A gorgeous flower garden and rock waterfall set the mood as you enter Xela’s most wonderfully atmospheric hotel, Casa Mañen B&B (9a Avenida 4-11 Zona 1, tel. 7765-0786, www.comeseeit.com, $50–100 d), with nine tastefully decorated rooms featuring exquisite furnishings, wool blankets and throw rugs, terra-cotta floors, cable TV, and private bathroom. There’s a rooftop terrace bar with wonderful city views. The delicious breakfast is served in a pleasant dining room looking out to the peaceful garden courtyard.
The haunt of Guatemala’s oligarchy on visits to Xela, Pensión Bonifaz (4a Calle 10-50 Zona 1, tel. 7765-1111, $65–100 d) is a beautiful hotel, though it tends to feel stuffy thanks to the pretentious front desk staff. It has spacious, well-decorated rooms with private bathrooms, desks, and cable TV. There are a restaurant, small gift shop, and a heated swimming pool in a pretty garden courtyard under an opaque ceiling letting in just enough sunlight. There’s wireless Internet on the first floor and the rooms just above it (numbers 123-130) get a signal. More modern rooms are housed in a newer section, but those in the original building harbor all the charm.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com