Avenida la Reforma y 14 Calle, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Located in the popular Zona Viva district, this comprehensive Westin hotel attracts business travelers, adoption families, and tourists stuck in the capital for the night. If you are a fitness buff or are looking for a familiar American–style hotel in the heart of Guatemala City, this is the best choice.
The first impression here is not great: the Westin's honeycomb–style exterior reflects its forty–year vintage. After stepping over the threshold though sleek marble floors, exotic floral arrangements, chandeliers, and tapestries greet you. European parlor chairs and sofas are arranged in seating groups throughout the main floor. The check–in desk adjoins a high–ceilinged, heavily draped sitting area.
The hotel's marble floors extend into the Reebok state–of–the–art fitness room. A personal training coach is available for workout plans. Dressing rooms are glamorous enough to be the envy of a movie star. Past the fitness center is a sizeable heated swimming pool and whirlpool that are surrounded by chaise lounges, umbrellas, and a snack bar. Need more activity? You can head outside for tennis or indoors for squash or racquetball.
The Westin's rooms continue the European décor. Whereas the main floor is "luxurious", however, its rooms tend to be "classic." Westin–signature "heavenly beds" have comfortable mattresses, high–thread–count linens, and duvets. A small writing desk with ethernet and a dual–line phone joins multi–hued chairs, a sofa, and a grand wooden wardrobe in the living area. The bathroom is standard and cramped but has marble counters and a dual–head shower in the combo tub. Artwork and furniture touch–ups would improve the ambience of the bed and sitting areas. An upgrade to the concierge floor is money well spent. Rooms are no larger, but they have better furnishings, more bathroom amenities, and a separate lounge.
Business travelers have extensive services such as conference rooms, salons, secretarial services, and a convention center for up to 3000 people. The usual tech tools provide substantial assistance for any tasks in the business center. Adoption families enjoy the close proximity to the U.S. Embassy. One floor of the hotel is dedicated to them. Of course, the swimming area provides entertainment for children and adults.
Two restaurants serve Italian, International and regional dishes. Viennese pastries and robust Guatemalan coffee are available in the café. You can choose between a relaxing piano bar and a big–screen TV bar. Free transportation to and from the airport, butler and concierge services, and excursions are available through the hotel. This "one–stop" hotel also provides an art gallery, Hertz rental car agency, bank, barbershop, hair salon, spa, shopping arcade, and an independently owned casino.
The Westin Camino Real offers the kind of stay you expect from an international chain hotel, including room service and a well–trained staff. Although renovations done this decade have spruced things up, this is still a forty–year old hotel with rather smallish rooms. Still, it is aging gracefully overall and has the best fitness facilities in the country. Missing is a sense of Guatemala, which is evident in other hotels such as the Vista Real here and all the hotels in Antigua.
Web Address: Westin Guatemala
Total Number of Rooms: 271
Published rates: $139 to $2,500
Review and photos by Sandra Kennedy.