Learn More about Hotel Panamerican
As one of the most historic hotels in Guatemala City, the Hotel Pan American has a tradition as rich as that of the city itself.
Learn more about the legend…
In the early 1900s, Guatemala’s tourism industry began to thrive and hotels started to take the place of the traditional mesons and pensions that used to welcome guests.
The site of Hotel Pan American was originally called the Pension Amado, which was built in 1914 and demolished by earthquakes in 1917 and 1918. In 1920, construction began on the Hotel Astoria and opened a year later. The hotel’s designer was renowned architect Rafael Pérez De León, whose other work included the construction and design of the Central Customs Building, the Presidential Palace and the National Palace.
The Hotel Astoria changed management in 1942 and was renamed Hotel Pan American to honor the Pan Am Airlines crews who often stayed at the hotel. After World War II, loosening economic and social policies throughout Guatemala led to an influx of tourism. Visitors often arrived by boat, anchoring at the port of Puerto Barrios and riding the train into the city. Hotel Pan American hosted travelers from Central America, Mexico and the United States and soon added a third floor to boost the hotel’s room count from 28 to 32. By 1956, the hotel had 60 rooms and continued to welcome guests despite the country’s difficult economic times.
By the early 1980s, Hotel Pan American was the downtown meeting place. It was where presidents had lunch and diplomats, government officials and foreign visitors gathered to discuss matters of national interest or simply to enjoy a good cup of coffee.
Hotel Pan American still maintains much of its historic charm. The Otis elevator, installed on November 14, 1940, continues to be operated manually and is one of only four in the city. The others are located at the National Palace, the Police Palace and City Hall. This hotel also offers a wonderful collection of antique telephones dating from 1940. Of course, our people are our greatest assets. Our valued family of longtime staffers includes Doña Aurora Reyes, who has worked in the restaurant for 45 years, Don Alejandro Herrera, head of maintenance for 40 years and Jose Ventura, our reception manager of 39 years. Each well-established member of our team has wonderful stories to tell about Hotel Pan American’s rich history and its legendary guest list of politicians, athletes and celebrities.
We invite you to discover the fascinating background of Hotel Pan American, a beautiful monument in the heart of Guatemala City that continues to be the area’s most cherished meeting place to this day.