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La Fortuna at Atitlan
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

We had a very memorable stay. Apologies Steve and Cat for my extremely late review. We brought in the New Year at La Fortuna. We had an amazing surf and turf dinner, fireworks and champaign. All of us on the property ate together that night which was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year. We loved the laid back feeling, positive energy and magical surroundings. A place you must stay. Thanks again for all of your help with transport and everything else you did to make our stay so lovely. Kim and John

  • Stayed: December 2013
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1  Thank Nalainafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Thank you so much for the review - and no worries about the tardiness - it was lovely to be reminded of our New Years Eve! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your break, and hope that you guys can make it down again sometime in the future. All the best to you both on your new adventures and new countries!

K & S

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411 - 417 of 556 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2014

I'm torn between wanting to tell the world about how incredible La Fortuna at Atitlan is, and wanting to keep it a secret for myself!

My friend and I were in Antigua for a wedding and we had one night to visit the lake. It was a little bit of a journey (3 hour shuttle ride to Pana), but it was SO worth it!!! I highly recommend a visit to La Fortuna, even if you only have one night.

This was my second time at Lake Atitlan, and my first visit to La Fortuna. My last experience at the lake was ok, but it did not even remotely compare to this. From the moment we stepped off the public ferry onto the dock we felt completely welcome, at peace, and at home.

There is something in the air at La Fortuna... and it's something AWESOME! When we arrived at our lovely bungalow there were fresh flowers on the balcony, and some delicious welcome drinks waiting for us!

Unfortunately we arrived a little bit late in the afternoon (take an early shuttle to Pana if you can, it's worth it, you'll want more time on the lake!), so we missed the sun on the dock. Luckily we were just in time for sunset. We pre-ordered our dinner and drinks from the friendly server, and then made our way up the short hiking trail to the lookout point over the lake where we took a million photos of the sun setting over the the awe-inspiring volcanoes.

When we arrived back at our bungalow we had a short while to unpack and relax on our deck with a delicious cocktail, and then dinner arrived!!

Dinner... where to begin? I think I may fantasize about that meal forever! There were two options on the menu so my friend and I each ordered one and then shared. I don't normally eat steak, but this wasn't a 'normal' steak... it was EXTRAORDINARY!!! The second meal was mahi and it was delicious, but the steak... it was the melt-in-your-mouth-and-make-you-drool-it's-so-delicious-I-never-want-it-to-end stuff that dreams are made of! At only $15 USD per plate I can honestly say I've never had such an affordably priced and yet staggeringly impressive meal! For desert we shared a fabulously tasty little pineapple pie with ice cream.

After our marvellous supper we walked down the path to the wood fired stone hot tub next to the lake. We laughed about how romantic it was (I want to go back for my honeymoon if I ever get married!), but we absolutely loved the phenomenal view of the lake, volcanoes, and unbelievably starry sky. It could not have been any better!

After our hot tub we took turns in the adorable outdoor shower at our bungalow (there's nothing quite like a deliciously hot rain shower under a starry sky!) and then enjoyed a stupendous sleep in our comfortable bungalow.

In the morning we watched the sunrise over the lake (do it! It's worth it!), and then hiked up to the viewpoint again with Kat & Steve's adorable dogs! After a fantastic breakfast with Kat and Steve's insanely good homegrown coffee we went out for a short and sweet little kayak jaunt around the bay before we had to pack up and leave.

I would have loved to stay for a week, but I'm so happy we were lucky enough to spend a night at this little piece of paradise!!!!! The service was impeccable; Kat and Steve and their team could not have been more welcoming.

When we returned to Antigua and met up with our friends before the wedding one of my friends told me I was glowing... and I was. My trip to La Fortuna left me with a glow that only the best experiences on earth can create!

Thank you for sharing your little slice of heaven Kat and Steve, I hope I'll be able to return someday, and I'd love to see you when you come up to Canada!!!

Room Tip: All of the bungalows are lovely, with handcrafted details and the best luxury outdoor rain showers...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank concernedmumtoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Manager at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Thank you so much for your glowing review! We also love having fellow Canadians come and explore our place. Thank you for choosing to spend your one day at the lake with us - we truly hope that you will return and have more time to explore. Thank you for the wonderful pictures as well.

All the best - hope to see you soon!

K & S

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Reviewed March 6, 2014

beautiful views, and unique living experience, literally in the mountains that envelop lake atitlan. wake up with a volcano in direct sight, enjoy quiet and private grounds, and bathe in the hot tub into sunset.

the service was perfect and kat and steve were super cool. perfectly located in between panajachel and santa cruz with very easy access to the other villages.

will def return to the lake and stay here. was hard to leave.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank adarzango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are so happy that you enjoyed your time at the lake and particularly at La Fortuna at Atitlan. We would love to have you guys return again. All the best from the lake. Thank you so much for taking the time to review us and for posting some great pictures.

K & S

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Reviewed March 5, 2014

Truly unique and fabulous. Quiet, relaxing, great food, private and easy access to local communities by private or public boats. The private bungalow closest to the lake provides great scenery. Kat, Steve and their staff were attentive to our every needs, private dining in your bungalow twice daily with an array of culinary delights. Coffee is fresh brewed with their own shade grown coffee. Swimming off their private dock is great. Hiked up the trail behind the property for an early morning sunrise which was spectacular. see pictures.

Thank you Kat, Steve and Maria for a wonderful stay! We will certainly come back again.

Ken and Karen

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 1guatemala2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Thank you Ken & Karen for such a fabulous review. It was a real pleasure having you guys at our place and we do hope that you return in the future. Thank you for the wonderful pictures you posted and for taking the time to recount your experiences at La Fortuna at Atitlan.

All the best,

K & S

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Reviewed March 4, 2014

We stayed here for 4 nights with our 6 month old baby and were given the most private bungalow on the property (#2). Steve and Kat were great hosts and overall we did enjoy our time here.

Pros:
* Good location being only 1 boat stop away from Pana. This is an advantage for those not wanting to stay at a large town like Pana but also not wanting to waste too much time travelling on boats. My wife also gets sea-sick easily so the shorter distance is also an advantage.
* A wonderful team of staff, both friendly and helpful.
* Meals were of excellent standards. But more importantly to us, we knew the meals would be prepared properly and not lead to any nasty stomach aches.
* Free wifi, which is impressive given the rural and isolated setting.
* Very private and peaceful as there are only 4 bungalows on the property
* Kayaks available free for first 2 hours
* Tours to visit Chichi market can be booked for $12 per person, in a 8 person capacity shuttle van. Safe, inexpensive, reliable and comfortable way to travel. Pick up from 8am at Pana and returns to Pana by 2:30pm

Cons:
* Of the 4x bungalows on the property, there is only 1 with lake and volcano views which is a shame. The rest are set in dense jungle and more like tree houses.
* There is a spectacular view of the Toliman volcano, but a high cliff on the Western side of the enclave prevents views of the volcan San Pedro. There are other hotels around the lake which enables views of both volcanoes.
* Construction of the new reception area is currently taking place, resulting in noise disturbances from about 8am to 4pm.
* Hot water ran out and had to endure a cold shower one night but problem quickly fixed once reported to Steve the following morning.
* A fully cooked Breakfast costs only $7 and includes tea or coffee which is great value. We chose this option on day 1 and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, we didnt feel like having a full breakfast for the remaining 3 days and instead requested only 2 slices of toasts per person plus coffee and tea. Upon check-out, we were horrified to find we were charged $6 for the 4 slices of toasts each morning and $6 for the coffeee and tea. We ended up paying $18 for toasts alone! Most hotels would consider to be complimentary or at least charged at a more reasonable and fair amount. We decided not to query this with Steve and Kat as we felt overall the room rates ($99 per night large bungalow), dinner ($15 each) and lunch ($7 each) were of excellent value for money.
* As have been mentioned by other guests, the whole bathroom set up is not ideal in bungalow #2. We dont have a problem with the fact that the toilet and shower are outdoors (though i suspect insects and mossies can be a problem during the summer and rainy season) but its more the fact that the hot and cold water taps are not within arms reach, resulting in you having to climb onto the rim of the bathtub (slippery and dangerous) and fully stretch to reach the taps located high and far on the bamboo fencing.. Believe me, anyone older then 50 or perhaps not in the greatest physical condition would find this not just challenging/dangerous, but difficult to overcome.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Lake Atilan, and would be happy to recommend La Fortuna as a place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for bungalow #1 for lake and volcano views, bunglaow #2 for privacy.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank fedfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review us on Trip Advisor. We are happy that you overall enjoyed your experience with us. To address the toast and tea charge - this is clearly marked as the cost on the breakfast menu which you filled out each night for our staff. All extras are $3 - which includes, toast, tea, coffee, juice, fruit or eggs. We are sorry that you did not read the costs associated with these items. We try our best to provide as much service as possible for free at our property, including all the items you listed in your review (free unlimited purified water, kayaks, wood fired hot tub, wifi, nuts and fruit daily in the suites, cellular phones in each bungalow with credit for our guests use their entire time at the lake) but unfortunately because we are accessible only by boat - that means that all our food and propane used to cook food on the property comes to us by boat - and costs us significantly.

As for the views of our property - you are correct we have a view of Toliman and Atitlan - but not San Pedro (although if you take one of our free kayaks out a few meters in front of our private bay you have a perfect view of all three). The edge of our property has a huge cliff which blocks the view of the third volcano from our water front - however the benefit of this property is that we are private, secluded and quiet. Unlike most properties on the lake we have no town noise (dogs, rosters, tuk tuks) which means great kayaking, swimming lounging. Also -we only have one lake front bungalow because we did not want to over crowd our water front with bungalows. We have 4.5 acres and we wanted to make sure each bungalow and each set of guests had their own space, and peace. If a guest decides they do not want to see another soul they don't have to - absolute privacy.

As for the bathroom - we thank you for your feedback and will look into your comments - however we agree - this location is not suitable for individuals with mobility issues. From the boat ride getting here, to the main steps up our pathways if someone has any doubts about their mobility this is not the place for them. Thank you for pointing that out. As for the mosquitos - we have been open for 2 rainy seasons - and have never had a single complaint or problem. There is enough wind in the highlands that we don't have a mosquito issue here - and we don't have large pools of standing water anywhere so it's never an issue.

Thank you again for taking the time to review us - we aim to ensure that all our guests have a pleasure stay at La Fortuna.

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Reviewed March 2, 2014

My wife and I spent 4 nights at La Fortuna. That was just about the perfect amount of time for this lovely property.

Steve and Kat are young, hard-working hosts who do their best to make their guests happy. On our 2nd morning, I was feeling "under the weather" due to something I ate in Antigua. I asked Kat about obtaining an antibiotic for my upset stomach. As it happened, Steve was heading to the market in Pana anyway and picked it up for me at the local pharmacy. A few hours later, I had Cipro in hand and began to feel better that afternoon. The cost of the drug was added to our bill.

One afternoon we were having difficulties flagging down the public boat for a short trip to Santa Cruz. I called him on the cell phone that is supplied to every guest and asked him if he wouldn't mind taking us there. There is a nominal charge for this but we were on our way in just a couple of minutes.

Lastly, we had assumed that transportation to the airport would be arranged for us since we had arranged for a private boat to take us to the dock at Pana. This was not the case. But all it took was for the boat driver to call Steve and for Steve to call the local airport shuttle company. Within 5 minutes a van arrived to pick us up at the dock and take us to Guatemala City.

I should point out this does not mean that Steve and Kat were at our beck and call for our entire stay. The property was full when we were there (they are completely booked out through April) and they had plenty to keep them busy. Note that the staff speak very limited English, so if your Spanish is rusty, you will have to rely on Kat and Steve. A restaurant and reception building was under construction when we were there. It should be completed in June. I would expect that once that happens, guests will be eating most of their meals in the new building, which will make life a lot easier for the busy couple and their staff.

Some comments about activities:
1. The kayaks are great. Morning is best when the water is calm. The route along the coast toward Santa Cruz is best. Reserve in advance if you can.
2. We did a day trip to Santiago by private boat, reserved the day before. Steve negotiated a good rate with an outside contractor for this. It was about a 1/2 hour each way and would probably have taken forever on the public boat. That said, the public boat is fine for shorter trips and much less expensive (Q10 to Q25 per person each way). We observed that the public boats were pretty full on the weekend, especially on Sunday. Santiago was pretty touristy, but there was interesting shopping for artwork and crafts. The big church in town is worth a look.
3. We did a short (45 minutes to 1 hour) hike from Santa Cruz to Jaibalito during the heat of the afternoon. I think it would have been more comfortable and the views of the volcanos would have been better in the morning. Note that if you do this hike, the trail continues on towards San Marcos, so you have to look for the spur that takes you down to Jaibalito (or you can continue on, of course). There is a restaurant "Ven Aca" at the end of the spur, where you can enjoy lunch or a cool drink. It has its own private dock - the public boat will stop there, if you flag it down.
4. In San Juan, go to "El Artesano", a small cheese and wine place that is to die for. Kat can make a reservation for you - don't stop in without one. There are also several weaving coops in San Juan, said to be the finest in Guatemala. San Juan is not a normal stop for the public boat, but if you ask, they will drop you off. Alternatively, you can visit San Pedro (similar to Santiago, but smaller) and take a tuk-tuk to San Juan for Q10.
5. Don't try to do more than one main activity on any given day.
6. We enjoyed our daily dips in the hot tub by the lake. It is ready to use at 5 PM.
7. Meals are quite reasonable at $15pp for dinner, $7pp for breakfast and $15 for a bottle of wine. Steve and Kat let us split a meal one night as we had filled up at El Artesano at lunch time (see above).

In a review a few posts back, the writer complained about some of the features of the bungalows. We did find the dining chairs to be a bit low but quickly overcame this by borrowing the cushions from the deck chairs to give us additional height. My wife was not happy with the lack of storage space but we managed by moving a few things around and taking the display items off of the table at the end of the bed. My guess is that 90% of those that visit La Fortuna (and Guatemala, for that matter) are traveling with a back pack and don't need a lot of storage space. We loved the outdoor shower and were pleased to find out that its inspiration came from Damai Villas in Lovina, Bali. It was one of the places we stayed when we visited Bali a few years ago.

It seems I've written a book here. If you've made it this far, thanks for "listening". Hopefully by reading this you will choose to stay at this wonderful place and my suggestions will enhance your time there.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Craig B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Thank you so much for choosing to spend your vacation with us at La Fortuna. We are so happy that you enjoyed your time here on the lake, and particularly with us. Thank you for taking the time to review us and for adding such great pictures. We loved having you guys, and wish you both the best.

K & S

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Reviewed March 2, 2014

Arriving at La Fortuna – A gem of a hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan – we knew right from the start that we were in for something special. The combination of lush greenery, beautifully landscaped grounds, and luxury eco-cabins; all matched by exhilarating views of the volcano, makes La Fortuna one of the most magical places on the lake. The hotel is comprised of four eco-bungalows; we stayed in bungalow #3. The space is designed with collected artifacts, whether is it restored wooden porch doors or a glass bottle wall in the outdoor bathroom; you can tell that blood, sweat, tears and love went into building each aspect of the uniquely designed bungalow. Because the days were quite long touring the villages around the lake, we spent our evenings on the cabin porch lit by candle light, drinking wine, reading and eating the delicious food cooked by the owners, Kat and Steve. Kat and Steve are the backbone to La Fortuna. They take care of you; they go out of their way making your stay even more exceptional than it already is. They helped us in booking day trips, making recommendations of what to do around the lake (eg. Wine and cheese in San Juan) and went out of their way to make a special moment of ours unforgettable. Along with the staff, Kat and Steve have set a tone to La Fortuna that is blissful, relaxing, and adventurous – if seeking that type of stay. La Fortuna is one of those special places that we will keep going back to in our minds and hope to visit once again. This is a bucket list place to stay!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KatharineKmack, Owner at La Fortuna at Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Thank you so much for the rave review. You guys were awesome clients, and it was our pleasure to help ensure that you enjoyed your time at the lake. We are so honoured that you decided to make a beautiful memory here, and hope that you can return one day! We are so glad that you enjoyed your La Fortuna and lake experience.

All the best to you both - thanks for taking the time to review us - very much appreciated.

K & S

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Additional Information about La Fortuna at Atitlan

Address: Patzisotz Bay | Between Panajachel and Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014, Guatemala
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Santa Cruz La Laguna
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz La Laguna
Price Range: $66 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the shores of Lake Atitlán under the San Pedro, Atitlán, and Toliman volcanoes, La Fortuna at Atitlan is tucked into the private bay of Patzisotz, only a 5 minute boat ride from Panajachel. Here you can relax in our lush jungle and gardens, and take in the view of Central America’s most spectacular lake. Hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, and exploring the indigenous villages around the lake can be organized through the resort. Come and experience the natural and cultural wonder of Lago Atitlan at La Fortuna. Suites all have stunning private garden bathrooms with huge hot tubs, as well as a cozy loft with day bed and breathtaking views of the lake. Standard bungalows have a private garden bathroom with rain shower, and queen and single beds.We have a fire heated hot tub on the front of the property and a swim up floating dock. There is free wifi on the property, as well. We can help you arrange transportation from the airport or from/to other destinations in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Belize. Please note this location is NOT ideal for those individuals who have mobility issues or for small children. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Fortuna At Atitlan Guatemala/Lake Atitlan

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