use them directly, my wife was very pleased with the Gym, Sauna, and Spa. She used it quite frequently.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled on business
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3  Thank NOMAD1414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

This is a first class oasis of luxury in Guate. The hotel grounds, staff, and rooms are unbelievable great. Wish we would have booked longer.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank apmcpm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2008

My best friend and I were going blindly to Central America and chose this hotel as our home base. Vista Real is a paradise hidden in the hills of a metropolis. Howard the hotel manager is not only a God send but someone who will give you the best advice, help, service, etc. The staff at this hotel were the most friendly helpful, trustworthy, loyal and efficient I've ever had the pleasure to encounter.

Should you be staying here one night or one week you will love every second of your stay.

Definitely upgrade to a Business Suite if you can because it's worth every penny.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank cblvs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2008

I visit Guatemala City every 6 months, our partners have always booked our travel and this was the second time I have stayed at the now Vista Real (formerly Quinta Real). The location is beautiful as it sits on the hills overlooking Guatemala City and has the architecture of an old world Spanish hacienda. The staff is always friendly, the rooms are spacious and comfortable. Amenities are also up to date and very nice.

Views are spectacular as you can overlook the entire city and several of the volcanoes across the valley.

In addition, there is a shuttle to and from the airport provided by the hotel which is handy to catch an early morning flight.

The only issue is there is really only one main road to get to the hotel and during rush our it can be very crowded. In addition, there has been some road construction which can slow down getting in and out of the city.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled on business
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3  Thank KayRizzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Vista Real Guatemala

Address: Km. 9 Carretera a El Salvador, Guatemala City 01015, Guatemala (Formerly Quinta Real Guatemala)
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Guatemala Department > Guatemala City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Guatemala City
#1 Family Hotel in Guatemala City
#2 Luxury Hotel in Guatemala City
#7 Romantic Hotel in Guatemala City
Price Range: $100 - $275 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Vista Real Guatemala 4.5*
Number of rooms: 125
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Vista Real Guatemala City
Hotel Vista Real Guatemala Guatemala City

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