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“One of the better budget hotels in Antigua”

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Hotel la Casa de Don Ismael
Ranked #29 of 130 Antigua B&B and Inns
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“One of the better budget hotels in Antigua”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

One of the best budget hotels in Antigua. I've gotten to know the owners very well over the years. More mature crowd - i.e., quiet, minimal drunkenness, etc. The value is equivalent to most hotels twice the price in town.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Coprinus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
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English first
Silverton, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

First of all, this is not the type of place I generally stay. My hotel preference is Marriott. This is not a Marriott. But I also was not traveling in the U.S. I was traveling in Guatemala. Solo. A friend who had stayed here in the past suggested this place because the price was very good: about $25/night including breakfast. She said I would be safe; it was family run. All her advice proved true. The hotel is at the end of a dead end road. My first impression: sparse room, outdated, worn, colorful decor, friendly owners. I thought it was the type of place I would have appreciated as a traveling college student or in my early married years when money was tight. My room had its own bath--some guests had to share. One window in the room--no a.c. One spider--not poisonous. (There are lots of spiders in Guatemala so this was not unusual and I had been warned.) The husband and wife who own this place greet you and want you to feel comfortable. This is their home, their business, their life. I reminded myself several times that I wasn't in the U.S.--I was in Guatemala. After the first impressions, I relaxed. The room was cleaned every day. It was not luxurious by any standards, but it was comfortable. I slept well. Every morning I was offered eggs or pancakes. I chose pancakes. It came with a cut-up banana and tea. It was actually very good. You eat your breakfast in the courtyard--a great way to start the day. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though this was not the Marriott, it was an enjoyable experience. So enjoyable in fact, I stayed for three days, left for Lake Atitlan for seven, then returned for another two nights. What can I say? The price was right, the owners were friendly, and the breakfast was good. My evaluation on this property is not comparing it to a franchise. It is comparing it to other places like this one. It was clean. It was safe. I loved having the owners on site. It was conveniently located for me to walk around town, come back to my room, leave again. I returned a month later via cruise ship and took my husband by to meet the owners. This is how much I liked the place. I would definitely go back as long as I had a room with a private bath. And one other great thing about the owners: They spoke broken English and helped me with sightseeing ideas, finding the post office, and suggesting restaurants.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a private bath. Do not expect a lot from the rooms. It is a room--at a an except...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank atwell4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We had planned to stay at La Terraza hostel over the road, but it was full. Luckily, we stumbled across Don Ismael's guesthouse and were very happy to find a vacant room. Don Ismael was very friendly and helpful. Although there were three of us, and only space for two left in the hotel, he set up an extra bed for us so we could all be together. The guesthouse is very pretty with a nice courtyard and lit up at night with candles. They also have very nice breakfasts in the morning which are included in the price of the room. The rooms and bathrooms were very clean and well kept. Furthermore, it is conveniently located in the very heart of Antigua. We would definitely stay there again. Thank you for accommodating us!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plattsburgh, New York
Level 6 Contributor
328 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Although this little gem on 3ra Calle Poniente, just half a block from Antigua's market, gets some mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, I am just now finishing up a week long stay here with only a couple more nights left in my stay in Antigua. Don Ismael is located at the end of a short deadend street off 3rd. It's easy to find. My shuttle driver from the import knew right where it was. But, always be sure to know the address of any hotel you're heading to. It makes it easier in case the driver isn't familiar with the spot. The Casa de Don Ismael is a small, family run place. Luis, with whom I had made all of my arrangements in advance over the Internet is charming and helpful. I can't speak to whether or not he speaks English since I try to only speak Spanish here. Nonetheless, Luis has been most accommodating and helpful. The same can be said about rest of the staff. Even at this moment, I'm sitting in the small garden area enjoying coffee having just finished a delicious plate of pancakes before I head out for a hike. Another plus to the location is that on this street, it's very quiet. Combining that with a comfortable bed, I've slept like a baby for the past seven nights. With only about 6 rooms, some with and some without private bathrooms, you don't have loud people coming in at all hours of the night. Rooms are small, but I have one on the upper floor which is clean, comfortable, and recently retiled in wonderful earthtone colors. Although I might like more light in the room, it's more than sufficient and with plenty of fresh air at night not to feel too claustrophobic. As I step onto the terrace just outside my room, I gaze upon a magnificant view of Agua Volcano. Although posted room rates appear to advertise a single for $35US and a double for $45US, my stay here was booked at a mere $23 US a night. One can pay in either $s or Qs. The Don Ismael is only three blocks off the Central Plaza and just a little over half a block from the market making it ideally located. After staying at other small hotels in Antigua on other trips here, this is by far my favorite. If I wanted to spend more, I'd do some more looking around, but for now, I'm very pleased with this quiet spot with friendly service and a simple yet comfortable room.

Room Tip: The Antigua Gymnasium is just three blocks away on 6th street. For $15US you can gt a membership for...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grousedoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2012

This hotel is centrally located within Antigua, and only a 5 min walk to Central Park. We stayed here for 2 nights upon arriving in Guatemala (backpacking) and felt very welcome.  The owner was always smiling, and despite the language barrier, he was patient and took the time to ensure that he understood us correctly. The hotel owner lives on site, so there is always a member of staff around to ensure that the rooms are secure or provide assistance to guests. After 9pm you must ring the door bell to get into the hotel.

The rooms are very clean, comfortable to sleep in and fairly secure. We had a fairly basic room, with 3 beds, 2 bedside tables and a shower and toilet accessible from outside the room (for our own private use). All of the hotel was spotless and quiet at night, which made for an easy stay.

Breakfast was included in the room price, and served from 7-10am, it was very delicious. I ate the scrambled eggs and black bean stew both mornings and they were great. The hotel has a nice upstairs terrace that is open for all guests, with an excellent view of one of the volcanoes surrounding Antigua. A good laundry service and reliable wifi connection was also available.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here at Don Ismael. I'd gladly stay again.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vc753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2012

First it was very hard to find. A cab driver couldn't find it using the directions provided by the hotel website.
Then inside, the room was awful. Smelled like a lake cottage that had been closed up too long. Dingy and dark. The windows were three quartes up the wall and frosted glass, with only two small panels that opened. Really claustrophobic.
The blanket on the bed was scratchy and felt as stiff as cardboard.
I reserved a private bath, but did not get one.
I was planning on spending four nights, but got out as soon as I had the chance.
I'm not picky. I don't demand luxury at all. But this place was down right depressing.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2011

Casa de Don Ismael is a nice basic little hotel tucked on a quiet side street. The location is really perfect as it is off the bustle of the street but a very short walk to central park.
The free breakfast was great, freshly cooked for us each morning (we always had pancakes, but there was also eggs and beans, and cereal).
The central little courtyard was cute, and the whole hotel was interestingly decorated with lots of local religious art. Every night candles were lit. Beautiful.
Every day our room was thoroughly cleaned, leaving it fresh smelling.
The only major downside was no screens on our window, which meant at night we either were very hot (even though it was nice and cool outside) or we got eaten by mosquitos.

FYI We asked Luis the owner where Don Ismael was. He said the hotel was named after a man long dead. So Lonely Planet and everyone else who said this hotel is run by Ismael, probabaly not.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank ikbeans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel la Casa de Don Ismael

Property: Hotel la Casa de Don Ismael
Address: 3ra. Calle Poniente No. 6, Antigua, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Sacatepequez Department > Antigua
Amenities:
Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 130 B&Bs / Inns in Antigua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel la Casa de Don Ismael 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
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