Zephyr River Lodge

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Lanquin, Guatemala

Zephyr River Lodge Lanquin Reviews

andrejav andrejav
662 reviews
Zephyr River Lodge Aug 09, 2012
Zephyr River Lodge is a part of the “recommended” group of mostly party hostels that market themselves together all over Guatemala. You will see posters and information about these hostels in most of the touristic areas of Guatemala and generally they are mostly priced couple dollars more than other options in the area, but they are supposed to stand for the quality cheap lodging (which is not always the truth).

Zephyr Lodge is located on the top of the hilly slope 300m from the town center. They bought the whole hill and made really special and mystical hostel. Everything would be idyllic for backpackers if they did not try to make it “exclusive” party hostel which kinds of double for exclusive night club where they think that you are honored by entering the premises... I am not sure if they were only rude with me, but their staff is really terrible, rude and crude.

Reservations are recommended because most of the people get “stuck” in the beautiful setting and stay there for longer time. I was in the dorm above the bar area which was an interesting experience. This building harbors restaurant and bar on the bottom floor, second is reserved for office library and storage area, and on the top just under the straw roof, bunch of mattress on the floor doubled for dorm. Sleeping there is tough because whole building is built on loosely connected wooden beams and they shake when there is movement on the bottom floors. Imagine someone shaking your bed every minute or so trying to wake you up… that is the feeling of sleeping there. If you can avoid this dorm, other sleeping options in cabanas and adjacent buildings seemed to be fine. Showers are open on the one side with the amazing view and this is one of the highlights. It is surreal to watch golden sunsets while taking relaxing shower.

Experience of the surrounding nature is the most memorable thing about this place. It is simply fantastic to wake up in the morning, lie in the hammock and watch fog slowly disappearing from the sun attacks and all shades of green appear…

Dorm is 45Q which is some kind of standard price for this area. In hostel they offer overpriced tours to Semuc and for tubing on the river. It is much better to go to tours with locals, pay less for the tour and give money directly to the local community. Transportation to other cities is also offered here, but it is around double the price of local transport.

Tours were one of the issues that I have with this place. Staff members are using super hard sell in order to get more people to go, and I was approached at least 10 times during my first day with “you should get on the list right now or we won’t have any space left latter”… Everything you do in the hostel is also subject to 10% gratuity fee for staff that are by their statement “volunteers”. I do not know what is that all about but it is just strange... Most of the staff members were in the bad mood or drunk without much of the ability to take correct food order, yelling at each other and the customers, not being able to check you in and out… but that is enough about that.

Anyway, I got out of the hostel when the guy working at the reception yelled at the server (local lady that was trying to take food order) and told her that “she can’t speak any English so she better go back to kitchen”. Made me so sick that I immediately asked him to check out, and I moved to another hostel in town which came out to be good move (that process took him 30min…).

Aside of really fantastic surrounding I can’t recommend this hostel to anyone until their management or staff change...
Hostel :)
View from the bar...
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