Guatemala offers nature and adventure to rival Costa Rica. Just with a whole lot more in terms of culture and history.
However, it has traditionally only been considered a destination for backpackers. Costa Rica developed its offering and quickly went from a backpacker hangout to a trendy luxury holiday destination. Guatemala has started to do the same.
There’s no doubting the country’s wow factor. You can hike volcanoes and even watch volcanoes erupt. There are wild beaches and thick cloud forest. Lake Atitlan is magnificent, an immense lake inside an old volcanic crater.
The culture is unique and immersive. Just contrast the colonial history of Antigua with the native Mayan history, best represented at the fabulous Tikal ruins – Tikal is way more impressive than the World Seven Wonder Chichen Itza in Mexico.
Except there’s always been a key missing factor: a lack of accommodation to suit discerning visitors. Villa Bokeh is one of the new properties set to make Guatemala a trending destination for explorers who also demand their luxuries.
New Luxury Properties in Guatemala
A little sister to the country’s most legendary five-star retreat, Casa Palopo, Villa Bokeh is a transformed country estate surrounded by volcanoes, on the edge of Antigua. It opened in 2021. Claudia Bosch, president of Grupo Alta who own Villa Bokeh, told us:
“Our mission with Casa Palopo and Villa Bokeh is to offer our globe’s most curious travellers a window into the soul of Guatemala – a country brimming with natural wonders, mysticism and one of the world’s most beautiful and friendly populations.”
The villa accommodates just seven reservations per night. Each suite is decorated by a private art collection, all of it sourced from the local community and providing a glimpse into Mayan culture.
Balconies have volcano vistas, gardens are complete with fire pits, and it’s easy to explore the World Heritage city of Antigua down the road. Both Casa Palopo and Villa Bokeh are Relais & Chateaux properties.
“We want to show the world something different and beautiful about Guatemala, that here we can do things very well. We based the whole concept on art, using items made in Guatemala, by artisans and also by recycling many things.”
The aim is to invite the most discerning travellers to experience the colours and sounds of Antigua, while simultaneously embracing the beauty of a rural hacienda stay.
Our first impressions are that they have done a fantastic job, not only in creating the new property, but in making Guatemala an exciting holiday choice for a whole new set of travelers.