Suchitoto captured my heart, Los Almendros de San Lorenzo nurtured my soul. Owners Pascal Lebailly and his partner Joaquin Rodezno have created an oasis in what was once an abandoned and deteriorating mansion. The duo have painstakingly restored and decorated the boutique hotel with one-of-a-kind art and antiques collected through their past lives.
“This place feels like a nice house,” notes Pascal. “This hotel is what I was looking for when I was traveling and I have done it here!” he says with a smile.
Opened in March of 2005, each of the 12 rooms in the 200 year old mansion is different. The hotel’s restoration took over 17 months to complete.
I felt like a queen when I opened the heavy wooden double doors to the Colonial Suite. With its high ceilings, spacious bedroom and large window looking out to the cobblestone street of Calle Poniente, I could have stayed much longer than my short overnight. The tiled blue shower was enormous – and fit for a king or queen! In fact, Queen Latecia, the Queen of Spain slept in this very room two weeks prior to my visit.
If I were to return to Los Almendros de San Lorenzo with my husband, I would request the apartment suite overlooking Lake Suchitlan. The garden duplex sleeps four and has an indoor Jacuzzi tub.
Rooms range from $93. – $168. per night, including a complete breakfast. Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and includes American options or a typical El Salvadorean breakfast. My room, #1, rented for $120 per night and $137. during the Christmas holiday.
After a day of sightseeing in San Vicente and Suchitoto, it was a pleasure to return to the hotel and take a dip in the deep blue waters of the heated swimming pool.
Insider Tip: Be sure to have dinner at Los Almendros de San Lorenzo restaurant. The menu is popular with El Salvadorans, yet Pascal’s French influence shines through in the Ensalada Maya with lettuce, sweet corn, red beans, tomato and cheddar cheese topped with a homemade vinaigrette of honey mustard. Curvina fish, a local white fish, cooked in a lime butter sauce is a winner, served with rice and fresh garden vegetables. The passion fruit cheese cake scored this meal a perfect home run.
Hang out with the locals and sip a cocktail at El Chucho Aguacatero or, for the non-drinkers, order the hibiscus tea. For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and follow @ElSalvadorFresh the official English account of El Salvador tourism.
If You Go:
Los Almendros de San Lorenzo (503) 2335-1200
4a Calle de Poniente, 2b
Suchitoto, El Salvador
Article, photography and video by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. Top photo courtesy hotel. I was a guest of Los Almendros de San Lorenzo, however all opinions are my own.