Casa Doña Mercedes (6a Calle and 14 Avenida 13-42 Zona 1, $20 d) has excellent-value rooms with tile floors, wood ceilings, Guatemalan bedspreads gracing the firm beds, and spotless shared bathroom.
Another good choice is Hotel Kiktem-Ja (13 Avenida 7-18 Zona 1, tel. 7761-4304, $21 d), housed in an old colonial building with wooden floors and a plant-filled courtyard. Some rooms have chimneys and desks; all have reading lamps, hot-water bathroom, and cable TV.
Conveniently situated near Parque Centroamérica, Hotel Occidental (7a Calle 12-23 Zona 1, tel. 7765-4069, $16 d) has 10 spartanly decorated rooms with cable TV and private hot-water bathroom.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com