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“Warning: What may happen to couples recently in love” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Casa del Mundo Hotel

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La Casa del Mundo Hotel
El Jaibalito, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Jaibalito, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Jaibalito
New York
1 review
“Warning: What may happen to couples recently in love”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

My wife and I stumbled upon La Casa on our first family trip after our wedding. The place's location, on a cliffside next to an the mayan village of El Jaibalito, with views of the three ethereal volcanoes (perfectly lined up) and a short boat ride away from the vibrant colors of contemporary Mayan Guatemala, did more than culminate a fantastic vacation, it brought my wife and I closer together. We had some of those moments and conversations that every new couple needs to have: those series of exchanges that stay in your memory for good.

Our friends (can't really call them staff) give us ideal amount of attention and filled us in with the activities, services and businesses nearby that added the final touches to our nearly perfect visit.
When back from a day of entertainment, we were welcomed home with really good food and drink, consistently.

When traveling to this place with the right person (or people) there's something about this place that can alter you, leave you marked, enchanted, not only for the rest of your vacation, but for, well, for my wife and I, for the full 8 months we've been married.

Beware of the boat drivers and choppy waves, always part of an adventurous experience, i guess.

  • Liked — setting, architecture, staff, food, fellow guests, family style dinners, views of Lake Atitlan, surrounding region, the mood my wife entered
  • Disliked — boat fares, choppy waves, evening wind
  • Stayed November 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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380 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Netanya, Israel
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2008

There is no question that this is a special place, the lake view from the rooms is magnificent and very peaceful and the rooms are clean and cozy. But, since the place received such great reviews we expected more. The room was very small, the bathroom was extermely small and uncomfortable. The food at the restaurant was very good, but in the community dinners there was not much of a variety.

  • Liked — The view from the room
  • Disliked — The tiny bathroom
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 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.
Bethesda, MD
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

I'd been reading raves about this place for so long that I decided to splurge. It's a beautiful place. The room was very nicely decorated and the water was hot -- a welcome change after a week of electric showerheads. My room had an essentially private balcony with a great view. There was someone to carry my bags up from the dock, and thank goodness, because I counted -- it's 105 steps up to the office. The service was very good, and as a frequent Spanish-speaking traveler to Guatemala, I've never come across so many English-speaking Mayans in my life, which is nice if you're feeling lazy.

You are pretty much stuck there for dinners, and whatever they're serving. There must have been a sale on tomatoes when I was there, because tomato soup one night was followed the next night by tomato salad. I didn't think the dinners lived up to what others have said, and they cost more than the $10 dollars I was told, but the other meals were fine.

I'd still go back!

  • Liked — Great room and views
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 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.
atlanta, georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

We loved the setting, ambiance, decor, warm and friendly staff and very good food. We also enjoyed mingling with other travelers at breakfast and dinner. The almost panoramic view of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes from room # 13 is incredible.

  • Liked — setting, view, ambiance
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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seattle
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

We arrived for a 3 night stay at Casa del Mundo after an exhilarating 25 min boat ride from Panajachel. Our triple room was small but quaint, with a side view of the lake. Make sure you specify when booking if you want the full panoramic lake view, although our room was a little cheaper (we paid $65 for our triple- take note, this hotel only accepts cash or travelers checks, not credit cards). In fact I'm not sure that they have triples with a panoramic lake view. The bathroom was small also, but clean. The rooms here all share a number of terraces dotted about the property.
The food here is incredible, especially the breakfasts, and the communal dining in the evening is fun. You can order snacks during the day and there is a large water jug in reception where you can fill up your room pitcher and water bottles. The staff are really friendly and helpful.
The hotel will provide a guide for local hiking and kayaking. We kayaked over to San Marcus and then walked back to the hotel. There have been occasional robberies along this stretch of the lake so make sure you take a guide and leave your valuables behind.
We also took a boat ride to Santiago Atitlan. If you want to see Maximon I would advise choosing a reputable guide, possibly through your hotel, rather than one of the numerous children who will follow you off the boat.
We had fantastic weather for our 3 days at Lake Atitlan, and the hotel has a nice swimming area, where you can enjoy jumping into the clear refreshing water. We did not use the hot tub, it had to be reserved and it seemed expensive.
If we ever go back to Lake Atitlan, we would definitely stay at this hotel again. We thought Panajachel was too busy and touristy, and continual harassment in Santiago Atitlan became tiresome.
San Marcos seemed like it might possibly be a nice village to stay in and there's great swimming off the dock there.

  • Liked — Food, location, relaxing atmoshere
  • Disliked — small bathroom with no storage space
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Richmond, Virginia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2008

Casa del Mundo is an absolutely magical place. Hop on a boat taxi to get there (and anywhere else on Lago de Aititlan for that matter) and enjoy the relaxed, friendly, atmosphere. We spent three days in peaceful bliss, going for kayak paddles int he morning, enjoying smoothies for lunch and swimming and sunbathing on the decks in the afternoon. You'll meet like-minded travelers from all over the world. The staff is extremely friendly and very helpful. They even arranged a free massage for us at a yoga retreat next door. Hands down, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Food is just OK, and you're pretty much trapped there after dark, but it's worth it for the views and the great conversations.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed July 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Mission Viejo, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2008

Hotel Casa del Mundo is a gem. It is built into the rock cliffs of Jaibalito - a small village that is approximately 20 -30 minutes from Panajachel by boat. There really isn't anything in Jaibalito, but that adds to the charm and relaxation of this place. The hotel staff is amazingly friendly and helpful. They speak fluent English and Spanish. We paid around $60/night for room number 1 - right near the kitchen and dining room area. It was a beautiful room with a queen size bed and a twin bed. It also had a small sitting area with handcarved traditional furniture and a balcony overlooking the lake.

The hotel serves great breakfasts and coffee, and an excellent family style meal each evening by candlelight for $10.

There are hundreds of steps to navigate during your stay, and there was always someone to help us with luggage and bags if needed. However, I wouldn't advice those with physical disabilities or young children stay here. A fall down the concrete steps could be brutal.

We had great fun meeting other hotel guests from around the world and sitting in the hammocks at night, drinking wine and chatting.

The only inconvenience (besides relying solely on the lanchas (boats) is that this hotel only accepts cash. And, after staying a few nights and eating most of our meals there, we needed to find an ATM and carry around a substantial amount of cash. Luckily, they agreed to accept PayPal for an extra 3% charge...

They can assist in booking you shuttles between Panajachel and Guatemala City or Antigua, and you can pay at the hotel for this...

I really struggled with deciding where to stay in Lake Atitlan, but in the end, am very happy we chose Casa del Mundo. It is a convenient place to stay if you want to navigate other villages around the lake. None of the other villages (San Marcos, Santiago Atitlan, Panajachel, etc.) are much more then 30 - 40 minutes away from Jaibalito.

  • Liked — Gorgeous Views, Great Food, Friendly Service, Large Room, Private Balcony
  • Disliked — LOTS of steps, long waits for boats
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about La Casa del Mundo Hotel

Address: El Jaibalito, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Jaibalito, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Jaibalito
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Jaibalito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guatemala's most magical hotel - Lonely Planet. 17 rooms built upon a Jaibalito cliffside pleasantly house travelers from all over the world. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel La Casa Del Mundo
La Casa Del Mundo Hotel Guatemala/Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan

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