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“My favourite get-away in Guatemala” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lomas de Tzununa

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Lomas de Tzununa
Punta Tzanchaj, Tzununa, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“My favourite get-away in Guatemala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

I have been going to Lomas for about 5 years...and have probably been there at least a dozen times. As a Canadian living in Guatemala City, it is the perfect reprieve from the craziness of the city, the crime, the pollution... I have stayed in several other places around Lake Atitlan and elsewhere in the country, and Lomas de Tzununa is by far my favourite. I have gone with my teenagers as well as with other friends and families, and we all enjoy it immensely. During the first few visits, we explored the area -- hiking, taking the public boat to visit other villages around the lake, horseback riding... Now, we go to escape the hectic pace of everyday life, and take books and playing cards for some well-deserved down time together as a family. The kids enjoy also playing chess on the massive outdoor board, as well as going out in the kayaks for a paddle.

The rooms are simple and spotlessly clean, with decent mattresses. There are breathtaking views of the volcanos and the lake from the balcony. I can't think of a better start to the day than waking up in the morning to that magnificent view. The entire property reminds me of a Swiss chalet - light pine, lots of light, clean lines, simple design.

The menu in the restaurant is simple but well-prepared, with vegetarian options. The fried cambembert with carmelized onions, caprese salad, steak with peppercorn sauce (they know what medium rare means here), grilled lemon chicken, and pepian (local speciality) are among our favourites.

The Steps. No-one has to race to get to the top, and there are places to stop and rest along the way, with a bench to sit on and a view to enjoy. Visitors are often unaware of the effects of altitude - and Lake Atitlan is at over 5000 feet. The hotel staff -- who are aclimatized as well as in better physical shape than most of the guests -- will happily carry guests' bags. They are paid staff members, and furthermore, guests should tip as they (hopefully) would to bellboys of any hotel elsewhere in the world (either directly, or in the tip box located in the hotel). Honestly, I would climb double the number of steps for the vista and tranquility awaiting me at the top.

The staff members (who are from the village of Tzununa down the hill) have not changed since I started going there five years ago -- which is significant in an industry with high turnover. The owners treat their staff with respect, as well as contribute to initiatives to help the local population -- including setting up the first and only library in the village, promoting local artists, among other things.

Bottom line: A delightful, small, well-run property with unparalleled views of the lake and the volcanoes, whether from the room, the pool or the restaurant. Decent food, lovely staff, helpful owners. I can't think of a better place to read a book, enjoy languid conversations and appreciate life. Not a good choice for people who need action and entertainment; for me, the absence of those is precisely what makes Lomas de Tzununa such a special place.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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211 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Vancouver
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

Lomas de Tzununa provides a wonderfully relaxing spot with excellent views over the lake. Service is generally good, and amenities acceptable. Prices are relatively high for Guatemala, which drove down my rating. The 350 stairs up from the lake should be better communicated. Although some of the mayan staff will carry your luggage up from the lake I am not sure I totally agree that this is proper treatment of staff - by Canadian standards, at least. They will send a car to pick you up at the Tzununa public dock, but they do not advertise that well and don't seem too pleased about it.

I appreciated avoiding San Pedro and Panajachel as I definitely enjoyed Atitlan as a relaxing, natural destination (with side trips to villages) without too many other tourists and expats. Lomas offers this.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Lomas de Tzununá, Owner at Lomas de Tzununa, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to post an opinion on our hotel in Trip Advisor. We appreciate it and definitely will take your observation into account. The steps are mentioned in the website, as well as the possibility to climb by car, but you are probably right, we should advertise more this option.
About the Mayan staff carrying the luggage, we would like to mention that we studied the possibility to install a cable car o something similar to bring up the material during the construction, and the workers of the village requested us strongly not to continue with this project because they did not want to lose job opportunities, and on the other hands they mentioned that they are used to carry much heavier weights in their normal activities at home.
With our career in the UN, we are very sensitive the human rights and decent work conditions especially for Mayan, and anybody speaking with the staff can see that they receive a proper treatment, and a total respect of their labor rights, a salary higher than the legal, in short, much better conditions than the Guatemalan standard.
Finallly, we accept your opinion that the prices are relatively high, but as you have seen by yourself, the difficulty of access for you is even worse for us: we have to carry all goods, materials, food etc… from different places by boat and then by car or manually, which represent a tremendous increase of the costs as compare with a hotel in the main street of Panajachel for example. This is the price to pay for an exceptional situation with a wonderful view.
Thank you again for your opinion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We arrived to this place looking for a comfortable and peaceful place, away from the Panajachel area where all the tourists and backpackers stay in the Lago Atitlan area stay, but this place was neither comfortable nor peaceful. It was actually silent, boring, deserted. Even though I suspected we would have to take a boat to the hotel, I was not made aware prior to arriving that in order to make it from the lake shore to the hotel, We had to go hundreds, and I mean hundreds of steps of an extremely inclined hill. My husband is a very athletic guy who works out every day, and even he was out of breath. The solution for the hotel was to provide a Mayan guy to haul our suitcases up (which he did very fast and seemingly easily), cause there is no way we were going to do it.

Once we checked in, we were directed to our room, a very spartan cabin with the best view in the world. The cabin had a simple shower with a window that had been left open where scary looking two-inch black crickets, spiders, and other bugs had come through. The balcony had two chairs and no table. The room had a bed and two night stands. We tried to find a place to put our suitcase to keep the bugs from getting into our cloths, but there was no other place than the floor.

The hotel is very small and the view from the tiny and forgettable pool was phenomenal. The restaurant has bland food but the employees (the Mayan people) are just as sweet and helpful as they can be. They are this place's saving grace along with the view. Would I go back to this place? No, not really. Neither would I recommend it to anyone. It is a nice place, is just that nice yet forgettable, has never done for me.

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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Lomas de Tzununá, Owner at Lomas de Tzununa, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Thank you for selecting Lomas de Tzununá, while you were in Guatemala. We recognize there are many options to choose from and are honored that you selected us. Additionally, thank you for taking the time to post your positive comments regarding the staff and the views.
This said, there seems to be a misunderstanding about the steps, as you wrote you were not aware of. We would like to point out that these stairs are clearly mentioned in our website as well as in the reviews here in Trip Advisor. What is more, if you don´t want to climb the stairs, as it is stated in the webpage, “You can call us and ask for a jeep to come and pick you up at Tzununá’s town pier.”
You wrote that Lomas de Tzununá was “silent (...), deserted”, but it seemed that this is exactly what you were looking for, as you previously mentioned in your comments that you were “looking for a comfortable and peaceful place, away from the Panajachel area where all the tourists and backpackers stay in the Lago Atitlan area!”
As per the “crickets, spiders, and other bugs”, being in the middle of the nature, it is unavoidable to have some insects (although totally harmless), even if the rooms and bathrooms are cleaned every day.
Thank you for the suggestion about a place to put the luggage, we will take it into account.
Comments such as yours allow us to improve and we sincerely appreciate the time you took to post your remarks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed for one night at this hotel. The room was very clean, and had a fantastic view of the lake and volcano from the balcony. We were just in awe sitting there and relaxing.

When you go to the hotel, be very specific to tell your boat man to go to this hotel (it has its own dock). We went to the wrong pier (the general one for Tzununa), and there was no easy access to the hotel by road. Also, know that there are 350 steep steps up to the hotel (It was killing us, but the porter helped us.) It's a tough climb, but the view is 100% worth it.

The food was delicious, and the owner played lovely guitar music as we ate. There are also some very nice local Mayan crafts available onsite.

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  • Stayed December 2011, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012 via mobile

In the middle of of the beautiful country of Guatemala is this gem of a getaway. The boatride to the hotel was 10-15 minutes of some great scenery. The rooms were well appointed, not crazy fancy but perfect for what I was looking for. Peaceful evenings and sipping some Ron Zacappa rum with friends makes the stay here one of my most memorable trips ever. If your lucky, you might even have the owner/host sing for you.
I look forward to the day I get to return and enjoy this peaceful retreat.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

We stayed at the Lomas de Tzununa for three nights in early January, 2012. What a beautiful place! The rooms are perfectly built to take advantage of the incredible view of Lake Atitlan and surrounding volcanoes. Thierry and Maria are welcoming hosts who help you get oriented to the area, figure out what to do and how to do it. They will find guides for a hike, arrange for boat transportation to other towns on the lake, and make suggestions of what should be seen (and what you can skip). We came fully prepared to carry our packs up the 350 steps but were met at the dock by a couple of young men who stacked several packs on their backs and headed up the stairs, leaving us to work our way up at our own leisurely pace. If you can do steps, this is the place to stay. If you are going to Lake Atitlan, don't miss it. Thanks to ClaudeGr and mdguy2183 for their in-depth descriptions of Lomas. We agree with what they have said and hope that you are fortunate enough to include a stay at Lomas de Tzununa on your trip to Guatemala.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

A unique and unforgettable experience! Thierry and Maria are gracious hosts of a property that they built high above beautiful Lake Attitlan. First they built the 350 steps up from the dock. Then every rock, bag of concrete, beam and 8 foot square sliding glass door was carried up these steps. And yes, you must make the climb as well. But once you arrive, the magnificent view is the reward. Wherever you are: dining room, pool, terrace and each of the clean and spacious rooms on the property (there are only 8 or 10 of them) have unobstructed views of the lake and of the 3 volcanoes directly across.
Our hosts were most knowledgeable about the region and its people, are multilingual, and were very helpful in guiding us to activities that suited us...including day hikes, and a lake swim and kayaking on premises. And Thierry can even be coaxed into playing some very accomplished classical guitar while you enjoy your dinner. A unique property in a unique setting: The beauty of Lake Attitlan is overwhelming...and can be even better appreciated from this wonderful hotel, perched high above the lake. Come and enjoy it as much as we did!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Lomas de Tzununa

Address: Punta Tzanchaj, Tzununa, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Santa Cruz La Laguna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Santa Cruz La Laguna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lomas de Tzununa is located in Tzununa (Municipalily of Santa Cruz La Laguna), Lake Atitlan. The Hotel has 10 rooms all with wonderful views on the Lake Atitlan and its villages, private bathrooms and a private balcony. Lomas de Tzununa has a restaurant (national and international food), wi fi internet connection in public areas, swimming pool and access to the Lake Atitlan. We also rent kayaks and have a private boat for trips arround the Lake. We have a car to bring people up to the Hotel. Come and enjoy spectacular views and wonderful hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lomas De Tzununa Hotel Santa Cruz La Laguna
Lomas De Tzununa Guatemala/Lake Atitlan

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