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“Best place, great location”

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La Casa De Don David
Ranked #1 of 11 El Remate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best place, great location”
Reviewed March 13, 2008

After searching online for hotels in the Tikal area, my husband and I decided to try La Casa De Don David. It's located in El Remate, a lakeside village about 20 min. from Tikal park. Our room was plain but very clean, and a good deal at $48 including a meal in their restaurant. The hotel staff was friendly and helped us plan our early morning trip to Tikal the following morning. I highly recommend staying here if you are visiting the Tikal area.

  • Liked — location, staff friendliness, safety, comfort, garden
  • Disliked — plain rooms, slow internet
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bmnatalie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 reviews from our community

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connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2008

La Casa de Don David was great! Grounds, food, and service was wonderful. The lake and yard is beautiful. Access to Tikal couldnt be better. Great value, great stay

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
Thank nrwtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
119 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2008

We stayed here for only one night in February. We flew into Flores and took a taxi from the airport to the hotel (About a 40 minute drive.) We were swamped with offers to drive us to the hotel in a minivan at Q200 one way (for two people). We ended up paying Q160 ($21US).

We decided to use this hotel as our stopover for our visit to Tikal. The drive to Tikal takes about 45 minutes.
There is scheduled transportation (very cheap) to Tikal but it is hourly and we never actually saw any of those buses. A better bet is minivans which go back and forth from Flores to Tikal stopping for riders who flag them down. They seemed to come by every 1/2 hour or so. Each time they would try and charge 30Q per person. We had heard 25Q ($3.30) was the rate and offered that, and it was accepted each time.

I had looked into staying at one of the 3 hotels in the park, but decided that we would be much more comfortable in the jungle with a room that had air conditioning. (None of the 3 have A/C and at least the Jaguar Inn, I know does not have electricity at night. I think this is also true for the Jungle Lodge and Tikal Inn.)

La Casa de Don David is situated on the northeastern end of Lake Peten Itza, the grounds are very attractive and there is a view of the lake from the property.

We had a big quiet room (#12) with 2 double beds and A/C. The rate was $52US including tax and either dinner or breakfast. $52 is quite high for this area, as really cheap rooms are easy to come by. The rooms without A/C were quoted to me as $26. But we decided to go for the splurge and get the A/C. We were happy we did, as it was quite warm and very humid...having the A/C made for a much better night's sleep!

Another guest told us he had a room right by reception and that it was very loud late into the night and he didn't get much sleep because of it.
If you stay here, ask for a room away from the restaurant and reception areas.

The room was very basic. Just 2 beds, a nightstand, a chair and a shelf. Nothing else. We did have a few bugs (a roach on one of the beds), but it is the jungle, so I'm sure it's common no matter where you stay. The beds were pretty firm...not the hardest we had in Guatemala but certainly not the softest.

The bathroom was OK. Very clean. There was a sign that said that there is not a lot of hot water so you should use it sparingly. They weren't kidding. I wasn't it in for 2 minutes when all the hot water was gone.

The food in the restaurant was really good. We had breakfast and dinner and were very pleased with both! There is a selection of at least 5 or 6 entrees to choose from (this includes the meal that's included in the price).
They have a purified water dispenser where you can fill up your water bottles, Q3 for a big 1.5 liter bottle (a good deal at about $0.50!) Be sure to take lots of water with you when you go to Tikal!

There is no Internet service.

We booked via e-mail. Prepayment is required as such: 100% for the first night + 50% of the additional night and is payable by Visa or Mastercard via Secure Payment Process over the internet. They were very good about communicating via e-mail.

If we could have lived without the A/C, I would've stayed in the park. But if you desire A/C, I would recommend staying here.
The owner speaks perfect English and another employee at the reception desk also spoke English.
The owner has a website that is immensely helpful with all kinds of information, not just about his hotel, but about the entire area and logistics.

The "town" of El Remate does not offer much. NOTE: There are no ATMs anywhere in El Remate OR in Tikal National Park. We learned the hard way and had to exchange US dollars at the front desk...thankfully we had some to exchange.
El Remate is really just a few tiny restaurants and very small lodgings along the road to Tikal. There are no markets. Just a few stands along the road with chips and soda. Stock up on everything prior to arriving. There is not a lot to do, so I think we would have been better off staying at the park for our one night.

If you enter the park after 3pm, your ticket is good for the next day. Tickets cost $20US.
We went to the park after 3pm that first day, but found out that the last shuttle leaves the parking lot at 6pm. The park is HUGE and it takes a lot of walking to get anywhere. To get to the Gran Plaza from the entrance takes about 15-20 minutes.
We started off by going to the north end of the park first and walked all the way to Temple 4. By the time we got there, climbed up to the top and back down, we had to start making our way back to catch the shuttle.
So, we really only ended up having about an hour and a half to explore. Knowing all this now, that's why I think it would be better to stay IN the park, so you could leave at your own pace at the end of the day and not have to hurry back to catch a shuttle.
We did spend the whole next day in the park. It is amazing and not to be missed!
Once there, inquire about what time the shuttles leave. There seemed to be one every hour in the late afternoon til 6pm. You don't need a reservation, you just show up early enough to make sure there'll be room for you. (They seat about 12 people.)
By the way, on our last day we took the shuttle from Tikal all the way back to Flores and we paid Q50 ($6.60) per person for the hour and 20 minute ride.

Hope this information is helpful:)

  • Liked — Air conditioning
  • Disliked — Limited hot water, bugs
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank luv2globetrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Satellite Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2008

After one night in Flores and one night AT Tikal, we stopped at Casa de Don David, and wished we'd spent all 3 nights there.

Well run, nice place, good food, great relaxing between Tikal trips. They offer all the tours you can find in Flores, but are much closer to Tikal.

See our Tikal recap:
[--]

  • Liked — Well run, good price, good food
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ITBecketts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belize
Level Contributor
74 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2008

My wife and I recently stayed at La Casa de Don David after a few days in Tikal. It was a welcome relief from all the craziness and allowed for time to chill out and relax in a beautiful setting. The property is set overlooking El Lago De Peten about 30 minutes ride from the ruins in Tikal. The owner, David was incredibly helpful, provided assistance with transportation and answered many questions about the area. We're both looking forward to heading back there soon. The price was very reasonable even during the holiday season (about 53 USD), but was told that rates normally hover around the 35 dollar range. Rooms were large and clean, hot water is provided but can be tough to come by at certain times of the day, although after trekking through the ruins for hours on end a cold shower is most welcoming. Be sure to check out the grounds while visiting and walk down to the lakeside for beautiful sunsets.

  • Liked — Atmosphere
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank atarzia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2007

We stayed 2 nights at la Casa de Don David (6-7 Dec) and really enjoyed the locale, staff and hotel, and would have loved to stay longer! Don David's is located at the end of Lake Peten Itza 30 km from Flores and 15 Km from Tikal National Park. As a backpacker when younger, I still appreciate reasonable rates ($26 pp dbl with 1 meal of one's choice) with more mature creature comforts (hot water, nice bed, a/c, good screens). Cheaper sleeping options are available at Don David's -- but being there on my 58th birthday meant splurging for room 13.

The clean restaurant has excellent vegetarian options, is reasonably priced, and overlooks the lake. It, or a hammock, is a nice spot to have a cold beer, read the handy National Geographic reprints or guidebooks, and chill after riding, kayaking, sliding on zip-lines, and climbing ruins. Menus are in Spanish and English.

Guests can check e-mail, or print their Taca boarding pass, on the free hotel computer. The lake view is peaceful, and the little town of El Remate can be explored on foot. Locally made wood carvings are on sale in the lobby and one could visit the local workshops. Hotel arranged horseback riding, zipline tours include transportation. Yaxha (Survivor! Guatemala) Ruins are another option at only about an hour drive from the hotel.

At only 100 yards off the Flores-Tikal road with a covered bus stop, one can easily choose local transport or use hotel arranged collective or private transport, tours, etc. We chose a 5:30 am collective tour in order to be in the park early (highly recommended). Having Q150 to pay your Tikal park entrance is adviseable ($19.50 if good exchange achieved) to avoid a US$ entrance of $21. When paying your park entrance, one can request transport (7 am, 10 am, noon) to the main plaza to avoid a pretty steep 1/2 hour climb. Transport is free with tip suggested. I gave the driver $5. Later, I could have asked a guard to radio for (posted hours) return transport - but walking down though the woods and outter ruins was not difficult this day. With arthritis I never know so I was happy to have that option available.

Staying in the park is a more expensive (remember my back-packing roots?) possibility, unless you are camping. With no overnight electricity anywhere in the park, I was happy to take an early tour from my comfy, a/c room after having coffee and cookies (Q5 - 70 cents each) and eat my (tour included) bag lunch for breakfast in the ruins. Picnic tables and flush toliets are a wonderful addition since I guided in Tikal 30+ years ago.

What had hardly changed a bit was the quaint Jaguar Inn Restaurant! Friend Patty's 15-month Munditio has grown up and has his own lovely 15-month Luna. Mundo's menu still reflects his mom's good taste. It didn't seem like 33 years since I'd first fell in love with Patty's delicious homemade bread, big fruit plates, and varied soups. Patty would be proud!

  • Liked — Friendly staff, comfortable bed, good bathroom and hot water
  • Disliked — Only 1 reading light in room
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank NurseCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2007

This is a Beautiful, rustic lakeside hotel. Hot Showers, Cool air and only a $2.50US/25 minute mini bus ride away from Tikal - but be aware that mini buses are scarce on Sundays if you miss the early hotel transport. The hotel restaurant is one of two in El Remate, food is inexpensive and plentiful but not the most flavorful. Please note that El Remate is a very small town with few other amenities or activities but Casa de Don David is the perfect out-of-the-way bargain hotel with a helpful enough staff.

  • Liked — proximity to Tikal
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank usa.az.explorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Casa De Don David

Property: La Casa De Don David
Address: Route to Tikal | in Downtown, El Remate 17022, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Peten Department > El Remate
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in El Remate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 15 min. From the entrance to Tikal, we welcome you to our little piece of paradise. Don David, Yohana Rodas (Administrator)and staff have lots of helpful information, services and tours. The hotel has 13 rooms with private bath, hot water shower, fan or A/C with one meal included (breakfast)and free limited WiFi in the restaurant, and a guest computer also available. Bottled water is free to our guests. Enjoy typical Guatemalan and international meals in the restaurant from 6:30 am to 9 pm overlooking Lake Peten Itza. Our recently added Maya Garden Fire Show is unique and special featuring the largest Maya fire ring in the world. Relax in a hammock on your varanda or in our Gazebo or view the sunset or birds, from our observation deck, featuring the Toucan Express - a 200m zip line providing drink service to the deck. Learn about exotic fruit and plants in our large botanical garden and walk around of the Mayan Sacred Tree (la Ceiba) circle showing the four cardinal directions. On event nights feature the 266 meter ring of fire show for all groups staying two nights or more in the large Maya garden. We will try our best to make your stay pleasant! ... more   less 
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