Las Gravileas, Nr. 1, Antigua, Guatemala
A six–room luxury boutique hotel built from scratch, Posada de Los Leones nods as much to Morocco as Guatemala, nodding to the past while providing the amenities and bedroom space expected in the present.
Editor's note: We are keeping this review up for those who arrive via search, but have removed it from our listings as we have not been able to inspect it in recent visits. The property is now in what is a gated community with a guard house, with no access for non-residents who don't hold a pass. This creates too many hurdles for guests and any potential visitors for us to recommend it except to those looking for fortress security.
Located on a chained–off street on the way to a coffee farm, a few blocks from Casa Santo Domingo, Posada de los Leones (Lion's Inn) is the surest sign yet that Guatemala is ready to welcome luxury travelers. The inviting building is covered with bougainvillea and the sound of bubbling water is ever–present, with fountains and an inviting lap pool inside the walls. Moorish arches mix with local art and European furniture, but all of it placed with style and attention to detail.
The inn is quiet and generally empty during the day, when most guests are strolling the cobbled streets of Antigua or are on an excursion to a coffee plantation or live volcano. From the second level, you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun go down over surrounding volcanoes and the buildings of Antigua. At night Posada de los Leones is lit by over a hundred candles, lending it a magical air. If you haven't gotten enough walking in, you can use the lap pool to get more exercise or cool off on a hot day. The well–stocked library with fireplace and stereo offers a more sedate option and lounge chairs are scattered around the roof deck. The owners can arrange a multitude of activities and excursions, from one–on–one Spanish classes to a private guided tour of the countryside.
Six distinct rooms offer a variety of configurations. Zahar and Jazmín each have two full size beds while Poesía and Magia have one queen size bed. All of these come with a fireplace, a private terrace, and a large Moorish style bathroom. The Shaharazad room contains a king size four–posted canopy bed, fireplace, private terrace, and a walk–in closet. You might have trouble leaving the huge bathroom, with whirlpool for two, a steam bath, stereo, and TV. Embrujo is split onto three levels, with two queen size beds, fireplace, a furnished balcony, living room, dining room, kitchenette, and whirlpool bath.
All rooms come with TVs, key safes, duvets on good mattresses, and quality furniture. There is no Internet access in the rooms, but you can log on in the library.
Posada de los Leones can feel a bit lonely when occupancy is low and the staff is on break, but for independent types who prefer the feel of a tasteful mansion over a bustling large hotel will be thrilled with this well–designed boutique inn.
Web Address: www.posadaslosleones.com
Total Number of Rooms: 6
Published rates: $175 to $280 BB and including taxes.
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.