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5 surprisingly sumptuous hotels in Guatemala

Between Mayan chocolate and volcanic hot springs, ancient ruins and textile markets, Guatemala has a little something for everyone. But no matter what your itinerary is like on your trip to this friendly Central American country, you’re going to need a place to lay your head. Guatemala may not be well known as a vacation destination, but it’s fast moving up the list. From the verdant jungle to the romantic colonial cities, here are our picks on where to stay after long days of play. Hotel Vista Real, Guatemala City Brimming with classic luxury, the Hotel Vista Real in Guatemala’s capital brings old world charm to modern day travelers. Built in the neo-classical style, peppered with bubbling fountains and surrounded by lush gardens, you may feel like you’ve been transported to more genteel era entirely. When you’re ready to re-emerge into the modern world, the hotel’s gym, pool, restaurants and business center will be waiting. Don’t forget to step outside after the massive buffet breakfast to see the two volcanoes that loom large over the bustling city—nicknamed Water and Fire. Hotel Vista Real Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, Carretera a San Miguel Located on 200 acres of land in a private nature reserve in northeastern Guatemala is the Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel. Four jungle suites and 13 overwater suites outfitted in rich local style allow guests modern amenities while getting up close and personal with nature. The Mayan ruins of Tikal, birdwatching, and swimming in the hotel’s stunning infinity pool will keep you busy during the sweltering days. Evenings begin as you watch the sun set over the peaceful lagoon and listen to monkeys howl from the distant treetops, and end with a glass of fine wine in the rustic dining room as you swap stories with local staff or fellow travelers. Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel Hotel Atitlan, Panajachel Nestled up to the shining waves of Lake Atitlan in the vibrant mountain town of Panajachel, lies the colorful Hotel Atitlan. Filled with the works of area artisans, Hotel Atitlan gives guests an inside view into the local culture. Views of the ever-changing lake and menacing volcanoes rising in the distance are a photographer’s dream, and nature lovers will revel in the bird sanctuary located on the sprawling property. Be sure to check out the Mayan museum with relics from an underwater Mayan city and take an invigorating boat ride to any of the 11 other towns and villages that surround the lake—each has its own artistic specialty. Hotel Atitlan Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Set on the grounds of a 16th century monastery, Casa Santo Domingo is not only a five star luxury hotel, it’s alive with history. Guests walk amongst the stones of crumbling chapels and dine in an old monastic vault as candlelight dances on its ancient walls. The grounds where monks once lived now host multiple shops filled with local handicrafts, a museum dedicated to Central American history and a world-class spa offering Mayan chocolate or jade healing massages, all steps away from the romantic colonial city of Antigua. Casa Santo Domingo Hotel Mansión de La Luz, Antigua Although this family-run boutique hotel has only seven guest rooms, it’s big on charm and old fashioned hospitality—each guest is welcomed with a big smile and a bag of local pastries. Translated in English to Mansion of Light, Hotel Mansión de La Luz boasts clean lines and a modern aesthetic, while the compact space is decorated with local art and textiles. The hotel’s cozy yet luxurious restaurant offers a spate of traditional Guatemalan cuisine and a fine wine list. Sit in the fountain dotted courtyard as you sip a cappuccino before setting off to explore the nearby churches and museums. Hotel Mansion de La Luz

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One Comment

  1. “Evenings begin as you watch the sun set over the peaceful lagoon and listen to monkeys howl from the distant treetops, and end with a glass of fine wine in the rustic dining room as you swap stories with local staff or fellow travelers.”

    A hotel beside a river? Yes please!

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