I was planning a romantic getaway with my husband in Guatemala City and I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to finally visit a certain hotel/restaurant that caught my eye when my family and I visited the U.S. Embassy. So I made a reservation for lunch. This small European style building in the middle of the city ended up being a spectacular choice.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Being U.S. citizens living abroad with kids, we have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City periodically. Every time we do. I see a gorgeous European style building right next to the embassy. It is pretty noticeable because of how impressive it is and how out of place it looks in the middle of the larger and more modern buildings. During one of those times when my family and I passed in front of it, I discovered it is a hotel.

I finally decided I wanted to visit it during a romantic getaway that my husband and I had not too long ago.

TMOM disclosure graphicThe hotel is called San Carlos and, as I mentioned before, it is located less than half a block away from the U.S. embassy and in one of the most popular areas of Guatemala City. It is a place where you will find some of the best restaurants, shops and hotels of the city.


The building where the hotel is located was built during the 60’s as a home for a well-to-do family. It was then rented to the Westin Hotel branch. But the owner missed his house so he took it back a decade later. Once he returned, he didn’t use it as his home. Instead he turned it into a hotel that caters to families, business people and embassy workers.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Information About Hotel San Carlos, Guatemala City

Visitors are rightfully in awe of the decoration in the hotel, which includes pieces of furniture from all over the world. Aside from that, its location and elegance will captivate you as well.

The look of the hotel from the outside is impressive and it only gets better. When you walk in you see a wide, open staircase as well as a sitting and relaxing area that make you feel as if you were in a miniature European Palace.

There is also a pool area perfect for families and the area around it reminded me of a small scale French garden. Then there is the lounge area, a great place to enjoy a cocktail or fresh coffee.

Even though we were here just for lunch, we were given a tour of the rooms. From what I was able to see, they are meant for longer stays. The suites have full kitchens, a king size bed and a sitting area where the couch can be converted into a bed.

There are also rooms special for couples. The hotel is popular among locals as a place for starting a honeymoon before moving to the actual destination. That is because of its elegance and closeness to the airport. They also offer special packages for this treat.

Their main clientele is embassy workers who stay for months at a time. Some like the kitchen in their suites, but most love the restaurant and the food prepared fresh daily for them.

Hotel San Carlos Restaurant

At first the restaurant was open to anyone who wanted to walk in and get a meal, but now they only serve guests and people with reservations. They do this to be able to focus on keeping their customers happy.

Dishes on their menu are international but there are also a few traditional Guatemalan options available.

The dining room is open spaced, with large windows, elegant and quite enjoyable.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Our Lunch

The first thing I should mention is how friendly the staff is. They gave us the best recommendations. This was great because I always like to get the signature dishes of the places I visit. Every restaurant has a group of dishes that are ordered most often and there is a reason for it.

In this case, the chef recommended many and I wanted to try them all.

• Chicken Florentine – Breast of chicken wrapped up in a crepe with cream of mushroom sauce.

• Chicken Mont Blanc – Pan fried, rolled chicken, stuffed and with creamy sauce.

• Pasta Carbonara – Similar to Fettuccine Alfredo but with ham and bacon.

• Salad Capresse – This has become our favorite salad to get, unless I am with my boys because my oldest is a Caesar salad fanatic.

• Steak – It is a traditional Guatemala dish with steak, guacamole, refried beans and salsa.

For dessert we had Crepes with Nutella and Torte de Manzana. Because my kids weren’t with us we were able to actually taste them for ourselves.