When volunteering with De Casas a Hogares (From Houses to Homes) there are several types of accommodations you can choose from; it all depends on the experience you desire, your budget, if you prefer a small boutique hotel or a larger hotel, and the types of amenities you might require. If you’re looking for a real authentic Guatemalan experience, accommodations with a Host Family can start at as little as $11 per day. On the other end of the spectrum is luxurious hotels complete with on-site restaurants, nightlife, spa facilities and other extra amenities starting at around $130 per night and upwards. Then there are some great accommodations somewhere in between.
The better hostels can start at as little as $29 per day for double occupancy. Some accommodations include hotel tax within their rates and some don’t so you want to make sure you ask when making comparisons. Hotel taxes run approximately 22%.
Hostal El Montañes offers nice accommodations as it’s more like a Bed & Breakfast than a hostel at $40 per night for double occupancy. Although tax is not included, a full breakfast is. The accommodations are spotless, always hot running water and it’s close to the De Casas a Hogares office. You may want to learn a bit of Spanish or print out the handy Spanish-To-Go Guide as most of the staff speaks mainly Spanish.
For those on a tighter budget, Hostal Antigua offers double occupancy for $29 per night (including tax) with basic amenities and is located near the city center. They don’t include breakfast, but since they are located only two blocks from Parque Central (Central Park) you can pick up a flaky croissant and a cup of fresh roasted Guatemalan coffee at one of the cafés. Enjoy your breakfast right there at the coffee bar or get it to go and walk through Parque Central taking pleasure in the free entertainment usually offered on weekend mornings.
As for hotels there are many to choose from and you can find a nice place to stay starting at around $55.00 per night (double occupancy). Hotel Posada Placida Antigua, one of Antigua’s Bed and Breakfast’s offers accommodations for two at just $55 per night (taxes included), is located near center city and is a favorite among some of our volunteers. For $76.00, Hotel Aurora offers rooms in a traditional setting with beautiful walking views of their gardens. It is centrally located to many restaurants, bars and services and only a couple blocks from Parque Central.
For a standard room starting at just $98, including tax and breakfast, Pasado El Antaño provides lovely accommodations – offering a fireplace in every one of their 13 rooms whether you choose a standard room, a junior suite or master suite. If you’re looking for a little larger hotel, then Pasada de Don Rodrigo offers a selection of 41 rooms starting at $90 per night. Tax and breakfast are not included, but this hotel offers a colonial setting and ambiance with an on-site restaurant and is located a couple blocks from Parque Central.
For a 7-day deluxe room package at $960 plus tax, Pasada Del Angel offers luxury accommodations touting their 600-thread count linens woven from 100% Egyptian cotton, rooftop terrace to relax anytime of the day, beautiful lap pool and more. This special deluxe room package includes airport transfers, breakfast each morning during your stay and a city tour with a guide for two.
Now, if you really want an authentic Guatemalan experience, you can choose to stay with a host family in their home for the week. A host family is a Guatemalan family offering rooms in their home, providing you with 3 meals a day (except Sundays) and shared facilities for as little as $75 per week.
If you’re wondering about staying in touch with family and friends or your Facebook community, Tweeters and Google Circles while here, just about every hostel and hotel offers free Wi-Fi to keep you connected.
Some things to keep in mind when planning your accommodations:
- Before booking your trip through a site like hotels.com, expedia.com, kayak.com or any other discount travel site, contact the hotels directly as some may offer special pricing for volunteering with us. Let them know you are volunteering with De Casas a Hogares and would like to know if they offer a special discount.
- Most hotels and hostels offer weekly discounted rates (7 days or more) so make sure to ask about weekly prices or special packages.
- Some accommodations include tax in their rates and some don’t; at 22% you’ll want to find this out as it could make a difference in your comparison shopping.
- Find out if airport transfers are included in your rate or if it’s extra. Some of the higher priced hotels do include things like airport transfers and a tour of the city with a professional guide.
- Prices for accommodations are a little higher during high season (Easter, Christmas and New Year’s) so you may want to take that in to consideration when planning.
- Check TripAdvisor for online reviews as it may be helpful when choosing your accommodations.
- Utilize our Facebook page to ask the FHTH community about recommendations or about a hotel you are considering. If you haven’t joined our Facebook page, this is as good a time as any.
- For Host Family accommodations, please contact me directly to make arrangements.
NOTE: Prices mentioned above are approximations based on time of quote. As prices and packages may change and additional packages may be offered, please contact hotels and hostels directly for pricing and special packages for your anticipated travel time.
For a list of accommodations and to learn more about From Houses to Homes and about how you can get involved in making a difference in the lives of the poorest of people in Guatemala, click the information tabs above or visit our website at www.fromhousestohomes.org. I also invite you to join us on Facebook, by clicking the “Like” button in the top right hand corner of the page. Find out about what people are saying about their experiences or share your own!
As always, I encourage you to contact me if you should have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Collins, Founder