In the town of Copan Ruinas in northwest Honduras, the Hotel Marina Copan has been offering luxury accommodations to visitors to the nearby Mayan ruins for nearly 70 years. The hotel is just one kilometer to the famous ruins, and ideally situated in the town’s central plaza, where vendors sell piping hot arepas and the clattering of horses’ hooves echo down the cobblestone streets.
The Hotel Marina Copan echos that old-world atmosphere, as it has for the better part of a century. Though it offers modern conveniences like internet and jacuzzi tubs, it also fondly recalls the past with colonial architecture and detail. While there are several low-budget options for lodging in town (hostel beds can be had for $20 or less), the Marina Copan offers an excellent value for upscale accommodation.
Excavation began at the Mayan site of Copan Ruinas in the 1930s; the hotel opened in 1945 and has since welcomed such illustrious guests as Queen Sofia of Spain, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Richard Gere. It’s easy to see why the hotel has been the accommodation of choice for visiting celebrities and dignitaries – it’s the most luxurious option in town, with service to match. The staff I encountered all spoke excellent English and my room was spotlessly clean.
There are 49 rooms at the hotel, including single, double, and triple occupancy rooms as well as several suites. All rooms have telephones, cable TVs, internet, and both ceiling fans and air conditioning.
My room, one of the hotel’s premium rooms, featured a large, comfortable bed, a small desk, and a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. While the room was fairly simple, the bedding was soft and clearly high quality and the appliances were all brand new. The marble and stone bathroom had a deep jacuzzi tub as its centerpiece, perfect for soaking after a day exploring the ruins or horseback riding through a coffee plantation.
Along with the guest rooms, the Hotel Marina Copan’s grounds include a pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna and massage room, parking with security, a conference room, a pool bar with live music on the weekends, a restaurant, and Cafe Welchez, which serves the family’s signature coffee along with light snacks, sandwiches, and pastries.
The whole hotel has an open layout with well-lit and secure outdoor hallways and common areas, yet it still feels homey and intimate thanks to lush landscaping, a welcoming lobby, and the portrait room, a small enclave with cozy seating and photos of the hotel and the Welchez Villamil family throughout the years. The hotel, which was built on the site of the Welchez family home, was named for matriarch Doña Marina Welchez.
Guests receive complimentary breakfast each morning, and the hotel can arrange hiking, horseback riding, and birding excursions, coffee tours, visits to the hot springs and ruins, and private guides
If you go:
Check in time is 2pm; check out time is noon. Room rates range from $95 for single rooms, $110 for double rooms, and $140 for premium rooms, to $195-$250 for the suites.
I was a guest of the Hotel Marina Copan, but all opinions are my own.