Jürg Widmer Probst - 5 of the best places to stay in Guatemala
Choosing where to stay when you visit Guatemala is one of the most important decisions you will make. Our country is so varied. From busy cities to beaches, jungles to volcanoes, the choice can be overwhelming.
But there are some very special places to stay in our country. From luxury hotels to getaways with great views, we’ve picked out some of the best for you here. So, with that in mind, here are 5 of the best places to stay in Guatemala.
The hotel with its own lagoon
The clue is in the name: Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel is the perfect hideaway for anyone looking for a bit of peace and quiet. The lagoon itself is stunning – it is hidden away in remote jungle not far from the remarkable ruins at Tikal.
A trip to the ruins makes for the perfect day trip. But we think you will be so in love with Las Lagunas that you won’t want to leave. The real attraction of this hotel is its complete privacy. It feels lush and luxurious, and the ideal spot to just relax and watch the natural world around you.
The team at Las Lagunas have also taken great care to make sure that the Mayan influence shines through. Throughout the hotel you will find little touches that reflect the Mayan culture of the region. A very special place indeed.
The one for volcano lovers
The historic colonial capital of Antigua is an absolute essential visit for anyone who wants to find out more about the history and culture of our country. And if you do visit this wonderful city, then the beautiful Soleil La Antigua is a great choice.
The region around Antigua is well-known for its volcanoes. One of the most famous (and active) is Fuego, which simply means ‘fire’. And this hotel has spectacular views of the volcano itself.
The hotel itself is clean and comfortable, with beautiful grounds to relax in. It is a little way out of town, but there is a regular shuttle service and it is still within walking distance.
The staff are friendly and welcoming and the food is excellent. There is a swimming pool and plenty to keep kids busy if you’re travelling with family – but the volcanoes should keep them entertained!
The luxurious choice
There is so much to see and do in our country that sometimes it is hard to remember to stop and pamper yourself a little. But if you are looking to spend some more money to treat yourself to a special few days away, then we have the perfect hotel for you.
La Lancha is owned by the film director Francis Ford Coppola, and is the last word in luxury. Hidden away in the jungles near to Tikal, this is a place where you will feel surrounded by the wonders of nature. This is an eco-hotel, and so there is no wasteful air-conditioning or even TVs. But this adds to the sense of complete escapism you get here.
From the moment you arrive by boat and take the private funicular up to the hotel, this place feels special. You will wake to the sounds of the jungle around you, and watch howler monkeys and parrots as you eat your breakfast on the terrace.
Our tip is to get a suite by the lake – the views are breathtaking and you’ll have plenty of space to unwind.
The one for wellbeing
Of course, getting away isn’t always about indulgence – it is also about looking after your physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve written before about the best wellbeing retreats in Guatemala, but we want to pick out one very special hotel this time.
Casa San Juan is just outside of Antigua, and is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself mentally and physically. The hotel itself is located in a fascinating place. It’s in the village of San Juan del Obispo, where you’ll find a 17th century monastery and the palace of Francisco Marroquin, the first bishop to the Americas.
But it is the ideal place to go and practice yoga or meditation. It is a peaceful , relaxing space that runs regular retreats, so you will be able to find the programme that suits you.
The food is vegetarian and prepared by excellent local chefs – this is a place that is great for both body and mind. Wander the gardens or take one of the daily yoga classes – Casa San Juan is the perfect place to recharge your batteries.
The place to get away from it all
If you find that the crowds at the main tourist sites are a little too much, or the cities are too busy, then take a few days away at the wonderful Isla Verde. This retreat hotel is in Santa Cruz La Laguna, by Lake Atitlan.
What makes this village special is that no cars are allowed here. It means that the staying at the hotel feels like a true escape from the stresses and strains of modern life.
You can stay in a cottage on the hillside here, surrounded by jungle. One of the most wonderful things to do here is simply to sit on the terrace of your cottage and look out over the lake itself. There are even massage sessions available if you need any further de-stressing!
The setting for Isla Verde is breathtaking, and one of the highlights of a stay here is taking a yoga class on the lake jetty. And, if you’re feeling more active, it’s also possible to go kayaking and swimming in the lake.
About Jürg Widmer Probst
Jürg Widmer is a busy blogger and resident of Guatemala who often shares all things about Guatemala, from the country’s hidden gems, article and culture to the best place for food and drink.
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