Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
Long the preferred choice for luxury in Antigua—partly from inertia, but mostly because it deserves the attention—this 16th-century convent turned hotel has 129 distinct rooms, a colonial-art museum, and an archeological center. First-time guests are prone to pause in the complex's stone corridors to admire the wood-beam ceilings and meander about the religious statuary-dotted courtyards, which represent some of the best-preserved examples of colonial architecture in the UNESCO-protected town. Even basic rooms—once nuns' quarters—are a transporting experience, with stone hearths, antique furniture, and 17th-century oil paintings on the walls. Chipping paint, visiting tour groups, and unhurried service do little to diminish the magic of Casa Santo Domingo.