If you are adventurous and ready to travel like the old days – on buses and without wifi – El Paredon in Guatemala and the Swell Surf & Lifestyle Hotel might be for you.
Designed and owned by architect Elan Ibghy who graduated from the Canadian McGill University in architecture and Marie Bonnefond, an interior designer originally from the South of France, Swell opened its doors in September 2018 to an eclectic group of guests who prefer to go barefoot, enjoy a good surf, and care about the environment.
The boutique hotel on the little known volcanic black sand beach with eight hotel suites offers all the elegance and comforts global nomads and world travelers are looking for and it plays to the ‘glocal’ trend.
The contemporary architecture is meshed with rustic elements. Polished concrete floors combine beautifully with natural materials that are skillfully crafted by local artisans and craftsmen. The use of lots of wood and colorful textiles for architecture, interiors, and accessories create a warm, laid-back atmosphere.
Nestled in the midst of a tropical garden the thatched palm roofed buildings and bungalows fit well into the surrounding. Travelers don’t have to abstain from the usual comforts, though. The 20-meter swimming pool with pine wood decks is a perfect spot to relax, the bar provides lots of evening distractions, and connectivity is ensured.
The indoor-outdoor lounge with contemporary wooden furniture designed by the owners and produced locally give way to a view of the pool and the polished white structural elements that define Swell.
The structure delineates the four swim-up suites with private terraces. The rooms are fitted with polished concrete floors and interiors and built-in shelves. Similarly, to the reception, lounge, and bar, the rooms are furnished with wooden furniture that is locally sourced.
The open-air private bathrooms provide opportunities to enjoy tropical showers under the stars and being surrounded by lush palms and bushes.
The additional four thatched bungalows vary in style and amenities. They are strategically placed in the landscaped tropical oasis-like garden overflowing with bougainvillea and other tropical bushes and flowers. The rooms are in proximity of the beach for easy access of a quick surf and splash and for the soothing sound of waves crashing sound.
To add to the atmosphere, the common areas depict murals by artists Pepallama and Thomas Meissner who were inspired by the surrounding.
Whether you are an early riser to catch sight of the five island volcanoes including the active Fuego in the distance or the first wave or a night owl to enjoy the woven straw light fixtures and hauntingly beautiful shadows cased on the pool water, Swell is a spot to keep in mind.
Apart from surfing and relaxing, the fishing village provides eco-tours through the local NGO La Choza Chula (cool shack) to discover more about the El Naranjo National Park and learn about turtles.
Read more about Guatemala: Ciudad Cayala in the KOHLER Magazine.
Source: some pictures are courtesy of v2com.