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“Beautiful, quiet spot”
Review of Hotel IslaVerde

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Hotel IslaVerde
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed June 23, 2011

This hotel is really a special place. The grounds are beautiful and unique (I've never seen so many hummingbirds!) and it's really impressive how it was built with a focus on the lake views from all of the cabins. Yes, there are some bugs and a steep climb to the rooms, but that's part of the charm, right? One of my favorite parts of staying there - beside the food, which is also delicious - was walking along the lake on the trail that passes right by the hotel.

It's not the most economical option on the lake, but it's worth it for the views, quietude, and beautiful gardens. They also really seem to be serious about being environmentally-friendly... not just saying they are and doing something else. It's a quiet place with not much going on at night, so if you're looking for a peaceful stay at Atitlan, you'll love it.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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Thank zutana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 - 174 of 259 reviews

Reviewed April 19, 2011

We booked a room by phone, when were arrived we were told the price we were quoted did not include Tax so was Q100 more expensive which was our budget for food/drink and left us only enough money for the water taxi. Which was a nasty surprise! The slog up to our room up the hill was a bit intense, after carrying our bags up I had to lay down to let my heart rate drop to normal.
I can't comment about the food.
The room was clean and comforatable, the mosquito screens and floor boards had holes in them, so we put up a net.
The bathroom was nice and had an open side that looked out over the lake.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank andy201071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoChicHotel, Owner at Hotel IslaVerde, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2011

Dear Guest,

In the first place I would like to apologize for the lack of information regarding the taxes on the room prices, we do try to provide full accurate information on the phone but unfortunately we did not this time. We advertise both on our web site and in our Standard Booking email about the taxes but we seem to have failed to warn you on the phone, please do accept our apologies regarding this.

As for you having to carry your bags to your rooms, again I am surprised about it. We do have a Luggage carrying service to all the rooms and make an effort to keep enough staff at any given time so that we can provide this service. In our standard Check In speech we make sure we explain this to our guests, but there has obviously been another mistake here. I have spoken to all my staff about it to make sure that this information gets to our customers clearly enough.

All of our cabins are built on a hillside to provide a gorgeous view of Lake Atitlan from every single one of them, while keeping the privacy for our guests. We do inform about this both on our web site and in our standard email but again, somehow we failed to get this information to you. So once again we can only apologize.

I personally spoke with all the staff that served you during the stay to make sure this does not happen again.

As for our food, we have the best reputation on food around Lake Atitlan. We take hugeY pride on our restaurant, that only serves Slow food, home made, with no artificial ingredients and cooked slowly. We grow a lot of our veggies and fruits, and are working towards achieving a 100% home grown organic restaurant, something we expect will happen in the next few months. We also make sure we give our guests the option to let us know if something we served was not up to their expectations in an attempt to keep happy customers and good cooks in our kitchen, we know we are not perfect and we can learn a lot from our guests!!!! Unfortunately there seems to have been another missunderstanding here, so again, please do accept our most sincere apologies.

We are sure we will be able to serve you better in future occasions. Thanks for your time and for the learning opportunity you have provided us with.

Sincerely,

Ana
Owner and Manager

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Reviewed April 4, 2011

We absolutely loved IslaVerde and can't imagine a better place to stay on the lake. The combination of the stunning location, the construction and setting of the hotel and its casitas, the people, the food, and the pace of life combined to make this probably the best family vacation we've had so far. We have three young children who were completely happy (a miracle in itself). The staff are amazing and the food was incredible. We took advantage of the variety of interesting things offered through the hotel (yoga, salsa lessons, language school, and dreamcatcher-making) as well as excursions to towns around the lake and enjoyed it all. This is, as advertised, an "eco-lodge", and it is just a perfect place.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank law120101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

We stayed here for four days and it was a amazing time. Guatemala is a beautiful country as is Lake Atitlan. The hotel staff were very helpful with setting up transporation and answering any questions we had. The food was amazing. We ate every single meal at the hotel. The rooms were good and beds were comfortable and clean. It's a very quiet place, however you can walk 5 mins to the next hostel for a little excitment. The hotel is very eco-friendly.

I would visit again without hesitiation.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank thetravellingkind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2011

The food is the best I had in all of Guatemala. The views, amazing. The staff, friendly & helpful. The rooms, clean and simple. At night, nothing but the sound of boats in the distance the humm of mosquitos outside of our room and the wind.

Lovely if you enjoy nature, good food and simplicity. Impossible if you can't climb stairs easily.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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Thank Emily B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2011

The location is amazing, the hotel is amazing and the staff are even more amazing!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank english1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

The description in the Lonely Planet promised so much, yet so little was delivered. The rooms were old and the linens smelled of BO. The hike to your room is not bad (exercise is a good thing) but having to carry your bags to the top is tough (no help from the "staff" here). The bathroom is simply an outdoor shower, great view, but covered in vines (still dealing with a rash from these). If you stay here - you better love insects as you will find yourself covered in them at night.

My wife and I did not sleep because we didn't feel safe in this place. It didn't help that it in the middle of the night it sounded like someone was trying to open our door. The price of $40 is tempting (but still way over priced), until they assess the $14.95 "tourism fee" making the real charge $55 a night. They tell you this up front so it is not a surprise, but why not just say the room costs $55 up front? My advice to anyone thinking about staying here: Don't. Spend $10 more and stay at La Casa del Mundo in Jaibalito ($65/night) on Lake Atitlan. Better views, better quality, better prices, better service.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank knmer1808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoChicHotel, Owner at Hotel IslaVerde, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2011

Dear Guest,
I would like to apologize for what it seemed like a several miss communications between us.

We are proud to provide 24h help to carry our guests luggage to their rooms, but unfortunately we seemed to not have informed you about it when you visit us.

As for our bathrooms, we take great pride in our Outdoor feel bathrooms, something for which many customers have praised us, including on reviews on this site. I personally designed them and have one exactly the same at my home, with climber plants hanging from the ceilings and walls, a breath taking view of the lake and the possibility of birds -and insects- to be part of its environment. We describe them on our web site, and we have loyal customers that come just to enjoy them. We feel blessed to be located in one of the only wild natural ecosystems left in Lake Atitlan and have designed our garden in a Fruit Forest scheme, where we try to copy all that nature does in wild forest in a smaller more controlled scale. This includes using local animals -including insects- to pollinate, and we also make an effort to take care of our surroundings by not using toxic pesticides. This of course is our product, the service we advertise online as an ecological hotel. It is also our belief system and f the way I choose to live, work and educate my kids. It does not mean it is the option for everybody, so again I would like to apologize for maybe having failed to get this information to you.

I am happy to realize that we did warn you about the taxes. A 10% Tourism Fee is charged by the INGUAT -GUATEMALAN TOURISM AGENCY- to every LEGAL hotel that provides accommodation services -you will find many establishments around that do not pay this charge due to being illegal in this country. This would add up to 4.5US. As for the rest of the 10US we charge per room this is a 22% VAT tax. We do advertise this information both on our web site and in our emails, and it is a standard practice in Guatemala -please feel free to ask me for a listing of hotels in Guatemala that do this, it accounts for around 80% of what I have researched online-, this being the reason why we choose to charge them separately

I am extremely surprised about learning online -and not on site- about somebody trying to get into your room during the night. We are set in the only town left at Lake Atitlan that has no road access, something that has preserved our little town of getting hit by the lack of security that unfortunately many other towns around suffer from. We are proud to say that in our 5 years of running this hotel we have not had one single robbery or robberies attempt, not to our customers nor to us either. We really appreciate you letting us know about this issue, unfortunately and since this was not informed to us while you were with us, it is hard for us to investigate this issue now, but chances are another guest made a mistake about which one his room was or that maybe a wild animal scared you. Please do accept our apologies in this respect, I will keep investigating about this issue as much as I possibly can. Thankfully we have not had any other reports regarding anything like this either before nor after your visit.

I will make sure we will serve you better in a future occasion. Thanking you for giving us this opportunity to improve,

Ana
Manager and Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel IslaVerde

Address: Zona 0, Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Santa Cruz La Laguna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz La Laguna
Price Range: $65 - $165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel IslaVerde 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Islaverde is the hotel where you can reconnect with nature, where you will live without the constriction of time, enjoying a simple, organic and eco life-style, knowing every single detail will be carefully arranged for you; gourmet cooking, beautiful decoration, gorgeous surroundings, breathtaking gardens, artwork, and technical comforts…A place to disconnect, laze, and enjoy the beauty of Lake Atitlan. Let us BE your vacation, we will book cultural, adventure or spa services for you…from our own garden you will be able to hop on a boat to explore the rest of the lake, knowing on your return our little paradise will be awaiting you. And if you don´t feel like moving just enjoy our lavish gardens; sunbathe, swim, kayak, take yoga, salsa or Spanish lessons, have a massage, a sauna or an open-air hot tub, enjoy our library and restaurant, bird watch, explore the trails around us or dive with our neighbors…We offer nine independent wooden cabins and two brand new apartments for families or groups. All are set on a hill, which ensures every one of them has a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan, while being hidden and private from the rest of the hotel. Our rooms are decorated in a simple yet hip style, with Mayan woven materials and naïf paintings.Sunrise, sunset, midday or midnight, our lakeside lounge is the perfect place to sunbathe, go swimming, sip on a cocktail or a fresh fruit smoothie or just take in the majestic beauty of Lake Atitlan. Prefer a more secluded, private spot? You´ll find hammocks and loungers tucked into lush nooks all throughout our beautiful tropical gardens, and a wonderful yoga studio overlooking the lake which is free for our guests to enjoy.The patio below our slow-food restaurant is the ultimate spot to feast your eyes and your senses; come and enjoy what according to many— Rough Guide amongst others—is some of the best food you can find in Guatemala. Dine with the ultimate view, or just chill out and read a book. If you feel like lying around the patio next to the restaurant is stocked with pillows and cushions. Make yourself at home! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel IslaVerde Guatemala/Lake Atitlan

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