When you first walk through the hotel, it is absolutely beautiful. The hotel is surrounded by gardens with some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen, and Lake Aititlan is gorgeous, but it soon becomes clear that the hotel takes itself too seriously, and NOTHING is included in your per night fee.
We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights, and having travelled a bit around Guatemala and stayed at a few other hotels, it is clear that Hotel Atitlan is the prettiest place we stayed at, but in terms of value and hospitality, it was the worst. The place was practically empty when we were there, but the front desk staff acted like they had no time for us. The restuarant staff, though, are awesome, and the food was good.
Everything costs extra- the food at the hotel is expensive, but since the hotel is not actually in Panajachel, but rather a 5-10 minute tuk tuk ride away (not really a big deal, but it makes it hard to explore when it gets dark as you probably shouldn't walk to or from the hotel at night), it makes it hard to eat out more. You also need to pay extra for wifi, though we figured out their password system and only paid for one day. We aware of the tax/tip policy in Guatemala- tax is 22%, and then a 10% service charge is usually added to your bill. You are still expected to tip your server (even though the 10% fee is charged, including at restaurants) another 10% or more. Nothing is all that expensive, but it adds up, so just be aware.
The rooms are pretty, but the beds aren't the best. We were on the first floor, and had a little stream right outside our door. It was really nice. The pool and jacuzzi are very nice. There are animals running around everywhere (cats, dogs, bunnies- all very friendly) and birds in cages around the grounds (their wings are clipped- kinda sad actually). There's the Atitlan Reserve on the same lane as the hotel, and they have really fun zipling. The zip lining is a must do if you're there, and you can walk there. A quick note: if you do takes guides or do the ziplining, tip your guides directly as oposed to leaving your "propina" in the marked box- the company takes those tips and only give the guides a portion, even though they're the ones sweating with you in the jungle. If you give the tip directly to your guide, they actually get the money. Just putting that out there.
Panajachel is awesome- the people are friendly. We did boat tours (haggle the price)- the boat people are a lot of fun, and good resources in the town. There are a lot of vendors, but a simple 'no gracias' will do the trick.
Overall, the hotel's beauty made up for its stinginess. I probably wouldn't stay there again, but we had a great time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nominated by Travel + Leisure; "World's Best Awards 2011".This charming hacienda-style hotel is a formerworking coffee farm situated on the shores of Lake Atitlan, with a picture perfect view of volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlan. Highlighting numerous unique Guatemalan traditions with its colorful and vibrant interior, each room is individually decorated with hand-woven fabrics and carpets, handcrafted furniture, paintings and tile floors. All rooms have private balconies and breathtaking views of the lake. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi overlook the entire lake and the hotel's magnificent wedding, tropical and rose gardens. The Botanical Gardens of Hotel Atitlan are a true garden lover's paradise. Bird-watching is a popular pastime within its botanical gardens. Enjoy a cocktail or a refreshing tea from the selection of tea infusions by the fire in the hotel's bar, and dine in an elegant setting where you will savor regional and international cuisine. You can't miss this beautiful Hotel!!! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Atitlan Hotel Panajachel
- Hotel Atitlan Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala