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“Safe Haven, Great Deal”

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La Casa De Don David
Ranked #1 of 12 El Remate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Safe Haven, Great Deal”
Reviewed 7 July 2008

We were warned not to drive at night in Guatemala and as the sun was falling, this was the first place we found with a vacancy. Turned out to be one of the best deals we had found yet. Grounds are delightful with topiaries in the shape of toucans, many fruit trees and other tropical plants. Hammocks are suspended in a gazebo for your relaxed enjoyment of the lake view. The room we had (the last room available) was under the kitchen, but as we were up early the breakfast noise didn't bother us. Each room has a small patio or balcony. The staff was extremely friendly and gave us helpful pointers for visiting the Mayan ruins of Tikal which are about 15 miles away. We drove to Tikal, but it's easy to catch a bus nearby. We felt safe here, the hotel grounds are gated so we and our car were protected. The best part was the price...$37 (U.S.) a night and that included your choice of a breakfast or dinner. We chose the dinner both nights we were there and although you get only two choices (meat or veggie) both selections were delicious.

  • Liked — Price, view, and proximity to Tikal.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Judy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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393 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
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English first
Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 July 2008

I had heard about this place from just about everyone who had been to Guatemala and gone to Tikal. They just raved about it but I gotta say it was just fairly OK. The grounds were nice but it was way too hot to really enjoy them. The restaurant was good - though they promoted a Guatemalan chicken specialty that tasted suspiciously like the Chicken a la King of my youth. Clean, working A/C and shower so all in all an OK experience.

They were very accommodating in arranging a tour of Tikal - our tour guide was great and while we paid for a collectivo, we were the only ones on the actual tour - it definitely pays to go in the offseason (except for the oppressive heat). If you do stay there, I would recommend going to the woodshops on the main road into town, there are some excellent pieces!

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank dtsb123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Tahoe (California), California
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2008

This place is great and can offer you everything for bus reservations, good food, and a nice clean room. The grounds are very pleasant and nice to just spend time here. I would also recommend another place down the road which is not listed here - my wife and I spend a night at La Mansion del Pajaro Serpiente and enjoyed it more than Don David. Pajaro Serpiente had dreamy thatched bungalows and views of Lake Peten that could not be beat.

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank benjaminf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 March 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, travelled 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
connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 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 6 Contributor
120 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 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, travelled 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 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 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, travelled 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
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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
Region: 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 12 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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