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“A million dollar view and elegant hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Atitlan

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Hotel Atitlan
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel | Solola Lago de Atitlan, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Panajachel
Certificate of Excellence
Decatur, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A million dollar view and elegant hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We stayed three nights -- tremendous view of Lake Atitlan, great outdoor hot tub, incredible furnishings and art in the common areas -- all for a relatively low price. Beautiful nature preserve within walking distance. Quiet property, out of the way of the chaotic core of Panajachel. Food is solid, but not necessarily all that creative.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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458 reviews from our community

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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
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
75 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We found the Garden of Eden on the Edge of Lake Atitlan. A beautiful property surrounded by acres manicured grounds. The ride getting to the hotel can be tricky as you maneuver through the mountainous switchbacks but the beautiful gardens and views await you. The property is located on 3 floors accessible by stairs and around a lush courtyard.

The rustic foyer welcomes you and you will feel right at home from the moment you step in. There is a bar with a roaring wood fireplace to keep you warm at night as you enjoy a quiet and still evening. The restaurant has a local flair and the food reflect the local market culinary delights.

We had a room with a balcony looking at glassy Lake Atitlan. You must be aware that the rooms had no air conditioning or heat but you will not need it. The temperature is delightful year round and a blanket can take care of it if you need it. A heated pool and an edgeless hot tub look toward the lake and you can even use their twin helicopter pad should you indulge on a quick trip from Guatemala City.

The gardens and trails are a must to leisurely visit and a zip line is available within walking distance if you are so inclined. Overall a beautiful hidden gem that we will return to visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

If you choose to visit Guatemala, then Lake Atitlan is going to be a must during the holiday. We will not bother you with a description of this amazing site: the internet and the travel guides are full of photos and information. But we will recommend a stay at this hotel. Its style is traditional and unique. The garden is a dream collection of flora, kept by 10 gardeners. In addition, there is a beautiful botanical garden next to the same hotel.
The rooms are relatively simple but spacious enough and with a lovely balcony framed by the luxuriant greenery of the garden. We found the lack of a safe to be a minor drawback.
The overall quality of sleep was very good.
The restaurant is like the hotel: very nice atmosphere and a bit simple.
The bottom line is: truly recommended.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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North Carolina
Level Contributor
184 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

What a pretty sight! The hotel rests at the edge of a collapsed volcano that became the second largest lake in Guatemala. You will probably like the outdoor dining area that overlooks the beautiful lake. You will especially like the gorgeous, well maintained grounds with their lush gardens. The room isn't anything to brag about, but they have plenty of American TV to help you keep up with your regular programming. The plumbing seemed to work well, which I have to say is a great thing in this country.

The market at Santiago Atitlan was fun to visit, but take a partner with you, since they gather around you like flies and don't want to leave you alone until you've heard their various offers. It would be good to shop there before you buy anything from the hotel's gift shop, since their stuff is high priced. If you need Pepto Bismol, they have that there.

The Internet works fine in the bar and restaurant area. The weakest area is the lobby.

Overall, the hotel is quite nice and a good place to stay for a couple of nights.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

We spent two nights at Hotel Atitlan. I ended up spending a lot of time at the hotel because I wasn’t feeling well, and it was definitely a nice place to hang around. The view from the restaurant deck is unbelievably gorgeous. Unfortunately, it rained almost the whole time we were there so we couldn’t take a walk around the grounds but they looked amazing. The birds on the grounds are quite loud (especially the peacocks) so if you are a light sleeper this may disturb you.

One thing we didn’t expect was there was no safe in the room. The safety boxes are at the front desk. We were taken aback by this but there is a security procedure that seems safe and nothing was missing.

The restaurant and bar were great and there is a note on the menu that the water at the hotel is safe to drink. We didn’t risk it and fortunately had bottled water with us because there is no free water provided by the hotel. I think they probably sell it in the gift shop, but it has limited hours.
The hotel staff were all wonderful, especially the bartender.

The hotel is not walking distance to anywhere so if you stay there you will have to take a cab or other transport. There was a note that the hotel provides a shuttle service to Panajachel but we never used it.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clayton, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

My one night stay at this hotel was the worst experience I have had in my four months here. I was nearly in tears out of frustration on several occasions- on what was supposed to be a relaxing girls getaway.

I have been living and volunteering in Panajachel and heard what a beautiful place this was- and it is beautiful- unfortunately the treatment my family and I received from staff made the beauty of the place irrelevant. When checking in, the front desk did not have our reservation even though I had the confirmation e-mail. No problem, they had rooms. We had booked the following three days with their sister hotel in Antigua, which is supposed to give you a 20% discount on both places. This had also been confirmed with both hotels in advance. They did not know about this either and we had to wait around for quite awhile while they attempted to confirm with the other hotel. There were no apologies for this inconvenience, no smiles, no welcome.

After having traveled in from the airport, we were hot and tired, and headed down to the beautiful outdoor restaurant to have a drink and use the wifi (which you have to pay extra for to get in your room- for a hotel with this price, this should be included). We sat down and waited what seemed like forever. I saw staff just inside, chatting to each other and texting on their phones. Nobody greeted us. I finally got up and asked for the drinks menu. They handed me a menu and I went to sit back down. It was the food menu, not the drink menu (I speak Spanish, so this was not the problem). I got up again to ask for the drink menu. Again, went back to sit down. Waited again. Nobody came to take our order. Got up again to place our order. Some time later our smoothies came out. Each time I had to go ask the staff for something they seemed obviously irritated by my presence.

A bit later we came down in our swimsuits to use the beautiful lake-side infinity hot tub. It was covered with plastic, and we asked if we could just get in for a few minutes and relax. They said no. I explained that we could remove the plastic ourselves and were really tired and wanted to relax just for ten minutes or so. No. I asked to speak with a manager. Staff obviously very annoyed at me, got on the phone and talked to someone. He said no again, it was not allowed and the hot tub closed at 6, and they had just put chemicals in. Ok, I thought it is a bit ridiculous to close a hot tub at 6, who wants a hot tub in the day here- its HOT! We went in the next day and realized it was salt water hot tub- they don't put chemicals in! So we were basically lied to. It was more their general unhelpful attitudes that made me upset.

The next day, we went across the lake with my host mother and decided to come back to the hotel for lunch and a swim. We had ordered lunch, and were in the pool when staff came out and told my host mother to get out of the pool. She did, and I asked what was going on. They said only guests were allowed in the pool. I was really upset as we had planned to enjoy the afternoon eating and lounging. I asked if we could pay extra for her to stay and swim. No. I asked to speak to the manager, and they said there was not one there at the moment (I'm guessing a lie). I kept arguing, ending up near tears and several other staff came over to try and explain the situation. Meanwhile my poor host mom is sitting outside of the pool looking uncomfortable. Even if they have this policy that only guests are allowed in the pool, if other guests bring someone with them, they are all paying to have lunch there, how rude is it to come and kick the other person out??! It is about the rudest thing I have ever experienced. I also felt she was being discriminated against because she is indigenous.. which they of course denied. I honestly believe if she had been white nobody would have questioned her presence. In the end, after numerous arguments and tears, they allowed us to pay for her to swim. By that point however, my day was ruined. I was so angry I could not enjoy the day or relax. From start to finish, the staff made me and my family feel unwelcome, and whenever I asked for anything they acted as if I was a huge inconvenience to them. Here there is no such thing as the customer is always right. It was an awful experience and I am telling everyone I know to never go there.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Park, Georgia
Level Contributor
159 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 512 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

On the whole, a disappointment. What you will like and dislike:

What you will like:

--The location at lakeside is lovely, with three volcanoes in plain sight. The hotel’s gardens go right to the water’s edge.

--The hotel’s gardens are gorgeous, colorful, lush, and well tended. Mother Nature is truly kind, in combining the fertile grounds of an old coffee plantation with Atitlan’s near perfect climate. The hotel also has a wedding grove amongst the garden (there is even a helipad when the trip in from Antigua or Guatemala City by car is just too long. . .) To discourage the visits of outsiders, the hotel charges 55Q per person for non-guests to visit the gardens, and the guards at the front gate asked us if we were guests (huespedes in Spanish) every time we returned.

--Hotel Atitlan may have the only infinity Jacuzzi I’ve ever seen, with views right over the lake and volcanoes beyond. This and the pool are most pleasant, both for sunning and dining--the hotel’s restaurant opens to poolside, with numerous tables al fresco.

--Panajachel is just 10 minutes away from the hotel by tuk-tuk (just 10 Quetzales, or less than US$1.50 at this writing). Or you can even arrive by boat, though the hotel has posted a notice that leaving or arriving by outside boat carries a fee (which the city never collected; we arrived by boat.)

What you wont:

--Hotel Atitlan, whatever the rate, is essentially a motel with beautiful gardens, panoramic views, and a nice pool/Jacuzzi. The public areas are dated, and look as if the vendor stalls you see everywhere else in Guatemala threw up their brac-a-brac and tchotchkes throughout the lobby, restaurant, and hallways.

--You may be tempted to stay here because the hotel is a sister property to Palacio de Dona Leonor in Antigua (and offers a very attractive discount if you stay at both hotels). I have rarely seen two hotels co-owned and common-priced so different in detail and caliber of hospitality. Palacio de Dona Leonor is a five star palazzo whose accommodations and public areas are among the finest anywhere. Hotel Atitlan is barely three star, and has almost nothing in common with the Antigua property, save some lovely landscaping. Actually, if you take away the pool, gardens, and lakeside perch, you might as well be sleeping in a Taco Bell.

--Our room was basic at best. Beds were comfortable, and linens aren’t bad. Tile floors never seemed clean--our feet got dirty when we walked barefoot. There were a cluster of dust bunnies under the beds. While the rooms overlook the lake, the gardens either frame or block the best views of the volcano. Oddly, the bathroom amenities aren’t the same as the L’Occitane products at sister hotel Palacio, but while generic, were not bad--and were frequently replenished. The rooms are not heated or air conditioned, but the lack of climate control wasn’t a problem as a result of some cross-breezes--and a room fan/heater is available upon request. Noise was an issue, both from fellow guests in nearby hallways and adjacent rooms, as well as birds in the back gardens.

--The food wasn’t awful, but the breakfast buffet was a bit better than adequate. Oddly, one day, only a buffet breakfast was the offering, with no menu available; the next, just a menu was available with no buffet set up. Prices were high for Panajachel, though the setting with pool and lake views, was notably pleasant.

--Internet is mediocre, and only worked in lobby and poolside--where it was free. Paid extra for access from room, but never could access the internet. Front desk refunded internet fee when I pointed this out.

Room Tip: Wouldn't choose room 300 again. . .a reverse wedge shape, so that the balcony is narrower than t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Atitlan

Address: Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel | Solola Lago de Atitlan, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Panajachel
#3 Business Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Atitlan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nominated by Travel + Leisure; "World's Best Awards 2011".This charming hacienda-style hotel is a formerworking coffee farm situated on the shores of Lake Atitlan, with a picture perfect view of volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlan. Highlighting numerous unique Guatemalan traditions with its colorful and vibrant interior, each room is individually decorated with hand-woven fabrics and carpets, handcrafted furniture, paintings and tile floors. All rooms have private balconies and breathtaking views of the lake. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi overlook the entire lake and the hotel's magnificent wedding, tropical and rose gardens. The Botanical Gardens of Hotel Atitlan are a true garden lover's paradise. Bird-watching is a popular pastime within its botanical gardens. Enjoy a cocktail or a refreshing tea from the selection of tea infusions by the fire in the hotel's bar, and dine in an elegant setting where you will savor regional and international cuisine. You can't miss this beautiful Hotel!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atitlan Hotel Panajachel
Hotel Atitlan Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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