Posada de Santiago: Top of the Line Lodging at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
On the tranquil southern shore of the Santiago bay at Lake Atitlan, Posada de Santiago is perched on a breezy slope with a unique vista of Volcan San Pedro. The spacious grounds overlooking the bay are home to a variety of lodging options, from dorms and rooms to cottages, bungalows and suites.
Stone cottages with ornately carved quetzals and other images gracing the wooden doors distinguish this one-of-a-kind hotel. Some even have genuine tubs made of stone and filled with hot water. The hot tub and several rooms have solar-heated water.
Things to Do in Santiago
Posada de Santiago is conveniently situated for tours of Volcan San Pedro, pre-Columbian Maya ruins, the historic Catholic Cathedral and Maximón’s main shrine in Guatemala. The hotel can arrange for hiking or horseback tours of the nearby hills, kayaks and canoes, fish for Black Bass, and other activities.
Semana Santa is a major event in Santiago. It's a great time to see Maximon on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday.
Cultural tours are conducted by Dolores Ratzan, who is fluent in English, Spanish and Tz'utujil. This respected member of the Santiago community conducts a walking tour of Santiago, focusing on contemporary adaptations of ancient traditions, and offers rare access to the underlying themes of Maximon worship. (5730-4579)
After dark, drop in on Gatsby’s, an adjoining nightclub, when they host special functions such as live music, theme parties and other entertainment. There is also live music on Saturday nights.
Dining Room and Lakeside Gardens
Marinated tenderloin, Shrimp Scampi, Szechwan Eggplant and Smoked Chicken Breast Pibil with Citrus-Achiote Sauce—just reading the menu makes you want to eat, even if you’re not hungry. Cajun Blackened dishes, unusual in Guatemala, are a specialty of the house, with a choice of Beef Tenderloin, Chicken Breast, Fish or Jumbo Shrimp.
Lunchtime also delivers some unusual entrees in the dining room, such as Chicken Fajitas and Blackened Mahi Mahi (Dorado). And this hotel is one of the few at the lake with room service for breakfast.
Lush lakefront gardens are the site of a solar-heated pool, solar-heated Jacuzzi, wood-heated sauna, and mooring dock with canoes. Here and on the sun deck (with palapas), you can dine on burgers, chicken and other grilled food on the barbecue. You also have access to full bar and menu service from the hotel.
Wine and Homegrown, Organic Coffee
Posada de Santiago’s extensive wine list is enough to make a teetotaler bungee jump off the wagon, with selections such as Marques de Caceres and Undurraga Reservas.
The hotel cultivates its own shade-grown, high altitude, organic coffee, a fine way to polish off a fine meal under the high ceiling of the dining room. (When their supply is gone, it is supplanted with organic coffee from a local co-operative.)
More than a jewel of a hotel, Posada de Santiago is an experience with many facets. Clearly the place to stay in Santiago, it is also one of the best in Guatemala.
Web Site: Posada de Santiago
Phone: 502 7721-7366