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“A piece of Heaven on Earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Atitlan

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Hotel Atitlan
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Lake Atitlan, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 29 hotels in Panajachel
California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A piece of Heaven on Earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2008

I work in the Hospitality industry and I can say without a doubt that I am VERY picky about accomodations, especcialy when on vacation. I researched this hotel very well and I can say that I had heard nothing but great things going into this.

I was not let down. From check in to check out, this hotel proved to be amazing. I requested a room with a good view to the reservationist and she was very accomodating. When we opened our room we were welcomed by one of the most breathtaking views I have every seen, and I have traveled quite a bit. The detail that management has taken to turn this hotel in to a botanical garden can not go without mention either.

Early the following morning my husband and I decided to walk through the gardens. We didnt realize how large the grounds were. We were delighted to meet some of the groundskeepers taking out some of the wild birds. We got very close to a Peacock, a Tucan and a Cockatoo. We only stayed one night this trip, but when we return to Guatemala we will be sure to stay longer.

Oh yes, I had noticed bad reviews in regards to the restaurant. My husband and I did not want to go into Pana again that night so we decided to have dinner on the grounds. The prices are a bit higher than normal, but the food was delicious and the service phenomenal. I highly recommend the Chicken Soup.

  • Liked — The Grounds. The gardens at this property are amazing.
  • Disliked — Check out. The clerk got our rate incorrect. Good thing I had a confirmation printed out!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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338 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
224 helpful votes 224 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2008

This hotel has the potential to be a great hotel, but fell short in some important areas.

First, the good. The grounds at Hotel Atilan are indescribably beautiful. The verdant gardens are carefully manicured and teeming with roses, hydrangeas and other vibrant flowers. The exotic caged birds just add to the charm, and the view of Lake Atitlan and its surrounding villages and volcanoes are simply breathtaking. I took scores of photos and still never captured the sheer majesty of standing on the hotel lawn and looking across the lake. It is the experience of a lifetime.

Inside the hotel, though, the experience is just average. We had a triple room with 3 beds. The mattresses were comfortable, but only had a scratchy wool blanket and a single thin pillow. The room was stuffy, given the humidity of the rainy season. I didn't expect air conditioning, but there was not even a fan available. Although we had a triple room with 3 people on the reservation (with 3 suitcases at the foot of each of the 3 beds), housekeeping consistently left us only 2 sets of towels.

The bathrooms were pretty nice but the shower didn’t drain properly. The worst part was that there was no hot water when we woke up early one morning to leave for the airport, and the front desk was not staffed so we could not find anyone to help us.

The owner (?) has her 3 pet shi tzus running around the property. The breed is accurately named. As we sat in the indoor lounge/bar area at about 9 one evening, my friend commented that it smelled funny. We dismissed her until she looked next to her chair and saw a pile of dog poo. So unsanitary! This is an area where food is served!

Plus, the service at the bar was unbelievably slow. The mojitos we enjoyed on the first day we arrived were the best I've ever had, but when we returned that night a different bartender made them differently and they were undrinkable. It took us 25 minutes from the time we ordered to get those bad mojitos. The desserts we ordered - macadamia nut pie and tres leches cake - were really really good though.

We did not eat dinner at the hotel, but lunch and breakfast were both fine. I didn't find them to be anything remarkable and the prices were far higher than in Pana. The setting, though, is unparalleled. I would (and did) pay top dollar (quetzals) for toast and jam to be in that setting.

The service was OK, if not overly friendly. It would have been nice to have a concierge or someone informed on site to make recommendations for restaurants other than the hotel's own, and two very expensive ones in Pana.

Finally, we had a bad taxi experience. It’s too complicated to explain here, but I would just offer that you should ask the hotel to call you a taxi (not a tuktuk if it’s raining) and refuse when they offer for you to use the hotel’s own taxi service.

On two unrelated occasions, the hotel arranged for us to use a driver named Benjamin for a day trip to Chichcastanango and then the next day for our drive to the airport. He was an excellent driver, and exercised a greater degree of caution that the other drivers on those treacherous mountain roads. His van was clean, spacious, and new. He was very polite and informative. I would highly recommend using him to get around in that area.

All in all, the setting is ideal. I didn’t see anything better in Pana and would be willing to put up with some inconveniences for this location. However, it's a hotel that really could be great if the management would just make an effort.

  • Liked — setting
  • Disliked — dog poo
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
664 helpful votes 664 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2008

What a beautiful hotel, in a stunning location, and incredible gardens.
We arrived by rental car without a booking. We were offered a rate of $95 per night and were shown several rooms to choose from. All rooms I believe have full lake views, and what stunning views.
Staff are soooo friendly. All meals are really good and the sea bass in coconut sauce was beautiful.
Prices for meals, drinks and souvenirs at Panjachel and around Lake Atitlan were a lot less than Antigua and Guatemala.
Would highly recommend this hotel.
Don't bother with the nature resort nearby, it takes 15 minutes, and is really boring, $6 per person.

Stayed April 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2008

My husband and I live in the inner city, devoid of grass and trees, so Hotel Atitlan really gave us a chance to feel human again. We fell in love with this oasis the moment we arrived from the hair-raising and stomach-churning drive from Guatemala City.

What can I say? The gardens were absolutely beautiful, and after two days, I don't think we had explored them completely. We loved the parrots, in cages and in trees, as well as the property's three adorable Schih-tzu dogs.

Our room was rustic, but it definitely had a lot of personality and unique decorative pieces. Plus, every room has a balcony looking onto the gardens and lake. And the shower, though mounted lower on the wall than I would have liked, had great water pressure.

A highlight was the infinity edge jacuzzi, which was the size of some hotel pools and not uncomfortably hot. You could spend a lot of time in here, just watching boats drive by on the lake and mist roll down the mountains above.

Unfortunately, we never got to see the volcanoes unobstructed by clouds. But the view was beautiful nonetheless.

I would absolutely recommend this property. Next time, however, I'd love to bypass the roads, and arrive by helicopter! Hotel Atitlan has two helicopter landing pads for those of you looking for an extra-special experience.

  • Liked — Beautiful gardens and lake views
  • Disliked — Laundry service not as prompt as we would have liked
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Saratoga, CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2008

After the hustle bustle of Guatemala City and Antigua, this was a welcome respite...and the view is simply to die for! Our family stayed here for 2 nights and we wish we could have extended it a day or two. The rooms were clean and spacious with updated bathrooms, nice toiletries and small patios for sitting outside and enjoying the view.

The nature preserve on the edge of the hotel grounds was a big draw for our kids, and if the weather is nice, I highly recommend chartering one of the hotel's boats for a sunset cruise ($75 for an hour's trip.) The pool and hot tub were ideally situated, and the mojitos were EXCELLENT! The restaurant's food was somewhat inconsistent...some of the meals (like the fish in herbs) were exceptional, while others (like the breakfast buffet and the overly sweet french onion soup) were a disappointment.

As far as activities go, I'd recommend going to the Mayan market in Solela (it's only 15 minutes away), and shopping in Panajachel (as long as you bargain aggressively).

Stayed March 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2008

Little to add from the other reviews here - location is incredible and views are breath-taking.
Hotel is ok - clean but old fashioned, breakfast is ok as it's a buffet and you can tailor your meal, however the rest of the food is pretty appalling. Don't eat at the restaurant for dinner - but chicken sandwiches and basic lunch menu is decent and much more appealing than the dinner menu.

We went to hotel Casa Polopo for lunch and wished we had stayed there - incredible views, gorgeous food and a much higher quality establishment.

Stayed February 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2008

Best location and ambiance of any hotel I've ever seen. Located directly on Lake Atitlan, the grounds are immaculately kept with gardens and footpaths. From the restaurant or the pool and infinity hot tub, the views of volcanoes across the lake are incredible. A little more pricey than some of the hotels in Panajachel but well worth the little extra - only about $110 per night for a triple with 3 beds.

  • Liked — Location, views, atmosphere
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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 Hotel Atitlan

Address: Lake Atitlan, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 29 hotels in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Atitlan 3.5*
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, Tolimán 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 Atitlán 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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