I stayed at the Casa Florencia Hotel for three weeks in October and November 2011, and was very happy with it.
Everyone who worked there was friendly and always helpful. The hotel and my room were always kept perfectly clean. If the maids weren’t cleaning a room, invariably I would see them cleaning some other part of the hotel, leaving everything spotless. The hotel looks very nice and its construction is solid. All the furniture is good quality and is well maintained. The hotel hallways and rooms are nicely decorated, giving a very comfortable feel. The garden downstairs is well tended; some of the flowering plants are tall enough that they reach to the second floor. The open-air hallway upstairs offers great views of Volcano de Agua.
I looked at the rates advertised online for a number of hotels in Antigua. The prices for the Casa Florencia were among the lowest I saw, making it a bargain.
The hotel is very secure. As far as I could tell, the windows of all the rooms face into the interior courtyard – none to the street. The hotel entrance was always locked and someone was always on duty to open it as necessary.
Antigua is a compact little city. You can probably walk from the hotel to any other part of the town in less than 15 minutes. Some of the outer streets of Antigua feel a bit desolate at night, but the Casa Florencia is within the part of town that still has a fair amount of activity in the evening.
For Friday or Saturday night stays, they provided breakfast in the morning in a little downstairs dining area. This was a good opportunity to chat a little with the owner (Patricia, who is very friendly and whose English is excellent) or other people staying in the hotel. It’s a small hotel, so breakfast wasn’t extravagant, but it was tasty. It was buffet style, and they usually offered eggs and/or pancakes, toast, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and the like. If you were going to get an early start, they would pack a meal for you instead.
I don’t drink coffee, but coffee was always available for free in the lobby. You could buy cans of beer, soft drinks, or bottled water there too. Also, at no charge, the hotel left a large bottle of water in the room every day. This was nice, as you are not supposed to drink the tap water in Guatemala. It is very convenient to buy other supplies in Antigua – there are many small tiendas around the town, as well as pharmacies, and the Bodegona, a larger supermarket with better prices, is a ten-minute walk from the hotel. (And tuk-tuks are always close by too.)
There are restaurants all over Antigua, and it doesn’t take long to reach a variety of them from the hotel. In my three weeks there I ate in over 40 different restaurants and still had only scratched the surface!
I was always able to get hot water in the shower, and the water pressure was always good.
If you need your clothes cleaned, the hotel uses a small laundromat about six doors up the street. The people at the hotel offered to drop off and pick up my laundry for me, but I carried it over there myself. The woman who runs the laundromat is very friendly and does a very careful job cleaning the laundry. She charged 6 quetzels ($0.75) per pound, with a minimum fee of 24 quetzals ($3). That’s a typical rate in Antigua, and a lot better than a luxury hotel would charge.
On the negative side ... despite its high ranking on TripAdvisor, it is not a luxury hotel. There’s no swimming pool, gym, or spa. (But you could probably find an inexpensive gym or spa close by.) As is typical of Antigua, the rooms aren’t heated or air conditioned (but there was a ceiling fan in my room). Air conditioning was never an issue during my stay, but there were a few nights when I had to throw on an extra blanket. That always did the trick. Guatemala is “the land of the eternal spring,” and I always had spring-like conditions during my stay. (Outside of the hotel, I wore shorts every day, but needed long pants and a jacket at night.) The rooms are somewhat smaller than you would find in a typical American hotel, but my room (#10) was fine for one person staying three weeks.
Overall, the Casa Florencia is a great hotel for the money and I’m glad I stayed there. I'll definitely stay there again the next time I'm in Antigua.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated seven blocks north of the Central Plaza, our hotel is within short walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants, handicraft markets and archeological sites of interest. Our first floor rooms open to a serene verdant garden, while second story rooms provide panoramic views of three distant volcanoes. Free parking subject to availability. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Casa Florencia
- Casa Florencia Antigua Guatemala