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“Location, Location, Location !!!”

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Hostal El Portal de Champey
Antigua, Guatemala
Level Contributor
46 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Location, Location, Location !!!”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

The best place to stay in the Lanquin/Semuc Champey area is the Hostal El Portal in Semuc Champey (not to be confused with the little subsidiary with the same name they have in the town of Lanquin 12 kilometers away). The hotel is quite comfortable, and it's located right at the entrance of the park, less than 500 mts away from the entrance to the national park. The setting of the hotel is quite spectacular. And most importantly: 3 of the 4 main attractions of the area (the Semuc Champey natural pools, the river caves and the hike to the to the panoramic view of the pools) are at walking distance. The only main attraction that is a bit far (the Lanquin caves, near the town of Lanquin) will still be on the way to and back from Champey anyway, so you will always have the chance to stop and visit them. I saw 2 really nice hotels in the town of Lanquin (Zephyr and El Retiro). They are probably slightly more comfortable than the Hostal El Portal, but keep in mind that the road from Lanquin to Semuc Champey is very rough and it takes one hour in the back of a pick up truck through a muddy and bumpy road each way. The only inconvenience of staying at Hostal El Portal is that they only have electricity available in the rooms from 6 till 10 PM, and no hot water.....but the location totally compensates these shortcomings, and the weather is quite warm. The acomodations and the food at El Portal are great and the staff is friendly and helpful. Enjoy the beauty of the place at your own pace, and since the attractions are right there, there is really no need to take the organized excursion offered at the place, which will allow you to stay in the pools for only a couple of hours. It's best to explore and enjoy the area at your own pace, so take your time and spend as much as you want in this magic, remote area of Guatemala.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rafaelnovielli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Great people, atmosphere, friendly and funny employees, beautiful view. They have a great central area to hang out, play giant Jenga, and get to know your fellow backpackers. Unfortunately the food is really not that good, and because of its location you are kind of in a pickle. I would advise trying to bring food, at least for breakfast, so you don't need to pay for any crappy meals.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Katie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

We stayed only two days and one night and we liked it!
BUT we kept our bags in our room "Maya I" (under roof of a hut) and in the morning with the staff at the reception to enjoy the Semuc Champey water!
At the end, they stole us 1200 Quetzales (so more than 120 USD) well hidden in our bags!
So instead of rating 5 stars, we unadvise you to go there if you don't want to get stolen maybe more than us!!!!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank SebetAurel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigua
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

the road in was 'difficult' as it had rained recently (offseason)but the staff were great, friendly and helpful. The lodgings were clean, spartan and comfortable. The food was simple but good. The views are excellent and the grounds neat and clean. The electricity is only on from 6pm to 10pm, so bring a flashlight. It was quiet and I liked it.

Room Tip: pick a single room with private bath in advance.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank paladinAntigua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest
Level Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

The hostal is in great location - just next the falls of Semuc Champey. Most people stay in neighbour town Lanquin, and this means they have to take a bus for almost one hour to get to Semuc Champey.

If you stay in El Portal, you do not need to bother, as you are really next door to the waterfalls.

The hostal is a good place to meet people as well. We have met two couples while we were there and both were great fun.

Now, watch out how you book the hostal. If you can, try to book the hostal directly with the staff by calling them, We have heard that doing so is cheaper. We have booked through an agency and paid 200 USD for 2 nights with almost everything included (transport from Tikal, private double bungalow and all the tours in Semuc Champey).

For 200 USD, we thought it was a bit pricey, as the bungalows are very simple. Still, we had a great time there and the staff of the hotel treated us very well.

For booking, Just bear in mind that it is difficult to communicate with them - they only accept phone calls.

Room Tip: If you can, avoid the rooms that have people staying upstairs. Ask for a 1 floor bungalow.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Helviolc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Krusty64
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

Amazing location, but that's about it. Seems power does not always go out at ten. (As we had read before going there) music blared, very very loud, until 10.30. Then the very drunk group that had been trying to keep the party going continued to yell, hoot and holler until shortly after midnight.
Might have better luck depending on the current tourists, but definitely seemed to be flooded with young backpackers traveling with mommy or daddy's credit card and looking to party.
(Also the most expensive beer prices we encountered in guatemala)
But great location

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Krusty64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pilsen, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

We stayed two nights in simple room under roof. No extra comfort (no el. plugins) and we have to use your own moskyo net... but toilets clean.
Price/value/location... good.

Eccelent maya chocolate, recommended to teast.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Václav T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal El Portal de Champey

Property: Hostal El Portal de Champey
Address: Colonia Belen Lanquin, A.V | Semuc Champey, Lanquin 16011, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Alta Verapaz Department > Lanquin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Lanquin
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are an Eco-Hostel located a few meters of the National Park Semuc Champey, the caves of Water (K'amb'a) and the majestic River Cahabon. We offer a variety of options to stay in the midst of nature that offers incomparable peace. We have the best options to take tours with the best prices. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hostal El Portal De Champey Hotel Lanquin

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