It is slow season in Guatemala, and my present hotel has decided to do a hotel wide construction project, 60 percent of the rooms are being renovated.
I returned home, back to the hotel and discovered beds in the hallways, hammers pounding on the concrete, and three workers walking everywhere.
My comprehensive list of Hotel problems. Click Here
The word refund does not exist in many languages, or often the locals have never heard of the word. Maybe the word in Spanish is "reembolso," I have live off and on in Spanish speaking countries for over 5-7 years, and have never heard the word used.
However, I do not need a refund, I only paid in advance for seven days, and will move out on four days.
You can negotiate a deal for 30 days, and often only pay weekly... hehehe
I am NOT in the Hotel San Antonio here in San Pedro la Laguna, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala - I am out and about, searching for good hotels to include in my travel guide site: MyLagoAtitlan.com - Therefore, I have sacrificed myself, for the greater benefit of my readers, and and friends.
I am relatively sure, these five hotels will be in the book and site for San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala: All have WIFI, and hot shower, from best to worst.
1. Hotel San Antonio 50Q. (Best)
2. Gonzales and Gonzales 40Q, good but self service, empty Hotel, without WIFI.
3. Tepepul Kaan 50Q - Good, but the owner is always looking the other way, this is located in a very convenient location, but you need to pay for Tuk Tuk the first time to find it.
4. Pinocchio 50Q - Difficult to find, or go to by Tuk Tuk.
5. Penelua 25Q (Worst, maybe good, but disorganized.)
I am not recommending any other hotels here, some are OK, and some are good, the biggest problem is no view of the lake.
All Hotels Have Construction Projects!!!!!
All Hotels have Theft Problems, when they say they do not, they lie, and unfortunately 99 percent of Hotel owners lie about this.
The Four Times Construction Projects Start
1. During high tourist season, because high season has started, and the owners just received a lot of money from new residents, and they are spending it for good use, knowing they are poor the rest of the year.
2. During low tourist season, meaning the owner saves money, and spends when there are the least amount of residents in the Hotel. Note, I think August and maybe September are low season on Lago Atitlan, and the time when the best deals can be found is always low tourist season. These dingalings in my present Hotel could have close the Hotel for one week, or put us all on one floor, but that is not the Latino culture, I am between a rock, and a hard place. I am lucky, I only have four day, and if I just leave, I only lose 20 dollars, the room only cost five dollars per day. There is loud hammer noise here, and bed in the halls, this is a major project.
3. One Room or One Floor Projects: This is the best Hotel in many ways, they try to do work, when one room appears vacant for a few days. Generally, the normal room only needs painting, and maybe some shower work.
4. When I pay for the work to be done, this is always funny for me. Many tourists live in 5 dollar hotels, and are cheaper than the owners. They will refuse to do anything to improve the room saying,
"It is the owners job."
Too funny, like an owner collecting five dollars per night is rich, and yes, when you pay 25 dollars per night, the room should have enough of what you want.
Acapulco or Pie de la Cuesta Mexico Story
When I first started traveling, I went to a beach called Sunset Beach, or Playa Luces, the proper name was Pie de la Cuesta, it was eight miles north of Acapulco. It is now way to expensive, as is most of Mexico, the Americans have inflated the price until Mexico is a bad deal for the money, normally.
Well, I was paying 8-10 dollars per night for a room, and I was becoming broke, and say a few empty rooms. I moved into them, and paid 1-2 dollars, and paid to have the rooms cleaned, fixed, painted, and repaired. It would cost me around 30 USD to have the room painted, and cleaned, or three days of 8-10 dollars rent, and I would live the rest of the time paying 1-2 dollars. It is amazing how many empty rooms there are in Hotels because the owners are too lazy, too disorganized, or too cheap to spend 30-50 dollars in one time.
I have purchased a shower curtain maybe five times in the last 14 years of travel, and made the room rent-able.
Conclusion: Any Hotel or all Hotels have larger than you want construction projects, and normally the owners could care less that you are living there. In reality, 90 percent of Hotels are slumlords, they do the least amount of work, and expect you to pay your rent, and 10 percent treat you like family.
The solution to this problem is to pay daily, it is simple, then you hedge your bets and lose only 1-2 days. You should always be looking at other Hotels, and be ready to move immediately.
What happens if the city cuts the water line?
I was in Ermita, Manila, Philippines in one of my favorite hotels, when the street workers cut the water line with a backhoe. I thought the problem would go away in a day, but it did not, I needed to move.
I was in Mampong Ghana, in a great Hotel, and the water pump broke, they was carrying water to our room. Three days later I decided to go fix the pump, and when the manager realized I was smart enough, he did his work, and stopped delaying.
You must always be a squeaky wheel in a Hotel, generally what you hope, is the owner is a good construction worker, and can fix anything, if they need to pay, then you are SOL, a one day problem is always a three day problem.
If you are trying to get a refund, you are for sure a tourist, the seasoned traveler is not going to expose themselves to long-term losses. Normally, the way you get screwed is when you get a Hotel reservation in cities where there is no need to get a reservation.