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“Beautiful garden - no roosters or fireworks” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Utz Jay

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Hotel Utz Jay
5 Calle 2-50 Zona 2, Panajachel, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful garden - no roosters or fireworks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2008

I spent nearly a year driving across Mexico and Central America with 3 months in Guatemala. I have to say this was one of my favorite hotels in Guatemala. It's all been said before, the garden was wonderful, so much that we (I returned to Guatemala after my solo visit with a group of friends) almost didn't want to leave the hotel. It had gated parking inside the grounds and it was quiet.

I agree with all the positive posts here. I read a couple of comments about a bug found here or there, a small bathroom or a TV that did not work perfectly but I have to wonder if those who experienced this had researched where they were going before traveling to Guatemala. By Guatemala standards, this is a first rate hotel.

From my experience, Trip Advisor needs to put up a category for south of the border hotels where we can rate how many rooster crows and fireworks launchings we hear. Add to that list in Guatemala, how many church chants over loudspeakers. There were none I heard in any of these categories at this hotel. I also heard no bus horns, boom boxes or any noise in general. Great experience in a rather large city by Guatemala standards, even if you ignore the lovely setting. :-)

  • Liked — Quiet, gardens, wireless, 2 blocks from lakefront, 1 block from shopping
  • Disliked — Windows rattled when windy.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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134 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    61
    53
    13
    4
    3
See reviews for
20
56
25
5
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2008

My wife and I just returned from 20 days in Guatemala and 5 of the nicest days we spent there were in Panajachel. This was primarily due to the lovely place we stayed - the Hotel Utz Jay. Although Pana's busy main street is only a block away, the central garden of the hotel is quiet and peaceful, making you feel like you're miles away ... out in the country. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised (being a birdwatcher) at how many different species of birds I saw while sitting in their garden (over 25).

The owners and staff were extremely pleasant and helpful. Being a birder, I had some special travel needs and the owners run a travel service at the hotel which is more willing to work with individuals than those that run the typical shuttle services, etc. Their advice and assistance proved invaluable in helping me to see the national bird (resplendent quetzal) in the wild at Ranchitos del Quetzal near Coban ... a very rare sight, indeed! If you don't get out to birdwatch much, ask the owners to see their family heirloom - a stuffed quetzal (50+ years old, I think).

The Hotel Utz Jay was the least expensive place we stayed anywhere in the Guatemala. Though simple, the rooms were quite charming. In adition, the breakfast menu was varied and delicious. For the price, this hotel is excellent!

  • Liked — The owners, staff, setting, and location.
  • Disliked — Bathroom too small.
  • Stayed November 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2008

Some good reviews on Trip Advisor encouraged us to try this small property. It is located on a quiet street just a short walk to the main street in Pana and the lake. The rooms are in three small buildings on the property and the grounds around them are nice. For the price, the rooms are adequate, beds are pretty comfortable and there was plenty of hot water for my longer-than-average showers. I really appreciated having plenty of English-speaking television stations to choose from on the cable TV. The breakfast menu has several good choices and the prices are reasonable. I recommend choosing the fresh fruit instead of juice and definitely try the fresh-baked banana bread. There is access to internet and drinks on-site at a reasonable price as well as travel agent services. One of the most fun things to do is to play fetch with the two, sweet German Shepherd dogs that live there. It really gives the place a home-like feeling. Overall, I felt that this hotel provided plenty of basics for a fair price and hope to visit here again when in Panajachel.

  • Liked — Breakfast
  • Disliked — Bathroom in Room 4
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Virginia
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2008

My family of 5 recently enjoyed a short stay at the Hotel Utz Jay. The hotel is very simple, but economical. The breakfast was really wonderful and the rooms clean and comfortable. The hotel is a short walk from the activity of Panajachel, and we felt very safe and comfortable.

  • Liked — Service, assitance, and courtyard
  • Disliked — Everything was fine
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 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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Minnesota
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2008

We spent just one night here in July. We had been staying with a family prior to this night and really appreciated the peace and quiet! The setting is beautiful - the rooms surround a lovely garden. The rooms themselves are small and basic, but adequate. Plenty of hot water! There are two German Shepherds who are friendly and like to play catch.
The location is great, just off of Calle Santander closer to the lake end. I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2007

Got a great deal for a three night stay here. For the price, this is an excellent choice. Host is very welcoming and helpful, rooms are clean, but bath was a little too basic. Because of rain, a little illness and weekend off from work, we missed a little bigger and better tv (and would have done better without the "max volume 10" rule), but if all you need is sss ([--], shave and a shower), this is more than adequate.

I´d pick Dos Mundos next time though. They are more or less next to each other, and the Dos Mundos is pricier (almost twice the price I think), but much more comfortable.

  • Liked — Location and host
  • Disliked — Shower and bad screening
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2007

Nice little hotel very well located in Panajachel.

The staff is very friendly and the manager besides speaking fluent Spanish, English and French is a great cook (her chocolate cookies are delicious...)

The room that we stayed was simple but functional (hot water, tv, A/C) and they even have a jacuzzi and a Mayan sauna that we didn't had the time to try.

  • Liked — The price
  • Disliked — The room was actually a prefab house, not a proper building
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Utz Jay

Address: 5 Calle 2-50 Zona 2, Panajachel, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small hotel located near the main shopping and businesses, but in a quiet street, perfect location. There are rooms spread out through a lush tropical garden, from which one can relax and enjoy watching the birds (over 25 varieties), exotic plants and beautiful trees. Each room is decorated with handcrafted native motif and has a private bathroom with plenty of hot water 24 hrs., TV with cable and free WiFi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Utz Jay Hotel
Hotel Utz Jay Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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