If one were to wake up under lavender-scented crisp white sheets and step out to their veranda-draped private patio listing to birds chirp in the distance as the smell of fresh lilies wafts over the six-acre manicured gardens, they might swear they were in a villa in the south of France. That is except for the majestic volcano rising from the horizon. Luxury hotelier Relais Châteaux recently added Villa Bokéh as its second property in Guatemala and it is the ideal place for romance-loving couples to plan their wedding. The former artist estate was converted into a 15-suite boutique hotel with the help of a private art collector who decorated each suite with locally sourced fabric and artwork to provide a glimpse into the Mayan culture.
Out and About
Villa Bokéh sits on the outskirts of the ancient colonial city of Antigua. Founded in the early 16th-century the former Guatemalan capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s cobblestone streets are easy to navigate. Brightly colored bougainvilleas crawl up the sides of ancient stone walls that now house farm-to-table restaurants, organic coffee shops and mezcal bars. Antigua’s real claim to fame, however, lies within its textile work. Vibrant traditional textiles made by hand using ancient natural dyeing techniques are on display in several of the shops near the famous yellow Santa Catalina arch. While you are walking around town, be sure to check out the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. The church was originally constructed in 1541, but several earthquakes in the 1700s caused substantial damage. Today it enjoys UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is open for visitors to explore the ruins.
Big Day Details
Couples who love a mixture of Spanish Golden Age with lush nature will find Villa Bokeh to be the luxury wedding destination of their dreams. The property offers a variety of indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception spaces, the largest of which can accommodate up to 400 guests. Exchange vows in the six-acre main garden surrounded by flourish gardens and bamboo forests or in the stunning greenhouse-styled Casa de Cristal. While there are countless breathtaking backdrops for the couple’s photos, the most scenic might be the white bridge crossing over the lagoon with the cloud-covered volcano rising in the background. Enjoy a boat ride around the lagoon in the Notebook inspired blue-and-white rowboat. Afterwards enjoy cocktails on the outdoor terrace-coved lounge overlooking the gardens before a wedding reception dinner prepared by Guatemalan chef Marco Saenz.
We Simply Adore
- Pillow Menus – Each room is equipped with a pillow menu where guests can order a specialty pillow for the evening. Choices include lavender-scented pillows to calm the soul, buckwheat pilot to support the neck and bamboo pillow to stimulate blood circulation.
- Hotel Restaurant – Guatemalan chef Marco Saenz created a seasonal menu centered around a gourmet fusion of Guatemalan traditional dishes and nouvelle cuisine using regional and Indigenous ingredients.
- Notebook Experience – Turn up the romance with a reenactment of one of the most romantic scenes in movie history. Villa Bokeh offers “The Notebook Experience” a chance to row around their water lily-filled lagoon in a blue-and-white wooden row boat.