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“What started out as amazing ruined by theft”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Casa Bella

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Hotel Casa Bella
Ranked #44 of 82 Hotels in Antigua
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“What started out as amazing ruined by theft”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013

We loved this hotel when we stayed there.

It is close to the main areas and furnished really nicely. The staff were friendly and you felt welcome straight away.

The room was large and well appointed and the beds were really comfortable.

Our safe didn't work and Angelica promptly replaced it with another for us which was easy as they are not bolted down. (It is a bit scary to think that someone could just walk out with all your valuables!)

We left our luggage in the "secure luggage storage" which was listed as available on the page we booked through. When we returned to our bags they had been gone through which was obvious as soon as we tried to open them. We were rushing for a bus so we didn't have time to fully inspect our bags to see what was missing or make a scene until we knew what had been taken. We had several items stolen while our bags were in the "secure" luggage storage. When we spoke to the owner he said that our bags were moved to an area outside of the camera view at one stage and has since stopped responding to my emails.

The door is locked at most times and the owner said the only people in there were staff.

It is a beautiful hotel, but be careful with your possessions, and do NOT leave your luggage in the "secure" storage - which we were informed in emails afterwards that they don't really cater for anyway.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Schmenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Emily, unfortunatley, I navigated away from the page and my response was deleted! This response will be much shorter.

Thank you for your nice comments about the hotel but we do not appreciate someone making false accusations and evidence lacking judgements about the hotel. I would first like to point out that this couple simply left their backpacking bags outside of their room while they were rushing out in the early morning to catch a shuttle, they never inquired about secure baggage storage nor asked for a ticket or even if there was a fee.

I personally reviewed the cameras for 3 hours spanning over 10 hours of video after this guest's false accusations. She first stated that there was money missing that has to be missing because she always hides it in the same spot during all her travels and that it's the same back pack, so someone must have stole it. She then wrote back in a email that she had indeed found the money but couldn't initially because someone had rummaged through it, strange. So this money that had been mysteriously moved from one secure, hidden place to another had been found but she was missing something else but she just wasn't sure what it was yet. FAST FORWARD to a few days ago about a month after their check out, she informed me that it was her travel speakers that were missing. So instead of the money that was hidden in a secure place that had been moved, my staff decided to steal her travel speakers, again strange.

The safes in the rooms are not bolted down, but they are about 25 lbs, big steel square shaped things that you can't really smuggle out under your arm through 24 hour security, reception, cameras and a security door that you must be buzzed in and out of. So, in reply to someone running off with your valuables, doubtful at best. When the guests are not in their rooms, the doors are locked. the manager or I are the only ones who have access to the keys.

I would just like everyone to know that theft does not occur at Casa Bella Boutique, we pride ourselves on customer service and would not jeopardize this for anything. Please do not let your decision to stay with us be influenced by a wildly false accusation such as this one. Thank you.
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116 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

My sisters and I planned our trip 2 weeks prior to arriving in Antigua. I searched for hotels that can accommodate 3 persons in a room through Tripadvisor and most highly recommended ones were already fully booked. Location was important and we picked Casa Bella, being 2 blocks away from the Main Plaza.

We arrived late from Panajachel and we were quickly welcomed by Alvaro and Angelica, the receptionist. Immediately, we felt at home. The reception desk was fronting a small open courtyard with chairs and tables. It had a nice resort feeling to it. Our room was the Don Rene, and it had 2 king-sized beds that can accommodate 4. It had a sitting area with a small couch, coffee table and a chair that was adjacent to a wall with ample shelvings for our stuff. We were 3 ladies sharing a room and we had more than enough space for our toiletries, snacks, travel flyers, etc. The bathroom was fairly large, well stocked with bottled waters and toiletries. Water pressure was strong, lots of hot/warm water. However, the bathroom can use some more hanging hooks for towels.

Next to the bedroom door is a closet, lots of hangers and shelves so we basically unpacked most of our clothes and had enough room. It was also nice to have a safe in the room,too. One sister commented it would be nice to have a mirror in the bedroom too so we don't have to crowd in the bathroom to get ready.

Important to mention was the wifi - very strong and we were so happy to keep our family and friends updated with photo updates and FaceTime calls.

We stayed there for 4 nights. Every morning we were served a delicious breakfast by Luis. It included eggs, fresh fruit, toast with butter and jam, fruit juice, tastiest frijoles (sautéed beans)we had in Guatemala and the most delicious Guatemalan coffee. Luis proudly shared some recipes - the frijoles and the side tomato sauce that goes with the eggs. Don't remember complimenting the cook for preparing us the delicious breakfast so better late than never- Thank you from us!

At the end of the day, we were promptly let in after we rung the bell and like family, the staff will inquire about our day. At night Luis is the bartender and he serves a superb Caipirinha. Try this drink if you haven't yet and you'll never order a margarita again.

We met the owner and he was so friendly and accommodating. It was nice to know about how he eventually ended up in Guatemala after originally being based in Canada and years of travels in Asia. We only have great comments about the staff and the owner. The hotel feels like it is run by a family and they made you feel like you're part of their family too.

We especially grew fond of Luis. He is one of the loveliest people we've met in Guatemala. Seeing him daily and enjoying conversations made us see him like an older brother. Bidding goodbye literally brought us to tears.

This early, I'm already planning to return to Guatemala in 2014 with my husband and we'll definitely stay in Casa Bella. Hasta la vista amigos!

Maria y las 2 hermanas

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mmacbride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, January 24, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind remarks about the hotel, the staff was elated when I showed them your review. You and your sisters were the ideal guests and look forward to your visit again this year. It was a pleasure to have met you all!
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

I stayed here with 2 friends for 3 nights in a double room. Our stay was excellent and we were well looked after by the friendly staff and owner at all times. The owner is really helpful and always around for a good chat! He also provided a lot of useful advice for tourist attractions and activities as well as good restaurants and bars! The location of the hotel is great, a couple of blocks from central antigua.

Our rooms were extremely clean, modern and are in good condition. The shower was great too! Breakfast was also delicious and our bow-tied waiter was very friendly!

Overall we had a very comfortable stay in this very beautiful city and would recommend this hotel highly.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amorony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind words about the staff and the hotel. We greatly appreciate your comments, I have shown the staff this review and they were all very proud.
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Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
182 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012

Highlights:

- The staff: Always smiling, extremely polite and helpful.

- The coffee: one of the best I had in Guatemala.

- Location: close enough to the main plaza that you can walk there, far enough that you don't suffocate.

Problems:

- Hungry after having breakfast. Needs 1 more item.

- Our room was the first one on the right as you enter the hotel, adjacent to the entrance hall/bar and because of its location a) you're often woken up by music at really weird times like 8am b) smoking in the entrance hall is immediately felt in the room.

- Trying to charge us more for the second night (the first night was paid via booking.com) because we "picked a different room" than in our original booking when we checked in. Reality of course is that we were told we could choose ANY room we liked when checking in for the same price. Unnecessary.

Having said all this, will I stay here again? Definitely.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank djopm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you for your review. I have never received a negative comment about the breakfast before, but I would like to tell you that asking for seconds at Casa Bella is permitted and we hate to send away our guests hungry :) Since then, I would like to inform you that we have a CHef solely dedicated to the breakfast and he has received many compliments from our guests and from myself.

There is no smoking in the hotel, however some guests do get away with sneaking a cigarette in the garden, or in your case, on the street as you had the room with the street facing window. My apologies!

I remember your booking and do remember that a single room was requested and paid for. But, i think because it was during the week that we upgraded you to a double queen room at no extra charge. What might have happened was if you stayed during the week through booking.com and then stayed the extra night on a Friday or Saturday, the price does go up on weekends. We would never try to over charge our guests because we want you all to come back!

We are always trying to improve and satisfy our guests. That is our goal at Casa Bella, thank you for your comments and suggestions. Happy Traveling!
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Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

The hotel staff are friendly, a bit slow to open the main door. The hotel is in a great central location and is very lovely. However it lacks parking and the rooms have an unfinished feel to them. The rooms (unless you get one of the suites upstairs) have no windows or AC,making them quite stuffy. There is a fan, which helps some.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Guatechic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
GuateChic, Thank you for your review. We have recently installed a doorbell and cameras to constantly check on the main door. We do have a security door at the main entrance and that is because our guests' safety is of the highest concern, we apologize for the delay. The hotel was renovated from an old colonial residence to the nicer more open style we now have last year; Antigua has many laws protecting the old walls that are still used in the hotel so we can not simply put in windows, however we do have plans to add a central air system and skylights in the rooms without windows in the off-season. We hope to have you stay with us again in the near future to see our improvements first hand. Happy Traveling!
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

The owner and staff are great but...they have water supply issues. We went out for the night and wanted to shower when we returned and had NO water in the shower...just a trickle? There seems to be water pressure and availability issues. Next we got up in the morning only to find we had a parking ticket for 200Q after having a permit For the previous day and it is impossible to buy a new parking permit while you are sleeping...ticket was around 8am Sunday morning. Luckily the staff member got hold of the police and got it removed. We really had higher expectations.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GPSMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Thanks for your comments. We had been struggling to find the source of the water supply issue and after some time and hefty investment we had finally narrowed it down and corrected the problem. We apologize for the parking ticket, but Antigua is becoming increasingly smaller and now the municipality are creating bi-laws to make it more pedestrian friendly. We do work with a private parking lot about 2-3 blocks away and we would gladly arrange for your car to be parked there the next time you stay with us. On-site parking is something we simply do not have... but the view from our terrace is like no other in Antigua!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2012

We looked around at a few places in Antigua and found this to be a nice place with good value. The rooms are clean and cozy, very nice decor. The courtyard leads upstairs to a nice terrace with amazing views of the volcano and surrounding areas. the staff very very friendly and accommodating (Angelica and Henri), called cabs for us, made a reservation in Guatemala. In fact, Angelica was so friendly and involved I thought she was the owner! Very comfortable place with great service. The hotel is only a year old (in July 2012) so everything is in top shape. Th only thing I noted was there are a few areas that still looked unfinished. But this hardly detracted from our stay....

Room Tip: If you can get the room with the window. We stayed in two rooms without a window and one of them was...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ddmac9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaBellaAntigua, Owner at Hotel Casa Bella, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Thank you very much for your fantastic review. This is what makes everything worthwhile. I had showed this review to my staff and they were extremely happy, thank you for that! We are very pleased that you had a wonderful time with us and that you could take advantage of the breathtaking views from the terrace. It was great meeting you both and we look forward to having you stay with us again, our doors are always open!
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Additional Information about Hotel Casa Bella

Property: Hotel Casa Bella
Address: 2da. Avenida sur No. 5, Antigua 03001, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Sacatepequez Department > Antigua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #44 of 82 Hotels in Antigua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Casa Bella 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Casa Bella is beautifully designed boutique hotel located in the center of Antigua. Each of our 8 rooms are complete with high-speed WiFi, telephones, flat screen TVs with cable, pillow top mattresses, rainforest shower heads and suites with jacuzzi. Breakfast is included as well as a smile upon arrival. Customer service is of the utmost importance to us and look forward to your visit! ... more   less 
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