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“Nice but don't pay extra for 'lake' view”
Review of Hotel Atitlan

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Hotel Atitlan
Ranked #2 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice but don't pay extra for 'lake' view”
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

The location and gardens are unparalleled. The infinity spa is an incredible spot to enjoy the sunset over lake Atitlan. And the staff are lovely.

The rooms themselves are more a rustic three star standard. Lots of character but really not flash. What really annoyed us is we shelled out a substantial amount extra for a lake view and given the location we expected better than an oblique view of a small inlet of the lake. Partial lake view or garden view would have been less misleading. That said its certainly the best hotel in town, just don't bother forking out extra for a good view when you can just enjoy it from the gardens anyway.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WanderingDavy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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774 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
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New Braunfels, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I spent 3 nights at this beautiful hotel. The grounds and the view are spectacular, however the service and noise spoiled our stay. First off I want to commend Victor at the front desk. He went above and beyond expectations assisting us when needed. Victor was the exception when it came to service. Our waiter at dinner on our 1st night did provide good service, however I was quite surprised when he asked for his tip in cash! Alberto also served us at the pool the next day, but we rarely saw him. At one point I went looking for Alberto but could not find him, so my wife placed a snack order with one of the other waiters. This seemed to offend Alberto who promptly closed our tab and again asked for a cash tip. We sat pool side for the next 30 minutes without any service what so ever so we left.From the time we arrived and for the next 2 days we were subjected to the racket of the techno music fest taking place adjacent to the hotel. The noise was unbearable if you were at the pool or gardens and the thump, thump, thump went on until 1:00 am the 1st night and round the clock the 2nd night. After 2 sleepless nights we left the hotel for a more tranquil Panajachel. When we returned at5:00 pm that evening the music was still pounding! We happened to run into the owner of the hotel and mentioned the noise. She said her lawyers were going to sue the land owner and we should buy a bottle of wine and stick something in our ears to help us sleep! Nothing more was offered for a horrible stay at this beautiful hotel. The owner and staff have some work ahead of them if they ever expect to become world class. I would not recommend them.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ricksqc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigua, Guatemala
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Based on my experience in December when staying at this hotel with my family and a visitor from the U.K. - DO NOT BOOK ROOMS at the WEEKENDS because this otherwise sedate and tasteful hotel becomes PARTY CENTRAL and more closely resembles a party hotel in Cancun full of drunk, screaming youngsters. No warning when booking, merely a mention of an event when checking in, no willingness to even lower the volume after midnight, no explanations afterwards, no response to requests to talk to the General Manager, no sleep because the music rages at maximum volume until 2:15 a.m. and then the party continues in the gardens until 5:00a.m. NO response when I write and complain to them on their website. The following morning the hotel public areas and gardens were littered with the detritus of the party but it seems that the hotel owners don't mind any inconvenience to other guests.
Quite clearly they don't give a damn about anyone else as long as they get lots of money from holding parties for large groups who book lots of rooms. It would help if they included a warning in their website.
My advice is to stay somewhere else or if you must stay here check, double check and check again when booking because when the hotel hosts a party, no-one can sleep. Such arrogance from owners to treat their guests so shabbily.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else in Panajachel, there are plenty of good hotels which don't have loud parties...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peckhamgypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

This is most likely the best spot around the whole lake for a hotel, beautiful views of the lake, the volcanoes from nearly everywhere on this property (from the rooms, the restaurant (especially the roofed terrace), and from the pools. Also, the gardens are extremely well kept and their birds look very healthy. The rooms are a bit dark for my taste, but still comfortable. Another plus is the fact that one is outside the noise and filth of Panajachel proper. Go to Pana for a few hours and you´ll see what I mean. Also, if you want to take a boat trip to other villages, it should be much less expensive leaving from Pana than ordering a boat to pick you up at the hotel dock. And definitely go to the Atitlan Nature Reserve which is a 5 minute walk from the hotel, and do the ziplines which include the longest (860m) in all of Central America.
Only disappointment in the hotel: no potable water in the rooms, they force you to purchase bottled water and I HATE all this plastic waste. In the restaurant, however, if you ask for it and insist, they will give you filtered water without the bottles, and for free.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

This hotel was extremely disappointing because we weren't able to sleep due to a four-day music festival happening on the property next to the hotel. A neighbor hotel ran the music festival and Hotel Atitlan told us that they called the police to got them to turn down the music but nothing happened. The music was incredibly loud each night, so loud that there was no chance of sleeping. It was really a terrible experience. This is my vacation time and I was hoping to get away and relax. Instead, I spent a lot of money and had a miserable experience because I couldn't sleep. On my last night in the hotel, I figured out that it was pretty quiet in the bathroom so I slept on the bathroom floor. That was my best night in the hotel.

It was not the hotels fault directly; the neighbors of the hotel that hosted the music festival were very rude to allow music to be played that loud. However, when I talked to management about the terrible time I was having, they just tried to say its not our fault and there is nothing they could do. They didn't try to accommodate me or give me a discount. I find this especially frustrating in light of the fact that this is not the first year the festival has gone on. The hotel should have, at the very least, warned guests when reservations were made that this music festival would be going on.

I would give this hotel a 3 if it weren't for the awful time I had there because I couldn't sleep and the fact that the management didn't seem concerned about my experience, they just wanted to say it wasn't there fault. The bottom line is that I had a very bad experience in their hotel and they didn't even try to solve the problem or make me feel better. The food at the hotel was also pretty bad, plus my friend got sick a few hours after a meal and had diarrhea for two days afterwards. Unfortunately that does happen from time to time when traveling in other countries. The service at meals was bad, but we found that the service was pretty bad throughout the country. The gym is very run down, had very little equipment, and the machines shook when you used them. The hotel location and gardens are beautiful, it’s a shame I could have had a really nice time.

Room Tip: Dont come during the convergence music festival
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrington, Rhode Island
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

This hotel sits on a beautiful piece of property, surrounded by lush gardens with stunning views of the volcano-ringed lake. The bar and dining room open onto the patio surrounding a gorgeous pool and jacuzzi that provide an excellent place to watch the sunset. The rooms have lovely balconies or terraces furnished with chairs from which to enjoy views of the garden and lake. Unfortunately, the rooms themselves are very basic. Our smallish room had two rather uncomfortable double beds with scratchy linens, a nightstand, a chair and a dresser on which an antiquated TV sat. There was no mini-bar or ice bucket to facilitate drinks on the lovely terrace. Only the most basic amenities were provided in the bathroom, perhaps because it had a stall shower with beautiful pink granite tile but no good place to put soap, shampoo, etc. We were here just two nights and spent most of our time exploring the lovely grounds, Panajachel and the lake, so these deficiencies did not really bother us. It would great, however, if the guest rooms and their furnishings were upgraded to a level equivalent to the beautiful location in which they sit.

Room Tip: Some rooms are a long way from the entry, bar and dining room, and there is not elevator, so check o...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WnnaBTrvlWrtr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

This hotel is situated in the most beautiful bay on the lake, with stunning views of the volcanoes and wonderful and well kept gardens to walk around. The buildings are really nicely laid out and appointed. The rooms our rooms were also well thought out, spacious and decorated.

Sadly the plusses of the hotel are offset by the food and drink. The food is british hotel fare circa 1980… boiled veg and tired meat on cold plates. Trying to be something it is not rather than just well cooked local basics. The drinks are also to creative… a mojito is a mojito… it does not need creme de menthe in it.

The sister hotel in Antigua had really great food so maybe they should just compare notes to make them both first class. Although the Palacio Dona Lenore had no hot water which let it down.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aidan1p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Atitlan

Property: Hotel Atitlan
Address: Finca San Buenaventura | Solola Lago de Atitlan, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Atitlan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nominated by Travel + Leisure; "World's Best Awards 2011".This charming hacienda-style hotel is a formerworking coffee farm situated on the shores of Lake Atitlan, with a picture perfect view of volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlan. Highlighting numerous unique Guatemalan traditions with its colorful and vibrant interior, each room is individually decorated with hand-woven fabrics and carpets, handcrafted furniture, paintings and tile floors. All rooms have private balconies and breathtaking views of the lake. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi overlook the entire lake and the hotel's magnificent wedding, tropical and rose gardens. The Botanical Gardens of Hotel Atitlan are a true garden lover's paradise. Bird-watching is a popular pastime within its botanical gardens. Enjoy a cocktail or a refreshing tea from the selection of tea infusions by the fire in the hotel's bar, and dine in an elegant setting where you will savor regional and international cuisine. You can't miss this beautiful Hotel!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atitlan Hotel Panajachel
Hotel Atitlan Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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