The Deep Luxury of Simplicity at Hacienda San Lucas in Honduras
At luxury hotels, there's something of a formula: the latest electronic gadgets, check. Personalized service, check. Luxurious linens, lovely room design, delicious food, check, check check. Maybe I'm jaded, but doesn't it get a little same-old, same-old after a while?
What's really rare is a place that provides true luxury outside this conventional mold -- a feat which I think is only accomplished by having a person of impeccable taste paying attention to every last detail of a guest experience. And to my mind, the exemplar is Hacienda San Lucas, in Copán Ruinas, Honduras.
Hacienda San Lucas is an eco-lodge has just eight rooms, and no, it doesn't have the latest bells and whistles. There's no flat screen TV, no whirlpool tub, no "in room console" where you can open and close your shades while lying on your bed. There's not even a telephone in the room -- which, come to think of it, is a luxury of its own kind. But owner Flavia Cueva is a person of impeccable taste, and she has rigorously thought through every single detail. The result is a total retreat that's simply and sensually luxurious.
When you arrive through the tropical lush greenery, you'll smell strong scent of burning wood, hear the pat pat pat of fresh tortillas being made, and see commanding valley views: in places, directly into the town's Mayan ruins, with the the wavy-topped mountains as a backdrop. The main building was Cueva's centuries-old family home, some nine years ago, she added guest rooms at a remove from the main building. The rooms feature pitched wide wooden planked ceilings, white plaster walls, adorned with local tapestries and art work and smooth stone floors. At night the entire property is lit by countless candles, in the rooms, along the walkways, and in the dining area.
In a quiet spot, there's Gaia, a dedicated yoga pavilion and meditation space with views into the Mayan ruins. Arrange yoga classes during your stay with excellent local teacher (and ex-pat Canadian) Leah Glatz, who frequently works with Aum Rak, a local Mayan shaman. Or attend an organized retreat: on August 8th-16th, Global Soul Adventures is running one of its acclaimed yoga retreats at San Lucas.