“Guestrooms in a fascinating cultural foundation and museum, set up to protect the Lacandon people”
Casa Na Bolom has 16 guestrooms, which are all named after various towns in the state of Chiapas and decorated accordingly. They’re basic but authentic, with interesting reading material, old photographs, spotless bathrooms, fresh drinking water and antique wooden furniture.
We stayed in a (slightly dark) Standard Room just off one of 2 pretty courtyards filled with flower pots. The wall hangings and bedspreads were made from the typical blue-coloured textiles of the town of Mictonic; beside us was San Bartolme, which had similar woven furnishings in red.
Other rooms are closer to the herb garden (look out for the thatched 'spiritual altar', used for healing ceremonies and purification rituals conducted by Lacandon shamans). A couple of the larger Premier Rooms (La Cueva and Jacate) are on the first level - these are brighter, with views over the yellow courtyards.
All rooms have hearty fireplaces - useful, as temperatures can drop suddenly here. We felt a bit nervous about starting a fire, but kindling and pitch sticks are already arranged so they’re easy to light. It made our room beautifully cosy and our nights at Na Bolom far less chilly.
The flavoursome homemade bread, granola and marmalade are the highlights of Na Bolom’s breakfast, served at one of the round tables in the museum’s courtyard. You can also have eggs done a number of ways - try them Frans Blom style, with red and green salsa.
A communal dinner is dished up daily in the vast dining room, which has an extremely long table and various paintings, tapestries and pieces of artwork (including carved wooden jaguars) that have been donated by guests over the years. The furniture, including the locally-made leather-backed wooden chairs, dates from the 60s and you can still see the Bloms’ personal touch around the room - for example in the overhead lamp shades made out of their old hats.
Most of the organic ingredients used in the 3-course meals come straight from the garden (from squash and cabbage to fennel and sage). We started with a tasty carrot soup, then moved on to salad, green rice and chicken brochettes - all placed on the table in healthy-sized platters. We were joined by a lively Danish tour group, who pitched in passing out plentiful second helpings.
Lunch is available at the museum but most guests are out exploring the town during the day. We chanced upon a sweet little place nearby, Dona Chayito, with a lasagne-like dish called Pastel Azteca that was simply delicious. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafés and market stands around San Cristóbal’s Zócalo.