This may be a deceiving title because I haven’t stayed at, or looked at every hotel around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, but when looking for accommodations while in San Marcos La Laguna on my recent trip to Guatemala, Lush Atitlan most definitely stood out, and to me, it’s the best place to stay in Lake Atitlan.
Originally my friend and I wanted to stay at Yoga Forest in San Marcos, given that we are both yogis and it also looked stunning. However, since we are people who like to be on-the-go and active while traveling, we didn’t want to feel restricted to eating all our meals and doing multiple yoga classes a day. We wanted to get out and explore Lake Atitlan.
Note: Once we got to San Marcos we also discovered Yoga Forest is incredibly off-the-beaten-path and not the most convenient location. We went for a yoga class and yes, it was gorgeous, but it would’ve been really inconvenient for us to stay there. Especially since the trail leading there is a dirt path, basically unmarked and wouldn’t be fantastic to do alone at night.
Lush sits just off the shores of Lake Atitlan, when you arrive via boat all you do is walk about three minutes up from the main dock and you’ll see a sign on your left to a dirt pathway that’ll bring you all the way to Lush, past hidden restaurants and hotels. The path is really dark at night so carry a flashlight or your phone with you to light the way.
The hotel is located right next-door to Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve which is a beautiful place to spend a day or two. Entrance is only 15Q and it’s one of the cleanest spots on the lake to swim. You can also rent kayaks here as well.
About the hotel
Lush is an eco-friendly hotel with seven unique suites and four rooms available to stay in. Each room is designed differently and is one-of-a-kind with locally made art and furniture. Some of the suites have incredible views of the lake and the surrounding nature and volcanoes.
We stayed in the cheapest room available at Lush (Luz), primarily because we knew we wouldn’t be in our room a ton so the budget option met our needs. We may have sacrificed the beautiful view that some of the other rooms offer, but we were okay with that given we could catch the view at other vantage points in San Marcos.
The hotel was equipped with all the things you’d need:
- A safety deposit box in each room
- A small store open 24 hours a day with snacks, drinks, etc.
- 24/7 security
- Organic soap provided in each room
- Excursions can be arranged with the front desk staff, however, many of these are private and if you’re looking for the budget-friendly option you can book at tourist agencies in town
- Free breakfast served on the beautiful terrace every morning from 8-10am
- Shuttles can be booked from/to anywhere in Guatemala
What I loved
This hotel gets a lot of hype on social media, in fact, we stumbled upon it via Instagram when we were booking our trip. Sometimes these places can actually be disappointing in real-life but this wasn’t the case. Lush was beautiful, peaceful, and my only concern was that they warn people online that if you’re scared of spiders to not stay here, as since it’s eco-friendly they don’t use any pesticides. I’m petrified of spiders and so I was really concerned I’d wake up with them crawling across our bed. Thankfully, I didn’t see a single spider while there. I even came prepared with peppermint essential oil (spiders hate it) to spray all over our room.
The breakfast was also fantastic, filled with colourful displays of local fruit, fresh, homemade jams, bread, and eggs. San Marcos isn’t very big so there are only so many restaurants you can eat at which made it nice that we didn’t have to worry about grabbing breakfast anywhere else.
The staff at the hotel were also phenomenal. The night guard set his alarm for 4am for us to let us out of the secure gate when we were hiking Indian Nose, the front desk staff were always filled with advice, and willing to answer any of our questions. The one staff member even walked us to Yoga Forest at 6am for an early morning yoga class since he knew we’d get lost or not be able to find it ourselves.
Overall our stay at Lush was fantastic, I would highly recommend this hotel to other people, and would love to return one day. Do you have a favourite hotel you’ve stayed in? Share it below in the comments!
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