Choose between a Spanish-style mansion or a quaint inn off the main square in Guatemala’s colorful, colonial city of Antigua.
In a world full of hotel chains and loyalty cards, sometimes a more private, personalized stay is exactly what you need. That’s where a good old B&B comes in. Immerse yourself in the quaint town of Antigua, known for its colonial architecture and volcanic surrounds, by staying in one of these top local guesthouses.
This colonial casita is now a cozy B&B, with brightly lit rooms, crisp linen on every bed and local art hung on the walls. Take breakfast on the leafy patio with the sound of a trickling fountain nearby. Afterwards, hit up some of Antigua’s biggest attractions, like the central plaza and the Catedral San José, a grandiose old cathedral partially destroyed in Guatemala’s 1773 earthquake.
Owners Harvey and Diane will make you feel right at home at Casa Elena. This quiet bed and breakfast is just outside of downtown. Inside, there are four rooms – our favourite is the Junior Suite with a private terrace. After a filling breakfast, climb the patio’s spiral staircase onto the open-air terrace with views across to the fog-covered Volcán de Agua.
Pamper yourself in one of Cacao Boutique Hotel’s luxurious rooms. Ask for the Orange Room for a romantic getaway and candlelit hot tub bath, or check into the Gold Room, with its huge shower, brick-lined walls and private garden. Set foot out the B&B’s door and you’ll land in front of the Santo Domingo Museum, built from a 17th century convent.
At Casa Buena Vista, you’ll be at the foot of the Cerro de La Cruz viewpoint. This colonial-style home features antique details like red ceramic tile flooring, carved oak furniture and windows overlooking the town. Head up to the terrace for a breezy, light-filled breakfast, or come back for a romantic, candlelit dinner for you and your significant other, all set up by the staff.
Local art, hand-stitched linens and spacious guest rooms await you at Posada Don Diego, an inn that’s across the street from the Iglesia de la Merced. You’ll be greeted on arrival with complimentary beverages. Don Diego’s food outshines other local options – expect made-to-order bagels, crepes and coffee. From here, you can plan a hiking trip into the nearby mountains.
Chez Daniel is just a short walk from Antigua’s city center, hidden away down a small alley in a quiet neighborhood. The rooms in the Spanish mansion are big and airy, plus every bathroom comes with a tub shower. You are free to lounge in the living area or make yourself at home in the communal kitchen. Breakfast is taken care of, with freshly squeezed orange juice, just-baked croissants, baguettes and piping hot coffee.
La Villa Serena houses African, Ottoman, Australian and Mexican cultures under its roof. Each room is carefully styled with souvenirs from the owner’s global travels. The plant-covered patio has a personal touch too, as many are handpicked exotic orchids. Staff will happily organize jaunts out to neighboring villages, the volcano of Pacaya and other trips.
Posada San Sebastián is a collector’s paradise. The centuries-old house showcases antique dishes, artwork and even a number of chairs, peculiarly hung from the entranceway ceiling. Rooms offer more traditional decor, with tall, wood-carved headboards and antique brass dresser mirrors. The guesthouse is just a block away from Antigua square, and the rooftop terrace overlooks much of downtown, including the Santa Catalina Arch, known as the gateway to the city.
Casa Encantada, or “Enchanted House”, feels like a fairy wonderland. Take your pick of the colonial house’s 10 suites, decked out with elegant four-poster beds, beamed ceilings and luxurious Italian linens. Sneak up to the rooftop terrace for a cocktail as the sun sets over the surrounding mountains. In the morning, get ready to do it all over again – this time with a mug of freshly brewed Guatemalan coffee in hand.