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La Casa De Don David
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All reviewstoucan expresszip linevisiting tikalhot waterfree meallake petenbeautiful groundsexotic birdslake viewrooms are basicshort drivetikal national parkdown the roadsmall townbelize borderearly in the morningafter a long day
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Reviewed August 12, 2007

The best thing about this place is the grounds -- it was a pleasure to wander around the grass and read in a hammock, something I spent most of my day doing, because the room was not particularly appealing. The food/restaurant was adequate, but certainly not anywhere I'd eat if I weren't staying there.

This place is just overpriced, seems like a place for travelers used to hotels to stay in as "quaint," but you can do just as well for less money at other places in El Remate or Flores.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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1  Thank mariposa1311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2007

We have just returned from a two week trip through Chiapas, Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. We stayed at Don David March 3rd. and 4th. We are a couple in our 50's, we planned this trip to follow a string of Mayan Ruins. After coming across Guatemala from the Mexico border in a local bus, El Remate looked like paradise. I will not repeat what has already been mentioned about the lake location and proximity to Tikal. I will say that the staff treated us efficiently and with kindness. We had laundry to be done, forward transport arrangements to make, and tour arrangements for Tikal that needed coordinating. All of this was taken care of without fanfare or confusion, and cost exactly what was quoted.

The staff was always available and an English speaker was nearby if necessary. Our room was clean and airconditioned and looked out on the immaculate grounds. Their website does not do justice to the beautiful property.

The only comment I would make would be concerning the fixed dinner included in the room price. It is adequate, but I would order off the regular menu if I had it to do over again. The restaurant overlooks the lake however, and that made up for any inadequacy in the meal.

We had the staff arrange for private transport across Belize, and the driver and car was perfect. We had a whole van to ourselves. A handy hint-these folks have been in El Remate 30 years. They are very interested in helping the community. The handicrafts they display in the hotel were the best priced of anything we saw or bargained for in the area.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank 52,761
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2006

We were looking for accomodations that would give us easy access to Tikal. We considered staying in the park itself, but the thought of having electricity turned off at night (I'm a late night reader), not to mention having to do without air-conditioning, was more roughing it than we were looking for on our vacation.
We decided to stay at Casa Don David after finding their website (it is very informative whether you stay at the inn or not). I think it would be helpful if Trip Advisor listed the town of El Remate in the section with Tikal hotels. Unless you are familiar with the route, you would not know the village is halfway between Flores and Tikal and miss the opportunity to stay in a convenient location for visiting the park. We rented a car at the airport when we arrived, and it was a very easy, safe drive to the hotel and Tikal. However, buses leave for Tikal regularly and there was an early morning shuttle as well.
Although this was our first trip to Guatemala, our family of 5 (which include two fiftyish parents, along with our 3 adult children in their 20's) are well traveled and frequently stay in 5 star accomodations, but we prefer smaller, more personal establishments with local flavor over large resorts or "cookie cutter" hotels, as long we do not have to compromise too much on personal comfort.
Casa Don David did not disappoint. We reserved two side-by-side bungalows. They were basic, but clean and very well priced. The web site had photographs of the rooms, so we knew just what we were getting. The front porch with chairs and hammocks looked out to lovely, lush grounds. The jungle sounds at night set the mood for our Tikal adventure, but it was also nice to escape the heat with the air-conditioning for a good night's sleep in the hot, humid climate.
The Inn's restaurant overlooks the grounds. One meal is included with the nightly rate ( you have your choice of breakfast,lunch, dinner or box lunch to take to the park). We choose to have dinner and it was fine...not stellar, but great for the price. Also, we had brought Champagne with us, and the staff was very nice about chilling it and serving it with our dinner (there are also several local resturants within walking distance of the hotel). Most of the other guests appeared to be European families. The staff was friendly and although English was limited, there was always someone around to translate if needed. Although other posts mentioned the helpful owner, we did not see him during our one night stay.
When we asked at the desk for a reccomendation of a guide to Tikal, we were put in touch with Juan...what a great guide! He made the Tikal experience come alive. The town of El Remate (about 30 min from Tikal on the main road to the park) is also charming and worth exploring. Having a car also gave us a chance to visit Flores as well. While we enjoyed seeing Flores, we did not consider it particulary worth spending much time in..although younger travelers might enjoy spending more time there...especially if night life, clubs,etc. are important. But we prefered the charm of El Remate, along the Lago de Peten Itza dotted with thatched palapas built out on piers to the lake..just beautiful.
One last comment--when traveling throughout the world our family has made a tradition of bringing items to leave behind...just our gesture of sharing our good fortune and appreciation for the opportunity to travel. We brought a large duffle bag of medications, craft kits, personal care items, school supplies, etc. to El Remate. Upon asking at the Don David if there was someplace we could donate these items to, we were directed to a clinic and learning center which is the vision of Anne Lossing, a Canadian and Dr. Enrique Chapetón from Guatemala. it is just amazing to view the result of their efforts and dream of providing a community center with health care, computer learning, and educational support to the village they care so much about. Our gift was gratefully received and Enrique gave us a very inspiring tour of the facilities developed by volunteers. It was one of those unexpected, trip memories that we cherish when we reflect on our travels.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank citall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2006

I always thinks it helps to know who is writing the reviews - I am a single female in my early 30's, traveling with another single female in her early 30's. This hotel was a dump. There were bugs all over - including dead bugs and live bugs in our room, the shower was more like a trickle - I could have spit and had more pressure. The floor of our room was wet because water was seeping through the floor, there was a stain of some sort on my sheets. The food was not good and El Remate is in the middle of nowhere.

If you can - splurge for a better hotel in Flores or another hotel in the area. It's worth the money.

There were a lot of younger, backpacker-types at the hotel - so, if that's the type of crowd/place you are looking for - then maybe this hotel is for you.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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3  Thank LGDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2006

Our decision to stay in El Remate at La Casa de Don David was the key to a most successful 4-night, 3-day visit in Peten. The grounds are lush and green, and the 5 am pre-dawn cacaphony of bird song is simply outrageously wonderful. Rooms are simple and clean, with plenty of hammocks outside to collapse in after a long day in Tikal or Yaxha. The veranda restaurant was lovely, & several other little places in El Remate are available within walking distance for alternative dining. Plenty of lakeside and nearby hiking paths for birding and listening to early AM howler monkeys, too. Best of all, the great front desk staff are there to help you with your every driving and touring need. A real gem!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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3  Thank Guat-bound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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