Ever since I visited the Casa Santa Domingo, a 16th century convent that was converted into world-class hotel (see my blog post from my visit), I am interested in staying in historical hotels with wood-burning fireplaces.
Staying in historically significant buildings just adds so many layers to the hotel-staying experience. Staying in building that is hundreds of years old makes for a romantic experience, which I describe as a connection to timeless aspect of human life.
I’m not surprised therefore to have discovered Romantique Hotels, which is a network of privately owned, historic hotels in Europe. I think this selection of hotels make for efficient directory of places to consider for your wedding, anniversary, or just your next vacation. Order a catalog of all the hotels in the Romantique network here, or browse the different specialties (e.g. wine, gourmet cuisine, etc.) and activities (e.g. golf, culture, etc.) offered by the different hotels.
If you ever travel to Antigua, Guatemala (say for a destination wedding like I did), I highly recommend staying at the Casa Santo Domingo. The converted 16th century convent, now luxury hotel, is a special place. In January 2010, it was a Conde Nast Gold List Hotel (#681) – World’s Best Places To Stay, and #1 in Guatemala. Thing seem in balance there. Nothing moves too quick or too slow. The centuries old architecture (from the monastery) blends in balanced form with modern accents and accommodations. The rhythm of nature dominates that of fast-paced technology, making for a relaxing retreat inside the walled fortress-like compound of the hotel property. Gardens, patios and balconies off every room, tropical plants that grow in the air drape walkways, and even macaw parrots are kept near the pool area. Everything is kept in proper proportion to remind you just enough of where you are, which is very much still an ancient Spanish speaking village.
The food served at the hotel restaurant is also excellent. Knowing we were staying in a country where tap water was not safe to drink, we all ate and drank confidently and happily the food and drink served by the resort restaurant.
Pricey, yes, but Casa Santa Domingo is worth well worth visiting if you travel to Guatemala. If you are looking to get away from it all and just decompress, it may even be worth traveling to Guatemala just to stay at Casa Santa Domingo. P.S. You would be mistaken to interpret the outdated design of the resort’s website to be reflective of anything more than it being a low priority of the resort.
One style of room at Casa Santa Domingo