5 of my favourite places to stay in Guatemala

Jürg Widmer Probst - places to stay in Guatemala

In the current COVID-19 climate very few people are going travelling. But with vaccination rollouts all around the world, we can finally look ahead to booking a holiday. And there is no better place to visit than Guatemala.

When it comes to deciding on accommodation in Guatemala, there’s a lot of confusing advice available. Guatemala is so varied that first-time visitors may not know where to start. From busy cities to beautiful beaches, and from awe-inspiring jungles to stunning landscape, there is a lot of choice.

So, to make your life a bit easier when planning your visit to Guatemala, I’ve listed some of the finest hotels to stay at. Get planning and look forward to a post-pandemic trip to one of the most beautiful countries on earth.

5 awesome places to stay in Guatemala while on holiday

  1. Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel

Hidden away in remote rainforest jungle, Las Luganas Boutique Hotel is on the shores of the most stunning lagoon. Situated close to the fascinating ruins at Tikal, the hotel is the ideal retreat if you’re looking for a peaceful and chilled out holiday.

And when you’ve had enough rest and relaxation, you can head to the ruins for an excitingly perfect day trip. That is, if you ever have enough rest and relaxation at this gorgeous hotel. I think one of the best aspects of the hotel is that it’s truly private and you feel cut off from all of the stress of your normal life.

Lush, luxurious and restful, when you stay here you feel part of the natural world of Guatemala. The hotel has also taken care to ensure that the Mayan heritage is apparent in all kinds of little touches around the site.

  1. Soleil La Antigua

For culture vultures the historic colonial capital city of Antigua is a must-visit when you are in Guatemala. There is no better way to learn about the complexity of the country’s history and culture. And for your stay, there’s no better option than Soleil La Antigua.

Antigua’s surrounding terrain is famous for its volcanic outcrops. There are a number of active volcanoes in the region, including Fuego (literally translates as ‘fire’). This hotel comes complete with spectacular views of Fuego, offering the kind of view that you don’t often see.

The hotel is comfortable, clean and equipped with everything you need. There is the added bonus of beautiful gardens to relax in. And while it’s a few minutes out of town, you can still easily walk there or take the regular shuttle bus service on offer. Expect friendly staff, excellent food and lots to see and do. There’s also an on-site swimming pool to keep the kids occupied while you take it easy.

  1. La Lancha

This is the luxury option on my list. After all, as there’s so much to see and do in Guatemala it’s easy to forget that you’re also on holiday to relax and take some time out. If you’re happy to splash the cash and are looking for a truly luxurious getaway in Guatemala, then this is the ideal hotel for you.

Owned by legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola (also uncle to film star Nicolas Cage), La Lancha is tucked away in the jungles close to the historic site of Tikal. You truly feel surrounded by nature at this fabulous eco-hotel. And while its eco-credentials mean no air con or TV, you can’t beat the sense of escapism you experience here.

From the second you arrive by boat and head up the private track to the hotel, you can tell this place is something special. Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and delight in watching howler monkeys from your balcony over breakfast. The best rooms are the suites by the lake.

  1. Casa San Juan

Located just outside of Antigua, Casa San Juan is one of my favourite wellbeing retreats in Guatemala. It’s the ideal place to take some time out and reconnect yourself both physically and mentally.

The hotel is located in the village of San Juan del Obispo, which comes complete with a 17th century monastery and the Palace of the first Bishop to the Americas, Francisco Marroquin. Fascinating history combined with plenty of peace and quiet makes this the ideal place to go to practice meditation or yoga.

There are regular retreats to take part in, with programmes suited to just about everyone. Expect vegetarian food prepared by some amazing local chefs and enjoy some pampering.

  1. Isla Verde.

This is the choice for people who want to steer clear of any crowds or cities. Isla Verde is a retreat hotel situated near to Lake Atitlan in Santa Cruz La Laguna. This village is special thanks to its strict no car policy, which leads to a kind of peace that is almost impossible to find elsewhere.

You’ll be away from all of the stresses and strains of your everyday life, giving you the chance to get some real ‘me time’. You can choose to stay in a cottage right on the hillside, surrounded by gorgeous, lush Guatemalan jungle. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself sitting outside the cottage and watching the lake.

There are also treatments and massages available to help you fully recharge your batteries. Try a yoga class on the jetty by the lake, for the most stunning view while you salute the sun. Later on, when you’re feeling more active you can swim or kayak in the lake itself.