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“Stunning views but the hotel is a let down” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Jardines del Lago

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Jardines del Lago
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Monterrey, Panajachel, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Stunning views but the hotel is a let down”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights on the first stop on our 2.5 week tour of Guatemala and Belize. 2 adults and 2 children (aged 11 and 16).

We booked directly with the hotel and got a discounted rate for a family room for USD 99 a night for 4 persons including 3 breakfasts (the 4th one costs 55 GTZL). We also booked a private transfer with the hotel for USD 110 from Guatemala airport.

Here is a summary of the good and the not so good.

THE GOOD
Location / Views
The location is superb with awesome views over lake Atitlan. All rooms are basically identical in size and all face onto the lake so each gets more or less the same view of the lake and volcanoes (but worth checking with hotel when booking in case this is wrong).

The hotel is also just a short 5 minute walk to the lake end of the town which is the pretty and quiet part of town with some nice laid back restaurants.

Bar
They serve really cold beers for around USD2 a bottle.

Boat Trip
The hotel can organise a half day boat trip to 3 towns villages on the lake which is worth doing. The trip costs USD 18pp. 11 yrs and under shouldn't have to pay - but they forgot to tell us that. The boats get over-crowded so not comfortable but the villages are all really different and worth seeing. (San Marcos La Laguna has a nice 8m pontoon jump into the water; San Pedro La Laguna is a laid back town - nice stop for a drink; Santiago D'Atitlan is busy, crowded, dirty and full of people hassling you - one to avoid unless you like that kind of stuff).

THE NOT SO GOOD AND THE BAD
ROOMS
Rooms are pretty basic and about about the right size for a couple sharing. The bathrooms are small and very basic. What they didn't tell us is that they don't do family rooms. If you want more than 2 staying in one room they load up the same room with extra beds. That means we were totally crammed in. There is also no aircon which means the rooms get a bit stuffy. It would have been nice if they had told us that for an extra USD20 a night we could have had 2 rooms - that would have been much more comfortable.

TRANSFER
You can book pretty comfortable group transfers for USD 22-25 pp from the airport to Panajachtel. We thought paying a bit more for a private transfer would be worth it. It wasn't. The driver turned up very late (we would have got to the hotel quicker with a group transfer). The van was beaten up, pretty dirty, no aircon and he had his travel sick young son with him. You live and learn. We took group transfers everywhere else around Guatemala.

BREAKFAST
Depends on whether they have guests staying or not. On the first night there was a group party staying so the breakfast spread the next day was pretty good (fruits, juices, breads, omelettes and some local fare) although the quality is not great. The next day when the hotel was practically empty they decided not to serve most of this - just bread and cereal. We had to ask several times before they went into the kitchen to get some fruit and juices. If your room doesn't include breakfast then we would recommend taking the short walk into town. You can get better for around half the price.

SERVICE
Very mixed. There was one gentleman who went out of his way to be very helpful - didn't get a name. Most are polite but indifferent. Some are a bit dishonest - like rounding up the bar bill to the nearest 100 GTZ on the basis that the price list is out of date and the real price is actually twice what it shows on the menu. Yeah right! You need to watch out for this.

WATERSPORTS
Best to avoid unless they upgrade the kit. The jetskis are old and knackered and very expensive even by UK standards, so we didn't go on these. Me and my daughter hired a kayak for an 1 hour...but we didn't quite last the hour. The kayak is older than me and weights a ton. The paddles are heavy wood and look like they have been bitten by sharks (see photo). The scenery is spectacular and made for watersports. Although it was mostly fun we eventually ran out of steam and came back with sore hands.

OVERALL
If we were rarting this on location and view it would get a 5*

If were were rating it on hotel quality, service, amenities etc it would get a 2* at best.

On balance 3 seems about right.

None of this stopped us enjoying our stay - it was an experince and fun. Everywhere is different and we travel a lot for these types of experiences. Part of the service issue here is that there doesn't seem to have been a lot of investment in this hotel for some time. Also sometimes it can be short of guests and this does impact adversely on staff morale.

I really wouldn't want this review to put anyone off staying here - if we were going back to the lake we certainly wouldn't rule it out. But be aware of what you are getting.

Have fun!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteljardinesdellago, Director General at Jardines del Lago, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Good day! Feedback from our customers help us to improve services every day. We apologize for possible inconveniences caused during your visit, but we assure you that on a future visit this will not happen, because we solve problems. We also discussed that we are a friendly hotel with the environment so our processes and procedures are aimed at the realization of good practice, for example the electricity savings, for this reason we use solar panels and other technologies that we help supply the water in the bathrooms. Again thank you for your comment and to be taken into account to improve our services so that we can better serve you in an upcoming occasion.
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100 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    34
    49
    10
    5
    2
See reviews for
15
37
6
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed here with a group of 11 while working with non-governmental organization Mayan Families in Pana in November. The price was great, service excellent, wi-fi throughout, and the breakfast was awesome with fresh yogurt, eggs, granola, and fresh fruit. Make sure to try the Mayan cinnamon tea. After hard days of work returning to the hotel in time for the sunset over San Pedro from the hammocks....amazing.

Room Tip: Second floor is generally better. Some of our groups at the end of the hall ran out of hot water, s...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Hoteljardinesdellago, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Jardines del Lago, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Good day! We welcome your comments, hoping to serve you in the near future and you can return to enjoy the Lake Atitlan.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
79 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Great Lake views and handy for Main Street restaurants but rooms are terrible, hard floors, hard beds, dodgy electrics, no safe and very small area- ours had a third bed and put right in front of wardrobe but the worst is to come - the bathroom. Yuk! Shower drain blocked, no sink plug, no hot water or mildly tepid at best. Nothing done when complained, so I would avoid this place there must be better here.
Breakfast is ok with large area outside area overlooking did not eat here at night.

Room Tip: Don't even try
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Hoteljardinesdellago, Director General at Jardines del Lago, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Good day! Feedback from our customers help us to improve services every day. We apologize for possible inconveniences caused during your visit, but we assure you that on a future visit this will not happen, because we solve problems. We also discussed that we are a friendly hotel with the environment so our processes and procedures are aimed at the realization of good practice, for example the electricity savings, for this reason we use solar panels and other technologies that we help supply the water in the bathrooms. Again thank you for your comment and to be taken into account to improve our services so that we can better serve you in an upcoming occasion.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guatemala
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

It was a marvelous stay in this hotel because it was my Wife's B'day on this Saturday 09th Nov. We have opted this Hotel because it has a nice lake view. Can you imagine, I have asked one of their staff member to help me out to do something nice for my Wife's birthday and we including all the people got stunned because they have evacuated their marvelous Brunch Area in order to decorate and sing Happy Birthday for my wife....the staff is so sweat and believe me guys this hotel is very special in all kind of attention, their great buffet breakfast..marvelous views etc...I would like to recommend this hotel 10/10 in all sense

Room Tip: Please don't search any other hotel. This Hotel is located in the primer area of Satander Street...
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  • Stayed November 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteljardinesdellago, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Jardines del Lago, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Google Translation
Nous apprécions vos commentaires et vos préférences pour Hôtel Jardines del Lago. Dans le même temps prolongé les salutations de tous les collaborateurs pour sa femme et l'espoir de les faire revenir dans une telle célébration importante. Et ils peuvent profiter du majestueux lac Atitlan. Au plaisir de vous revoir dans un avenir pas trop lointain.
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

I took my boss to Atitlan for the weekend on a little tour around . This hotel is walking distance to Santander st. and to easy access to take a public boat to visit surround towns. They also can call for a private boat to pick you up right at their dock. Staff are friendly and always helpful. Breakfast buffet was delicious!!!!

I will stay here again and recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteljardinesdellago, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Jardines del Lago, responded to this review, November 22, 2013
Google Translation
Buen día! Agradezco su comentario, esperando haber llenado todas sus expectativas y disfrutado de nuestros jardines y del majestuoso Lago de Atitlán, esto nos ayuda a mejorar nuestros servicios . Los esperamos en su pronta visita!
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Roanoke, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

The reason why I decided to stay in this hotel was mainly for the view and the price since if you pay in cash you do not have to pay the 20% tourist tax, which I learned from reading a helpful review here on tripadvisor! Anyway, when my husband called to make reservations one of the ladies that took our reservations was asking for a higher price than the reviews on this site had stated, so my husband argued with her and she hung up. We called back and spoke to a different lady and she told us the price that this website had said it was supposed to be. So it looks like the other lady was trying to ask for a higher price (like 150Q more per room) so as to pocket some of the money for herself. Who knows if this was really her intention or just a mistake on her part, but just a heads up for anyone calling to see prices of the reservations. Also, I knew from previously reading the reviews on this site that you would be able to hear everything from neighboring rooms and noises from outside the rooms. As the reviews stated, yes you can literally hear everything and it made it hard to sleep well. One time there was no hot water after about 2 in the afternoon, so I had to take a cold shower. I learned to take a shower the next time very early in the morning. The breakfast was excellent though and it was included in the price of the room. Several times we had a waiter named Walter and he was very friendly with prompt service. The garden and small dock and beach access were great, too. They have a ping pong table, trampoline, hammocks, and small playground for children. My friends and I got on the trampoline, but got told that the trampoline was only for children ten and under even though there was no sign we could find stating that rule. On the morning of our check out we got told that we had stained one of their towels so they made us pay 150 quetzales, since they said they could no longer use it. Who knows if that was actually the towel from our room because my husband and I don't remember staining one, but it's possible....Anyway, my family that lives in Guatemala said that no towel costs 150 Quetzales. So they were trying to reason with management, but we had to buy it from the hotel anway, so now it is just a souvenir....ha. After we washed the towel a day later the stain came completely out, so just beware of the "extra" charges that the hotel might try to tack on. Overall our stay was decent, it all just depends on what you are looking for. The location, garden, and views are excellent, the food is good, but the quality of the rooms are definitely less than average and management isn't the best.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigua, Guatemala
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Beautiful place. And super, super great staff. The breakfast buffet is not the biggest, but this is a little hotel and it doesn't need to be. The selection was very good. Price at around $60 was well worth it to me since I had just arrived in country 9 months ago. By shuttle you will be dropped right by the boats. Just take the road right there on your left, go to what looks like a T, turn right onto the gravel road and look slightly right by the parking lot. You are home. Don't miss the Lago Atitlan museum down close to the end of Satander street. You are just a block away from that big street of shopping. Just keep in mind, once the vendor has started crying, you have probably reached the best price.

Room Tip: The staff is wonderful and Manager, Soloman, is the Man. But again his staff is excellent.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 Jardines del Lago

Address: Calle Monterrey, Panajachel, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Jardines del Lago 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offering a beautiful setting on Atitlan Lake, recognized as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Hotel y Centro de Convenciones Jardines del Lago has attractive rooms. Set in gardens, it features a restaurant and a terrace with lake views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jardines Del Lago Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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