Every time my family and I go the US Embassy in Guatemala City we pass this gorgeous European style house. After several trips, I finally had a chance to find out what the place was all about it and it turns out it was a hotel.
On a romantic weekend away from the kiddies, my husband and I decided to experience the hotel and their restaurant.
Hotel San Carlos is literally half a block from the United States Embassy, on Avenida La Reforma, which is one of the most popular streets in Guatemala City for restaurants and shops. It is also a couple of blocks from all the best medical facilities of Guatemala. Needless to say, location is prime.
The hotel is fashioned in a European style building which was built around 1960’s. The original owner of the house had it built for his family to live in. But after several years, with the kids all grown up, he decided to rent it to the Westin Hotel branch for a small boutique styled hotel run by them.
However, after a decade, he missed his house too much and took it back. This time he made it into a hotel as well that caters to families, business people and Embassy workers. It is evident that the owner has traveled extensively and most of the decorations of the hotel are from all over the world.
Information about Hotel San Carlos, Guatemala City
Aside all the decorations and location the sheer elegance of the hotel is what really captivates you. The architecture of the building is impressive, but once you walk in with the wide, open staircase, spacious sitting and relaxing areas you feel you’ve walked into a miniature European Palace like place.
The pool area, which is perfect for families, reminded me of a very small scale French garden. But the lounge areas were more familiar where you can enjoy a cocktail or fresh coffee.
The rooms are made for longer stays. Some rooms have full kitchens, these are the suites with a king sized bed, and a sitting area where the couch can pull out for a sleeper bed for two more people.
They also have rooms for couples only. This hotel is quite popular for honeymooner starters as in the first night right after the wedding. It’s elegant, luxurious and you are right near the airport so you can hop on your flight the next day to your final honeymoon destination. They also have special packages for this treat.
However, the main clientele, by far, are the Embassy workers who at times come to stay for months at a time. Some like the kitchen in their suites, but most love the restaurant and the food prepared fresh and daily for them.
Hotel San Carlos Restaurant
At one point the restaurant was open to the public. You didn’t need to make reservations and just can walk in off the streets. However, with the hotel focusing hard on keeping their customers and guests happy. Especially the well-to-do ones, they have now closed the doors and the only way to enjoy their breakfast, lunch and dinner is with a reservation.
Which is worth it. That’s how we arrived. We made a reservation before hand to have lunch at the hotel.
The menu they have is international, but if you are in the mood for Guatemala traditional styled meal, that too is available.
Breakfast, which is included in the stay, is by far the most extensive breakfast menu I have seen. And even though you can get it in your room, the dining room is open spaced, with large windows and elegance, so quite enjoyable.
The staff, who is super friendly and you can see truly love working at the hotel, gave us the best recommendations. I love getting the signature dishes of each place we visit. There is a reason for it being their most featured and ordered dish. As with everything, the chef always has a favorite he likes to prepare.
In this case, the chef had several and we were open to try them all:
Chicken Florentine – breast of chicken wrapped up in a crepe with yummy cream of mushroom sauce.
Chicken Mont Blanc – pan fried, rolled chicken, stuffed and with creamy sauce. Choice of rice or puree (mashed potatoes).
Pasta Carbonara – similar to Fettuccine Alfredo but with ham and bacon. I’ll be honest with you, I got this dish strictly for the bacon. Love my bacon.
Salad Capresse – this has become our signature salad to get. Usually when it’s my husband and I. If traveling with my sons, my oldest is a Caesar salad fanatic. So this time around we had the joy of eating yummy tomatoes, with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.
Steak – this is the traditional Guatemala dish which is a steak with guacamole, refried beans and salsa.
Don’t forget dessert
Crepes with Nutella – good thing my kids weren’t here, we were able to actually taste it for ourselves.
Torte de Manzana – Apple pie al a mode.