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“Jinava Bay”

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Jinava Hotel & Restaurant
Reviewed 24 February 2012

This hotel is incorrectly named as Hotel Jinava. The name should be Jinava Bay as this is the name! My husband and I traveled there over two years ago and it was so unbelievably beautiful place that we never forgot it. We thought we stumbled into paradise. They employ 10 gardeners to keep it looking that way. We sipped our cocktails under the most amazing bunches of flowers, leaves and strange branches you can imagine. At night you can experience their discreet ambient lighting which adds yet another dimension of beauty. The staff is extremely helpful and nice. Most bungalows are set apart so you have fantastic privacy among these exotic gardens. There is a hidden restaurant stuck high above the ground among the palm tress tops on bamboo sticks. It offers the best sunset views while eating excellent Thai curry there and drinking the best Guatemalan "liquados" (thick fruit drinks). You access to the most amazing Lago de Atitlan right at the bottom of the hotel grounds. We used the lake, their canoes and the Mayan sauna. I wish i could go right back there!!! The best place in San Marcos as we checked even more expensive hotels.

Room Tip: They offer bungalows with a shared bathroom in the middle (that's where I stayed) it's the c...
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Betty1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 53 of 98 reviews

Reviewed 3 January 2012

Managed to stay at this place during the first days of January. Wonderful hotel, great views, nice rooms. Staff is the most friendly you can get around San Marcos La Laguna.
I do recommend a stay here!

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank Roketas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2011

This hotel doesn't appear in my Guatemala guide, but after seeing other hotels in San Marcos, a child guide me to Jinava at the top of the main street & I was delighted! Is like a secret beautiful place with great view of the lake & decorated with a lot of flowers... Have like a "canoe-kayak" to row in the lake... The room was simple but clean, comfortable and with a beautiful view of the lake and vegetation! Early in the morning, after doing the Kayaking, I took a delicious breakfast, sitting outdoor with the lakeview and taking fresh air!
If you are in good condition to hike & climb a little to get here (also to walk from the room to the restaurant or the lake)... I recommend it!!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank 90gines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2011

Previous reviewers are correct about the climb to this modest but comfortable hotel high above San Marcos: even a mountain goat would be gasping for air! Furthermore, once you arrive at the front gate you have to climb down to get to reception and then back up to get to your room. If you are not in reasonably good shape, do not consider Jinava. The view of the Lake and volcanoes is spectacular and the price cannot be beat. There's a decent restaurant and a canoe you can row around the Lake that's free (as long as you don't stray too far, in which case you will be charged). You can sip cocktails on a lovely terrace. But there were a few things that bothered us. One of the two beds in our room listed starboard -- making for a less than comfortable sleeping experience for one of us. Breakfast was not included, which was no big problem, but we decided to try it the first morning. My friend ordered the Continental Breakfast; you know, toast, juice, coffee, cheese. But the cheese was a slice of Kraft Processed American Cheese with the plastic sheath still on it (I think I got the same kind of cheese in my omelette). Needless to say, we dined elsewhere for the remainder of our stay.

We also felt like we were getting nickel-and-dimed a bit. Agua pura was 10Q for a pitcher. There was no soap in our room (rather than climb down to reception to ask, I bought some at a tienda). We checked in on a Thursday and never got maid service until Saturday afternoon (since you can't flush toilet paper in Guatemala, we at least were hoping for someone to change the trash bag near the toilet). These are all little things, but they make an impression.

But when all was said and done, we agreed that we would consider staying at the Jinava again. If I were traveling with a romantic partner I would stay elsewhere, but for the price and --especially -- for the million dollar view, this is a very good value. Just don't forget to pack oxygen. ;-)

Room Tip: The more expensive rooms have the better views -- but they are well worth the modest extra premium y...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank PHDSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2011

IMPORTANT – This is how you get the hotel from the main dock. Get off the boat and onto the main road and go straight for about 10 minutes to the center of town. Stay on this main road. At one point near the end, it takes a right and then a quick left. A few moments later, you reach another main street with businesses around and an athletic court (basketball, soccer) across the way. On this big cross street, take a left. The street will soon make a sharp and brutal uphill incline, but after four or five minutes walking uphill, you will see the Jinava sign on the left. You enter there, walk downhill about 5 meters, enter the hotel grounds on the right, and then follow the path down over 100 steps.

Due to rising water levels, the boat dock at Jinava is now underwater, so the boat drivers cannot drop you off in front. Likewise, the hotel does not have directions from the main dock. It should also be noted that the hotel does not have internet services, even though they are listed on the website.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD
The hotel is absolutely beautiful, and for about $19 per night (for our double room), it is a great deal. The whole place is located in a giant lush garden with amazing lake views. It is about gorgeous. Just know that you must book via telephone as they don’t have internet.

Now here is the bad. The hills are just brutal. From our cabana near the main office, it is about 125 steps up to the main road, which then descends downward. Coming from the town, the uphill road is probably the equivalent of 125 steps, so it is tough. There are reasonably priced tuk-tuks that can take you up the hill, but inside the hotel grounds, you are stuck with all those steps. This leads to the second problem. The hill up to the hotel is very dark at night, which made us a bit uncomfortable. Bring a strong flashlight, but even then, it is really dark and we didn’t feel completely safe.

If you don’t mind the hills and stairs and being 10+ minutes away from the main town, this is a perfect option. It’s beautiful and cheap. But the distance and hills definitely take their toll, and not knowing how to get to the hotel can be a nightmare with the army of intense eight-year-olds waiting at the dock to nag you into giving them money to show you the way. In our case, we said we were fine, they followed us for 10 minutes still asking for money and then throwing peanuts at my head when we didn’t fork over Qs. Pretty sweet stuff.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We had been on a whirlwind tour for about five days. We book a room at Jinava over the phone and went by boat out to San Marcos where it's located. The moment we stepped through the gates we decided enough of the tour, we were staying there for the rest of our trip. They only have maybe five rooms so you have so much more privacy than the other places. The property is tropical garden from the top down to the lake. The view is unimpeded by any other buildings so all you see is volcano. It's just up the hill from town so it's extremely quiet.
Hotel Jinava made the trip for me to Guatemala. I'm for sure going to return. For $25 a night for an epic view and the nicest staff it was the best deal on my entire trip.

Room Tip: Ask for the room with the best view.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank GreenBarrel
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Reviewed 2 September 2011

We stayed 2 nights in Jinava and wished we could have stayed much longer. Without a doubt the most beautiful hotel we stayed at in Guatemala! It has clean, big rooms with views you can only dream off! The staff was very friendly and helpfull: one buzz on the bell in the bar and they came running to offer us good quality meals and the best mojito's ever! If I would ever go back to Lake Atitlan, this would be thé place to stay again!

Room Tip: Room 'Campanita' is located next to the main building and has no other rooms next to it whic...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Celine_BE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jinava Hotel & Restaurant

Address: San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala
Region: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > San Marcos La Laguna
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in San Marcos La Laguna
Price Range: £38 - £39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Jinava Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 5
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