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“Beautiful Retreat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Posada de Santiago

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Posada de Santiago
Apto. 1, Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Beautiful Retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

I stayed at the Posada de Santiago for 3 nights, 2 in a stone cottage and one in the Casa Orquidea. Both were lovely. The spacious grounds are absolutely gorgeous. There are plenty of shaded spots to sit and hammocks outside the rooms. Pretty restaurant, good food, helpful staff, large pool overlooking the lake, hotel dock. Beds were exceptional. A few of the guests swam in the lake. The property is on a somewhat steep incline which makes for good exercise and beautiful views but not a good option for people who have difficulty walking. The hotel is located just outside of town. The town itself is poor and offers little in the way of tourism. The last day groundskeepers were wood-fire roasting coffee beans picked on the property in an outdoor kiln in the garden. The hotel can be reached by taking a public boat from Pana to the dock in Santiago (or a private boat to the hotel dock for a lot more $$). The main road is a short walk from the dock where a red Tuc Tuc will take you to the hotel - 5 Quetzals per person to go anywhere in town.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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210 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (41)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Posada de Santiago is incredibly beautiful. Each cabin has a fireplace, a comfortable queen bed; and a single bed and even a hairdryer! There are hammocks outside each room; along with umbrellas to use. These people thought of everything. Throughout the grounds are look-out posts to see the stunning views of Lake Atitlan and little areas with roofs to sit and read, relax. They have a pool and a fabulous restaurant. We ate there both nights and loved it; breakfast is terrific as well. Staff are so helpful and the flowers and plant life throughout the area are just gorgeous.

Room Tip: If you can get a room with a view of the lake, it's worth it.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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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New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Just looked at some of the other reviews and cannot grasp the unfounded gripes.
This hotel is Shangri-La!!! The grounds are gorgeous and kept meticulously beautiful. It was like spending time in a private, luxurious forest.

Staff was helpful and attentive to all requests. An ATM in town gave me a receipt saying they had given me money but no money came out of the machine. David, the owner, took it upon himself to call the bank and help me out.

Food was fabulous every time we ate there. We tried to go to another place for dinner one night and were so disappointed with the menu that we left and came back to Posada. They have room service if you want it.

There was a beautiful lookout above the main lodge (gorgeous too!!) where you could sit and enjoy the view. They would deliver your meal there too.

At lakeside, there was a gorgeous thatched large hut where you could sit by the fire and order drinks and food.

We didn't use the pool or hot tub but others did and loved it.

There are so many beautiful touches. They had umbrellas at each bungalow - we were there in rainy season. There is a faucet in the bathroom with purified water. My room had an automatic coffee maker and a fridge.

A hammock for every room.

I wasn't successful with the fireplace but quite sure it is because of my lack of experience.

Beds are comfortable. Rooms are beautifully decorated. There is native art and candles to light all around.

Will do your laundry at very little money which was a great convenience after lots of sweaty clothes from Tikal.

I am a physical therapist and had a FANTASTIC hour massage for $25!

The hotel would arrange many activities - hikes, horseback riding, etc.

Some of the other reviews griped about being on the main road. That is kind of a joke. Yes - it is a big road but not noisey at all!!! Very convenient for getting a tuk-tuk, local taxis, which would not have been easy to find on a small road.

I am a very picky Manhattanite. Santiago Atitlan is a Guatemalan lake town. It is filled with local tradition and culture. The market was interesting and fun, the church service moving and beautiful. This hotel is, actually, not a "Guatemalan" experience. It is nothing less than luxurious.

If you are a person who appreciates differences in cultures and want to experience that in a meticulous, pristine, lush, friendly, luxurious environment, this is the place for you.

Have no hesitation!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

I found this hotel very overrated by the community.

What I liked:
1) The location is naturally beautiful
2) The main dining room is really nice
3) The staff is very friendly
4) The food is pretty good


What I didn't like:
1) The town of Santiago is just terrible. Going to another town may be a better choice.
2) The rooms have fireplaces, but they're built so poorly that they just smoke out your room. Would have been better if the fireplace was in the main dining room.
3) The staff kept sneaking in items into our restaurant bills (3 times in 3 days can't be a coincidence).
4) They allow children from the town to use its facilities to fish, swim, etc. of their dock, disturbing your peace (when you're seeking it). The children were peeing of the deck.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Washington D.C.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013 via mobile

I just got back from 3 nights at Posada de Santiago. If you're looking at Santiago Atitlan, this hotel really is the one of the few choices and possibly the best one, but not without its shortcomings.

We were there during rainy season, which I don't recommend anyone. It poured all day, every day. There was nothing to do and transportation to other towns around the lake was challenging and unsafe.

Now some pros:
1) hotel has a top notch restaurant that serves fresh and delicious food. See my separate review for it.
2) grounds are beautiful
3) rooms are nicely decorated with amenities like hair dryer, hot shower, large bed, and even a purified water tap.

Cons:
1) service staff is nice but we had several small issues: We were charged incorrectly for food more than once. Our laundry was put into the same 'dirty' bag after it was done. We could not get enough information about the transportation options to Pana and Guatemala City. There were a dozen local kids swimming (butt naked) by the pool area. They were loud and kept staring at me. Staff was there and did nothing.

2) the room was cool but our fireplace did not work properly. We were cold so we started a fire one night. We got so smoked that we had to put it out immediately. Also the bed sheet had a large black stain on it.

3) location is close to Santiago Atitlan, which is a pretty crappy town with nothing to do. Transportation from here is very rough too, so you may be better off staying in Pana.

4) the lake is very pretty to look at, but probably not safe to swim. We met a scientist on the way back who said the lake never quite recovered from the infection a few years back. Also locals do laundry in it, which is gross.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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, United States
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Stayed for 2 nights in Santiago in a great room (family) called Rose .... the hotel has a great location 15 min walk into town and across the street from their lake side bar / lounge/ pool.... the place grew on me , food was excellent , staff was a mix between semi friendly and absolutely fantastic.... I'll mention the few drawbacks first . Located on the main road to town ... this results in noise and traffic , you need to cross the road (small road) to get to the pool and outdoor lounge area on the lake.... the neighbor across the street put up a large wall and topped it with Constantine barbed wire which looks like a prison wall.. a bit unfortunate and not the hotels doing I am sure. There also is a gas station tucked away to the left of the hotel ( you can't see it) and on our last day they were filling the tanks and the smell of gas was everywhere....wifi seems to work only in the lodge dining area and is turned off between 6:30-8:30 while there is dinner being served. The pool area is right on the lake and there were local kids swimming off the docks and fishing from the shore of the hotel..... the kids were cute until they asked for money ...... not sure if the hotel knows that the area near the pool seems to be open to the public....

Now the +: Really your only choice in Santiago.. which is really a one horse town , in the evening we had dinner one night at EL PESCADORO in town which was good and one a busy corner not on the lake front as I would have assumed and saw zero other tourists which was great.

Posada de Santiago has excellent food I would recommend it 100% , great coffee and the pool bar and casual lounge was great .. There was a bartender there and the beers were cold and the service was great.... the pool was perfect for my kids to swim and they have a cozy hot-tube and a wood burning sauna which was very cool and a dock to swim off of on the lake....which was wonderful. At night they set up a small bonfire at the pool lounge which was great.

The casa Rosa we stayed was large and had everything for a family one large bed in a private room and in the living room there was two twin beds for the kids. In the room they have filtered water which was nice, I guess the posada owner set up a sophisticated filtration system which purifies the water. The last night we had the fireplace going and it was a great last night to our stay in Guatemala. The gardens/grounds are lush.......and on a side note , there seems to be a lot of bugs at night... my son got bit numerous times however the rest of us got just a few bites so bring DEET ... we used some natural stuff from REI and it was not effective at all to whatever bugs were biting at dusk.

I would recommend 2 nights here and I liked the food , room and the pool shore area was great.. it was perfect place to grab a beer at the end of the day and relax. With town being 15 walk away and a 5Q per person tuk-tuk ride the location was great (except the common road noise) I think cottages further away from the road might be quieter, this was not really a deal breaker.

I think this place is great for a family and those who want to get a taste of life in a non tourist village on the banks of Lake Atitlan. I would visit here when the town has the weekly market and or on the weekends where everyone dresses up and strolls thru town ..... I suspect that other times the town might be a bit quiet.

Room Tip: rooms further up the hill might avoid the occasional road noise. Eat your meals here its fantastic f...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

En route to Lago Atitlan, an American ex-pat we met in Guatemala City told us that the Posada de Santiago was a "slam dunk" as the best choice for lodging at the Lake. And based on my time at this special hotel, I can't imagine there's a better place to stay, either at Lago Atitlan or anywhere in Guatemala, for that matter. The charming stone cottages, the lush grounds, the idyllic setting on the Lake, the great swimming pool (and bar), the delicious meals, the gracious hospitality and excellent staff - it all added up to a memorable and special experience.

My only hesitancy when I chose the Posada is that it's a little more of a "stand alone" kind of lodging that I generally prefer. But it was very easy to catch a tuk-tuk into Santiago Atitlan and the dock for lancha trips to other towns. More importantly, the hotel grounds and lake were so lovely, and the whole vibe so appealing, that I was happy not to feel a need to go elsewhere. Similarly, I usually like being in a town where you have multiple dining options. But the Posada restaurant was easily the dining experience I had anywhere on the Lake. Interesting menu choices, food prepared with obvious care, and great value as well. I still dream about the blue corn pancakes, which even if you could get them here in Seattle, would easily cost twice as much. Actually, the whole hotel is a great value. There are certainly less expensive places to stay in the area, but given the lakeside setting and the quality of the rooms and facilities, the price is a bargain.

Lastly, I should mention that I really enjoyed meeting David, who runs this hotel as a labor or love, which clearly shows. His personality helps give this place the feeling of a small community. It's also great that he brings live music to the Posada, as generally the only other live entertainment in the area is in Panajachel, which you can pretty much only get to if you're staying there.

My general rule-of-thumb is that with so many interesting places in the world, I always chose to go somewhere new over making a return visit, even to a place I liked. But the idea of returning to Lago Atitlan and staying at The Posada has such strong pull I may not be able to resist.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 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 Posada de Santiago

Address: Apto. 1, Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Santiago Atitlan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Santiago Atitlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over seventeen years the Posada de Santiago has built a reputation for excellence among travel agencies, tour groups, and countless satisfied guests from across the globe. Nestled between the volcanoes that cradle the indigenous Tzutujil village of Santiago Atitlan, the Posada provides the perfect base from which to experience Guatemala's natural beauty and colorful cultures. With charming stone cottage lodgings, renowned cuisine and luxurious lake front amenities, the Posada is a place where happy guests want to return. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Posada De Santiago Hotel Santiago Atitlan
Posada De Santiago Atitlan
Posada De Santiago Hotel Atitlan
Posada De Santiago Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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