Cobán has several excellent choices in this category. The newest option is the beautiful Casa Duranta (3a Calle 4-46 Zona 3, tel. 7951-4188, info [at] casaduranta [dot] com, www.casaduranta.com, $47 d), with 10 tastefully decorated, well-appointed rooms—all with private bath—with Guatemalan indigenous blankets, tiled floors, and wrought-ironworks inside and outside the rooms. There are a TV lounge, a reading area, and wireless Internet throughout the colonial house centered around an appealing courtyard. An on-site café is open for three meals daily.
West of the central plaza is Hotel La Posada (1a Calle 4-12 Zona 2, tel. 7952-1495, www.laposadacoban.com, $50 d), in a 400-year-old colonial mansion with tiled floors, Guatemalan accents, and attractively tiled private hot-water bathrooms. Try for a room away from the busy main street on the front end of the hotel. There is an excellent restaurant here.
Under the same management as the Hostal de Doña Victoria, the Alcazar de Doña Victoria (1a Avenida 5-34 Zona 1, tel. 7952-1143, $35 d) is a much larger, 50-room operation. The spacious, tastefully decorated rooms centered around a courtyard have firm beds and cheerful private hot-water bathroom, though rooms on the first floor can be a bit damp. All have tile floors and cable TV. There are a café and bar as well as an events salon, which was recently moved to an area away from the main building, greatly enhancing the guest experience.
Near the bus terminal is Posada de Carlos V (1 Avenida 3-44 Zona 1, tel. 7951-3501/2, $26 d), which has homey rooms housed in a large wooden house reminiscent of a rural Swiss chalet, all with firm beds, private hot-water bath, and cable TV. Downstairs there are a lounge with a big-screen TV and a restaurant serving three meals daily. A newer section of 10 additional rooms housed in a separate concrete building is equally comfortable though not as quaint.
Just a block from the Iglesia El Calvario, Hotel Mansión Armenia (7a Avenida 2-18 Zona 1, tel. 7951-4244, $30 d) is housed in a modern concrete-block building and is clean and neat throughout. Rooms have firm beds, private hot-water bathroom, cable TV, and in-room phone. Hot water is available 5 p.m.–8 a.m.
Under the same ownership as Transportes Monja Blanca, the pleasant Posada de Don Antonio (5a Avenida 1-51 Zona 4, tel. 7951-4287, posadadedonantonio [at] yahoo [dot] com, $35 d) has 21 rooms in a two-story colonial building centered around a beautiful garden with a pretty fountain. There are nice tiled floors and decorative tiled stairs throughout. Rooms have firm beds, cable TV, and hot-water private bath. There’s also a restaurant open daily for breakfast and dinner. This hotel is a good value.
In a class all by itself on the road into Cobán from Guatemala City, Italian-owned Park Hotel (tel. 7952-0807, www.parkhotelresort.com) is situated on its own 15-acre forest preserve and has many excellent amenities, including a gym, tennis courts, nature trails, and even a small zoo. Its 96 comfortable and well- decorated rooms are an excellent value starting at $28 d for a standard room with all the usual amenities, though they are right by the road and tend to be noisy. A better option is a junior suite ($47 d). Try to book one in the Firenze building, where odd-numbered rooms have a view of sprawling gardens and a fishpond under a quaint wooden bridge. Suites with a living room and chimney are also available ($50 d), but these tend to feel smaller than the junior suite. Italian food is the specialty at one of its restaurants, while the other is a Uruguayan steak house. The gift shop sells orchids.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com