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“A Setting In Paradise, Customer Service Lacking”

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Jinava Hotel & Restaurant
Reviewed 7 March 2014

I would love to give Hotel Jinava 5 stars, as it is one of the only hotels in San Marcos located directly on the lake with it's own dock near water that you would want to swim in. It is truly beautiful.
The rooms are quite nice, the food only so so.
Depending on who is working at the time the customer service can range from nice to rude or non-existent.

My main complaint with this hotel is the customer service. I arrived with a friend planning to stay for at least a week. After a day or so, I would wake up with a waiter at my door early in the morning asking to pay the tab for dinner or even a coffee from the night before. It felt quite aggressive. We paid nearly daily, but there was always someone chasing us down with a bill which just seemed unprofessional. You either pay when you check in or if you are on a tab system you pay when you check out. The Hotel is located in a very steep hill so it's quite a hike up to one's room. Often times I would be ambushed by someone as I was down near the water (with no money) asking me to pay for a $5 meal or the rate for the room that coming evening. It felt very uncomfortable- far from relaxing and very far from professional to be approached in this way.

I ended up leaving early. It's a lovely spot but management needs to figure out how to manage the staff more appropriately.

We also found several scorpions in our room, which was rarely cleaned.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank freidka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 - 35 of 98 reviews

Reviewed 12 February 2014

My wife and I discovered this wonderful hotel in the hills of San Marcos La Laguna, at Lake Atitlán, during our honeymoon in 2012, and it became a wonderful memory of the beginning of our married life.

Last weekend, we returned to Jinava for our 2nd year anniversary. It's still pure bliss.

It doesn't have a tv or wifi, but you don't need it. If you want a quick getaway from the city, 2 hours form Guatemala + 40 mins of a boat ride can take you there. From the moment you enter the place, you feel like the mountain if yours, and you stay in awe watching the whole lake and 2 volcans in front of you.

The hotel has a great restaurant, too pricey I think, but you can enjoy the wonderful setting from there or the bar.

The cons: getting to your room and/or the restaurant or lobby can become quite a workout. Be prepared to climb hard! especially if you carry lots of baggage. Everytime you want to go to the town or even the restaurant you have to think twice if your room is too far, because of the "climb-like stairs".

Other than that, it's PURE BLISS.

And by the way, you can ask the boat driver to take you to the Jinava Hotel dock for 5 guatemalan quetzales more; you just gotta ask. If you do that, yo avoid walking throught the town and paying a tuk tuk or walking.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alfredo V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014 via mobile

If ur heading to San Marcos go straight to this place located within a few minutes of the village centre with great views of the lake and beautiful grounds and rooms all for a reasonable price. Staff were really nice and welcoming and served some great food. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank MandMOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

The service is too poor, the employees just treat people very wrong and the owner was drunk when we talked to him. The place might have a beautiful view of the lake but you have to go up and down with your luggage too many stairs. If you are going to bring your own food there is a fee you have to pay and they don't accept kids under 10 years old.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank saria_x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Jinava and you can't beat the value for the price. The owners were great and we spent a couple nights bonding over stories and jokes. The staff was attentive and friendly. The gardens are spectacular with cactus, palm trees and some flowers that are technically not supposed to be able to grow in that area/climate. The food and drinks were fresh and delicious. The room was basic, comfortable and the water is warmer the less you use. The view is paradise and you feel like you're a million miles from civilization.

Some advice to fellow travelers: Call to confirm your reservation and if you're not planning on checking in by mid-afternoon, make sure to call to let them know you'll be late. No technology (tv, phone, wi-fi) which isn't necessarily a bad thing. We loved the hike to/from town (good exercise!) but it may be difficult for some. It's a horseshoe walk from the dock - you walk up to the main road and make a left, walk about 150 feet (we took a short tuk-tuk ride because of our luggage) and then take a left down the hill to reception.

Thanks Jin(Gene) and Ava for a lovely stay!

Room Tip: Indirect sunlight in the am. Our room had small skylights above, not sure if some rooms offer a dark...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chijsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

This is a little cluster of well-built, traditional rooms, set in a steep garden overlooking the lake. Unlike almost all of San Marcos, you're on the lake, with a view of it and access to the shore, and even to a canoe to paddle around. The garden is exquisite - a real achievement - and the setting is relaxing and peaceful, with lots of quiet nooks (including a hammock or two) for enjoying the surroundings. The staff were friendly and solicitous and the food was consistently good, though portion sizes weren't huge.

San Marcos itself had, to our surprise, slight concrete jungle tendencies. This was a lot nicer than anything else we saw in the area.

It's a very steep walk down from, and back up to, the road: this wouldn't work if you were significantly physically disabled. No wifi.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank Wandering_Seahorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2013

Staying in Hotel Jinava has been one of the best experiences of our Guatemala trip.The place is an oasis of beauty and peace thanks to its location in a tropical garden at the outskirts of San Marcos with an amazing view on the lake. In fact, during our week here we did not feel a need to explore San Marcos that much, since we already found our paradise. The staff is super friendly and can give you a lot of good tips, from the times and prices of the lanchas and tuk-tuks to the volcano hikes. We especially enjoyed the reasonably priced food and drinks and the opportunity to run and jump into the water from the molo and then dry quickly observing the view while sipping our margaritas. Tip: ask the staff about a hike to a nearby rocks, they can take you there for a small tip and the views of the lake are stunning from there. Be fit, careful and take good shoes though!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jan M
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 #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in San Marcos La Laguna
Price Range: £37 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Jinava Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 5
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