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“Great place all around” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel El Sol

Hotel El Sol
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Hotel El Sol
Salida a Santa Catarina Palopo, Barrio Jucanya, Panajachel, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
96 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Great place all around”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Hotel el Sol is clean, bright and very inviting. We only spoke to the Japanese man. He was very nice, helpful, and more than acommodating. We got our reservation mixed up and ended up arriving a day earlier. Guess what? They had open rooms, and 10 minutes later they had them ready for us. We also paid for some things with US dollars, and he gave us exact exchange rate listed on the internet that day!
The rooms (stayed in 3 different ones) were cute, clean and spacious, with large bathrooms. Towels, soap, and shampoo provided. Hot water was always hot, however it took a while for it to get that way. There is a roof top patio, and a lovely garden/patio area on the 1st floor. Coffee and water in the main lobby was a nice addition . Each floor has a common area in the hallway. Someone was always sitting there with their electronics typing away. Great for socializing, hanging out, and everyone was always very quiet. The light from the hallway made our room brighter than what I like when going to sleep, becasue there was a glass above the door. We were going to bed around 11 pm. The lights were off soon after.
As for the location, I was unsure about it when making reservations, and looking it up on Google did not help. It turned out to be just fine. 10 min (walk) away from Pana's main drag is nothing. We walked back around 9-10 pm few times. The streets are rather empty once you cross the bridge, but we never felt insecure and did not have any problems. If I don't sound convincing, tuk-tuk will take you to the hotel from the center for 5 Q (less than 1$ per person). When you consider everything - Hotel el Sol is your winner! There is really nothing one can complain about. If you decide to drop the anchor somewhere else, at least try their restaurant. SO worth it !!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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49 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

This is def one of the cleanest hotels I've ever stayed in this price bracket. Amazing! At around $7 a bed makes it a must to stay here. The Japanese family that runs the hotel is very nice and you can have sushi here almost every day. The hotel is about 10 min from the centre but worth the walk away from the busy main street.

Room Tip: Has a lovely roof terrace for yoga in the morning...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

I spent a night here then decided to stay for a week in a private room. What everyone else says about the place being immaculate is true. I could hardly stop them from changing my towels everyday. The hotel is at the end of Panajachel, on the road to Santa Catarina Palopo, and away from the main tourist drag. It is now run by the Japanese son of the original owners, who came here as a JICA volunteer then worked for the Embassy. He is married to a Guatemalan.

The Japanese restaurant in the hotel is run by a Japanese woman married to a guy from Minnesota and she speaks English. The food is excellent (60Q for about every dish) and no vendors can enter to hassle you while you are trying to enjoy your meal. The is also a kitchen for guest use which includes a microwave and refrigerator.

Cable TV free with HBO, IFC, Cine Latino, BBC, CNN, TNT, etc. Free Wifi. I enjoyed the Japanese bath daily. It is only 5Q for a tuk tuk ride anywhere. I would highly recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ollantaytambo, Peru
Level Contributor
61 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Immaculately clean, beds changed daily, windows sparkle and a beautiful garden to relax in outside under umbrellas. This hotel is little know to the general public but is well known by the Japanese. Hotel El Sol is owned and run by a Japanese man and his Guatemala wife. Both are wonderful and work hard to please the guest. Dorms are 50 Q a night ($6.00), single rooms can be had for a bargain as well if you want to rent for longer then one or two days. Very tranquil with a Sushi Restaurant on the first floor and a Japanese hot tub out back filled by a natural hot spring. Easy walking distance into town or you can take a Tuk-Tuk for 5 Q.
Good free wi-fi on each floor.

When you arrive in Pana and catch a Tuk-tuk, tell them Hotel El Sol and it is 5 Q a person. No more. Tell them, "Hotel El Sol, cinco q." Wait for a response BEFORE you get in. It is not unusual for a tuk-tuk driver to pick people up from the dock and charge them 20 Q per person, because they know you do not know any better.
Stay at Hotel El Sol, you will not regret it.

Room Tip: Try the dorms. Very few people go there and I am usually by myself in the dorm. Lockers are large an...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Hotel el sol is one of the best places I have ever stayed. It is immaculately clean, bright, airy and welcoming. The rooms are very pretty and well maintained and each floor has a lovely lounge area. The japanese family who run it take huge pride in the place and are very polite and welcoming. The food in the japanese restaurant is amazing - we ate there every night of our stay. It is located a 10 min walk from Pana main street which adds to its charm, as it means your view will be of lush rolling hills and you will get a peaceful nights sleep - something that will be very hard staying in the centre of town. It was a no-brainer for us to turn an initial 1 night stay into a week. It really is a hidden gem.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Although a bit outside of the hustle and bustle of Pana, Hotel El Sol provides very clean rooms. Owned by a japanese family, it also has a japanese restaurant. It is quite easy to take a tuk tuk into town and the people that run the hotel are accommodating.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, LA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

My wife and I just finished an excellent fresh sushi and tempora dinner prepared at this hotel by the wonderful family that runs it. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and today is Monday. They prepared us a wonderful meal anyway! The hotel was almost full so we are staying in the dorm for one night, which I don't normally do. But even the dorm area is immaculate, with clean bathrooms, nice common areas and excellent fast and free wireless internet. They seemed thrilled to have us park our motorcycles in their garage, taking up half the garage. I am looking forward to trying their private rooms tomorrow and can't wait to eat another Japanese meal here. Highly recommended and very very affordable.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about Hotel El Sol

Address: Salida a Santa Catarina Palopo, Barrio Jucanya, Panajachel, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This hotel is a hidden jem, its 5-10Qs from Lake Atitlan and is a Japanese hotel with super cheap rooms, hostel accommodation for 50Q's and the cleanest hotel I've ever been in. I hope you can list it as it complies to your requirements and is so much cheaper then other Atitlan hotels ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel El Sol Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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