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“Second stay at this lovely hotel”

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Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan
Ranked #19 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
San Francisco
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Second stay at this lovely hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2011

I stayed at the Hotel San Buenaventura for 4 nights in August. I called and got a rate of $50 for a room including breakfast which was better than internet rates that I saw. The hotel is beautiful with simple rooms with Guatemalan rugs, blankets, etc., and lovely well-kept grounds, a pool, hot tub, children's playground and views of the lake with tables, chairs and palapas down by the water. The only drawback is the ugly high-rise next door, but with the beautiful gardens at this hotel it is possible to forget that it is there. The hotel is outside of Pana, next door to the more expensive Hotel Atitlan, so it is ideal for a quiet, restful stay, but only a short 10 quetzales tuk-tuk ride away. The hotel can call for the tuk-tuk and it is there in 10 minutes. I ate breakfast at the hotel and a couple of lunches (no dinners are served) and the food was delicious. All the staff were polite and helpful.
I took the boat to San Juan LaLaguna which is now mentioned in guidebooks, but still retains its traditional appearance with beautiful murals. I remember first visiting when there were no tourists and the children would come up and touch me and try out their English. . Hopefully the increase in tourists is beneficial to this town that suffered so much from hurricane Stan. There are more stores that sell goods from the weaving cooperatives now, artist studios, and a coffee finca that you can visit. i am glad I purchased a traditional painting from Antonio Mendoza years ago. He is one of the better known artists and you can visit his shop on the left up from the boat dock. Find Juan, a tuk-tuk driver who is usually down by the dock, who will give you a tour and then a ride to San Marcos with beautiful views of the lake for 100 quetzales.
Altogether the Buenaventura is a perfect stay especially if you don't have time to stay at one of the smaller villages around the lake, but still want peace and quiet and beautiful lake views.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
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English first
Charlotte
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2011

We were recommended this place by locals who had stayed multiple times here and raved about it. They were very disappointed in how much it's changed this time. We got a 2 BR suite since there were 4 of us. It had 1 room with 2 double beds and 1 room with 2 single beds. 2 full baths which had toilet paper but no soap, shampoo, etc. so bring your own! The unit we used had not apparently been used in a while. One sliding door kept coming off track and wouldn't close. The fridge didn't work, but freezer was fine. It was dusty and had some cobwebs around, water a little rusty at first, but running it cleared up quickly. There were ants in one of the bedrooms, but there was a can of Raid under the sink, another customer must have left. The water heater was not on, and we had no idea until we happened to walk out the front door and notice what looked like a breaker box outside. When we discovered it was the pilot light we had hot water. It would have been nice to be told when we checked in how to turn it on, or better yet, have it turned on for us when we were shown the room. There were some people next door to us who had no problems with the water heater and said their unit was very nice. When we told management what was wrong, they came and cleaned the room and tried to fix the fridge with no luck. We had to use ice packs in the fridge to keep all the food we brought chilled.
The grounds were beautiful and well kept. The private beach was not there. It was underwater since the last hurricane raised the water level. Not sure if it will go back down since it was last year. The pier was also gone. The pool was pretty but had floaties in the shallow part. There were lots of chairs around and lots of plants gave a little privacy for each set of chairs. Breakfast was included, either eggs OR pancakes.

We paid $240 for the 2 BR unit, which was a bit high. The unit had the basics, nothing fancy, not bad but not $240 worth. That was average for other nicer hotels in the area. A 1 BR was $160 and hotel room was $85. Since we wanted a kitchen and to cook for ourselves we were willing to pay extra for a casita with kitchen, but couldn't use it when we didn't have a working fridge to store our food. The living room was spacious, and dining room also. The table was for 4. Kitchen was spacious and basic, but had dishes, cooking pots, coffee maker, etc. 1 sliding door in the living room and 1 in kitchen opened out to the grassy lawn (no patio). We had a pretty view of the lake.

Bottom line, it is fine, as long as you don't need to be spoiled with room service and fancy decor. If you're going to cook for yourself, the casitas are fine, but a little pricey for being so simple. If you want luxury and to be spoiled and have good management, go elsewhere. We found other hotels in the area for the same prices for hotel rooms only, not little houses, but they were nicer. So you have to decide whether you want the roomy casita or the fancier hotel room. The only thing unacceptable at this place was not being able to get assistance when needed. There was nothing in the unit with directions/prices for the phone so when we discovered the fridge/water problem we could not call the desk, and there was no one in the office later in the evening. It was locked up with no door bell, and no way to get hold of a soul until breakfast.

The hotel is near a natural reserve where you can hike, etc. There are gardens next door at the fancy Hotel Atitlan as well. It is just outside of town, where there are lots of places to eat and shop about 1/2 mile or so away.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nestlesmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riveradellago, Owner at Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan, responded to this review, June 9, 2011
Unfortunately, the arrival of this guest was handled by a new employee at our reception desk who put the guest in a unit without arranging a maintenance inspection beforehand. The complaint about the conditions was directed to reception, but the same employee failed to notify the management when the refrigerator couldn´t be immediately repaired. Certainly if the guest had insisted that management be notified, the refrigerator would have been replaced. This was a transitional problem that has since been resolved.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2011

when you get a gut feeling like something is not right.... trust it

when you think something is too good to be true....it is

when someone speaks to you rudely......you can expect the same treatment the next time they speak to you

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank valuetraveler805
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riveradellago, Owner at Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan, responded to this review, June 9, 2011
It is difficult to respond to bad reviews that lack specific substance. However, management at our hotel has been trained to be aware of guest-employee relations and to do it´s best to correct any lack of courtesy. We are not aware of any complaint made in this case.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2011

The hotel is situated right by the Nature Reserve and on the shore of Lake Atitlan. The location couldnt be better for a quiet, romantic get away (Pana is a 5 min tuk tuk ride away). Rooms are spacious, well kept and u can always get one of the suits which are also very good value for money given their size.

Polite and helpful staff, good food and a very relaxed atmosphere make this a very good place to stay at.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VoyM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2011

We stayed in a large suite with another couple, 2 bedrooms kitchen the staff was excellent, the accommodations clean, and comfortable. We only had breakfast in the restaurant but it was very good. I feel for the space comfort the price was reasonable.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gjgoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
2 reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2010

Avoid this place like the plague, unless you like paying $160 for a YMCA-camp like experience. Came here because TripAdvisor gave such great reviews and wanted to spend a nice place for christmas. I do not know what planet they are on, perhaps they have never traveled in developing countries before. I know that for $160 here you should get 5-star hotel. Instead, this place is at best a two star. The first sign of trouble was that you have to put down 50% ahead of time. I have traveled in 80+ countries and never have I done this. The other 50% they charge you after your first night.. Inside, you have alot of room (215m) but what do you do with it? It is all empty. Where to begin? It is freezing cold downstairs (the door leading to outside has window screens open, and only a curtain to close) so I had to make a tent-like structure of the two ratty blankets they gave you to sleep on the upstairs couch, which was circa 1960s college dorm style. I had to get up in the middle of the night to blow my nose, but guess what? No washcloths-WTF?! The interior is all brick and mortar built in arches, so if you ever have an earthquake you are going to get smooshed. The shower had spiderwebs in the window, and while the pressure was fine, the cracks and stains on the floor tile made me wonder how clean this place was. At the really lame breakfast (cold eggs, black beans, and a slice of white watermelon) I met another family who got roped into this place and if anything were more vocal than me about how they got screwed. BTW, they charge for everything here, which given that you are paying $160+, you should get for free. A fire in your room costs Q30 (~USD3.80), a ride to town Q10, a kayak Q70. The playground equipment here is ancient and is dangerous for small children- make sure they get there tetanus shots before they go on it.

Basically, I have traveled throughout GUA and this is the worst value in the country. In Antigua I paid $60/night and had basically a semi-luxury hotel. This place is like old lady who was once a beauty queen 50 years ago and still thinks she has it. It reminds me of a place you would have for a party, because there is alot of space & a kitchen (though you would have to stock everything from the town as they provide nothing) otherwise unless this place goes to 40-60/night do not come here.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank AussieFR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tmecnrg1, Owner at Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan, responded to this review, December 27, 2010
Prices for our units vary between high and low seasons. The highest daily price we charge for a suite for two during Christmas season is $156 USD. This includes the 22% in taxes charged by the Guatemalan government. The same suite for most of the rest of the year is $123 USD.Single and double rooms are less expensive. These prices are a bargain considering our unique location and facilities. We are on the shores of Lake Atitlan at the edge of a semi-tropical coffee plantation. Our natural brick, vaulted construction with large glass doors and windows is designed to maximize the sense of being in touch with nature and is the workof a prominent Latin American architect. Weather here is normally Spring-like year round although this year we have experienced some unusually chilly nights. Extra blankets are always available without extra charge on request. Our suites are fireplace equipped and the charge for firewood is nominal. Units are equipped with regional thematic furniture and a complete complement of quality linen and towels. Our restaurant is small and we pride ourselves in our kitchen and table service. Our food is served hot although guests are sometimes tempted to leave their seats after ordering to enjoy the spectacular view from the entrance - and return to find their order waiting. Our playground equipment is for the pleasure of families and is painted and inspected regularly. The management is sensitive to the standards of sophisticated guests and responsive to any complaints, especially to those of uncleanliness. Our generally highly complementary reviews are, of course, not the invention of Trip Advisor but that of the pleased clients who have found us responsive to criticism and ready to correct any problems or misunderstandings. In this case we received no complaint during the stay and were surprised by criticism on the internet.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altdorf, Germany
Level Contributor
144 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2010

We came to this hotel many times. It will always be my favourite place at Lake Atitlan because of it´s spectacular setting directely at this beautiful lake. Beautiful views from the terrace, and it is nice to have breakfast or dinner and just enjoy the beautiful setting. Another great thing is the tropical garden and I find it also very nice, that all the waiters are wearing traditional dresses. Service is exellent and the food good.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Colocha70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan

Property: Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan
Address: Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel San Buenaventura De Atitlan Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

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