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“Delightful”

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Lush Atitlan/Hotel Aaculaax
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed April 24, 2014

Undoubtedly one of the most memorable accommodations where I've ever stayed, Lush Rentals brought plentiful smiles to our group of 6 in San Marcos. We were blown away by the attention to detail in the rooms, such as the shower built right into the earth, super cozy beds, the antique furniture, the intricately-carved wooden doors. Everything was different, unique, but it all worked. Mere words cannot describe the beauty of the views of the lake from our bed high above San Marcos. Waking up to see the sunrise, making fresh local coffee in your own kitchen and coffee maker, and sitting out on the terrace is the perfect way to start the day. The hotel grounds are lovely too--the place all seamlessly fits into the sumptuous environs. Breakfast was good, but I wish they offered something more substantial, like cooked eggs, cheese, refried beans, or meat. The staff is friendly and attentive. Although I was a little put off by having to pay in full with cash just to reserve our rooms. But oh, those rooms! They are elegant yet quirky and fun--a perfect base for experiencing the wonders of Lago de Atitlan or just doing nothing. And at $100/night for 2 in Sirena and $150/night for 4 in Cascada, the price is eminently reasonable.

Room Tip: Stay in the suite if you have 4. Seemed to us like each couple had its own private room and bath.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank blackrooster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 - 87 of 249 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2014

The place is absolutely amazing with different and absolutely unique rooms, some with kitchen and terrace.
Each room has its story and features.
We have been for one night in the "panorama room" with the bed surrounded by a 180° view of the Atitlan lake and the restroom built IN the rocks like a cave!
We have spent two more nights in huge lake view room with, upstair, a kitchen and a small terrace.
Because of the low season the huge breakfast with fruit, granola, yogurt, cafè, milk, tea, homemade hot croissants and other stuff was included. Otherwise is 5€.
The place is not cheap (rooms ranges between 35-70€/night) but the peculiarity of the place absolutely worths the money.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Matteo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Hotel Aaculaax (aka Lush Apartments) is a dreamy, tranquil kind of place, located in a lush garden of datura, banana trees, bougainvillea and hundreds of other flowering trees and plants. The buildings and rooms themselves are works of art - beautiful stained glass, old carved wooden doors and dozens of creative touches abound.

I stayed in the Granadilla (passion fruit) room, which is airy and spacious, with stained glass windows depicting the lakes and mountains. There is also a lovely terrace attached to the room, which the hummingbirds frequent to commune with the orange flowers that garland the railing.

The staff - Byron*, Maria*, Estella*, Chelagh (sp)*, and lovely Lily and Neils the owners - are unfailingly pleasant and helpful. The rooms are comfortable with soft linens and terrific views - the further up you go the loftier the views, of Lake Atitlan, the volcanoes.

For me, the perfect breakfast: an assortment of fresh tropical fruit - papaya, pineapple, watermelon, melons, sometimes strawberries and mangos, all served in clay platters sprinkled with fresh flowers from the garden. Croissant, fresh squeezed orange juice, hard boiled eggs - one of the many highlights of my day:-)

It was very hard to leave this oasis of peace and tranquillity, and the wonderful people I met there!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank imaginaryapples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

Me and my husband wanted to treat each other to a nicer hotel on our last night, we chose Aaculaax and chose right! Beautifully built, all of the rooms are unique and wonderful! A great getaway from the busier turisty streets of Panajachel, San Marcos la Laguna is a quieter, more alternative community of foreigners from all over the world. This is the town you want to come in for a spiritual mountain retreat, a good thai massage, veggie food and yoga.

This hotel has been built on the cliff-side, and some of the rooms feature the bare rock of the mountain as one of the walls or on the bathroom. It's a great example on how to build alongside nature. Beautiful design and decor and breathtaking views of the lake. Very chill, dreamy, and just... perfect.

Will definitely come back!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank zoriyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Everything about this place is great. The staff are warm and genuine and helpful, the rooms are clean, creative, pleasant and some of them have amazing views. Food was great. Luxurious at a relatively reasonable price. Close to everything. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank SunriseOtter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

What a wonderful place San Marcos is to visit. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Lush. We stayed in the Mirador room, which boasted magnificent views of the volcanoes. The service was great and the room was clean.

This room is in the highest price point of the hotel, which is why we were a little more critical of our stay. When you consider the amount of money you pay for this room in relation to what $200 a night can get you anywhere else in Guatemala there were a few things we would have changed to enhance our stay. Firstly, this room has a small (shorter than usual) double bed. For two tall individuals it does not make for a comfortable sleep each night. The shower head in the bathroom should also be replaced as the pressure was very low. Also, the "breakfast" served each morning definitely requires an upgrade. We stayed for one week and after day 5 we opted to go out and eat on our own as the same fruit and hard boiled egg option was repetitive.

We also tried to change our travel plans three weeks in advance of our trip so that we could stay one night in Panajachel to better accommodate our travel plans back to Guatemala City and catch our flight. We were told we were not allowed to do this as we had already committed to our one week stay. We understand there must be a policy in order to avoid last minute cancellations, we just found this very discouraging considering the amount of money we were already planning on spending to stay here. We then had to get up at 4:30 AM and pay a boat taxi an additional $50 (usually a $2.50 boat ride) to ensure we made it back to Guatemala City for our flight.

When you consider how much the other rooms are at this beautiful bed and breakfast we would have opted to change our room and would have had the same experience for a far better price.

Overall a quaint and relaxing town and a unique and beautiful hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Katie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelAaculaax2012, Owner at Lush Atitlan/Hotel Aaculaax, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Thank you for your comments. We always appreciate guest feedback. These guests stayed during our busiest time of year in which our rates are elevated as are rates all over Guatemala (and the world). They would have paid 30% less had they come 2 weeks before or after. Mirador (our honeymoon suite) is normally $150 a night.

We are a small hotel and have a strict cancellation policy as our guests choose and book specific rooms and we can not just rearrange our guests as you could at a Holiday Inn. During the busy Christmas season we are even less flexible with changing reservations.

We offered to book our driver for these guests to go directly from San Marcos to the airport which would have allowed them to avoid the private boat at 5:30am to catch a tourist shuttle at 6am from Panajachel. They could have also left a little later from Panajachel, which would have allowed them to take the first public boat at 6:15am and pay the $2 for that trip. They paid the $50 for a private boat because they booked their shuttle back to the airport without thinking through the logistics or consulting with us. I offered them all of these solutions personally but they decided against them.

Our continental buffet breakfast includes coffee or tea, fresh squeezed juice, granola, milk, bread, butter, homemade jam, eggs hard boiled to that perfect place where the white is completely cooked and the yolk is slightly soft and yellow like the sun and a selection of the freshest fruits ... depending on the season. We had at the time of this guest's stay: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, papaya, pineapple and mini bananas. We continue to refill the buffet and guests can eat as much as they want and we are happy to provide our guests with a healthy start for their day. We try to offer the best of what we have here in our little paradise.

Lily Manne
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

My wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grown grandsons stayed here for a week at Christmas. We had the lovely Casada suite. We have never seen such a beautiful place (and my wife is an Art Historian). I been to 105 countries and have to tell you that this hotel (and San Marcos) is something everyone should experience. The views are remarkable, the service wonderful and the setting (and how the rooms are built into it) unique. It seems every time to turn around you are looking at another work of art you hadn't noticed before. Lilly is a perfect host and her and her husband deserve the utmost praise for building this place for others to enjoy. Put this hotel on your bucket list. We can't wait to go back. Many thanks to Lilly and "Aaculaax!"

Room Tip: For honeymooners the Mirador; for 2 or 3 the Sonrisa; for 4 the Casada; and all the other rooms look...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tcoohill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lush Atitlan/Hotel Aaculaax

Address: Barrio 3, San Marcos La Laguna 07016, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > San Marcos La Laguna
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Marcos La Laguna
Price Range: $64 - $199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lush is ideally located on a hillside on the shores of spectacular Lake Atitlán in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. The hotel has 10 unique rooms and suites, each one individually designed, with one-of-a-kind art works and locally made furniture. All of the rooms boast of incredible views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes, a private terrace or balcony, offering guests a harmonious balance with the surrounding nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lush Atitlan/Hotel Aaculaax Guatemala/San Marcos La Laguna

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