Beaches and Guatemala can be a bit of a complexity for me. Now that I’m traveling with my family, and have become addicted to vacation rentals, finding the right one is not all that easy.
My Prerequisites for a Beach House Rental:
- Private Pool – this has become my latest necessity. Staying in the comfort of your own home while the kids have a blast – this is what I call paradise
- On the beach – that’s kind of the point of a beach house
- Full Kitchen – even though I hate cooking, it’s good to have everything you need for a quick and simple meal for the kids, which seems to be at random hours of the day and so much cheaper than eating out
- Comfy living room area with a TV – I barely ever watch TV so for me watching a good flick with my family is the second part of paradise
- Comfy beds – and enough for everyone. Yes we are spoiled, my kids don’t like to share beds and I don’t blame them. And why should they?
I searched all different vacation rentals that were available via various sites but they were either too expensive, too solitary, too far from the beach (even though they called themselves beach houses) or smack dab in the middle of loud and dirty towns with a dirty beach.
Norma, one of the owners, became my contact person and she was a true help.
Casas Pelicanos Monterrico are fully equipped rental beach houses each with private pools, lounges, BBQ grills and porches with hammocks. Each house is large enough to fit families (and friends) from 10 – 24 people.
No joke. When I first found out about this, I was like 24? But, let me tell you, some of these houses were huge and you can easily fit 24 people and not feel crowded.
We stayed in the house that was for 12 people. Obviously, we are only four and only used one of the rooms. But the house is split in such a way that two large families can be there without ever getting into each others way or invading on one another’s privacy.
The houses are all with AC. If you’re not from Guatemala, this may seem almost an obvious, but I’d say more than 90% of the hotels in this country do NOT have AC. And by the beach it is an absolute necessity.
Another benefit they offer, which I have not seen anywhere else in Guatemala, babysitter service. Not that I needed it. The whole point of the trip for us was to spend time as a family. But the fact that it is available, and many families that stay here can safely leave their kids while the parents have a date night is a huge bonus.
And for only $15 for the night, how can you go wrong?
Since these are fully equipped houses there is no restaurant on the property. However, what they have done was make having a personal chef so cheap that you wouldn’t even think of going out to a restaurant or cook for yourself.
First of all, you can ask them to have a Ceviche ready for your arrival. And, since the homes are for 10 people or more, the Ceviche can easily feed that amount of people.
It was the best Ceviche I have ever eaten.
And I can actually say this with authority because my husband is a huge ceviche fan and we have been to all sorts of ceviche places from street vendors (usually the tastiest) to high end restaurants. This homemade, fresh shrimp ceviche fed me for all of lunch and dinner the first day. I was tempted to have them make more the following day, but knew that would be weird.
For the following day we had our own chef come to make us lunch.
She is a local woman who specialized in local cuisine which is mainly seafood.
By the way, if you were to eat at any of the restaurants around you would get the exact same type of food.
She comes over while you are chilling out in the pool, relaxing and cooks up a storm in the kitchen.
And when I say a storm, I mean it was enough food to feed everyone in every house there.
She made us a seafood Caldo, which is a seafood soup with huge chunks of fish and fresh shrimp.
For the main meal it was fried fresh caught fish with rice and salad.
It was delicious. It fed us for the entire rest of our stay and we still had leftovers.
And everything, including the chef and fresh ingredients, was $45!
The beach houses are about twenty minutes from Monterrico which is the main beach town of the area. Before arriving, since we didn’t realize what an absolute gem the place was, we had plans to drop off our stuff and go to Monterrico for lunch.
However, once we arrived and were greeted by the woman in charge and shown around, I said we are going nowhere for the rest of our stay.
Instead, we went less than five minutes away to a supermarket (which had everything we needed) and stocked up on food, drinks and other yummies. Most importantly food to keep my sons happy.
Then we returned to the house and did nothing but enjoy the pool for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for sunset. Then we sat sat on the beach for over two hours soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the place.
When we were there all the houses were full, but you never heard the neighbors.
The only time we saw some of the others was at the recreation play area they have pingpong and swings for kids. Plus, at the beach we saw some more people who were swimming and enjoying the perfect night as we did.
The next day it rained all day. It’s Guatemala, it’s the lay of the land. Normally I would be really bummed about this, instead it was perfect.
The kids swam all day long. While I enjoyed the lounge area outside covered from the rain watching them.
There is no internet there, so it was a perfect excuse to totally disconnect and my kids were loving me for it, since all my attention was on them doing silly things in the pool.
We are so going back here again and again. Honestly, there is nothing else I would want in a beach rental.
Now that’s what I call a good find and a paradise escape.