My husband and I needed a place for our family to vacation together (12 people total), and after searching for a while, we decided on booking these adjacent apartments due to their location, amenities, and price. I did read about the noise issues (more on that later), but decided to take a chance anyway, and I’m glad that I did because we thoroughly enjoyed our stay!
The apartments are located right in the heart of a lot of the fun things to see and do in Antigua (a few doors down from the Arch of Santa Catalina), so we were able to walk from the apartments to most all of the places we wanted to visit.
To get to the apartments, you have to enter "Plaza del Arco" which consists of a small courtyard w/ shops & Los Tres Tiempos restaurant. At the back of that courtyard, you would then enter a locked door to reach the apartment courtyard which is kept watch by a guard from 7pm - 7am, so we felt very safe. The two apartments that we stayed in (the 2 bedroom & 3 bedroom) are beautiful, comfy, and very clean. The kitchen has newer appliances complete with cooking utensils, etc., and our host, Giancarlo, had wine, fruit, and an assortment of other goodies waiting for us when we arrived. Giancarlo helped us arrange safe transportation to and from the airport and even exchanged currency for us for a better rate than most of the banks.
As for the noise issue, the owners have installed new, thick, glass pane windows in order to curb some of the noise that arises at night due to nearby clubs. While we were there, the club noise was mainly on Fri, Sat & Sun nights, but Giancarlo had provided us with a fan and we would turn the fan on low and with that white noise, we all slept very well (even our 6 month old!). I do have to comment that probably any central hotel or apartment in Antigua will have some nearby club noise because of the way the buildings are constructed and since many residences and businesses are right beside or on top of each other. So, if you can look past the noise issue, there is nothing better than waking up to a clean, modern apartment, and walking out of the courtyard onto a beautiful, iconic street where delicious restaurants and awesome shopping are just a few steps away.
I stayed at Turquesa for almost 3
months and loved every minute. Giancarlos and the staff made my stay wonderful They met every request with a smile. The beautifully decorated apartment was clean and very safe. Plan to definitely come again.
My wife and I stayed in the two bedroom (Turquoise) apartment with a friend for six nights in early January. The building is beautifully designed, decorated, and furnished, and Giancarlo, the manager, could not be more helpful.
The only problem, and it's a serious one, is that the apartment is located very close to a bar/disco, that was extremely loud on Friday and Saturday night. The noise consisted of electronically produced dance music with a heavily accentuated bass line that was strong enough to rattle our apartment windows. On Friday the noise began around 10 PM and continued without interruption until 2 AM, at which point there began a half hour of almost-equally loud chanting and shouting. Afterwards, the synthesized noise resumed and lasted until 3:30 AM. The scene was much like that of the drug-fueled "raves" that occur in the NYC area. None of us were able to sleep through the racket, although we had to begin work at 9:00 AM the next day. Saturday was much the same, except that Giancarlo kindly made the downstairs bedroom of the adjacent apartment available, where the noise was tolerable if you used wax earplugs. The bar/disco was closed on Sunday and Monday nights, but on Tuesday the synthesized noise started up again, although less intensely, and it ended before 1:00 PM.
We discussed the situation with Giancarlo and a representative of the owner group. They have been aware of the issue since the bar/disco opened and have tried, without success, to get the city government to take action. Antigua's regulations apparently do not permit discos and require that noise from bars and restaurant must not be overly loud and have to end by 12:30 AM. Our Antigueno friends suspect that bars and clubs like this cater primarily to young adults who come up from Guatemala City and that they are able to evade enforcement of noise regulations and illicit drug violations by "encouraging" the police not to notice.
Meanwhile, the owners of the apartments are doing what they can to change the windows and doors to keep the sound more tolerable. If planning a stay in the apartment over the weekend, it would be a good idea to contact Giancarlo for an update on the situation.
My husband and I stayed at Plaza del Arco for two weeks. It is a lovely little 3 unit apartment complex in the heart of Antigua. We stayed in the Turquesa apartment which is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The kitchen is well appointed, there is a nice desk area upstairs and the internet worked well in the mornings and at night, although at times it was a bit challenged in the afternoon. The apartment is very secure, with a night watchman on duty every night.
The staff is very friendly and accommodating. With such a small complex, any assistance you may need is readily available.
My only caution is that it is quite noisy on the weekends. It is located very close to several clubs, but we considered this the price you pay to stay in the thick of things. We especially enjoyed being so close to La Iglesia Merced where you can find food stalls virtually every night. There are several tiendas close by and a tortillería a few blocks away. El Parque Central is a short walk away; El Mercado and La Bodegona (supermarket) are walkable, but if you prefer a tuk tuk, they are easy to find near the church and a ride to virtually anywhere is only $2.
We had a fabulous time in Antigua and hope to return to Plaza del Arco soon.
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Plaza Del Arcos
My husband and I spent a wonderful week at this beautiful apartment while attending Spanish school. We arrived at midnight and the manager Giancarlo was waiting for us. The apartment had fresh roses in the living room and bedroom and snacks in the kitchen. Throughout our stay, he was always available and helpful. The apartment is beautifully appointed and large. Even better than the photos. Lovely art, comfortable king size bed, two private patios, 3 1/2 baths. The kitchen has everything you would want including microwave, full oven and cooktop, cooking supplies, and a nice set of plastic containers for storage. It is situated 50 yards from the Arch which is the main icon in the city and close to everything. Wonderful secure inner courtyard and guard on duty all night.
Nice hot water and reasonable water pressure. Great sheets and towels and maid service twice a week. Internet was off and on but Giancarlo would fix it immediately. It could sleep 4 to 5 comfortably with the king size bed, two twin beds, and a sofa bed. We loved it!
We think we found a real gem in the Plaza del Arco apartments. The units are located at the back of a courtyard right by the famous St Catalina Arch - that is the best location in Antigua. Almost all the activity in Antigua is around the arch (pedestrians only in the weekend) or in the main square which is two blocks away. Giancarlo, the Manager, has a good grasp of English and was always available to answer questions and organize transport. The apartments are basically brand new, only the exterior walls are original to maintain the historic significance of the building. We stayed in the two-bedroom apartment "Turquoise" - the living area is quite a bit more spacious than the one-bedroom apartment. It comes with a private patio on the main floor, and a deck on the second-floor. Our one-week rental included a mid-week cleaning, and the kitchen was well-equipped for cooking. There's a good supermarket just a short walk away near the market. The only minor issues we had were with a leaking kitchen faucet and initially getting connected to the wifi, but both problems were quickly resolved. The photos of the apartment speak for themselves, it is beautifully decorated.