Laguna Lodge, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Laguna Lodge Eco Resort and Nature Reserve sits at the waters edge of Lake Atitlan surrounded by it’s own nature reserve.
The resort is not accessible by car, so Cody and I hopped on one of the many public boats at the dock in San Pedro, arriving in the early afternoon.
Approaching the thatch roofed building amid the mountains of Guatemala, we stepped up on the private dock, and were immediately mesmerized by the building, and grounds. So much beauty and nature abound. We were warmly greeted by a staff member, and shown to our room.
Our luxurious and spacious room was tastefully decorated with local indigenous textiles and art work that paired well with the warm textures and tones of the wood, stone, and adobe brick.
Beautiful high beamed ceilings, antique wood furniture, and a beautiful bathroom with ceramic sinks added to the luxurious feel.
Walking out onto our deck, we were greeted with a breathtaking blue view of Lake Atitlan, and the surrounding volcanoes.
All 7 luxury suites at Laguna Lodge Eco Resort and Nature Reserve are gifted with the same view, as well as an extremely plush love seat on the balcony that was difficult to remove ourselves from
The rooms intentionally do not include a television, and what interest would anyone have to reach for the remote with view a like this?
There is however a lovely sitting room with a large screen television and several movies, and ecological documentaries for you to choose from.
Laguna Lodge is As Green As it Gets
Constructed by co-owner Jeffro, and his local indigenous team; the lodge was built from local materials of palm, wood, adobe, and volcanic stone. Solar power is used throughout the property, and special attention is paid to avoid purchases that generate excess packaging.
Their 100% vegetarian and vegan menu helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encourages a change in eating habits, and the way we view animals.
They also do not serve drinks with straws, and recycle 75% of garbage including batteries, and waste from guest rooms.
Owners Mayah and Jeffro own a home in Santa Cruz which houses their huge organic garden that provides everything from morning coffee to the incredible meals we enjoyed in Zotz, their full-service restaurant.
The organic garden includes wild figs, spring onion, chipilin, amaranth, basil lettuce, cilantro, asparagus, squash, green chilis, coffee beans, baby strawberries, banana and papaya.
In the past few years, Lake Atitlan has been mistreated, what with raw sewage, and agrochemicals being dumped into the water, and a problem with litter.
This has resulted in an increase in poverty, and illness for the locals and a reduction in jobs, and tourism. The need for sustainable accommodations is crucial in order to improve the quality of life for the people, and to respect, and care for the land.
Laguna Lodge is the leader in true sustainable, and green luxury hotels. Their respect for the environment is inspiring.
Mayah and Jeffro met close to 20 years ago and had originally planned on opening an eco backpackers lodge, but it quickly evolved into a luxury eco-lodge with the intention of preserving nature, and living sustainably.
Their love and commitment to the local community is uplifting. All of the staff employed at Laguna Lodge have no previous hospitality background, and were personally trained by Mayah and Jeffro.
100% of the staff are indigenous Tz’utujil and Kaqchikel Maya, over 50% are women, they are paid well, and also receive medical benefits.
Although we have not found it overly difficult to come across vegan options during our travels, it is quite the luxury for us to open a menu, and be able to choose from every single item before our eyes.
Our breakfasts, and 4 course meals were the stuff vegan dreams are made of.
Each morning we awoke to a stunning view of the lake, and made our way to the dining area for breakfast and more beautiful scenery through the open air windows. (You can also enjoy meals in the comfort of your own room, or balcony)
We started with fresh orange juice, and rich Guatemalan coffee from the organic garden.
Cody chose a traditional Guatemalan breakfast of scrambled tofu, fried plantain, frijoles, and warm corn torts, with rancheros sauce. Delicious.
I had to go for the oat, and coconut crusted french toast served with fresh fruit.
I also asked for some whipped soy cream on the side.
Sweet, and crispy, it was the best french toast I have ever had.
A most decadent breakfast.
Dinner at Laguna Lodge is a set 4 course gourmet meal.
There are 8 set vegan menus that rotate. Guests are presented with the menu of the day, and you must decide on dinner before 2pm as everything is made from scratch.
We started with a spicy Indonesian peanut soup with plantain served with chapati, followed by an organic green salad with marinated tofu.
Our main course was an incredible eggplant squash tower, with a rich cilantro garlic cream sauce.
And dessert was a rich chocolate pudding.
After such a wonderful experience with our first dinner, we decided to try another set menu the following evening.
Our first course was an incredibly flavourful french onion soup, topped with vegan cheese, and served with crostini.
An organic green salad followed, and the main course was a mouth watering baked lasagna, stuffed with vegan cheese, and vegetables.
I wasn’t able to finish the entire meal, but Cody helped me out, plus, I always save room for dessert.
My sweet tooth thoroughly enjoyed the lemon sorbet, served with chocolate truffle balls rolled in coconut.
They were sweet, smooth, and creamy, and made from black beans! How amazing and healthy!
Every meal was high quality, full of flavour, and beautifully plated.
An absolute Heaven for vegans.
With such high awareness for the people, animals, and planet, there are few better places to guiltlessly enjoy the panoramic views of one of the most gorgeous lakes in the world, than at Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort and Nature Reserve.
And rumour has it, that plans of the lodge being 100% vegan are soon to come.
Laguna Lodge Eco Resort and Nature Reserve, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
1 Tzantizotz Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Website: Laguna Lodge Eco Resort and Nature Reserve
Tel. (502) 4066.8135