Holy history: Guatemala’s Hotel Cirilo is one of a kind

Hotel Cirilo
Calle de Los Duelos 11, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
+502 7832 6650, hotelcirilo.com

The Pitch Rich history in a sexy setting. What is now Antigua was once Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala, the capital of Guatemala when the Spanish Empire ran things from southwest Mexico through to Costa Rica in the early 1500s. Three of the many churches in the area were devoted to Our Lady of Pain, and Hotel Cirilo is built around the ruins of one of these churches, in the city’s Candelaria neighbourhood. The seven-room hotel is carefully constructed to honour this history. The masterpiece of the property is its courtyard, flanked by the original wall of the ruin, with a view of majestic volcanoes that surround Antigua. Glass walls keep the view pristine.

A delicious, complimentary breakfast is the perfect start for a day of wandering. The courtyard is an ideal spot for a morning coffee, and poolside is the place to be for an afternoon rum. When the nights get chilly, a fire warms the foyer, and if you like, the in-room fireplaces can be put int action, too.

What We Love Hotel Cirilo’s proximity to the centre of Antigua couldn’t be better. The property is far enough away from the buzz that it’s ideally tranquil save for a chorus of birds and the occasional rumble from nearby volcanoes. Yet a brisk 10-minute walk puts you in Antigua’s Central Park (stop for some of Antigua’s famous banana bread on the way — you’ll know the spot by the smell). Take time from exploring Antigua to soak in the beautiful property. All rooms face the stunning courtyard, plunge pool and adjacent modern lobby with glass from floor to ceiling, and feature grand French doors that open up for a spectacular view.

Don’t Miss While the entire hotel oozes history, two rooms at Hotel Cirilo have incorporated some of the original church ruins into their construction and decor. Somehow, modern fireplace mantels feel at home alongside 300-year-old details. The end and corner rooms have one original church wall running down the length of each suite. The corner unit, in particular, pays beautiful homage to its historical roots, with a skylight shining onto an art tower of ruins beside the heavenly queen bed. Waking up to that is divine. Be sure to request one of these gems.

Rooms from US$120 per night

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