When looking for a place to stay in Flores, I knew that I wanted to stay on the island. There were hotels that were on the lake close to Tikal (El Remate) as well as just over the bridge (Santa Elena) but we wanted a prime location.
I found Hospedaje Yaxha, a hotel located above a traditional Mayan restaurant right in the heart of Flores. While the accommodations looked basic, they had everything that we would need and came in below budget. I contacted the hotel directly to coordinate reserving our room.
Our location could not be better, especially after coming from Belize where our accommodations were far removed from town. We were on one of the main roads, a short distance from the more expensive restaurants. This was fine with us as we were only a short walk to the cheaper restaurants, waterfront and shopping district.
Our room was what we expected – very basic but clean. The bed was somewhat springy with sheets that were not overly soft, but we told ourselves with the amount that we are paying, it was sufficient.
We learned that most double rooms in Central America include both a double bed as well as a twin size bed. This gives the hotel the most flexibility as they can put 1 person, a couple, 2 people who are not a couple or a trio into the same room configuration.
Our room got quite hot during the day as it was facing south and did not have a cross breeze, even with the door open. It was somewhat difficult to keep cool at night the first few days. Later in our stay, we either got used to the heat or the temperature dropped as we were both sleeping much better.
We had another suicide shower at this hotel, but this one was even crazier than Belize since you had to turn on a circuit breaker after the water was started. It was a little unsettling, but with the showerhead higher than in Belize, there was less of a chance of anything hitting our heads. At least that is what we told ourselves.
There were 3 things that we would have loved to have in the hotel:
- Air conditioning – we survived without it, using the ceiling fan and portable fan but would have slept really well if we had air conditioning
- Mini fridge – it would have been nice to keep our water and food cold, plus we would have been able to purchase a few groceries (milk, cereal, sandwich ingredients, fruits) which would have kept our food budget down
- More comfortable bed – even though it’s a basic room at low prices, I believe that a better bed could get the hotel more traffic
Since the hotel was connected to the restaurant there were essentially 2 common areas.
Restaurant common area
We were in Flores during the rainy season, so there were not many tourists around. This allowed us the flexibility to hang out in the restaurant lounge area when there was not patrons. This was nice as we got a decent breeze, change of scenery and access to food/drinks should we need it.
We enjoyed the happy hour special at the restaurant a few times getting 2 drinks for 20Q or $3. While they weren’t the strongest drinks, it was nice to have inexpensive drinks which helped us kill the time between the early 6pm sunset and dinner.
Hotel common area
There was a large common area on the 2nd floor which had tables, chairs, hammock chairs and a library. We often spent our afternoons here as we needed to get out of the sun for a while. We would spend our time online checking our email and Facebook as well as writing and posting on the blog. It was nice to have some time to relax and do nothing, something that we don’t typically do when we’re on vacation.
Our favorite part of the library were the English to Spanish flashcards and a Spanish workbook. Knowing that we had to work on our Spanish, we took the time to study a little bit. While it didn’t help us dramatically, it was nice to have some time to independently study. There was a book swap set up for travelers as well. While none of the book options looked that great, I imagine that having anything to read is better than nothing.
Hospedaje Yaxha is a good place to spend a few days if you’re on a budget. The staff, especially the Australian and Canadian that were there during our stay were extremely friendly and helpful. While I’m not sure what the pricing is like for other hotels/hostels in the area, I have to imagine that it is comparable as there were several other groups staying at the hotel during slow season when we were there.
The internet was quite slow, similar to what we experienced in Belize. While it made uploading our pictures/videos to our Google drive a slow process, we were thankful to have internet and it worked for us the majority of the time.
Our 2 biggest issues:
- The hotel is also on Airbnb. Guests that book through Airbnb, which was essentially the same rate that we paid, also received breakfast. This was frustrating as we would have liked to have charged the room instead of paying cash and have breakfast included.
- We got our laundry done, paid more than we needed to and ended up with a missing sock. We were told it was 30Q or $4 per bag, we split our laundry into 2 smaller grocery size bags because we didn’t have a large one to put everything in and were charged for 2 loads of laundry even though I am nearly certain everything was washed together.