We stayed at the Posada Dona Carmen for four nights in January 2006, and found it a so-so experience. The location - right on the beach, and next to Plaza Bolivar can't be faulted, and the rooms were relatively clean. The food however, was pretty grim, and we ended up eating out most nights.
Good for a budgetty stay, but not likely to come back.
In reading some of the other reviews, one needs to keep in mind that, unless you are spending an extraordinary amount of money, customer service in Venezuela in general is often terrible. As a country with plenty of oil, Venezuela hasn't developed much of a tourist infrastructure; thus, when a staff doesn't obsequiously bend over backwards to serve you, it has less to do with a particular place and more to do with typical Venezuela.That being said, nothing negative comes to mind when I stayed here. The food was good and ample, great location, rooms with AC kept quite cool and cleaned daily, and, when the island ran out of ice (which often happens), the staff was quick to give us the ice from their freezer for our coolers. With the money you can save by staying here, go treat yourself to delicious lobster lunches and some great scuba diving!
I recently stayed in this posada as a part of a package I had. I found it to be in good location and the room I had was by the sea(only 2 rooms have that choice) those are the 2 good points about the place,the room itself was very basic and hot, we had a Fan and the bathroom was old and not hot water although clean. The food was included but it was very simple and nothing to remember, The owner is very arrogant and is always watching TV. I would not recommend this place for a Romantic weekend or if you planned to stay in your room as there are no facilities in there, it's just good enough to sleep and keep your clothes in, in any case you spend the whole day around the beautiful islands
First of all, this hotel may be "right on the beach", but it's not a swimming beach. Boats are docked there. If you try to swim between the boats (as we did), angry locals shout "danger, danger!!!" as they speed by in dingys.
The view from the hotel seems nice, until you discover you have to view it standing up. The hotel has no beach chairs or otherwise comfortable chairs (even in your room) to sit on.
Some rooms do not have air conditioning. We were forced to push four beds into a room which should have only held two beds -- without A/C. We had to climb over each other to get into our beds. Staff would not let us check into our rooms until after 4 PM, even though you could clearly see the rooms were ready (and empty).
The lobby of the hotel has an extremely annoying fake-Yosemite-waterfall plaque that makes artificial bird noises 24/7. We heard this all night long through the thin walls of our room and were driven to madness by the repetitive nature. It is like a tape loop of electronic tweeting. At other times, the TV in the lobby was going at full volume (staff occasionally stopped to watch soap operas). We turned it down twice and even turned the TV completely off at other times -- only to have the staff blast it again.
There are biting insects in the lobby. My legs were covered with new bites after writing in my diary for 45 minutes.
There is no hot water in this hotel.
There is no food or beverages available until the staff is ready to serve you at mealtime. If you are still hungry after your meal (as we were) -- too bad. There are no seconds or even refills on coffee.
In case you are not aware, you have to travel to different islands to snorkel, kayak, wind surf, etc. We assumed we would be able to do these activities near the hotel. You can not. You must book a boat to other islands in order to enjoy Los Roques.
We stayed at Dona Carmen in December 2008- and found it to be of very poor value. It came in a package, but after a night there, we asked to change to a new hotel/ "posada".
Rooms are basic, but most problematic was the noise (there were parties every night on the main square; since the posada is on the main square, it made it impossible to sleep). In addition, staff was very rude: they would insist for instance to keep the doors wide open the whole night, despite the huge noise.
The manager watches soap operas on TV the whole day, and can't be disturbed. Finally, if you arrive 5 minutes late for the dinner (served at fixed hours... from 7pm to 8pm), you will have to skip it...
Breakfast food was very poor... some bad ham in a greasy bun... again in stark contrast with the quality found in other hotels.
There are tons of other posadas to choose from (about 60 on Los Roques), that are much nicer, better decorated, better food, and very friendly staff (we went to La Terrassa, but also heard great things on Malibu, Mediteraneo and plenty others)
I am not completely sure what people are complaining about. Posada Dona Carmen was much better than I thought it would be after reading all the negative reviews. The rooms are spacious, clean, with AC or fans. Rooms number 5 and 6 are beach front. They give breakfast and dinner. The food is better than typical Venezuelan posada food. meals were typical Venezuelan breakfasts, Arepas, cheese, soem kind of meat and eggs. Dinners were usually three courses, an appetizer, a main meal, and dessert.
The Posada has that main square on one side and the main beach (from whcih you catch your boats to the swimming beaches) on the other. That makes it ideally located for carrying heavy coolers to the boat, getting drinks or supplies from the local stores, and joining the party in the Plazas in the evenings. The most popular bar on the main island is right next door which can get loud, but our rooms were mid hotel and back so we never heard the revelry.
The people who rated this posada very low must not have traveled in Venezuela much. I think that the others who said they were disappointed were expecting something more like a Holiday Inn. We have been living in Venezuela for years and we thought this Posada was on par with any we have stayed at in this country.
You have to remember that Los Roques is generally very overpriced. beers are twice what you would pay on the mainland, ice is a precious commodity, and all lodging is at lest double what an equivalent lodge on the mainland would be. Its like that because they know you'll pay for it to spend some time in the beauty of the islands.
Of course the beach right in front of the Posada is not for swimming. NONE of the beaches on Gran Roque are for swimming. You are supposed to take a boat and go to the good beaches. And for the lady that said 'Angry Locals yelled from their dinghy's'; of they yelled at you you were being stupid and swimming in a dangerous area. Plus they fish for a living and you were disrupting their work.
I would recommend this hotel based on what you get for what you pay. You can get something a little bit better for a lot more money, but why waste you money when this is a perfectly good place for a lot less money?
I've found the posadas in Los Roques to be over priced in general. You can definitely find nicer and more modern establishments if you're willing to pay the price. If you are looking for an affordable, clean, but basic place to sleep then Posada Doña Carmen is the place for you.
I stayed at Posada Doña Carmen over spring break. I found the staff to be quite helpful in finding local stores for food and beach supplies, as well as connecting us with people to arrange boat transport. At least a little Spanish is a huge help in getting these conversations started.
The food at the posada was a mix of local plates (beans, shredded beef, and arapas) and sea food and pasta. Overall I'd rate the food as average to above average and the portions we're more than enough.
There are three rooms with beach front views which only have fans. We had one of these rooms and it did get a little hot but that's the trade off for a the view and the sounds of the ocean at night. The other rooms have AC. All room are basic and clean.
There is no pool or anything fancy at this posada but they do have a nice rooftop terrace with a couple of sun chairs.