120 GTQ private double w/shared bathroom, 18th - 24th May 2014
Under new local management for the past six months, Hostal Imperial, is an excellent option for social travellers. A number of hostels nearby have bars that are open to the public, whilst Imperial's facilities are solely for their guests.
Given Antigua's size, it's difficult to ever be far from the centre. Five minutes walk to Central Park in one direction or the large market/bus station in the other, it's very convenient. There also a number of cheap bars and restaurants nearby.
The roof terrace is spacious, colourful and provides a some of the bests views of Antigua's volcanoes. The kitchen is also very well-equipped.
The upstairs bathroom is a little...public...being located in the middle of a common area and without a ceiling.
The rooms are of a decent size but could use some freshening up. They also don't have much natural sunlight but this is more a general feature of Antiguan architecture, and therefore applicable to other hostels, than the fault of Imperial.
Value for money
Antigua has some of the most expensive hostel rates in Guatemala, but if staying for more than a few days you can often get a deal. At Imperial, we negotiated the price of our room down from 150 GTQ to 120 GTQ. This, along with the excellent kitchen allowing you to 'eat in', makes it one of the better budget backpacker options in town.
If you're looking to stay in the middle of the party scene, you may prefer other hostels, but Imperial is a great social environment, albeit with a 10 p.m curfew on 'noise'. Thankfully the reception area is open 24-hours so revellers will
Ask to see the rooms before you agree on one as some were certainly better than others.
Wi-fi (extremely quick), hot showers, kitchen, 24-hour reception, rooftop terrace, satellite TV. Over-priced alcohol, cigarettes and snacks can be bought from reception, but consumption of 'external' alcoholic drinks is forbidden.