Los Olivos (13 Avenida 3-32 Zona 1, tel. 7761-0215 or 7765-3469, $27 d) is a good choice if you’re traveling with a rental car, thanks to a large covered parking lot. All rooms have private hot-water bathroom and cable TV housed around a covered opaque-ceiling courtyard. Basic meals are also available and the owners are quite friendly.
Hotel Modelo (14 Avenida “A” 2-31 Zona 1, tel. 7761-2529, $40 d) is a well-situated, excellent-value hotel in an old colonial home run by a friendly Guatemalan family. The nicest rooms are in a section fronting the street and opening to a pleasant garden courtyard. All have private bathroom, hardwood floors and ceilings, cable TV, charming antique furniture, warm wool blankets to ward off the chill, and pleasantly hot showers, There’s free Wi-Fi and the restaurant here serves good breakfasts.
Hotel Villa Real Plaza (4a Calle 12-22 Zona 1, tel. 7761-4045, $43 d) is housed in a 19th- century building that once served as a prison. Some of the rooms tend to feel a little bit dark, but that’s a common thing in Xela’s older constructions. All have private bath, cable TV, and closets. Some have a chimney. The lobby has a nice restaurant set in a courtyard under an opaque roof. There are rooms in a newer section with somewhat bland decor that tend to get loud thanks to the presence of the hotel’s conference center in this part of the lodge.
Hotel Casa Florencia (12 Avenida 3-61 Zona 1, tel. 7761-2326, $32 d) has nice rooms with private bath, cable TV, wood paneling, tungsten reading lights, and nice extras such as shampoo and soap. The friendly innkeeper, Celeste, keeps it spotless.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com