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“Luxurious base from which to explore Tikal”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Lancha

La Lancha
Ranked #20 of 46 Restaurants in Flores
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Seating, Waitstaff
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Luxurious base from which to explore Tikal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2011

We stayed at La Lancha for two nights and loved it. We had intended on using it mostly as a base to explore the amazing Tikal, but ended up loving the hotel nearly as much!

The rooms are lovely - wooden cabanas set in the rainforest - and the hotel has a great pool and enchanting lake, which you can borrow on their boats free of charge to explore - or just go swimming!

The food was excellent and reasonable by Western standards and the service was really good too. We also loved the Coppola wines and their superb little gift shop.

Overall, a great hotel and thanks to La Lancha for a great stay.

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Helpful?
2 Thank munquaymonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Fantastic food in a pricey, overly formal restautant”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2010

The food here is fabulous, the local White bass is wonderful. While I would consider it traditional Guatemalan cooking it is not a traditional Guatemalan restaurant. If we were not staying in the remote hotel as well I wouldn't have visited a second time. It was very expensive by local standards but by European standards the food was excellent value. The wine was not worth the price but the cocktails were great.

The service is over powering and does not feel natural in any way. In my opinion there is no need for this however if you are local I would recommend it for one meal.

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Helpful?
Thank MissesMoMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
183 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Decent Restaurant with Great Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2010

We stayed at La Lancha and had both dinner and breakfast in the restaurant. The local specialties served at dinner were very good, particularly the Pepian, a chicken stew with tomato and pumpkin seeds. The place is open air under a large palapa hut. The view is beautiful during the day, but at night you really can't see anything although the sounds of the jungle are nice. We did see a lion monkey at night which the staff trained their flashlight on so we could get a better look (the monkey was unfazed by this). It was off season so the place was nearly deserted which we appreciated. Harking to a previous review, the place is more western feeling than most restaurantss in Guatemala, but that did not overide the quality of the food or the ambiance for us. The wine list is limited to Coppola's's wines, which are not the best on the market and are a little more expensive than the usual selection of South American wines. The upstairs bar was also nice but deserted. I don't know if we would go out of our way to eat here if we were not stayng here, but it was very good nevertheless.

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Helpful?
Thank ramonjamon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guatemala
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“What a stay...!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2009

La Lancha is a restaurant AND a Hotel. Supposed to be a must since owned by the famous director Francis Ford Coppola, this place is actually not worth a penny.
Very far from everything, the road to get to it is in very bad state first. Then, booking is very easy and get a refund very hard, or impossible, even 15 days prior to the supposed visit. All is expensive and service is really not worth the supposed 5 stars...? Who did give 5 stars to this hotel...? They gave themselves the right to be known as 5 stars when they are actually worth 2... What a shame. ... I therefore do not recommend this hotel/Restaurant, dreadfull place owned by people who do not behave.
Apart from that, could be a good place.

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Helpful?
2 Thank Chapinfranco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vence, France
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Well, I'm glad that we didn't stay at La Lancha ...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2008

We had tried to book into La Lancha as part of our short stay in Guatemala but it was full, fortunately as it turned out. We were staying nearby at the much bigger Camino Real instead so we decided to make a dinner reservation at La Lancha and went along at about 8pm. The dining area is open, quite compact but very prettily-lit with an artful display of about 100 candles. We were welcomed effusively and shown to our table overlooking the lake.

Unlike other establishments we had visited in Guatemala the atmosphere and service were distinctly and intentionally north American in style ("My name is Juan and I will be your waiter this evening" and immediate iced water) as were the other guests, one of whom looked very much like the celebrated proprietor to me. We were a bit dismayed by the relatively large group next to us whose conversational volume increased relative to their wine consumption so that we discovered involuntarily many interesting facts about what went on at Stamford in the late 70's, who had the biggest medical insurance premium, their golf handicaps and how much everyone's pensions were now worth, but it was incongruous in the setting.

Anyway, we were there mainly for the food which was accurately described, respected the local resources and traditions and was excellent in quality and preparation. The local speciality is a white bass from the lake and this was the best we had anywhere. The wine list is famously restricted to Mr Coppola's own produce and is pricey compared to other restaurants and hotels in the region. This would not matter if the wine were sufficiently exceptional to deserve such monopolistic exclusivity but it is not and the more widely distributed Chilean and Argentinian wines offered elsewhere are much more appropriate to the style of cooking.

Two things spoiled it for us: firstly, our merry neighbours decided to head off to the bar to leave us alone at about 9pm, which was good, but instead of enjoying a quiet time to finish our meal we noticed that the staff were extinguishing all the pretty candles, moving furniture, sweeping up and generally preparing to close the place. When we asked the manager why they were doing this he told us that it was in case the candles burned too far down and caused a fire and that they had not intended to inconvenience us by clearing up, changing out of serving clothes and generally making us feel that we should be moving on at 9.15pm. There is an indefinable but tangible sense of being unwelcome when waiters are waiting for you to leave. It was the only time we ate a meal in Guatemala (even in the jungle) without being offered coffee.

Then came the second thing. We decided to go and asked for the bill which came in the blink of an eye, hand-written and with some odd-looking percentages above the bottom line. 22% struck me as a curious figure and when I asked what it was for I was told that it was 'tax'. In fact this was untrue: the local tax is 12% and the standard service charge of 10% had been included in the figure for no reason, as far as we could see, other than to confuse the customer into paying a much bigger tip than they realised was necessary. This practice was entirely absent in other restaurants in Guatemala, where it is normal to add 10% Service Charge to the bill and equally normal for customers to add the same again.

Then we had the credit card farce. We proffered our good, perfectly respectable Mastercard and it was taken away, scrutinised in detail and returned with the request that we use another card as they were unable to process this one (which we had used without problem everywhere else). We didn't have another card with us but asked what was wrong with it. Well, said the manager, we have to clear these cards through an account in Belize (a neighbouring country) which would alter the exchange rate slightly ("just a dollar or two usually, maybe ...") but would also require that I sign a disclaimer to the effect that I understand that my card would be charged in this bizarre way. It was all a bit unsettling.

We heard several negative comments about La Lancha from people working in the area which I won't repeat because this is supposed to be a first hand report. However, we were left with the feeling that there is a falseness about the place which arises mainly from the cultural conflict caused by a purportedly ecological and ethnic ambience being controlled by a distant US management and marketing organisation. We visited several restaurants and hotels run and managed excellently by north American ex-pats and they felt genuine and integrated with the local communities. La Lancha does not: it feels fake, like a Californian outpost.

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Helpful?
7 Thank JDB_Vence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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