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La Casa del Mundo Hotel
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Reviews (708)
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All reviewsfamily stylehot tublake atitlanother guestslong tabledel mundothe cliffcommunal dinnernooks and cranniesshared bathother travelersincredible viewsroom numberopportunity to meetsteep stairsbeautiful hotelonly accessible by boat
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542 - 547 of 708 reviews
Reviewed August 10, 2010

The Good: The hotel's setting is unbelievably gorgeous. The views of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding mountains were stunning. I had been living across the lake in San Pedro La Laguna for the month leading up to my stay at Casa del Mundo, yet the views from both my room and various sitting nooks, hammocks, and other well-designed relaxation spots around the hotel still surprised me. Our room was spacious with a good, hot shower and a massive window sporting an incredible view of the lake and Vulcan San Pedro.

The Bad: Casa del Mundo advertises a "famed family style" dinner. I assumed these dinners were famed for their quality, but that can't be. The food ranged from boring to decent, which is a crime for del Mundo's prices, which are pretty much exorbitant for the area. What's more, the service was pretty much terrible: this included forgetting to bring or offer guests their coffee/desserts, bringing vegetarians the non-vegetarian option (especially bad considering the restaurant only offers two entrees on any given night), and forcing one guest to move mid-conversation so that another couple (who had made a reservation but not yet arrived) could sit across from, rather than next to, each other. The couple never arrived. The breakfast and lunch my girlfriend shared were also mediocre, featuring poached eggs served in the water they'd been boiled in and a soggy quesadilla.

The Ugly: The atmosphere at Casa del Mundo was markedly different than what I'd experienced in San Pedro, San Marcos, Panajachel, and other lakeside towns during my month in that region. While service at local bars or eateries could be slow, I didn't mind that because the people were generally friendly, unpretentious, and helpful. Whether in response to questions about our bill or concerns about the water that came pouring underneath the door of our room both nights (it's the rainy season, design a good drainage system, you're the most expensive hotel in the neighborhood), the service at Casa del Mundo was generally unfriendly and not very helpful. Given the contrast with other local establishments, I can't help but wonder if the coldness my girlfriend and I experienced there was a product of the hotel's American ownership and whatever training they give their workers. Speaking of the workers, I noticed many of them working through breakfast, lunch and dinner-- and often serving multiple roles (working at the hotel's check-in area in the afternoon and then as a server during dinner). Perhaps the staff seemed harried because they were overworked. Given the $$$ I'd imagine del Mundo makes (and as an earlier posting said, they'll make you pay a high price for every cup of coffee you enjoy), they could stand to train their workers a bit better and perhaps give them more clearly defined roles.

Like an earlier reviewer, I was extremely excited to visit Casa del Mundo after reading all of the positive reviews it had gotten. Like that same reviewer, my girlfriend and I left feeling nickel & dimed and generally frustrated with our experience. When I return to the area, I plan to stay elsewhere (possibly the excellent and affordable Hotel Sak'cari in San Pedro) and spend the extra money on some good food.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank williej3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2010

Someone wrote in the guest book that Casa Del Mundo is like one of those places that are at the end of the earth. Accessible only by boat and "remote" is the key word. A small village is a 15 minute walk in one direction and the next village is a 30 minute walk in the other. The decor and design of the place is excellent, rooms, gardens, balconies are all sublime and in keeping with the local ambience. The food is great and only slightly more expensive than what you pay elsewhere, but the quality makes it worth the extra. The wireless was upgraded while we were there and most rooms will be within range. The rooms are very well decorated and come with some kind of impressive view, some greater than others. Most of the staff are very friendly and helpful and speak english for those "gringos" that are Spanish amateurs (like me!). I would recommend booking in advance and choosing a decent room with en suite (although you pay slightly more for this). The surrounding area is great, you can enjoy short treks to the nearby villages, or take chicken boats to other lovely villages such as San Juan, San Marcos, San Pedro and Santiago, all worth visiting. You can also do treks that are more demanding, such as climb volcan Atitlan and there are others - you can also do a multi-day trek from various locations (Xela) and end it in Casa Del Mundo (can't think of a better place to end a trek!). I've seen someone criticise Casa Del Mundo for charging for everything and while this is true I don't see this as a bad thing, this country needs more good governance on a micro and macro scale! That said, I think the Kayaks have paid themselves off by now and should be free. The one sad thing about the location is that the lake is quite polluted. You won't notice it much, but we kayaked across the lake and came across all kinds of debris (some from the rain but a lot clearly garbage) and films of bacteria. A real shame, but it is still ok to go swimming near the hotel (just don't drink too much of it!). Adjacent to the hotel is an impressive rock face, I recommended to the management that they build some jump spots into the roock (could even have potential to make a climbing wall...). Another new addition that was being built while we were there was the spa and wellbeing centre which would only make a stay more enjoyable.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank RikTNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2010

A place that's not run like a business yet, with prices of a bed-and-breakfast dream business and a location that should be a national park. I'm tempted to be OK with the lack of such a measure since it allows travellers from all over the world to converge under this "casa's" roof for good food, conversation, relaxation, and things to do.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank luigisaramago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2010

We stayed at Casa Del Mundo for about a week, during our guatemala excursion. It was amazing beyond belief. Lake Attitlan is quite humbling with it's insane beauty. The casita's are layed out carved into the mountains. The view is stunning, and it's so peaceful and tranquil. The price is great for a room, and they have great extras (community dinners are our favorite!) We are more of budget travelers and I have to say this place takes 1st prize in our book. If you have the chance.... go. You will have an experience to stay with you the rest of your life!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank SeattleTricks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

We visited Guatemala and stayed at Casa del Mundo. It was wonderful. The staff was very helpful and accomodating to our nevery need. The hotel was clean and beautiful! It was the perfect place to relax and forget about everything else! The view from our room was the 3 volcanoes on the other side of Lake Atitlan. We explored around with no fear since the place gave us a sense of security. We enjoyed the morning swim in the refreshing water of Lake Atitlan. We kayaked to a small village nearby. We took a water taxi across to Panajachel and did shopping and lots of sight seeing.
This place is not a place for people with handicaps or walking disabilities as there is no elevator and there are lots and lots of stairs. The place is a dream. We highly recommend to all our friends and family. We are definetely going back very soon!!

Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
Thank Yolyta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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