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“Charming and relaxing”

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Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Four of us just enjoyed two nights at this charming hotel. We were in the area for a birding trip and this location was ideal as it is just 10 minutes drive from the start of the San Pedro volcano hike (where the bird we were looking for is found). They picked us up at the dock in Panajachel and first took us to San Juan at our request, and then to the hotel. They assigned us to the "Birdwatchers House" rooms on the top floor. The rooms were slightly musty but we opened the windows and in 10 minutes, the musty smell was gone. It IS a semi-tropical environment - so mustiness in a closed-up room is normal. The rooms were comfortable and nicely decorated. Only minor quibbles - they need more routine maintenance such as fresh paint and fixing dripping faucets. There was a hammock on the veranda and it was such a lovely view. There were good birds on the property. It is true that most of the staff don't speak English but they are so sweet and so eager to please that they will do anything to make your stay a good one.

Word of advice - if you are going to want any meals at the hotel, tell them when you make your booking. They probably assume that most people will go to San Juan to eat. When we arrived, they had not planned to prepare dinner for us. However, in the space of one hour, they fetched a local woman to cook and she had a very nice meal on the table for us in another hour.

Also, they have plenty of hot water but you have to let the water run for a while before you get hot water. They have a water filter in the dining room, but take a UV SteriPen anyway, because filters can't really remove bacteria and viruses.

San Juan is known for being noisy on weekend nights and apparently, the noise from the town was loud enough to keep two people at the hotel awake but we didn't even notice it because we were so tired.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank FlightDelayed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 February 2014

We decided to stay at Uxlabil on San Juan after much gnashing of teeth (for the five of us to rent a room, it was $22 each, more than we had spent on any other night) but we found the amenities, beautiful view, and comfortable beds worth the money. You can use the kayaks and their really lovely dock for swimming. They also have bird watching guides and binoculars (We saw SO MANY BIRDS!) We stayed up late in the shared kitchen, cooking and playing cards, and the night security man was very, very kind. He helped us break into our room when we locked the keys inside. It would be awesome if the ferry can take you to the dock for the hotel, but it's also a beautiful walk if you want to do it from the main dock. There's extra blankets in the wardrobes in the rooms! Use the wood-fired sauna if you have extra money, but definitely just walk over and check it out. It's incredible.

Room Tip: Go up to the top floor! Beautiful view.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Sophie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uxlabilatitlan, Public Relations Manager at Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Dear guest, thank you for your comments.
It´s definetely a place for rest and relax; leave the stress of everyday life. We are pleased to announce that we are specializing in bird watching, our advantage is the biodiversity and the interests of our employees. Clearly, you can not perform this activity if there is no passion about it. We have been creating a list of birds that have been found, took pictures and documented, so that the bird lovers are aware of what they can find here.
You are cordially invited, would be a pleasure to welcome a guest that enjoy our services. We always think of improving.
Regards.

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Reviewed 25 January 2014

Uxlabil Eco Hotel overlooking Lake Atitlan in San Juan was a relaxing retreat. There are fancier retreats on Lake Atitlan, but we appreciated Uxlabil because it was a little removed from the rabble of San Pedro or Panajachel. Take the ferry to San Pedro & ask to be dropped off afterwards at the dock for Uxlabil. We appeared to be the only tourists in San Juan, known for it's women's textile coops. There aren't many other tourist attractions, but we sat back & watched life in town pass by. FYI, it doesn't face the full lake or classic Lake Atitlan volcanoes, it faces the profile of a Mayan (or so they say). All rooms have this view. Due to rising lake water the only entrance by foot is along stones fronting the coffee & corn plantation. (Yes, the hotel is on the grounds of a coffee plantation.) It's also possible to catch the passing chicken bus on the road above for day trips (we went to the Sunday Chichi market from here). The staff is very friendly & helpful. We only ate breakfast here, but it was excellent...so was their coffee.

Room Tip: A reminder to have the ferry take you to the hotel dock.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PFMica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uxlabilatitlan, Public Relations Manager at Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Dear guest, first of all I want to thank you for feedback of our hotel and for giving us the desire to continue to improve for your lovely comments. Indeed, we are in a different place in Lake Atitlan, we all are used to having a view of the volcanoes, in front of the hotel we have the hills called "Las Cristalinas" or "Rostro Maya".
You are cordially invited, San Juan La LAguna is developing as a tourist destination, where we offer several specialized tours; from bird watching to a cultural tour. We also have a new specialized chef who makes delicious lunchs and dinners.
Thank you again for your comment, regards.

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Reviewed 21 January 2014

Very extravagant (in good sense) hotel -- natural materials, fancy garden, folklore decorations, amazing view, crazy squirrels, and hummingbirds! Add lake access and cayacks free of charge (great to get to other villages by water) and you got your perfect nature gataway. But make sure you have warm pajamas and wool blanket in your room, as it can get quite cold at night in this area. Also basic Spanish or jesture languige is a must here:)

Room Tip: Take bungalo if possible, it is cute stone house in magic forest!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Skrynnik N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uxlabilatitlan, Administration & Reservations at Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2014

Dear guest,

We're very glad you enjoyed your visit to our hotel and thank you for your kind review, we hope you visit us again soon.
Regards

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Reviewed 11 October 2013

I stayed at Uxlabil with a group. The location is lovely and the village of San Juan is an easy walk. San Juan has a good, sustainable tourism plan in place, and we enjoyed the tour of crafts and coffee. We had no issue with the hotel food- it was slow in coming but tasty. As other have noted the staff does not speak English, but they were gracious and eager to accommodate. The hot tub was not functional during our visit. The rooms were like caves- all rock, and poorly lit. With the wooden shutters open in the day the view is nice, but until you are up and dressed you cannot open your windows, as everyone who passes can see inside.The single bed in each room is actually a rock slab with a futon mattress.We enjoyed our stay, but sadly, for the rooms alone I would not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank NC4Guate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uxlabilatitlan, Administration & Reservations at Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2014

Dear Sr/Madame:
We appeciate your comments and reviews because they help us increase our service quality, as a proof of that we now have the hot tub perfectly functional and we have built a "metal pergola" (like a gazebo) over it so it's no longer without a roof. We're also trying to see how to improve the light on the rooms and maybe replace the wooden courtins with fabric courtins.
We also hope you can give us another opportunity to serve you on your next visit to Guatemala and Atitlán.
Regards.

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Reviewed 22 August 2013

A group of folks from my church stays at the Uxlabil every year while we do volunteer work in San Juan and San Pable. The hotel is a highlight of the trip. Every member of the staff--even those I just talk with on the phone or by e-mail--are very friendly and always eager to help. The rooms are delightfully decorated and spacious. And of course their views are spectacular.

The hotel staff engages a local couple to cook for us--Melina and Eligio. Their meals are beautiful, nutritious and delicious.

We've met the owner and he is charming and most solicitous of his guests.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank tampkem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uxlabilatitlan, Administration & Reservations at Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2014

Thank you so much for your kind review Molly and we hope that every time you come to Guatemala and to San Juan you can see improvements in our installations and our service quality. See you in july! :)

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Reviewed 6 May 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel in April of this year while visiting San Juan on Lake Atitlan. San Juan proved to be a great town to stay at. People were friendly, safe, and the clothing and arts fantastic, and you get a real feel for life in a Mayan town. We highly recommend San Juan

However we have mixed reviews on the Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan. First of all we were fortunate because they had just hired an American to run the hotel so he was really able to help us in dealing with the primarily Mayan and Spanish speaking staff. Without him we would have had many problems. The staff for the large part is wonderful, honest, and friendly.

The grounds of the hotel and the hotel setting are SPECTACULAR. In the morning we would watch the hummingbirds go from flowering tree to tree, in the afternoon watch the ducks and cranes in the reeds near the dock, and at night watch the thousands of fireflies. Truly a natural and fantastically relaxing hotel. For that reason alone I would recommend the hotel.

However overral I would not recommend the hotel because of the room, the food, and the difficulty sleeping. First the room is more like a cave than a room. You get lovely views from your windows of the lake but when the windows are closed the stone walls and floor make you feel you are in a cave. The horribly poor lighting does not help this. Cleanliness is average at best and if you are not a seasoned third world traveler I would not recommend. We did have really hot water. The food is horrible and the cook quite literally poisoned us. DO NOT EAT HERE. The first night we got suckered into eating dinner there, paid 18 dollars(very expensive for San Juan) for frozen fish sticks, and then got to see the staff chowing down on the food we paid for. Breakfast was frightening and by day two we both were sick and that lead to us staying another night. Coffee was never ready in the morning on time and food was late. Also, do not drink here as four dollar bottle of Argentina wine was being sold for twelve dollars. Lastly, to add insult to injury you will get no sleep here. The road from San Pedro to San Juan lies on the hill above the hotel. As the buses go from San Pedro into San Juan they BLARE their horns as they go down the hill. The first buses start running a little after 4am. So, if you like being awoken by the sound of a bus honking its horn every 30 minutes then this is your place! The first morning we thought a large freighter was docking outside because the horn was so loud...

Still, the hotel was great and we took tons of photos. We did do the Mayan Sauna which was really cool. The gardens are great and again you get a taste for life in a real Mayan town. The staff, minus the cook, were wonderful and we got to know them all by name. The new American manager made a good positive difference for us and without him we would have checked out after the first night. So, a mixed review. They were trying to get things in order. Lastly, double check your bill!

Room Tip: Upper floors were better for views. Absolutely not wheel chair or handicap accessible. IMultiple f...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan

Address: Km 175 | San Juan la Laguna, Atitlan, San Juan la Laguna 07017, Guatemala
Region: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > San Juan la Laguna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in San Juan la Laguna
Price Range: £36 - £56 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are an eco hotel on the shores of lake Atitlan. A special hotel, with excellent view from every room, peaceful and with many activities inside the hotel and its surrounding; we are near a Mayan Tzutujil village called San Juan La Laguna, were you can learn about their interesting culture. We are specialized in bird watching and making different kind of tours (adventure, hiking, cultural, relaxing tours and more) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan Guatemala/Lake Atitlan - San Juan La Laguna

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