The Allure of Atitlán

Nestled in the hills of Guatemala, Casa Palopó presents beauty at every turn, whether it’s unmatched views or richly curated accommodations

The term “boutique hotel” conjures images of intimate lodging, personalized service and high-end amenities. Guatemala’s Casa Palopó checks all of these boxes and more, taking “boutique” to the next level.

Though sited approximately two hours by car from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City (keep in mind that traffic can add on an hour or more), Casa Palopó invites guests to spend the journey drinking in bird’s-eye views of Guatemala’s rolling hills via helicopter, which arrives at the hotel’s private helipad in a mere 30 minutes.

To follow such a spectacular arrival, the hotel itself—which overlooks the 1,000-foot-deep Lake Atitlán and its surrounding 10,000-foot-tall volcanic peaks—is a haven of unpretentious luxury. The main building’s seven suites are outfitted with antique details and swathed in a rainbow of rich hues—think azure blue, seafoam green and warm yellow.

Behind the main casa sits a separate three-bedroom villa, which may be rented out in its entirety and offers a more organic—but equally beautiful—aesthetic, featuring global décor, a full-service kitchen and its own private infinity pool.

At Casa Palopó’s restaurant, 6.8 Palopó, helmed by chef Mario André Miralles, enjoy your meals indoors or soak in the scenery while dining on the hotel’s airy veranda. And Miralles’ locally sourced cuisine is as splendid as its setting; dinner includes expertly executed meat and fish dishes and of-the-moment innovations—such as a tomato poached in rum in honey—that turn ordinary ingredients into extraordinary dishes. Breakfast includes fresh, local fruit topped with chia seeds and honey, as well as traditional Guatemalan cuisine, such as fried eggs, tortillas and plantains.

Those looking for additional relaxation can indulge in an assortment of in-room spa services, such as facials and full-body massages with L’Occitane products. Afterward, take a dip in the pool, or soak in the views from one of the hotel’s many vantage points with a glass of wine and a local cheese plate.

For an up-close look at the lake and local culture, embark on a guided kayak or boat tour to neighboring villages, such as Santiago Atitlán, San Juan, San Pedro la Laguna and Santa Catarina Palopó, where you’ll find traditional Guatemalan markets and an array of talented local artisans. Deemed the “land of eternal spring,” Guatemala’s landscape is also ideal for walking tours or a hike up one of the nearby volcanoes, and Casa Palopó’s friendly staff members are more than happy to help plan your route.

Surrounded by such intimate accommodations and exquisite artistry—in both natural and curated surroundings—it’s difficult to say goodbye to Casa Palopó. But, true to its warmhearted charm, the hotel will always welcome you back.