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“Beautiful, tranquil location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Santa Catarina

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Villa Santa Catarina
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Santa Catarina Palopo, Panajachel, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 30 Hotels in Panajachel
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful, tranquil location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We thought the hotel was in a lovely setting with views across to the lake and volcanoes. The rooms were basic but comfortable although there was no safe. There was also no air con or ceiling fan which might be uncomfortable in hotter weather. The breakfast was basic with no buffet. The evening menu was also limited and of average quality. But there was no real alternative. Also the drinks prices were inflated and the staff made errors on the bills.

Room Tip: Best rooms are over the reception for view of the lake and volcanoes.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    44
    35
    14
    4
    2
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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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Guatemala City, Guatemala
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We have stayed several times at this hotel and like the beautiful setting close to the lake, very nice views of the lake and a very nice garden and a cosy restaurant with a fireplace.

The rooms are clean and they serve a good breakfast. The staff is very friendly.

It is a rather small hotel.

Comfort is okay for the price - we buy a 5 night-"Chequera" which reduces the rate to 60.00 USD per night in a double room, and the comfort is good if you compare with other 3-star hotels, a bit low if you compare with other 4-star hotels.

Last time we visited the hotel it was very noisy, unfortunately, because a nearby church was celebrating a 4-hour service with loud pop music and very strong amplifiers. The room as well as the restaurant were not usable during that time - as if we had a disco inside.

Unfortunately, and for the first time, after I got back from a swim, money was missing from my wallet, which I had left in my room. I complained at the reception and they reimbursed the claimed funds, but seemed not to believe me and made me feel embarrassed. ("We trust our personnel, but if you insist, we will reimburse you what you paid for your breakfast" - when actually they did not reimburse breakfast but the amount stolen from my wallet so this comment felt quite bad - as if I was the liar and the personnel was correct.)

The room was quite small and simple - linoleum floor, two small twin beds (not very comfortable for us as a couple, and some itchy powder was falling from the ceiling onto one bed - seems that they have termites or so), but a nice, shadowy balcony with a very pretty view of the garden.

The bathroom was small and simple, but the shower has plenty of very hot water, which is not guaranteed in Guatemala.

The pool is of a comfortable size (about 16 meters long) to swim, but not heated. Since it was a warm, sunny day the water was not too cold (a bit more than 20 degrees Celsius maybe) and the temperature was okay for a swim. Sometimes we have found the pool dirty with leaves from the trees but this time it was very clean.

Overall, a beautiful place to stay, basic comfort, quiet unless the nearby church is celebrating a service (avoid the hotel on Saturdays), better not to leave your valuable objects unattended. (Unfortunately, the room did not have a safe.)

Tipp: If you plan to travel to various locations for a total of 5 nights (e. g. Livingston, Antigua, Panajachel, Flores), buy a "chequera" for 300 USD at the central reservation office of Villas de Guatemala in Guatemala city, that is a real bargain. The Villa Maya near Flores is really wonderful and much more comfortable and we have never had any issues there.

Room Tip: Ask for a junior suite with lake view. They are larger and more beautiful. They might charge you a l...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

I have stayed at the Villa Santa Catarina several times and I have had wonderful experiences each and every time! The rooms are minimal but comfortable and safe, and the staff is always cordial and polite. The food (I have only eaten breakfast there) is alwasy freshly prepared and delicious, especially the coffee! There is noise from the village but that only makes the experience that much more authentic and you can't beat the close proximity to Lake Atitlan! I always feel like I can truly disconnect from my day to day life, relax and rejuvenate.

Room Tip: Ask for the very front room closest to the lake. There is a giant picture window with an unobstruct...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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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Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guatemala
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

This hotel is beautiful and is rarely crowded. I thought the room rate of $105 which included breakfast and dinner was an excellent deal. The room was very spacious with a fireplace. There is a church next door that can be loud on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings but it didn't last long.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Indianapolis
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

The room itself was very basic (stark) with two twin beds a small desk and bathroom. I wouldn't rate the room high on comfort or style, but if you are looking for a basic hotel to stay at and want a pretty location outside of Panajachel then this is a very affordable option. One redeeming factor is our room was on the corner and had a beautiful and spacious terrace that afforded us both a village and lake view. The pool, though pretty, was too cold to ever swim in as it is not heated. One thing to note is this hotel is located in a neighboring lakeside town of Santa Catarina Palopo, which requires that you either take a boat (public lancha), tuk-tuk, car, or other means of transport from Panajachel. I enjoyed the privacy of staying outside of Panajachel on the lake; however due to safety concerns did not travel between Panajachel and Santa Catarina late at night, which made nighttime dining and entertainment options limited.

Room Tip: Ask for the second floor room in the bend of the L shaped hotel. It has a spacious terrace with love...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

The rooms are ugly, plus the beds are Twin sizes. No air conditioning or fans, the musty smell is terrible and the bathrooms are not very clean.

Room Tip: The rooms are ugly, plus the beds are Twin sizes. No air conditioning or fans, the musty smell is te...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Slovakia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

The main highlight of this hotel is that it's not in Panajachel, it lies in a small village of Santa Catarina Palopó approx. 3 km from Panajachel. You can get there either by car, pick-up, minibus or by boat (that was our case). The hotel itself is some 100m from the lakefront, adjacent to village. So you get better picture on how Maya descendants live in this area nowadays. Hotel category is 2-3 stars in reality, but it'll do for visiting lake Atitlán area. Rooms and hotel as a whole have seen its better days, but cleanliness is acceptable. It has charming dinig room with fireplace, Maya waiters in their aboriginal clothes, but don't expect them to understand more than a few words in English (this applies to Guatemala in general, comprende?). You'll be disapponted by relatively overpriced items in the restaurant, there is also no buffet breakfast, so you have the usual choice of egg meals and pancakes. Also forget about proper espresso coffee (again this applies to all hotels in Guatemala I have visited except for one). So to sum it up - Hotel Villa Santa Catarina will do for 1-2 nights when visiting Lake Atitlán area, just don't expect standards of 4 star international hotel chains.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Villa Santa Catarina

Address: Santa Catarina Palopo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 30 Hotels in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Villa Santa Catarina 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Santa Catarina Hotel Panajachel
Hotel Santa Catarina
Villa Santa Catarina Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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