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“Great place to stay in GC” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Quetzalroo

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Quetzalroo
6ta Avenida 7 - 84 zona 10, Guatemala City 10110 , Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Brisbane
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great place to stay in GC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Very well run hostel! Don't expect just to rock up here... it isn't really signposted out the front (on purpose apparently) and you would be crazy not to take advantage of the free pick up! At least then you know you will arrive safely (Guatemala City is a pretty dodgy place...)
They had a BBQ the night we were there and it was amazing - highly recommend it (although we ended up waiting until 10pm to eat...)
Great warm, friendly atmosphere and the staff are really helpful. :)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Only stayed the one night but after a pretty rough day of travelling it was nice take refuge in such a friendly and secure hostel. I would recommend any traveller passing through Guatemala City to let the guys at Quetzalroo take care of you. It will save you a lot of stuffing around and leave you with a good impression of this crazy city!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

I don’t typically write Internet reviews, however my experience at Quetzalroo has so far surpassed any expectations I had for a hostel that I wanted to share my experience.

I’m currently traveling by motorcycle from the U.S. through Latin America. I’m currently more than 10,000 miles and almost three months from home and I have stayed in a variety of hotels, hostels and homes ranging from full-on resorts to some pretty decrepit motels in border towns. I can say, without reservation, that my stays (yes, I’ve been back) at Quetzalroo have been my favorite. Even considering a year spent backpacking through South East Asia in the mid-2000s and a number of trips to various parts of the world in the meantime, my stays at Quetzalroo rise to the top of my budget travel experiences.

While the hostel is impeccably clean and secure (including parking, a huge plus for me), offers free airport pick-up/drop-off and is located in a nice, walkable neighborhood in Zone 10 (use common sense, this is still the capital city of a developing country), it is the staff at Quetzalroo that makes staying there so special. Quetzalroo is located in a multi-level building that, at least in the U.S., you’d expect to find packed with dentist offices. In fact, there may be a dentist or some other medical professional in the building but Quetzalroo appears to have the majority of the rooms over three floors, which creates a cool layout; there’s also a small roof deck.

The hostel is owned/run by Manuel and his family (mom, sister and brother). They go out of their way to engage with their guests and make them feel like they are part of the family. A lot of hostels try to do this, but I’ve never before stayed at a hostel which has so naturally and successfully cultivated this family atmosphere.

On the day I arrived Marco (Manuel’s brother), Nicha (Manual’s sister), and William, who I think can best be described as part tour guide and part social director (roles he fills with considerable success), had planned a dinner at a nearby restaurant followed by drinks at a local bar. Note there is no restaurant at the hostel itself, but there are plenty of nearby options.

I’ve stayed at hostels which organize guest dinners before, but they often end up feeling like the staff is forced to usher the guests around town while they prefer to be somewhere else (and thus often disappear over the course of the evening). What made this experience unique was that guests and the staff and their friends were in nearly equal numbers. The evening felt more like they were extending us an invitation to get to know them and their friends rather than having arranged something to occupy our time. That most of us climbed into the minibus to head to dinner/drinks was subtly reminiscent of, as a child, hopping the minivan on a family outing.

The evening was an absolute blast and I appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to meet people who live in Guatemala City as well as other travelers. Remarkably, the evening was achieved casually without feeling at all like organized fun.

The following day I and a few others took the walking tour of the city, which was led by the aforementioned William. From my experience on the walking tour, I highly suggest spending a day or more in Guatemala City rather than just transiting through. It’s a vibrant city with interesting history, beautiful architecture, cool nuances and incredibly friendly people. In the evening Nicha and William took us out for dinner/drinks, it easily evolved into another very fun evening.

I headed for Antigua Guatemala after two nights at Quetzalroo but needed to return to Guatemala City a couple of days later to deal with my motorcycle; I never even considered booking a room elsewhere. Further, the Quetzalroo staff couldn’t have been more helpful in arranging transportation to and providing recommendations for Antigua; they also answered questions while I was in Antigua.

I returned to Quetzalroo and had another fun evening, this time at a club with cumbia dancing and live music. William and his friends actually outnumbered the guests, but we always felt welcome and it provided an opportunity to become immersed in the city’s nightlife.

I’m currently traveling around other parts of Guatemala but am already looking forward to returning to Quetzalroo when I’m next in Guatemala City. The ability of the staff to regularly integrate guests into their lives and the lives of their friends creates an enriching experience I’ve not found at any other hostel. That they are able to do so naturally and without making activities feel manufactured or forced is truly unique. Whether on the walking tour during the day or out at night, they consistently choose fun and dynamic places to experience a city that is quickly becoming one of my favorites in Latin America. Quetzalroo deserves a lot of credit for helping to shape my overwhelmingly positive experience in Guatemala City and I recommend it without reservation.

In addition to the review above, I wanted to address some of the negative comments that have cropped up in other reviews as they are at best unfair and many are, quite frankly, false.

Nell188: “The dorms are ridiculously overpriced for what they are (even with the small discount we received for the stuff up) - the mattress protector makes it very squeaky and the top bunk is slanted so you're restricted to one side of the bed.”

While Q145 for a dorm bed is high relative to other cities in Guatemala, it’s not off-market for Guatemala City. Quetzalroo is priced near the upper end for hostels in the city, but considering the cleanliness, security and location, even without the wonderful staff, I think the price is fair. I can’t comment on the top bunk, but I did not notice any mattress protector on my bed, nor did I hear anyone else’s.

RichardL: "Hot showers - Nope, There's a note in the shower that says 'Less water pressure means hot water'. It was drizzling and icy cold."

Please, learn how to use the shower or ask if it’s not working for you. Using the water heater isn't difficult, although it admittedly does take some practice. The type of water heater Quetzalroo uses is pervasive throughout Latin America in hostels, hotel and also in peoples' homes. Its use is well documented on the Internet; it's a shower, not an MRI machine.

http://johnnyvagabond.com/travel-tips/survive-suicide-shower/
http://roadspill.blogspot.com/2011/02/suicide-shower-explained.html
http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/story/1533/Argentina/The-Latin-American-Suicide-Shower
http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Suicide_Shower
http://travel-addict.co.uk/whos-afraid-of-the-suicide-shower/

RichardL: "Continental Breakfast - Nope, for breakfast we had toast and a banana, prepared by 2 Guatemalan women whose only job is literally to put bread into the toaster and hand you a banana."

The Quetzalroo website quite clearly states: "Continental breakfast consisting of toast (you can add vegemite if you like), fresh fruit and tea/coffee." I suppose it depends on which country on the continent one is talking about, but it's pretty close to what you get in, say, France (on the continent). The "two Guatemalan women," Blanca and Hilda, also clean the hostel, answer the phone, greet guests, etc., they're also incredibly nice and friendly if one takes the time to speak with them, rather than views them as little more than food dispensers. They do quite a bit more than put bread in the toaster and hand out bananas.

RichardL: "There's a sign saying please wash your own dishes."

Yes, as there is in most hostels across the world with a shared kitchen.

RichardL: "Clean Beds - Nope, our sheets and pillows smelled like body odor and the room was filthy. I was scared to even walk around barefoot. They even make you pay to fill your water bottle."

In my experience, there's nothing here that is even partially true. The hostel is incredibly clean and the bedding is replaced after every guest leaves. Go up on the roof deck during the day and you can see the washed sheets from the previous night’s guests drying in the sun. The beds are clean, period. This from someone traveling with an often-used sleep sheet and camp pillow; I've never even felt the urge to use either at Quetzalroo. They also don't charge for water, at least not during my stays.

RichardL: "Not to mention the 'Walking Tour' they will try to sell you on."

I don't understand the quotes here unless the city bus (one of the new green and yellow ones) you take to the Centro to begin the tour technically disqualifies it as a walking tour; the tour is also free and quite optional. I found that the tour introduced me to some very interesting parts of the city and took a very thoughtful route. Had I walked to the same places on my own with just a guide book, I would have been meandering around the city for quite some time.

RichardL: "Also, they put everything in dollar terms to make it seem cheaper."

The website does give prices in dollars (e.g., $17.99 for a dorm bed) and the FX rate isn’t current. Nevertheless, when I booked my room, I was quoted Q145 for a bed in the dorm in Quetzals and that's what I paid. I don't understand the "make it seem cheaper" comment. FX rates are easy enough to find, just multiply or divide.

RichardL: “Third, No one affiliated with this place, and I mean no one, has any connection to Guatemala whatsoever. They have one Guatemalan employee who basically is the guy who drives everyone to the airport at all hours of the night and picks everyone up. I don't know when this guy sleeps. The owner, Manuel, claims he's from ‘around’ Guatemala but once you hear him speak you will realize that is a blatant lie along with everything else they promote about their hostel.”

Manuel and his family are quite certainly Guatemalan, as are the women who help prep breakfast and clean the hostel. William, who guides the tours and puts a ton of effort into helping guests have an enjoyable time in Guatemala City, is also Guatemalan. "The guy who drives everyone to the airport," Antonio, is indeed Guatemalan, that part is true. I can only assume the "once you hear him speak" comment was an underhanded reference to Manuel's accent, or relative lack thereof, when speaking English. The apparent ignorance of this comment says a lot about RichardL’s entire review.

It’s unfortunate when someone with an axe to grind takes to a public forum with misinformation and raw fabrication and I hope I’ve fairly addressed any concerns that people considering hostels in Guatemala City may have. Quetzalroo’s overwhelmingly positive ratings are well-deserved.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

2 Girlfriends and I arrived in Guatemala City on 12/21/2012 and made Quetzalroo our base camp in Guatemala because of the impeccable service we received. Marcos was helpful from the moment we arrived. He laid out all there was to do in ALL of Guatemala (not just Guatemala City). He drew a map of Guatemala, showed us videos, & was most helpful in making arrangements for a rental car and a place to stay in all the cities we'd planned to visit. We could have been happier about spending Christmas Eve at Quetzalroo with live music (all the visitors free-styling), $8 million spent on fireworks to light up the city at midnight and best of all, his Mother's authentic home-cooked tamales! Thank you for making us feel so welcome and showing us a true local experience in Guatemala!!! xoxo

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timbuktu, Mali
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

This hostel takes customer service to new levels. It all starts with an airport pick up. The owner is a walking, talking lonely planet and advises you on where to go in the country, where to stay, and how to get there. In the evenings if you wish to eat at the hostel they provide excellent food and this a great way to meet your fellow travellers. This is a hostel so the rooms are in dorm style and even with the best will of your fellow travellers this is not the place to stay if you want to have relaxing lay ins every morning. Having said this Guatemala City is a place you have to sample before heading off to Guatemala's more famous and splendid sights and if you want to stay somewhere that is safe, clean and central then this is the place to be. Excellent value for money and when I return to Guatemala I will not hesitate to stay here again!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pilsen, Czech Republic
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

Amazing services, they puck up you at the airport, ant get to the hotel. Before arrive we get lot of information for comfortable arrive. Thay helps you to plan the trip All people there were wery friendly.

Hotel is quite, we stayed in dorm. Average room,the price of dorm was higher, but the services around was really good (include the transfer to bus station at the evening).

Simpli, I can recommand this place, as a good start of Guatemala trip.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Great people and good location, the owners are very knowledgable about the city and local history. A good bet is a city tour with Marcos to get a true taste of the misnomer that is Ciuadad Guatemala. Nice bonus is secure parking.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Quetzalroo

Address: 6ta Avenida 7 - 84 zona 10, Guatemala City 10110 , Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Guatemala Department > Guatemala City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Guatemala City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 31
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Also Known As:
Quetzalroo Guatemala/Guatemala City

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