We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unique piece of paradise”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
The Round House Hostel
Ranked #2 of 11 Livingston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Antigua, Guatemala
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Unique piece of paradise”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

I only had time for two nights at The Round House or I would happily have stayed weeks. Dani and Chris could not have been more welcoming, fun, and hospitable hosts from our first meeting, and the hotel itself is something not to be missed. Built into the jungle, The Round House feels like part of its natural surroundings, and there is no shortage of activities from it's prime location. We drank cold beers in a hammock under the stars, swam off the dock and laid around in the sun, kayaked just a short distance to hotsprings and caves, and enjoyed the delicious family-style dinners the hotel staff prepared. Plan for a week or more at The Round House!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JessButt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    100
    10
    4
    2
    1
See reviews for
2
42
31
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leon, Nicaragua
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

It starts with a boat trip up the river that will be the highlight of your day - the jungle rising out of the river on both sides, dwarfing the boat, is spectacular and not to be missed. And then you arrive at the Round House. It's a funky space designed to welcome nature and blend with the natural environment. It's a very special place and the owners are warm, helpful and accommodating and can tell you lots of interesting things about the local area. You can lounge in their nicely decorated common areas, swing on the hammocks, borrow their kayaks, or just enjoy the view from the dock. The food is great, there's lots of beer and other alcoholic beverages if you want them and you can comfortably join the group or relax on your own. I should also note that the whole place is clean as a whistle and, while they do have dogs, they are well behaved and don't intrude on the guests space. I didn't find the bugs a problem at all - I had a great nights sleep in one of the well appointed private rooms (the dorms looked very nice too). I'm a little older than the average backpacker but I'd heard this place was not to be missed . . . and I'm glad I went. I felt completely comfortable and welcomed from the start! Oh, and they don't have wifi, so get your e-mails out of the way before you go so you can enjoy the solitude and relax!

Room Tip: The private rooms are a great deal!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank International_Mel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014 via mobile

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Round House while visiting Guatemala and it was an amazing experience. When we first arrived at the Rio Dulce dock, Chris was already waiting for us with his boat to drive us to the hostel. Once we arrived at the hostel, we immediately fell in love with this place. Their private dock with floating tubes right on the river was perfect place to enjoy our vacation. Family style dinner was never a disappointment and their homemade sausage sandwich was the best!

You can rent out kayaks to explore the river; go check out the waterfall and hot springs! they let you kayak to livingston and they take your personal belongings on their boat which will be waiting for you once you get to livingston!

Staff is amazing! It's a great getaway! Private rooms are comfortable and they have the dorms upstairs!

Definitely a place to stay when in Rio Dulce!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Sean P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kemah, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Based on a recommendation (thanks Stuart at Casa Nostra restaurant in Livingston) and a quick glance at TA I made arrangements for a night visit to the jungle lodge on the Rio Dulce. Chris, the proprietor met me at my hotel and with a fellow traveler we boarded his panga and headed upriver. A nights say ended up as three nights. This is a remarkable spot to relax or take in the variety of activities. There’s plenty of room to join in at the bar or find solitude. Above the bar/kitchen/dining area are three private rooms, a community area. The spacious dorm room is on the third level. My stay was in a private room but I would have been comfortable in the large dorm area. The toilet and shower building was just up the hill. The entire complex was spotless. Delightful variety of guest and bar patrons.
Congrats to Chris and Danni who have crafted/carved out of the jungle a lodging spot like no other. The recent posts speak to their hospitality, commitment and continual hard work. I will not repeat the praises written by others but must say GREAT food and dam good home-brew beer.
Ps – In the entire three days I only saw a couple of bugs and left with no bug bits. I never used the bug netting hanging above the bed.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank paulsmith77565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

This was the first hostel that I stayed in during my 3 week trip in Guatemala.

I was a bit worried because this was my first hostel stay and I solely decided to stay because of a random reference I received on a travel forum. I was also second guessing my decision to commit 5 nights to a hostel that I didn't know anything about. (I was such a newbie, that I didn't even bother to look at reviews on trip advisor)

However, when I arrived here, all my worries melted away. Chris and Dani were the nicest host I could've possibly asked for. They were knowledgeable and always around to answer any questions, they were so easy to talk to, they were helpful in me getting acclimated to a new environment alone. Their easygoing nature made myself and all the other guests forget about whatever worries we might have had.

The boat ride on Rio Dulce to arrive to the hostel was beautiful and being away from everything made for the long stay that much enjoyable. Swimming in the river, kayaking to the natural hot springs, reading a great novel in the hammock, and watching for a manatee in the river were just some things I got to do during my stay.

This hostel doesn't have wifi and that might be a deal breaker for some, but personally, I loved the fact that they didn't have wifi. It forced me to pay attention and enjoy the now, not what is going on thousands of miles away back home in the states. If I needed to use internet, Dani had a laptop that anyone could use.

Also, their food.... The family style dinner with everyone made dinner so enjoyable. Having delicious freshly prepared food doesn't hurt either.

To Chris & Dani, I want to thank you for making my stay so memorable. I hope that everyone will get to enjoy this place as much as I did.

P.s. Bring a good book or two!

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Brian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed January 1, 2014

I went with my girlfriend a few months back.

We got picked up in Livingstone by Chris, the owner - and the hilarity ensued. This guy is a legend, and he runs his establishment with Dani amazingly. We were going to stay for one day, ended up staying a week.

Cheap food - family style dinner - and delicious. All homemade and locally inspired. They make their own bread. And they have this delicious Tiger Sauce - it blew my mind.

The Place is unbelievable. 2 Story, Literally Round, House - it's a lodge in the middle of the jungle, solar powered. Great showers, great toilets and Chris is a master craftsmen building new additions all the time. We stayed in the private rooms which were quite fantastic - large and the beds were great.

The scenery here is unlike anywhere I've seen so far - the Roundhouse sits on the Rio Dulce, and has a dock with kayaks and canoes available to roam around the river. My girlfriend and I went for a long paddlin' through the river and ended up at this glorious sulfur hot springs, located next to a series of caves.

The best part about this was Dani and Chris. They were fantastic hosts, inspiring us with their worldly stories and outlooks on life. It was the best conversation of our month long trip.

All in all, this place can't even get rated with numbers, because they won't do it justice. If you're going to Guatemala go to the Roundhouse.

Room Tip: Private rooms are sweet. Dorms are wide and spread apart.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandro_Pehar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Thank you very much for taking us into account in your trip we hope you have enjoyed it and we are very happy with your comment we try to do our best
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 1, 2014

First off, let me preface this review by saying that I am a complete jerk for waiting a whole three months to review this wonderful place. I probably deserve to be banned for life (but please don't - I don't think I could survive without this place and these people in my life!). It has become my happy place where I go in my mind when the Canadian winter just becomes toooo much.

We arrived at the Round House with the intention of staying one night before continuing on to Guatemala City. Before we knew it, "just one more day" turned into more than a week! Staying here was by far the highlight of our time in Guatemala, and we are now in the process of planning a return trip exclusively for the purpose of spending more time in this paradise.

The minute you step off the boat, you know you are in a special place. The gardens on the property are absolutely spectacular, and the buildings are truly incredible. It is immediately apparent that a lot of love, care, and attention to detail went into the construction of the Round House - the beautiful woodwork will astound you every morning when you wake (to the songs of birds and insects, of course). The beds are comfortable, the rooms clean, and the common areas perfect for lounging around and talking with fellow travelers, the awesome owners, and the steady stream of locals and expats who stop in for a beer and some conversation. And the bathrooms, the bathrooms! I haven't seen better in a hostel/guesthouse. After years of traveling I've become accustomed to run-down cement shower stalls, so it was a lovely surprise to find shared bathroom/shower facilities that were clean, well-maintained, and comfortable.

The atmosphere at the Round House is unique and special. It is hard to describe, really. It manages to be relaxing and peaceful without the stuffiness of some "retreat" hotels, while at the same time being a fun, laid-back, social place without the traditional fall-down-the-stairs-and-puke-on-your-bunk type of environment found at a lot of "party" hostels. If you're an adventurous and social traveler who loves a good beer, good conversation, and a beautiful setting, then this is your mecca. If you're really lucky, Chris will have some of his excellent home-brews on hand for your visit - if he doesn't drink them all before they reach maturity, that is! (One of these days, Chris, one of these days).

By far the highlight of our visit was the atmosphere that the wonderful owners Dani and Chris have cultivated. Their kindness and hospitality will make your trip! From the day we arrived we felt less like guests and more like we were visiting good friends. Chris and Dani are well liked and respected in the Rio Dulce community, as evidenced by the steady stream of friends who pop by for a beer and some smiles. They're a great source of local knowledge/information on the river, and are the kind of people you could sit and chat with all day (which we did). Lots of laughs, great conversation, Bob Dylan sing-alongs, and hilariously intense poker games were had by all!

If you're in the Rio Dulce/Livingston area, do yourself a favor and stop by the Round House. Even if you don't spend the night, swing by for a beer and one of their yummy sandwiches! You won't regret it.

Thanks for everything, Chris and Dani. Looking forward to seeing you guys again someday!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joni S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rashels, Gerente at The Round House Hostel, responded to this review, March 11, 2017
Many thanks for such good comments we hope your visit again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Livingston
0.6 mi away
Hotel Finca Tatin
Hotel Finca Tatin
#1 of 9 in Livingston
346 reviews
4.1 mi away
Hotel Villa Caribe
Hotel Villa Caribe
#2 of 9 in Livingston
262 reviews
14.3 mi away
Amatique Bay Resort & Marina
Amatique Bay Resort & Marina
#1 of 3 in Puerto Barrios
170 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
17.2 mi away
Hotel Mansion del Rio
15.4 mi away
Catamaran Island Hotel
Catamaran Island Hotel
#5 of 9 in Livingston
125 reviews
1.1 mi away
El Hotelito Perdido
El Hotelito Perdido
#1 of 18 in Rio Dulce
150 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Round House Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Round House Hostel

Property: The Round House Hostel
Address: | Aldea Piedra Pintada, Livingston, Rio Dulce 18002, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Izabal Department > Rio Dulce > Livingston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Livingston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Roundhouse is a social place with family-style dinners. We're located right on the beautiful Rio Dulce in the rain forest. The canyon, caves and hot springs are all nearby. Swim, hike, kayak, sunbathe or just take a hammock and watch the river life. We've got a great book exchange and enough hammocks to read. Or if you're up for a drink: there is also a well-stocked (Tequila!) bar. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, HostelWorld and Priceline so you can book your The Round House Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Round House Hostel Guatemala/Livingston

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing