S4. | E8. La Fortuna Atitlán | Lake Atitlán, Guatemala | Stay Off Grid At One Of The Most Picture Perfect Hotels In The World With Owners Steve & Kat
Play • 37 min

“In general, when you live in the United States and in Canada, I think to some degree we take for granted how we’re brought up with education around the environment. And I’d say the thing that we’re most proud of is that, in us building this way, has also created in the community an understanding for environmental practices which I don’t know were necessarily there before.”

We’re in great company with Steve & Kat, Founders & Owners of La Fortuna Atitlán, one of Tripadvisor’s “Most Picture Perfect Hotels In The World,” located on the stunning shores of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. 

Since their own worldly travels and adventures seeking out this corner of paradise, Steve & Kat have spent the past 13+ years building by hand and with the support of their local community, an intimate and family friendly “nano boutique hotel,” where guests can relax in the lush jungle, soak in a wood burning jacuzzi, and enjoy one of the most spectacular lakes in the world while experiencing what it is like to live 100% off the grid. 

In this episode, we learn how a Canadian and American fell in love with each other, this sense of place and its people, and the dream to share it with guests from around the world. While the journey may not have been picture perfect, the experience they paint for guests certainly is. 

Top Takeaways

[1:50] The story of how Steve, originally from Phoenix, Arizona and Kat, originally from Toronto, Canada met while traveling in Costa Rica - falling in love with each other and the dream of building a boutique hotel based on their shared knowledge of environmental protection and experience in the Latin American tourism industry. 

[6:00] How a young Steve and Kat spent their first two years of married life separated - Steve building La Fortuna Atitlán by himself with his bare hands in the remote wilderness of Guatemala, and Kat back in Toronto keeping business moving and the vision alive from afar. 

[11:40] The journey to reach La Fortuna Atitlán is worth the soothing boat ride, serene volcano views, and mystery into the hidden design of the boutique hotel itself. 

[13:25] Beyond their retro VW Bus placed precariously at the shoreline, Steve and Kat left their piece of jungle untouched - a 5 acre playground to explore with only 5 bungalows, all entirely off the grid, delicately set throughout.

[16:20] How the impacts of their eco-hotel went beyond their intent to protect the natural environment - instilling these eco-friendly practices into their local community, with this mindful tourism driving better education and nutrition as well.

[19:30] There’s something for everyone - individuals, couples, families and groups - to do, to learn, to explore, or simply to rest and enjoy around the property and the neighboring lakeside towns. 

[25:00] What to expect to sip on and savor while at La Fortuna Atitlán - from fresh ground coffee grown on their own finca to internationally inspired dishes created by local culinary school chefs, from a refreshing welcome drink to cocktails crafted with local rums and mezcals. 

Notable Mentions

  • Quetzalteca aguardiente, Guatemala’s “strong liquor”
  • Sergio "Checo" Pérez, Mexican Formula One racing driver 
  • Zacapa Rum
  • Botran Rum

Visit For Yourself

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