By Dian Hasan | July 27, 2009
If there’s any similarity between Hollywood movie-making and hotel creation, it’s this: they take years to plan, scout and develop, and require so many logistical challenges along the way that simply to finish one, to say nothing of a whole trilogy, is possibly enough achievement for a lifetime. The trilogy here comes from Francis Ford Coppola whose movie-making accolades now include the new roles of vintner and hotelier. And a very specific hotelier at that, creating exquisite eco resorts. Coppola is now on his third and last of trilogy of eco resorts in Central America, with La Lancha, on Lake Peten Itzá, near Tikal, in Guatemala.
It’s the third in a trilogy that already includes the charming Belize eco-resorts of Blancaneaux Lodge and the Turtle Inn. The La Lancha experience is very much of a piece with its sisters: a lush rainforest setting, an emphasis on low-impact living, and close proximity to some Mayan historic sites, in this case the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal within the Tikal National Park.
Where it differs is in the finish. This is a more rough and rustic experience, ten rooms with shared terraces, some with views of the lake. You’re not here for the luxury, but for the setting. The immediate rainforest surroundings would be enough, but La Lancha throws in the spectacular Lake Peten Itzá and the Tikal ruins for good measure — plus a restaurant that mixes authentic Guatemalan cuisine with Italian-style wood-fired pizzas and wines from the Coppola concern.