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“Simple, Clean, Cheap and Quiet” 4 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
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Simple, Clean, Cheap and Quiet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

After researching a few hostels and hotels in Panajachel, I chose Hotel El Sol and was not disappointed. I stayed in an 8-person Dorm for three days in the middle of June, and the room itself was quite spacious and very clean. It was also very quiet because the hotel is situated about 15, 20 minutes outside of the main area. So if you like walking, this place is definitely for you.

There weren't too many people in the Dorm as well - it sometimes felt like a private room to myself! There were at most 3 people at once, so I'd recommend choosing the Dorm (app.$7) over the private room ($20) unless you have a family or something, of course.

Room Tip: The Dorm is more than sufficient for any backpackers or travelers
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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33 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    22
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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
    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
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

The value of this hotel lies in its uber cleanliness and pure size of private rooms. The bathroom was inspirational in size as well. The owner being an architect I think lends credibility to the whole place working out like it does. From the outside its just a large building a good walk from town. But inside, each bed is covered in the best Guatemalan pattern, and each floor has access to wifi. It was a very comforting retreat as we spent two days out and about exploring, knowing we were returning to a really clean and comfortable home to rest.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Alberta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Hotel El Sol's rooms are very clean and spacious, with good size bathrooms - hot water showers, tv, etc. The common areas have couches and reading material. The hotel has wifi and a Suishi Restaurant on the main level with excellent japanese cuisine. Also, there are hot thermal pools in the garden of the facility. Hotel is owned by a Japanese family who are very helpful and speak good English. Reasonable priced, comfortable accommodations - all around great place away from the chaos in the centre of Panajachel - a tuk tuk ride away or 10 min. walk.

Room Tip: This is a clean, quiet hotel reasonably priced - $12.50 US per person for rooms with private bathroo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Helsinki, Finland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

I stayed in this hostel with a Norwegian buddy for a few days in December. What a surprise! This hostel (more like a hotel) is extremely clean and well managed...I felt like I'd left the developing world behind for a few days. Just a lovely spot. I can only highly recommend it. Much better to stay here than in the thick of the tourist madness in the center of Pana. There is a delicious Japanese restaurant here, as well...and it's real Japanese food cooked by Japanese people.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
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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Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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...
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  • 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
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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.
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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 12 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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