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“One for the Bucket List”
Review of Villas Balam Ya

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Villas Balam Ya
Ranked #8 of 29 Hotels in Panajachel
Certificate of Excellence
Knoxville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One for the Bucket List”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

My family and I had the unique experience of staying two nights at the Villa Balam Ya. The accommodations, scenery, and staff were wonderful, especially the Manager, Lesly. We chose to have all our meals prepared by the staff. The food was excellent. What a GREAT experience!!

Room Tip: Best Lake View and Access at Villa Balam Ya
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed 4 nights in Villa Bambu. Precious house, views, and private gardens! We cannot imagine a better place at the lake. The views from all over the house are amazing. The service is great.
It's like heaven on earth.
Joaquim,Netherlands

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Joaquim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RLeora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank i10q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 February 2014 via mobile

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
Helpful?
1 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villas Balam Ya

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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