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Hotel la Casa de Don Ismael
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Reviews (69)
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All reviewspancakesbeanscentral parkcharming placebed was comfortabletwo nightscandlesnoisewifiguatemalahostelmattressshuttle
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Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

With all of the competition in Antigua, I can see why places might be struggling to stay current and upgrade bedding and pillows as they get old. Although this was a very clean room and shared bathroom, it really didn't feel that way just because the mattress was too soft and bent easily and the pillow was really lumpy. Coming from traveling in Asia, I would prefer to sleep on a covered wooden platform because it would feel less likely to hold critters. Also, we opted for the shared bathroom, which the one near our room basically wasn't closed at the top for ventilation purposes. That would be fine if no one was ever home or eating, but this really is someone's home. The family seems to live in a very small portion if the house, but every room faces the inner courtyard. And travelers stomaches aren't the best. However, great service and included breakfast, and its a family situation. Also very near the market. I wish I looked around more though since we are on a short honeymoon trip.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Amomoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Coprinus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 exceptional price.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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Thank atwell4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 a week. It's a great gym with modern equipment and offers daily fitness classes from spinning to aerobics.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Grousedoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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