Villa Sumaya

COVID-19 Protocol

Thank you for choosing to visit Villa Sumaya. We are ready to welcome you to our little piece of paradise! The safety of all our guests and staff is our top priority. For this reason, we have developed comprehensive COVID-19 protocols. Each department has worked hard to provide you with the very best service.

Please help us ensure your safety by observing all our COVID-19 protocol precautions.  We hope your retreat adventure is a transformative and revitalizing experience.


  • Please check the latest updates for travel requirements to enter Guatemala. If you are arriving through an international airport or traveling through an international border crossing, as of March 11, 2022, you will need EITHER a valid printout of a negative Covid-19 test (Antigen or PCR/polymerase chain reaction) OR a vaccination card showing that you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks.
  • We at Villa Sumaya require that all guests present a valid negative COVID-19 test at check-in within 96 hours, regardless of vaccination status. We also ask guests to be mindful of employing their best COVID protocol 1 week prior to their trip to Villa Sumaya, in order to stay extra safe.
  • We accept results from COVID-19 Antigen self-test or home kits (Walmart and Amazon sell these $19.95 for 2 tests).
  • We ask that you bring additional home COVID-19 tests so you may test as frequently as necessary to feel secure that you are negative. Please consider bringing extra testing kits as donations for our center.
  • For our pre-booked guests, all check-in formalities will be completed online in order to reduce staff contact and time spent at reception. Guest registration.
  • We recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Trawick International is the provider that has been recommended by other retreat organizers in our community. We recommend that group leaders call the office to get the info directly as they are covering more than just a typical trip. It also works for students. Note: you must select the optional add-on called “Cancel for Any Reason” that is available on the Safe Traveler’s First Class and the Voyager’s plans.

Transportation & Arrival

  • For everyone’s safety, we request that you use our pre-approved drivers service with Kan Tours. They will arrange shuttles based upon the latest COVID-19 occupancy restrictions. They will also ensure that the boat trip segment of your arrival will be equally well organized and safe.
  • Personal Protection Equipment: The driver’s area will be separated with a plexiglass shield. We request that everyone wear face coverings in and around the shuttle.  Our drivers will wash their hands frequently and wear a face mask and shield.
  • Disinfecting of the vehicle’s high-touch points: Frequently touched areas will be disinfected with every arrival (e.g. door handles, seat belt buckle, arm rests, device charging cords, boot handle).
  • Luggage Disinfecting: We will clean the handles of the luggage with alcohol based disinfectant unless otherwise instructed.
  • Guest’s temperature: We will take the temperatures of all arriving guests.  If you present with a fever, we will have an area of the hotel where you can be isolated prior to finding the medical care you may require.
  • There are medical centers in two neighboring towns in the event that one needs emergency medical attention: Hospital Panamed, Tel +502 7762 0324 / 4224 2648 Centro Medico San Francisco, Tel +502 7762 0352
  • Hand sanitizer: We ask guests to use hand sanitizer upon arrival.  There will be hand sanitizer in all the public areas.


  • Registration: We kindly ask our guests to register in advance.   This will help to lessen time and crowds in our courtyard.
  • Payment Options:  Please register in advance. Guest REGISTRATION.
  • We prefer debit or credit cards to cash at this time.
  • Room keys: All keys will be disinfected before being given to the guests.  Guests will be responsible for their keys during the entire stay.
  • THE ROOM KEYS WILL BE IN THE DOOR OF YOUR ROOM. You will be shown to your room. We require a $10 or Q100 returnable key deposit be left with the managers at the front desk.

Common Areas

  • We ask that all guests wear masks, respect social distancing and frequently wash their hands in common areas of the hotel.
  • Partitions have been installed in the reception. The number of cleanings in the common areas has increased.
  • Hand sanitizer: We have hand sanitizer available throughout the hotels common areas for both guests and staff.
  • Sanitizing:  frequently touched surfaces are disinfected regularly, e.g. tables and chairs, door handles, light switches, bathroom faucets and handles, telephones, keyboard, hot water kettle, etc.

Meal Time

  • Social Distancing in Dining Room: We ask that guests be seated in every other chair to maintain social distance. Additional seating for dining will be provided as needed. We also have beautiful outdoor seating. We recommend that guests wear face coverings while socializing in the dining rooms.
  • Waiters and Kitchen Staff: Our staff will wear protective gear and have heightened kitchen sanitation standards.
  • Service Style: We require all guests to wear masks at the buffet. After meals, guests may place their dishes in a bus tub to minimize contact between guests and kitchen staff.
  • Guest safety: We encourage guests to apply hand sanitizer before and after contacting and commonly used touch points in the dining area.  For example: coffee urns, electric kettle, etc.

Guest Rooms

  • All our Housekeepers wear protective gear.
  • We offer guests 3 cleaning options:
    • You can elect to keep your room an “off-limits space,” and we will provide cleaning supplies so you are able to tidy up your room during your stay. Be sure to indicate this by turning your housekeeping door hang tag to the appropriate side (yes, clean my room or no, do not clean my room). 
    • Our staff can do a thorough cleaning mid-way through your visit.
    • Our staff can provide regular daily cleaning services.

Please note that when our staff is cleaning your room it must be unoccupied.

  • Before you arrive, our housekeepers follow a 5-step ventilation, sanitation and cleaning protocol to ensure each room is a safe space.
    • Ventilation: All doors and windows will be opened to be sure the room has been thoroughly aired out
    • Sanitizing: A water bleach solution will be sprayed on all high touch areas.  We allow this spray to dry which kills germs.
    • Cleaning and Disinfection: We thoroughly wipe down and disinfect (for a second time) the entire room along with our normal cleaning and dusting procedures.
    • Making up the rooms (once per week): After the first three sanitation steps, beds are made with clean linens and fresh towels are placed in the bathroom.
    • Our linens are washed with disinfecting detergent and hung in the sun to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Sweeping/Mopping: The floors are cleaned with a disinfectant.
    • Stocking the Room: Toilet paper, tissue and water will be restocked.
    • Once the room has been processed, we do not re-enter until cleaning is required (guests may choose to opt out of our cleaning routine or to clean the room themselves). Otherwise, the ladies will clean your room each day.

Please note: Our housekeepers wash their hands between each step and use clean rags for each step.

Our Staff

  • All of our local hotel staff are fully vaccinated as of September 2021
  • Our spa practitioners giving hands-on sessions have been vaccinated and are taking personal protection precautions
  • Our ceremony and yoga teachers who are not vaccinated are taking precautions and leading socially distanced, outside ceremonies exclusively
  • Our tour guides have been vaccinated and will take personal and group safety and health precautions.  Please check with us directly about individual practitioners’ COVID-safe policies
  • Any employee suffering from sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting and/or diarrhea will be asked to go home and not return to our center until their are cleared by the health clinic
  • COVID-19 Precautions: Our staff has been instructed to always wear masks, wash hands frequently and remain 6 feet from our guests when possible
  • COVID-19 Procedures: Each department has been re-trained based on current pandemic safety regulations


  • Sanitation: Our kitchen will be cleaned at regular intervals in accordance with our COVID protocols
  • Disinfection of food equipment, utensils and tools: We continue to clean and disinfect key high-touch points (for example: food equipment and food contact surfaces including chopping boards)
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): All our staff wear disposable masks, gloves, and hair nets
  • Vegetable and Fruits Sanitation: We ensure proper cleaning of vegetables using approved sanitizing agents

Studio Spaces

We honor our group’s ability to sensibly determine proper social distancing and mask protocol within the studio space. We are offering some guidelines.

  • All of our studio spaces are well ventilated. We encourage group leaders and students to open the large sliding glass doors in Tiger Temple, as well as the sliding windows in the Tara Temple on the upper pane.  Please maintain maximum ventilation during practice times or consider a nature practice on the lawns. We also have a new 7 x 5 meter lakefront swimming/yoga platform and are working on constructing and adapting additional open-air ceremony spaces.
  • Each guest can choose a yoga mat, blocks, strap and eye pillow which they will use for the entire week.  We will have masking tape available for you to write your name on each prop.  We suggest that you leave your props on the bench in individual piles instead of restacking the props.   We will have disinfectant and rags available for individuals to wipe down their equipment.  We fully sanitize props between retreats.
  • Be sure that mats are staggered, 6 feet from one another.   If you have a large group, you may want to consider two ongoing training sessions using one of our 3 temple/studio spaces.  We also have a new 5 x 7 meter sunning/yoga platform for sunrise and sunset yoga practices, preferably when the sun is low. Ask us if you need help figuring out how you would like to set up your practice times.
  • We clean the floor once a day. We will also clean all the high touch areas (double cleaning =  1 alcohol solution and 2 disinfectants). We will have a mop and disinfectant available for you as well if you would like to clean yourself more often. We encourage students to perform “karma yoga” or simple acts of service during retreat. Cleaning the temple space is an ideal task for deepening devotion and building presence.
  • We will clean the bathrooms 2x during the day. We provide hand sanitizer throughout the center.


  • In the event this service is needed, our housekeepers will wash their hands before folding clothing and place clothing in a plastic bag to avoid contamination.

Spa Services

  • Harmony Spa has been serving Sumaya for 30 years.  Our many gifted practitioners would love to offer their services to you.  During this time we are offering limited sessions. If you would like a session, please inquire at the beginning of retreat at the front desk.
  • Each of our services, activities, ceremonies, ritual, apothecary and tours will have its own set of safety precautions.  We are continually evolving and building upon our knowledge of how to keep everyone safe.  We will disclose more information at the time of the event.

Spirit Dog Boutique

  • Our boutique will be open by request with limited occupancy (3 max).  We ask that as you enter you sanitize your hands, wear a mask and stay 6 feet from others. We will also clean the store more often.

Covid Testing Before You Leave

For your convenience, Villa Sumaya has made an arrangement with an independent lab to administer COVID tests on site. Please note that the United States now requires a COVID test from the day before your trip for re-entry into the country. With an appointment made at least one week in advance, a clinician from Atilabs in Panajachel will administer a COVID test at Villa Sumaya. She conducts the tests in a private room next to our Spirit Dog Boutique.

This is an independent lab. Villa Sumaya is not responsible for this testing or its outcome. There are also testing sites in Pana and San Pedro.

Rapid Antigen Test – $55
PCR Test – $115

  • Bring your passport to the appointment
  • Testing is available from Monday to Saturday 9:00-12:00
  • Antigen test results are delivered within two hours after the test
  • PCR test results are delivered 30 hours later, from Monday to Friday; that is, the next day in the afternoon. (For example, for a PCR test on Friday, the results will be ready on Monday afternoon.)

Each appointment takes 5-10 minutes. Villa Sumaya charges guests for this service on their room bill. We are not able to expedite or change test results. As this is a contracted service, please contact Atitlabs directly with questions about your test results or any issues you may have with their service. Positive tests require us to notify the Municipality of Santa Cruz and a 10-day quarantine in Guatemala for you and those who may have come in close contact with you. 

Provider: Laboratorio Atitlab, Madga +502 3353-9216 (Spanish only)
Final Calle Santander 5-38 Zona 2 Panajachel

Alternatively, you could purchase and bring a test kit includes a personal virtual visit with an eMed Certified Guide who will help you properly administer the test and verify the result. You must provide your official eMed Labs report in order to board your flight or cruise. The report is provided via email and can be printed or displayed on screen to provide proof. Please contact us if you have questions about this option.

Positive Test Results / Extended Stay at Sumaya

In the event of a positive Covid test, guests may be required to quarantine for 15 days. Pending room availability, we will extend the group rates directly to individuals who decide to quarantine for an extended stay with us. We offer them isolated housing, as available, for the duration of their quarantine. We deliver meals to the guest’s door and provide extra provisions and assistance as needed. 

Please understand that we are not medical authorities, nor do we have the life-saving equipment that may be necessary for serious cases. We will do our best to direct you to the best medical resources in our area.

We suggest that all guests get travel insurance before traveling. We cannot speed up or otherwise manipulate the length of your quarantine.

Note to Guests

We have effectively updated all our protocols from airport pick up, to cleaning rooms and common spaces to dining services. Even our gardeners are trained with safety in mind.  However,  it takes all of us to ensure that guests and staff remain as safe as possible. We ask you to put special attention to help keep fellow guests and our hotel employees free from the virus.

We can’t do it alone. Thank you in advance for making this experience a win-win for yourself and our community at Villa Sumaya.