Tag: Guatemala HotelsView All Tags
Travelers who go to Tikal in Guatemala from Guatemala City have to either 1) rent a car and drive the 7-8 hours themselves 2) travel 8-9 hours by bus or 3) take a one-hour flight. In that sense, unless a roundtrip flight in one day sounds appealing, most people will want to spend the night. As the experience at Tikal is extremely in touch with the outdoors, we'd like to give you a glimpse inside the Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, located on a 200-acre private reserve between Tikal and the airport.
Opened almost two years ago now, Las Lagunas is made up of 17 suites, each separated from the lobby and situated directly lagoon-side, with beautiful views from its lobby, restaurant, and pool. Most suites have both lagoon and jungle views with in-room amenities that include hot tubs, enclosed decks, and wood-paneled rainshowers. Check out the photos below to for a virtual tour of the property:
As we all know, the hotel world comes stocked with contradictions. Case in point: In the decidedly non-tourist town of Zacapa, Guatemala, exists a bare-bones bedpost called Hotel Torre Fuerte, where we stayed recently.
A few, uh, highlights: icy cold water spouting from the shower; a golf-ball-size hole on one wall (leading to lord only knows where!); a thin mattress dressed in thinner sheets. Oh yeah, and free wireless Internet.
Before we comment on the absurdity of a place that lacks hot water but provides the common courtesy of free WiFi, we should mention that Torre Fuerte must be doing pretty well, because they’re building a new addition (rumored to have hot water!). But like many hotels under construction, that’s still in the works — like, no roof or walls on half the building in the works, with laborers hammering sun-up to sundown.
So let’s recap. We have a hotel that’s part-finished, part cinder block, with cold water (seriously, did we mention how cold the showers were?!). Double rooms cost roughly $23. AND THEY STILL OFFERED FREE WIFI. Though we didn’t have our laptops with us — so we can’t give a decent appraisal on the quality of the service — we can affirm that we spied other guests watching videos on YouTube without hiccups.
If that’s not the best incentive for all hotels to offer free WiFi, we don’t know what is. Seriously, people, even third-world Guatemala has you beat.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
[Ed. Note: HotelChatter contributing editor Tim Leffel reports from Guatemala.]
View From Hotel Peneleu
OK, usually we shun the hostel, however, over on Jaunted, Claire Duffett brought the Guatemala's Hotel Peneleu to our attention. When she told us it was "by far the strangest and most beautiful" place she stayed in Guatamela, we paid attention. But when she showed us her hotel view photos we invited her in to tell everybody her hotel story. You know we are always suckers for a good view. Enjoy.
San Pedro La Laguna, a rural village on the shore of Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, feels a bit like Neverland, complete with a tree house-like refuge. Those living inside hide from pressures to conform — imagined and otherwise — and sink into a state of permanent indulgence.
Hotel Peneleu, built atop the foothills of Volcan San Pedro, houses long-term visitors in its stucco turquoise rooms. By requesting a guide from the hagglers who loiter near the town’s main dock, travelers can find the hidden hostel around the corner from a chicken coop, behind a coffee farm.
The character of Peneleu’s clientele matches the outlandish color of the hostel’s walls. A Japanese girl, dressed in a once-white Christening gown now the color of slate, greets newcomers as they bargain with the owner for a night's stay, usually about $2.50. The self-proclaimed gatekeeper strokes the broken wing of her pet baby bird and sizes up her new neighbors with a litany of questions: “Where are you from? How long are you here? Do you like my bird?”
Lonnie, who lives beside the communal porch, left his jobs as a medicinal marijuana grower and part-time truck driver to travel the world spreading the truth about the inside Sept. 11 job. Once the aliens returned him to the New Mexican desert in the late 1960s, he gave up acid and fled the conspiracy-riddled United States in search of like-minded skeptics. The expatriate citizenry of San Pedro suits him well.
The drug culture in the town lends the place a laid-back, no-judgments air to which Bohemians flock. Yet the beauty of the landscape and the humility of the inhabitants save San Pedro from the depravity to which most hedonistic towns sink. Many evangelical Christian families, mostly Tz'utujil-speaking Mayans, live on the outskirts of town. Phrases like Dios es Vida adorn the hoods of residents' trucks, while stickers on the bicycles leaning against the hostel’s shed advertise Rastafarianism.
Every morning, a crowd gathers to watch the sunrise over the lake. There, Lonnie announces that the Mayan name for Atitlan means "the place where the rainbow gets its colors”. The locals acknowledge his remark with a smile; the travelers nod furiously in agreement. For the first time, he makes sense.