My husband, myself, and our 3 school-aged children had traveled to Panajachel in order to visit a non-profit which supports Mayan girls' schooling. We'd collected a suitcase of needed school supplies to bring this organization based in Panajachel. Our stay at the Rancho Grande Inn came at the end of our Guatemala trip.
Prior to this, we had lived for 3 weeks with a Guatemalan family in Antigua and attended Spanish Language school each day. This was both a wonderful and challenging experience. Our homestay did not have consistent hot water and the food we ate with our host family was the local fare. Basically after 3 weeks of sleeping fairly poorly in one room and having to walk outside for our showers, we were sorely in need of a nice place to wash up and rest for two nights.
Rancho Grande Inn's description and price tag suggested it would fit our needs. We reserved their casita for our family of 5. We arrived after dinner and everyone was dying for a warm shower. Unfortunately the water was only cold. We informed the management about the problem. They worked on it for a while and declared it fixed. We tried again, the shower was still cold. They offered us another empty room to shower in. That water was cold too.
At this point, I went to the office and told the hotel owner that $130 was a lot of money to pay for a room without hot water and I was requesting some sort of discount. The owner, who was bilingual in English and Spanish, told me she never gives discounts and that she found it hard to believe that the water was still cold. Then she said, "I mean, did you really come here for the hot water?" After the experience we'd had at our 3 week homestay, I felt like yelling, Yes!
The next day the owner said to my husband that they realized that I wasn't making the water story up, that something was wrong and they'd work on fixing it. They did have someone come out that day, but after this, we only had hot water for our first child's shower.
Beside the hot water issue, this hotel was comfortable, though fairly dark. The sheets and pillows were nice. The breakfasts (included in the hotel price) were delicious. However, it was hard to be treated so rudely by the owner, still not have hot water, and have to pay an expensive price in the end.
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- Also Known As:
- Rancho Grande Hotel
- Rancho Grande Inn Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala