Zona 10 was strictly high-budget options until the recent appearance of Xamanek Student Inn (13 Calle 3-57 Zona 10, tel. 2360-8345, www.mayaworld.net/xamanek , $14 p/p in dorms, $35 private doubles), a friendly sort of place with clean dormitories sharing spotless bathrooms with hot showers and two rooms with private bath. Services include laundry, airport pickup, Internet, bag storage, and free use of the kitchen. Room rates include pancakes and coffee. There are two gardens and a living room for chilling out. It makes a great place to stay if you’re on a budget and don’t want to stay downtown. Its Zona Viva location is excellent.
Best Western Stofella (2a Avenida 12-28 Zona 10, tel. 2410-8600 or 2338-5600, www.stofella.com , $65–100 d), a solid choice for business travelers, has rooms with fan or air-conditioning with breakfast included in the nightly rate. You’ll find a lobby lounge with some slot machines, a fitness room with whirlpool tub, a bar, and in-room Internet connection.
Santander Plaza (15 Calle 3-52 Zona 10, tel. 2333-5857, www.santanderplaza.com , $100 d) has 26 comfortable rooms with stylish, well-appointed furnishings in executive rooms and junior and master suites. It has a lobby bar and restaurant. Guests enjoy access to the wonderful greens at Hacienda Nueva Country Club  (Km. 25, Ruta Nacional 18, Carretera a Mataquescuintla, San José Pinula, tel. 6628-1000, www.haciendanueva.com , $75 Tues.–Fri., $90 weekends and holidays). Offering many of the same services as its pricier sister hotels under the management of the Camino Real chain.
Biltmore Express (15 Calle 0-31 Zona 10, tel. 2338-5000, www.caminoreal.com.gt ) offers corporate rates for $65 d, including continental breakfast, and has comfortable rooms with broadband Internet. Guests can enjoy use of the nearby Westin Camino Real’s swimming pool, whirlpool tub, and tennis and racquetball courts for an additional $10 a day.
Guatemala City’s hippest digs are at Otelito (12 Calle 4-51 Zona 10, tel. 2339-1811, www.otelito.com , $120–160 d), with 12 rooms all named after local produce housed in a modern home turned upscale hotel. The decor is minimalist with a different color scheme in evidence during each of the year’s four seasons. It offers chill-out music playing on the speakers throughout the property, wireless Internet throughout, a business center, and a book exchange. Movies are shown nightly. A hip, frosted-glass lounge and restaurant (lunch and dinner daily, $7–12) mean you don’t even have to leave your hotel to enjoy some of Zona Viva’s best food in a delightful atmosphere.
Rooms feature nice artwork, 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, down pillows, air-conditioning, flat-screen cable TV, hardwood floors, and in-room chill-out music. Some have a minifridge. Showers feature tempered glass in lieu of shower curtains. Check for Internet specials on room rates, which include a continental breakfast and transfer to or from the airport.
Another top choice is the fabulous, 239-room Real InterContinental Guatemala (14 Calle 2-51 Zona 10, tel. 2379-4548 or 888/424-6835 toll-free U.S., www.intercontinental.com , $125–485 d) with a wonderful lobby featuring Guatemalan paintings and sculpture, a new sushi restaurant, a French café, and boulangerie/patisserie. The comfortable, stylish rooms feature in-room Internet access, down pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets, and flat-screen cable TV. Bathrooms have rain showerheads and the safety deposit boxes are large enough to accommodate a laptop. Guests have use of an in-room iPod. There are free airport shuttles and a pleasant swimming pool on a deck overlooking the city. President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, spent the night here during their 24-hour visit to Guatemala in March 2007.
French chain Accor Hotels unveiled its Guatemala City property in March 2007. Mercure Casa Veranda (12 Calle 1-24 Zona 10, tel. 2361-0196, www.mercure.com , $100–150 d) features all the amenities you’d come to expect from a reputable international hotel chain. Among the unique features of the property’s 99 spacious suites are hardwood floors, Persian rugs, wireless Internet and balconies with fantastic city views; some suites have full kitchens. The restaurant and bar are top-notch.
A number of other international hotel chains are in this price category. Among them is the ever-reliable Holiday Inn (1a Avenida 13-22 Zona 10, tel. 2332-2555 or 888/465-4329 toll-free U.S., www.holidayinn.com.gt , $120 d), the landmark 271-room Westin Camino Real (14 Calle and Avenida La Reforma Zona 10, tel. 2333-3000, www.caminoreal.com.gt , $120–160 d), and the business traveler– oriented Viva Clarion Suites (tel. 2421-3333, www.clarionguatemala.com , $105–125 d), which also has some good packages for couples traveling to Guatemala to adopt children.
The all-suite Radisson (1a Avenida 12-46 Zona 10, tel. 2332-9797 or 800/333-3333 toll-free U.S., www.radisson.com , $120 d) has a Family Floor with rooms specially equipped for couples adopting children, including cribs and carriages, bottle sterilizers, and nanny service (extra). There’s also a floor exclusively for women with the business traveler in mind, featuring a beauty salon and free transportation to area shopping malls, among other perks. All rooms have minibar, in-room safe, large windows with great city views, and in-room Internet access. There are also a gym, sauna, business center, and sushi restaurant/bar open 11 a.m.–midnight daily.
Conveniently located near the U.S. embassy in a building oozing with European charm, Hotel San Carlos (Avenida La Reforma 7-89, Zona 10, tel. 2332-6055, www.hsancarlos.com , $90–175 d) offers 23 modern, comfortable rooms. The spacious suites are a good value and have hardwood floors and kitchenettes. There are also one- or two-bedroom apartments.