Booked this hotel for 5 nights through Hostelworld. Paid 55 USD per night, including taxes. Corresponded with the hotel via email before my arrival, and they responded quickly to every email. I was very anxious, cause I had read mixed reviews about this hotel. Caracas is very expensive, and the top ends costs about 250-300 USD ++ per night. I was very pleased to find this hotel in Altamira for only 55 USD per night.
The hotel was easy to find, and I paid the whole stay upon arrival. This was not an issue to me, as the guys at the front desk seemed trustable. One of the younger guys helped me with my luggage, and he didn't even expect a tip!
Our room were situated on the 2nd floor, it was very basic and tired, but it was clean and comfortable enough for 5 nights. It had a small wallmounted tv, with many channels of good picture quality. There was a small closet too. The bathroom was very small and basic, but it served it's purpose. Like the previous reviewers mentioned - the shower needs a little time to get warm. I would not have my honeymoon at this hotel, but it was much better than I expected. The most important things are warm water, cleaniness and a okey bed to sleep in. All of those things were working fine. The maids were very friendly and the front desk guys were okey. They weren't too insterested. But come on, can't expect Four Seasons service for 55 USD per night. If you want top notch service (per CCS standards) I would recommend Gran Melia or the JW Marriott. The hotel felt perfectly safe too, with a mixed crowd of Europeans and Venezuelans.
The location of the Hotel Altamira was also great, right there in the middle of Altamira, which is one of Caracas' safer neighbourhoods. One block from the Canadian Embassy and one block from Altamira Metro Station and 10 minute walking distance from Sambil Mall (which is Caracas' largest mall, and boasts some 500 different stores and restaurants). There was no on-site restaurant or roomservice. But there are several restaurants and bars and clubs nearby - serving both straight and gay audience.
I am rating this hotel as above average because it was a lot better than I feared, and I will certainly return to this hotel when returning to Caracas.
However, there is not a lot to do in Caracas - I have visited on several occasions, and I must say that Chavez isn't doing anything to improve the conditions there. Caracas is very dangerous, and you should take care wherever you go. Two guys on a MC tried to rob us near Plaza Bolivar. One of the guys grabbed my bag, but I refused and knocked him down and we escaped in a taxi. It was stupid of me, but it went all automatically. I have never encountered a single police officer in any of Caracas' tourist spots. I find it quite strange that Chavez isn't doing anything to increase the security in this dangerous city. All of my friends in Caracas tells me the same - the city is becoming more and more dangerous. Everyone must take care wherever and whenever they go. No place is safe! I have travelled to over 80 countries, and the only place I have felt unsafe is in Caracas. Even in Bogota in comparison I felt perfectly safe. There was a presence of police everywhere and security forces were plentiful, but in Caracas there is no security at all. The safest thing you could do in Caracas is to be with Venezuelan friends. They know the city, and know how to avoid dangers.
Another tip - people may say that it is dangerous to change money on the street. But I have done this many times. The official exchange spots gives you 2 bolivares per dollar. I was able to get 5 bolivares per dollar on the airport and on the street. Even Altamira Hotel would give you at least 4 bolivares per dollar, which is twice as much as the official cambios.
Third tip - take the short 5 minute walk to the domestic airport upon arrival. There you will find cheaper taxis. I paid 25 USD to get from the airport to the hotel. That's at least half the price!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This is a typical Andean hacienda, with an enchanting green patio that evokes the colonial style. The Posada has a native and rustic charm. There are ten rooms with en-suite bathroom and a ceiling fan in two different colonial houses available for our guests. Hammocks are also available, our guests typically like to use them for a nap in the afternoon or to read a book. Our little restaurant offers our guests local specialties. This Posada is a good starting point for ornithologists, because the Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola Peruviana), as well as Quetzals and Tucans can be found nearby. You can also take wonderful walks through the cloud forest in the Venezuelan Andes. ... more less