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what visitors say about



" You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck! "

– Rumi

There is no better than the Hermitage to dive deep into solitude, surrounded by beautiful nature at Lake Atitlan. I found peace and stillness and so much more. I am forever grateful for this experience and can only recommend it. From the depth of my heart, thank you Emma and Severin for creating such a beautiful and special place.

Aruna, Switzerland


The gratitude I felt in the Dark spilled over the morning I came back to the light. Never before have I seen such a magical sunrise, movement and colours in every direction! I will carry that magic and gratitude with me for the rest of my life and this week spend here at The Hermitage will forever be a treasure.

Jenna, United States


Going to the Hermitage was the best experience I have ever had. It was transformational and life changing The lake does have magical emotional healing powers Emma and Severin are amazingly loving people. So so grateful. Thank you.

Pamela, Canada


I did my first dark retreat here. Severin supported me super well before and after the retreat. I was in there for 10 days feeling save and supported by the surrounding. The food is nice and healthy. I would definitely recommend this place to stay for a (dark) retreat. Make sure you join the morning classes with Severin. They start at 6.30 and take around 2 hours. Its playing with different exercise connecting with yourself.

Jochem van Hessen, Netherlands


I enjoyed every day – this retreat had everything I needed to cultivate inner freedom, love and joy. Being able to reconnect with nature and my heart. I will miss this beautiful place, Emma and Severin, and all the sweet people I met here who changed my life.

Sabrina, Switzerland


My 10 day meditation retreat at Heritage was an all around wonderful experience. The place with the architecturally unique buildings, the countless details of aesthetic beauty, the biodiversity, the abundance of flowers and delicious exotic fruits, the breathtaking view of the lake and the volcanoes, the inspiring teachers, the warm crew and the wholesome food. Can't really put it into words. Thank you to everyone who created this place and filled it with love and life.

David Marek, Germany


The Hermitage is a magical place. I searched several place to do a dark room retreat, The Hermitage really resonated with me and now I know why. The grounds are peaceful and beautiful which sits off the shore of Lake Atitlan. It was a life changing experience and a big part of the experience as The Hermitage and the Staff. Oh, the food was made with loving intention.

Percy Easley, United States


The Dark Retreat is a temple of praise to You, to the most sacred in You. I am deeply grateful for this timeless, limitless experience. I am proud to have set a goal, a personal challenge, and to have met it with confidence. The reward is a great feeling of being alive, and of belonging. Thanks to the ever humble Hermitage.

Radha, Bulgaria


I’ve been going to The Hermitage once a year for 3 years now. It has been such an integral part of walking my spiritual path and allowing me a peaceful, beautiful space to grow. It feels like my Guatemalan home away from home here. The community is kind, the grounds are a little slice of heaven, and the vegetarian food is absolutely amazing! I look forward to returning year after year.

Barrett Perlman, United States


I love this place. It is a beautiful Sanctuary which allows to have the best meditation and solitude retreats surrounded by nature and the sacred Lake Atitlán. The service and food are amazing, full of love and care. Definetly the best conditions to go deeper into your spiritual practice. I just finished there a 30-Day Silent Meditation Retreat with Claudiu Vaduva and has been one of the most profound experiences along the path ❤️🌟🕉 I'll come back for a Dark Retreat for sure.

Blanca Amezcua, Mexico


Words cannot describe how profound this place has been for me. So all I can say is this… the silence will give you what you need if you take the time to get still and truly listen. The Hermitage and what they offer there have changed my life and I am forever grateful.

Hope England, United States


it certainly was an experience like no other. Before entering I tried to keep my expectations low, but it still came as a surprise, the feeling how hard it was to just “be”. If nothing else the dark retreat gave me a new reference point that will be useful for the rest of my life

Klara Havarstein, 


What struck me about The Hermitage was the attention given to all aspects of being on a retreat and respecting ones space and inner silence.  The way in which Severin and Emma have purposefully created this retreat allows one to really delve into the depths of your being.  The food was delicious, carefully prepared to ensure retreaters enjoy a healthy, sattvic diet whilst on retreat. The views were amazing from my cabin and from just about anywhere on the property. It´s also beautiful how Emma and Severin take into consideration their impact on the earth and how they are passionate about supporting the local community and their Mayan workers.  I wanted to marinate in the Self and, as I am not part of any particular lineage, The Hermitage was open and able to support this. Infinite gratitude to this amazing place.

Kaliya, Ireland


Severin and his team have created an incredible experience for all meditators, advanced and novice alike. If you're seeking to reconnect with your inner knowing, this is the place. The property is vertical, perched on a hillside with beautiful landscaped nooks to contemplate nature and be with yourself. The bedrooms are clean and cozy, with comfortable beds and great light. Coming to meditation in the main hall was transcendent every day, with the building view looking out over Lake Atitlan. The morning sunrise is reason enough to visit The Hermitage. I am not alone in my appreciation of the food. 100% vegan (aside from the eggs from the chickens raised on the property) and incredibly fresh using natural, unrefined sugars and whole ingredients. As a vegan myself, I came back to my home kitchen with lots of inspiration. My hat goes off to Severin and his team for maintaining this impeccable space. It's no easy feat, particularly in a country where access to resources are surely not as the US or Europe. I am already planning my return.

Kate McCollough, United States


The specialness of The Hermitage is impossible to put into words - from the incredibly warm, deeply knowledgeable and supportive guidance by Severin, to the space and grounds of this little place of heaven on earth right by the lake, to the nourishing food that is packed with love and goodness. I spent one week at The Hermitage, five days inside the Dark Retreat. This was my first experience of a dark retreat, and I felt supported every step of the way, from the preparation a couple of weeks before all the way to the last day of my integration. For one of the deepest journeys I have gone on so far, I couldn't have wished for a better place and better people. Highly recommended in every way - and I will be back 💛

Jennifer Ziegner, United States


Dear Hermitage Family, Thank you profoundly for creating such a beautiful, divine location that you open up to guests! It is such a blessing to be here and in this magical part of the world. Much love and appreciation, Janice I spent 6 nights and days in the Darkness Retreat, followed by three days in a private room reintegrating back into the light. I felt well taken care of during my stay, and carry a special place in my heart for the beauty of Lake Atitlan, especially when viewed from their meditation hall. This is a magical place, truly. Update: It has been 8 months since I had my Darkness retreat experience at The Hermitage. Whenever I need to go within myself for a sense of peace and calm, my minds eye takes me back to their yoga/meditation studio. I can still recall the sounds of the lake, and the call of the birds; and feeling the gentle breeze on my skin as I would sit there in meditation. Something I also recall during my visit was periodically hearing the sounds of a distant choir singing. I would hear their music being carried in on the wind, and it seemed as if I were hearing Angels. The Hermitage is truly a special place.

Janice Buenafe, United States


The energy radiating throughout the center is nothing short of pristine. Severin and the rest of the staff are open, warm, experienced and most of all – available! The facilities are great, the place is beautiful and the food is hands down some of the best food I’ve had. Also outside of the dark room ;) In a world of constant and often overwhelming amounts of input from all sides – entertainment, therapy and therapists, medicines, drugs – to be in a container with such a well-needed complete lack of input is a rarity and a blessing. With nothing pushing me in any one direction I was able to feel, listen and see aspects of life that I have never been able to before. It is still moving and transforming me – a slow and thorough integration into a new kind of world. If you are in any way drawn to this work – for whatever reason, known or unknown – and you feel like the right time is coming close, I can – with zero reservations – recommend The Hermitage and the container that they provide. One day, I will definitely be back. Thank you!

Emil Schlosser, Danmark


For me, The Hermitage was a piece of heaven on Earth. I stayed for an exquisite 30 days of silence here- soaking in the lovingly crafted gardens (which attract countless species of hummingbirds and magical butterflies!), blissful yoga sessions and peaceful meditations inspired by the most majestic lake and mountain views from the panoramic beautiful hall windows. My bedroom ambiance, pure healthy food, and thoughtful touches made every part of the day a treat. Most of all the quality of service and care for the well-being of all participants was genuinely felt. The program itself was nothing less than life changing. A precious integrity to a greater mission of transformation and love was consistent in my whole experience. I’ll treasure it always.

Melanie St. James, California


What to say?

I spent 8 nights in a darkness retreat here and it was the most beautiful, intense, and profound experience of my life. If you feel called to do it, I can't think of a better place than here at The Lake. Severin (and Emma I'm sure, though she wasn't there at the time) does a masterful job of holding space and facilitating the experience for you, always knowing exactly what you need even if you think otherwise at the time. At first, I was apprehensive about the fact that there was no official 'guided' component to the retreat (in comparison to other centres), but Severin was the perfect guide and was there for emotional support whenever I needed it. The centre itself is stunning — I burst into tears when I emerged from the retreat at just how gorgeous it was. It's truly a little slice of heaven there. Can't recommend the experience, the people, or the place enough.

Jack Campbell, England


My trip to Guatemala and  The Hermitage
There are no words to truly express my trip to Guatemala. It was an experience I’ve never had in my life before and when I came home I felt such gratitude. All the depression and anxiety that I had for years no longer plagued me. I realized there was no longer a need to allow them to plague me. I have so much to be grateful for and that is the true conclusion of my trip. 
The Hermitage is so beautiful; it was like being on an island, it was like Paradise. So many tropical plants and trees and birds, fruit and vegetables.  Such a simple way of living I could never get used to, if I was being honest.  
My darkroom experience prove to me that I had nothing to fear in this life. I truly can conquer anything I put my mind to. Patience was my true was my lesson while surrounded by the darkness. In this life I only needed to take one day at a time, just one moment at a time. Yes I have dreams and aspirations, but are they truly mine or just fantasies I created to escape from the pain of my past and present. The dark room proved to me that I can slow down. I don’t have to dive into everything head first, I can take the time needed to prepare and learn the skills needed in order to be successful. I don’t have to allow other people's urgencies or discouragement to control me. I can think for myself and I can get through anything. I realized in the dark room a lot of my life’s traumas may have been avoided if I had just ask for help. Often as a woman; especially a black woman/mother, culture demands me to be strong and not need help. Those beliefs are the reason why so many women suffer in silence.
 Today I suffer no more! I am free! I am happy and I am loved. I did not used to have these things, but now I have them all because I give them to myself daily. 
For anyone that is considering the Hermitage as a destination, I implore you to do so! You will find exactly what you need, if you go without expectations. With true openness your growth awaits.

Shereka Myers, United States


I’m very grateful and appreciative for Severin, Gisela and everyone at the Hermitage. There is so much Love here! I did a 10-day darkroom meditation and it was absolutely incredible. The entire facilities are overlooking the beautiful Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes. Every moment is so breathtaking and inspiring here. The integration process has been much easier than expected. It’s definitely easy to get caught back up in the go go go pace of this culture and lifestyle. So I am having to remind and even force myself at times to just chill out again and simply Be. The Peace from the experience has definitely carried over, and it’s been much easier to recognize when I’m operating from outside of it and tap back into it. Overall it was one of the best experiences of my Life and I’m Forever Grateful to Severin, Gisela and everyone at the Hermitage. Thank you very much again for encouraging, creating, facilitating, and supporting such an incredible experience. Much Love and Infinite Blessings Family I highly recommend if you are interested in one of their retreats, do not hesitate to hit them up. Everything from the personal ride from Tony from the airport to the Hermitage to the food, culture, surrounding area, the facilities, and everyone at the Hermitage is absolutely one of the best experiences of my Life. Much Love and thank you again!

Chad McKinney, United States


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