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“Heavenly”
Review of Villas Balam Ya

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Villas Balam Ya
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We had an extraordinary stay at the original Villa B'alam Ya which has a spectacular view of the lake, Toliman and Atitlán volcanoes and Cerro de Oro. The villa itself is exquisitely designed and spacious, with every amenity. There are multiple levels of seating areas – balconies and patios from the top bedroom all the way down to the lake, surrounded by gorgeous foliage and landscape. Lesly, the manager of the Villas, is an excellent and charming hostess and we were fortunate that she joined us on a trip to Chichicastenango on market day. It was a marvelous treat to have Lucia prepare a gourmet yet authentic Guatemalan dinner for us for the two nights we were guests. We loved the shrimp, fish, traditional chicken stew and chile relleno dishes. The villa is so comfortable and heavenly that we did not want to leave it to explore the surrounding areas. This is definitely the place to stay when visiting Lake Atitlán.

Room Tip: We loved the original Villa B'alam Ya as it is closest to the lake with a private walkway. It is...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank RLeora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 - 70 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2014

We stayed in B'alam Ya for two nights this week. Our experience mirrors all of the other positive reviews of others. Our experience was the opposite of "Disappointed." Manager Lesly was welcoming, gracious and most professional. She came immediately in the evening for a repair job and tracked down the pilot of our boat cruise when he'd gone to lunch thinking we'd be be spending more time exploring one of the lake villages. And, when one of us had a minor accident after we'd left the property, Lesly and Rosa and the rest of the staff were gracious to open the Villa up again to allow change of clothes, band-aids, etc.

As wonderful as the villa is, the food is even better. Rosa and Lucia are wonderful cooks and delightful personalities. Amazing, too that single rowing sculls are available for guest use. (If you're note an experienced rower, best stick with the also-available kayaks.)

Step off your busy planet for a few days of true indulgent relaxation.

One tip: Some of the most comfortable seating does not have good lighting for reading, so if you are reading an "old fashioned" book, bring a little book light with you.

Room Tip: Some of the villas involve LOTS of stairs. The website makes note of which ones are the most access...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank i10q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

My family and I decided to travel around Guatemala while the snow is gone. So we had a wonderful stay in Balamya, the staff was just perfect. They did their best to make us feel welcome. The manager Leslie help us to arrange transportation and tours, she also help us to prepare a birthday party for my little boys, so we had a piñata and a cake to celebrate. Then we had dinners in the house, lucia came to cook and we were just amazed on the quality of the food. Our trip was just terrific, will come back next year again.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I stayed for 4 notes and it gets 2 stars only because the view (5 star) brought the average up to a 2.The place is poorly constructed; the doors and windows are of poor grade and operate poorly. The manager was hard to find and get ahold of. She gives you a phone to use but she doesn't answer it. She is also of minimal help in making the stay enjoyable. Please bear in mind that one pays $350-$375 per nite. At that rate there should be slightly more offered than what she offers. The grounds could be presented a little better. I wish I could say more positive things but there really are none. Sorry to be the bearer of bad review.

Room Tip: try another place
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2014

Beware. The website still states for the main villa ...."There is also a private outdoors grilling and dining area, perfect for barbecuing. Last, Villa B’alam Ya enjoys exclusive access to our outdoor Jacuzzi." Because of the rising lake the main villa no longer has any of these things. It's been a couple of years but they haven't bothered to update the website nor warn people when they book. We reserved at the full $350/night expecting the private hot tub but when we arrived the somewhat snooty caretaker said oh well, it's down the path over there for everyone to use now. And still happily charged same price. That was November and I just noticed they still haven't updated the website. The views of the lake were amazing, and would have been even better from the jacuzzi we had paid for but didn't get.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank USAtravelpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mesonpanzaverde, Gerente at Villas Balam Ya, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2014

Dear Guest.

We really apologize for what happened with the misunderstanding about the jacuzzi, hope your husband and baby are doing good. The information in our website has been changed, we really apreciate your review as it is a good source feedback.

Send you greetings from Guatemala.

Sincerely
Lesly A.

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Reviewed 4 February 2014

my wife and I usually backpack around our holidays, but as she is 6 months pregnant we felt a more relaxing experience may be necessary. this was the perfect answer! the villa (bambu) was absolutely magnificent, with windows and balconies overlooking the stunning lake, with volcanoes in the background. the complementary use of the villas' skulls and kayaks was perfect. we would go exploring every morning on the water. it was such a shame to see how much of the coast line has been swallowed up by rising water levels.

panajachel was just 40 minutes walk (or a 10 minute tuk tuk) away - a walk that the resort dog Frieda used to like to join us on! This fabulous dog seemed to adopt us for the week, sleeping on the balcony whilst we would play cards and watch the sun go down (after our evening hot-tub).

the staff were fabulous, the location perfect, the villa also perfect - all in all I couldn't recommend it highly enough. we have never spent 8 nights in 1 place before - I could do here again anytime!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank paddysnod2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

I had just stayed at Balam Ya's sister property at Antigua - Meson Panza Verde, so I had high expectations. They were all met once we stepped inside the property after a long and windy journey through the mountains.
We had rented villa Balam Ya, and I must say it is magnificent! It's beautifully located, gorgeous unobstructed views of all 3 volcanoes on the lake, and the villa itself is just beautifully decorated.
The manager Lesly was helpful, the ladies who deliver breakfast were great.
Our best meal in Guatemala was the dinner that the lovely lady (forgot her name) cooked for us at the villa. We only wish we had more time.
Balam Ya is close to the Jade bungalow, and our neighbors were a bit loud - from our 2nd floor bedroom, but overall, it's a beautiful place I would go to again.
Side note, the night watchman Gregorio is friendly, and he has the sweetest pup Frida!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank qls200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villas Balam Ya

Address: Palopo Km 4., Panajachel 07010, Guatemala
Region: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > Panajachel
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Panajachel
Price Range: £103 - £784 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas Balam Ya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 4
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Also Known As:
Villas Balam Ya Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

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