This is the most beautiful, special place I have ever stayed, hands down, and I have traveled the entire world.
The boat ride to get here is exciting and gives a great view of beautiful homes along the lake. The ride is cheap, less than $4 a person, and the boat itself is easy to find on the public dock. The boat takes you right to the dock in front of the hotel with ease and with no worry whatsoever.
From the time that the boat pulls up to the hotel, there is a staff person there to greet you and take your bags up the (many, steep) beautiful stairs that take you up into paradise. If the stairs are daunting to you, they shouldn't be. I consider it exercise to compensate for the incredible food you will be eating at La Casa del Mundo.
Check in was seamless and easy. We lost our debit card during our travels and they allowed us to pay via pay pal since on site they do not accept credit cards. The staff was very friendly and accommodating.
From there, the rest has been bliss. There are so many "pros" to this hotel that it is hard to find where to begin. The views are spectacular, which almost goes without saying if you have seen the website. But the rooms are incredible as well. The touches in each room, and design of the entire place, show that this hotel has been a labor of love. Each handmade craft that is displayed in the rooms has a label stating what it is, where it is from (which department/state of Guatemala), and how it was made. The handles on the doors, the towel racks, the closets, etc.... Basically every single detail you could possibly think of is handmade and local. The attention to detail is superb.
In addition to supporting the local economy, the owners have made the hotel basically an eco-lodge. They have an extensive recycling program in which they bring almost all reusable items to local villages so that locals can use the products for their craftwork. They are dedicated to maintaining and preserving the lake and surrounding areas through not only their recycling program but also by "eating locally," not wasting anything, and ensuring that trash does not make its way into the environment.
The staff is superb and able to accommodate any needs one may have. They are friendly and excellent English speakers. Though I myself am a Spanish speaker, I observed the way it made non-Spanish speaking guests feel at ease by being able to communicate in their own language. Also, an example of how accommodating they are..... My husband and I are here on our honeymoon. Though the communal dinner would normally be great, we wanted to be alone. We told the staff this, and they arranged a special seperate, intimate table for us and a wonderful dining experience. Speaking of dining, have I mentioned that the food here is tremendous? I am from Seattle, and consider myself a "foodie"..... I would say that the food here is on par with the best of the local, independent restaurants in Seattle.
There are a bunch of lounging areas all over the property to lay out in the sun, relax in the shade, read a book, hang out on your iPad (the whole property has free wifi), or lay in a hammock. My husband and I, when we weren't laying out or swimming in the lake, are partial to the hammocks on the main patio where you have awesome views of the lake, tons of tranquility, and, if you're lucky, a visit from one or both of the two super cool cats that live on the property.
The place itself is enormous and there is a ton to discover. There is easy access to hiking trails and lookout points. Public boats come every 20 mins or so and can take you to any point you want to go on the lake. The staff is willing to give advice or answer any questions you may have.
I know this review is long, but I don't want to leave anything out (though I am sure that I am). I cannot rave about this place enough. I have traveled the entire world and never found a place as special as this. As with many people who come here, we planned to stay only two nights and have now decided to stay until we leave Guatemala. (though we wish we could just stay here at La Casa del Mundo forever!)
I am so thankful to the owners for making this special retreat. It is a place that my husband and I wish to visit for years to come.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Guatemala's most magical hotel - Lonely Planet. 19 Rooms built upon a Jaibalito cliffside pleasantly house travelers from all over the world. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Casa Del Mundo
- La Casa Del Mundo Hotel Guatemala/Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan