We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great garden breakfasts, clean rooms, knowledgeable owner”
Review of Hotel Utz Jay

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Hotel Utz Jay
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great garden breakfasts, clean rooms, knowledgeable owner”
Reviewed August 23, 2009

The hotel is great -- clean, comfortable rooms for a reasonable price, arranged around a nicely landscaped garden an easy walk from the main street. But Sergio Garcia, the owner, is the real find. He volunteers as a music teacher for local schoolchildren who would otherwise have no exposure to music, and his office is full of musical instruments; my son had a great time jamming with him on a guitarron. He is a former tour guide from Tikal, and has connections to many other travel agencies and loads of advice. When we wanted to head to Coban, riding with him turned out to be the best deal, not just financially but also educationally. For 8 hours, he regaled us with stories of the Maya (history, rituals, religion, current environmental issues, etc.), the history of Guatemala through his own experiences, and thoughts on religion and politics. We learned a tremendous amount. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and is learning one of the Maya languages as well. The next day he went out of his way to drive us another hour to our destination and link us with another tour company for the next leg of our trip.

Breakfast in the garden was also wonderful and delicious -- they had a great selection, and I hope Sergio proceeds with his idea of opening for dinner with a menu that specializes in Guatemalan dishes so curious epicures can explore.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MaraisFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

243 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    103
    91
    27
    14
    8
See reviews for
33
96
43
8
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
83 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2009

I stayed at Hotel Utz Jay for 1 night in July 2009. The price was great ($25) and the rooms were really nice. The grounds were beautiful with lots of trees and places to sit outside, and the location (2 blocks away from the main street in town) was perfect. The office closed early (8pm), so if you plan to arrive after that, you should definitely call ahead of time to make other arrangements to check in. The sauna and jacuzzi also closed at 8:30, so I was not able to use them during my stay.

When I checked in, the credit card machine was broken and the manager was very unfriendly about the situation, even though this obviously wasn't my fault. I was lucky to have had cash on me, because if I hadn't, she was going to make me walk 6 blocks to an ATM right then and there.

My friend and I sat in the restaurant area after returning from town around 11:30pm. We weren't talking loudly at all, but apparently the sitting areas aren't the best places to have a conversation at night; one of the guests came out of his room and yelled at us and told us to take our conversation inside. So, if you want to have a conversation at night in one of the public areas, keep in mind that your voices might carry and possibly keep others awake.

Breakfast at the restaurant was great and very affordable. The hotel has lockers to store your bags if you choose to take a boat tour after you check out. However, when we returned from our trip to retrieve our bags, the office staff told us that we would have to pay 5Q to use the bathroom even though we had stayed there the night before. This charge seemed unnecessary, so we used the bathroom at the hotel next door for free.

My friend and I opted for the boat tour arranged through the office. We bought tickets for the early morning trip and had no problems finding the dock or using our tickets. The tour was great and I'd definitely recommend visiting some of the villages around the lake. One of the villages that we stopped at (San Antonio) was extremely small with nothing there except women aggressively trying to sell their woven goods. It seemed like a strange stop compared to the other villages we visited, especially since we didn't go to San Marcos. But overall, the trip was great.

Despite the minor inconveniences, my stay at Utz Jay was great, especially for the price! I'd definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suprchick77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
122 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2009

Cute and quiet little bungalows with a great breakfast menu. Located down a side street which made it very quiet a night. It was just a couple of minutes walk from all the restaurants and shops. It has a great traditional sauna and laundry service.
We stayed in Room #7. Our bathroom was a little small but there was plenty of hot water. I tried using their internet service but for some reason it would not allow me to check my hotmail account.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SKWorldTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corvallis, OR
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 15, 2009

Stayed here as an alternative to budget accommodation. Attentive staff. Nice to upscale range of cottages. Great coffee with hot milk. Free bottled water in the room. Our 2 story room was just above the kitchen, so a bit noisy. The German Shepherds barked some at night, but other than that fairly quiet. They added tax to our bill! Other places of accommodation include the tax.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank almondmountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2009

The Utz Jay indeed makes you feel as if you're about to climb mountains up in the Alps with its wooden structure and a sort of secluded feeling. For some that must indeed be the purpose with a few volcanoes near by that only ask to be climbed (but watch out for the security advisory before trying it). We didn’t do it ourselves but after having visited the various villages around the lake it felt like that might have been a better option as nature is more impressive than human settlements around Atitlan.
We stayed in one annex some 50 meters down the same road, which is close by the main commercial road in Panajachel and that was convenient even if the town is very small.
The room was quite big but the two double beds, as often is the case in Guatemala, were smallish for two, tough sufficiently comfortable.
The bathroom was very basic and could have used a bit more cleaning as it felt pretty dusty, but nothing upsetting.
Finally, the staff were pretty friendly and the two German Sheppard “on duty” at the entrance were extremely friendly and in need of some attention; if you love dogs you can spend hours playing with them!
Breakfast is served out in the open, under nice colorful flowers, and the food is pretty good and good value too.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ulpio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2009

I stayed at Hotel Utz Jay for 3 nights in November 2008 with a couple of friends. We had two rooms, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor. While being on the top floor was nice, my friends heard every move I made in my room! Rooms are quite small and very average in terms of comfort. The bed was small (it is sold as a 2-person bed but it is more like a 1.5-person one!) and not very comfortable. My bathroom was tiny. I could not shower without touching the shower curtain. The second day I accidently overfloaded the bathroom (it was a bad idea to leave the shower curtain out of the shower!) which floaded my friends room. My room door did not close properly and I had to struggle every time I wanted to lock it.

The location is very good (very close to Pana's main street) and the gardens beautiful. Breakfast was also very nice. We used the Mayan sauna which was a very nice treat after a long day walking around the villages around Lago Atitlan.

Staff was not particularly friendly. They were not unfriendly but definitely not warm and welcoming.

I think Utz Jay is an average hotel. If you do not expect much from a hotel and are looking for good fares I think you will like Utz Jay. If you are looking for comfort and friendliness, look elsewhere. I will personally not stay there again next time I go to Panajachel.

  • Liked — The nice gardens and it's location
  • Disliked — The tiny bathroom and uncomfortable bed
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MagaliGuatemala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rural Virginian
Level Contributor
265 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2009

A quiet place on a side street with the two sweetest German Shepherds. We were missing our dogs and these two filled the gap until we got home. The place is clean and friendly with nice grounds. I am glad we stayed in Pana rather than one of the quieter villages. We liked being able to book a tour easily and we got a glimpse of the other towns on our bike ride. Pana wasn’t relaxing but it was good for being a tourist.

The hotel offers good breakfasts and lovely grounds. Our room was nice with a Queen bed and a twin and purified water in the room in a pitcher. You can pay for internet access (we did not) and they apparently offer a steam room or hot tub but we tried neither as they cost extra and need to be reserved in advance of use.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank schlegal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Panajachel hotels
0.2 mi away
Hotel Regis Panajachel
Hotel Regis Panajachel
#5 of 29 in Panajachel
238 reviews
0.1 mi away
Posada de los Volcanes
Posada de los Volcanes
#3 of 29 in Panajachel
277 reviews
0.3 mi away
Hotel Playa Linda
Hotel Playa Linda
#13 of 29 in Panajachel
82 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.2 mi away
Jardines del Lago
Jardines del Lago
#6 of 29 in Panajachel
211 reviews
0.2 mi away
Porta Hotel Del Lago
Porta Hotel Del Lago
#4 of 29 in Panajachel
443 reviews
0.1 mi away
Casa Colonial & Pana Surf
Casa Colonial & Pana Surf
#11 of 29 in Panajachel
44 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Utz Jay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Utz Jay

Property: Hotel Utz Jay
Address: Calle 2-50 5, Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Utz Jay 2.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small hotel located near the main shopping and businesses, but in a quiet street, perfect location. There are rooms spread out through a lush tropical garden, from which one can relax and enjoy watching the birds (over 25 varieties), exotic plants and beautiful trees. Each room is decorated with handcrafted native motif and has a private bathroom with plenty of hot water 24 hrs., TV with cable and free WiFi. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your Hotel Utz Jay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Utz Jay Hotel
Hotel Utz Jay Panajachel, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing