Our room was very large and extremely clean. Unlike the rooms we had been staying in for the previous three weeks, this one had beautiful matching furniture, including an armoire and mirror made of dark wood. I did not have a proper appreciation for bedside lamps before this trip, and was delighted to find one here. Cool nights make fans unnecessary. Ours was one of the two rooms on second floor, by the roof patio. I highly recommend trying to get one of these rooms.
Private or Shared Bath?
All rooms at Don Ismael have shared bath, but the ratio is good at two rooms per bathroom. I found the bath to be super clean with nice hot water in the shower and plenty of toilet paper. The soap and towel at the sink were a nice touch as well.
Don Ismael is by far the most pleasant and professional hotel that we stayed in while in Guatemala. We were treated with such hospitality and appreciation that I was immediately impressed. As we unloaded our bags in our room, we were brought towels and cold bottles of purified water. The rooms are located around a courtyard filled with plants and a trickling fountain. There are tables and chairs to relax at, both in the courtyard and on the roof terrace. The roof terrace has decent volcano views. One special touch was the candles placed one the stairs and around the hotel each evening.
Food and Other Amenities:
There is someone working in the kitchen in the mornings if you would like to order breakfast. Free coffee and tea (and a cookie!) are available in the morning. One free bottle of purified water is given to each guest each day, with free refills in the kitchen. Same-day laundry service is available for US$0.75 per pound, otherwise a sink and clothesline are available on the roof for guest use.
Don Ismael has a fantastic location halfway between the central plaza and the market/bus terminal. From the bus "terminal", walk northwest to 3a Calle Poniente. About 2 alleys west of Alameda de Santa Lucia, turn right. Don Ismael is at the end of the alley.
I was equally impressed with the security at Don Ismael. The main door to the street was always locked, but we never had to wait more than a few seconds to enter after ringing the bell. It was so nice to be recognized by face as well as by name. Nobody who isn’t supposed to be there will get inside the hotel. Don Ismael was the most secure hotel that we stayed at in Guatemala. I highly this hotel for single women.
Antigua is more expensive than the rest of Guatemala, but at $11.25 per night (double), Casa de Don Ismael is a HUGE bargain in my opinion. Fills up fast!
(prices quoted above is early 2004 rate based on an exchange rate of $1US=8Q)