first of all the positives as there are plenty. the setting is truly spectacular, probably one of the best spots on the lake, with unbeatable views of the lake and surroundings. the hotel itself is wonderful, tastefully done, with beautifully maintained (yet kind of wild) gardens. The communal areas are just a perfect place to relax and admire the view, with hammocks and swings aplenty. the fact that everything has been done to protect the environment is admirable and it doesn't hinder comfort. everything is recycled and theres free drimking water available at all times. one can easily spend a whole week here.
there's also a few areas for improvement. for a place like this I would've expected a bit of a warmer welcome as it is all rather business like. when i asked for a massage, therapists were not available that day and no other update was given on subsequent days ("i will try to remember but if i forget remind me!") so i didn't bother in the end. there's plenty of massage places in san marcos btw. I applaud the fact that the waitresses are all local ladies from the village but I'm afraid they haven't been trained properly. they just seem clueless and on occasions it seemed they'd never seen the menu before. several dishes and drinks were not what we'd ordered so we gave up in the end. it was not a language thing since we both speak spanish. Internet is intermittent, which is acceptable in remote locations, but it wasn't clear when and why it would be switched on/off even when we had paid for a whole day. then the food: I'm a big fan of the slow food movement but not at the expense of flavour and taste. they've got wonderfully home grown herbs in their garden and yet, the food tastes of ... nothing. portions are big but it's a big splurge of nothing on top of another one, and it is very pricey for what it is. I fed the fish in the lake several times although I'm not sure even the fish would eat it. it is not the case with breakfasts which were generally nice. I would recommend to eat somewhere else or to buy food at the supermarket in panajachel.
finally, and I know a lot of people who would disagree with me as it is quite personal, but I never like it when the house cat is allowed to walk and sit everywhere (on the computer, breakfast table, counters, etc.). I don't find it particularly hygienic but then I'm not a cat lover.
all in all, definitely a place to stay but they need to improve their customer service. i would go and eat somewhere else for tastier and much cheaper food and don't rely too much on the services they sell. magical nevertheless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Islaverde is the hotel where you can reconnect with nature, where you will live without the constriction of time, enjoying a simple, organic and eco life-style, knowing every single detail will be carefully arranged for you; gourmet cooking, beautiful decoration, gorgeous surroundings, breathtaking gardens, artwork, and technical comforts…A place to disconnect, laze, and enjoy the beauty of Lake Atitlan. Let us BE your vacation, we will book cultural, adventure or spa services for you…from our own garden you will be able to hop on a boat to explore the rest of the lake, knowing on your return our little paradise will be awaiting you. And if you don´t feel like moving just enjoy our lavish gardens; sunbathe, swim, kayak, take yoga, salsa or Spanish lessons, have a massage, a sauna or an open-air hot tub, enjoy our library and restaurant, bird watch, explore the trails around us or dive with our neighbors…We offer nine independent wooden cabins and two brand new apartments for families or groups. All are set on a hill, which ensures every one of them has a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan, while being hidden and private from the rest of the hotel. Our rooms are decorated in a simple yet hip style, with Mayan woven materials and naïf paintings.Sunrise, sunset, midday or midnight, our lakeside lounge is the perfect place to sunbathe, go swimming, sip on a cocktail or a fresh fruit smoothie or just take in the majestic beauty of Lake Atitlan. Prefer a more secluded, private spot? You´ll find hammocks and loungers tucked into lush nooks all throughout our beautiful tropical gardens, and a wonderful yoga studio overlooking the lake which is free for our guests to enjoy.The patio below our slow-food restaurant is the ultimate spot to feast your eyes and your senses; come and enjoy what according to many— Rough Guide amongst others—is some of the best food you can find in Guatemala. Dine with the ultimate view, or just chill out and read a book. If you feel like lying around the patio next to the restaurant is stocked with pillows and cushions. Make yourself at home! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel IslaVerde Guatemala/Lake Atitlan