One of my best friends and I went on a trip to Central America this past April/May (2011). While in Panajachel, we stopped in at Mario's Rooms. We loved it so much in this town and this hotel that we decided to stay an extra 2 nights!
The accomodations were clean and beautiful! The rooms themselves weren't the prettiest decor, but the lush courtyard made up for any outdated look of the room. At this point, it was kind of nice to be able to sit down and watch tv before going to bed - we hadn't done much of that until now. It was a very relaxing stay!
The bathroom was clean and spacious (apparently rare in the budget hotel scene in Guatemala), although being all pink was a little overwhelming...The courtyard & the little balcony with a hammock were a really nice touch...we tended to end our days with a beer and a card game while sitting at a little table outside our door on the balcony.
Breakfast was free, so I suppose you can't complain...although it was a little bland and boring. Great for getting something in you to keep going for the morning, but definitely not a taste experience. Free water (water coolers) on site was AWESOME. Definitely kept the amount of bottled water waste to a minimum! Secure entrance was also a bonus, we definitely felt safer knowing only guests could enter (no key card or anything, the staff would come open the door after you buzzed them).
Great location - about 10min walk to the harbour where you can rent boat tours to neighbouring lake towns. Great restaurants and street food (if you're brave). Close to a school so lots of kids around in the street - but the noise didn't transfer to the room. Only loud aspect was the roofing crew beside our window next door.
Overall a great stay - would definitely stay again!