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“Don't miss this place”
Review of Zephyr River Lodge

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Zephyr River Lodge
Reviewed January 24, 2011

Actually it's not that difficult to miss as the one thing the owners have yet to do is put up a sign on the road in. and missing it would be really bad luck (it's the first driveway on your left, downhill from the bus drop-off, at the Coca-Cola stall).
It's a wonderful place. Other people have spoken of the views. I agree with all. For me the big draw was the food and the great hospitality and kindness offered by the owners and staff. If they've had problems in the past, they seem to be all cleared up now. I was here about two years ago when they were just getting it off the ground. Pretty much only the brick forno was operating. Now this forno is a major plus. It gets fired up around 6.30 and by 7.30 you can get the best thin-crust pizza I've had outside Rome. For, I think, 35Q. This is also the price of most of the main meals. A great deal! One of the general problems of eating anywhere in Guatemala is trying to get your veggies; not here!
Regular shuttles run pretty much everywhere, including to Semuc Champey. They will pack a lunch for you. Or you can walk the 12 kms and make it not only a beautiful experience but also also a healthy one. They will pack you a lunch for this too. It's still a rowdy place in the evenings, but not STUPID, if you follow me. It's just a great friendly place where you'll rub shoulders with backpackers from all over the world. I'm back in Coban now and plan to return to Zephyr soon, like maybe tomorrow. I just love the food.
But now the drawback: how do you get a reservation? I've been looking but am still thwarted. Must mention this to them when I get back.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled solo
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Thank johnholland4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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531 - 537 of 617 reviews

Reviewed January 17, 2011

A friend of mine made me swear that when I was in Guatemala, I would spend some time in Lanquin, and recommended staying at El Retiro. However, I met a couple in San Pedro La Laguna who had recently stayed in Lanquin, and told me I'd enjoy the atmosphere at Zephyr more.

I stayed at Zephyr for three nights, and luckily wound up scoring the coveted 'window' bed in the dorm room. When my eyes cracked open after my first nights sleep, I literally had to pinch myself. It's like waking up in heaven. I've read a few reviews that knocked the lodge for the 'critters' that reside there. My only encounter with critters were the two baby salamanders playing on the windowsill when i first woke up and the dogs/kittens who kept me company while I lounged on hammocks.

The staff were super friendly and know the surrounding area well. Organizing a day trip to Semuc was a no brainer, and the other days, I joined staff and other guests for some lazy river tubing ( I stayed an extra day just to get in one more tubing session).

While I was there, there was a sudden and massive influx of travelers. Every bed, hammock, and possible floor space was occupied. To top it off, the water ran out, and two of the days I was there, neither flushing toilets nor showering were options. (I was a little bummed, as the open-air showers are one of the most remarkable features of Zephyr). But props to the staff for doing everything in their power to make things as comfortable and fun as possible despite the circumstances.

The owners, Chris and Tomas, have put so much energy into creating a unique spot from which to enjoy the surroundings. Chris is a wonderful cook, and Tomas, albeit a bit of a music snob : ), is a really interesting cat. Chris and he might just bust out his card tricks for you. Because it was so crowded when I was there, the vibe was definitely a little too party-hardy for me at night. But the lodge was in the process of expanding its facilities when I was there, so I imagine that there's a little more room now for P&Q if that's what you're seeking. Oh, and make sure you stay for a night when they're doing pizza in their wood-burning oven. I'm a food writer from NYC, so a thumbs up for pizza is a big deal for me.

As far as the nay-sayers go - here's the thing... Zephyr is not for everyone Yes, it is quite exposed to the elements. Yeah, sometimes things like 'lack or water' or overbooking happen. But, seriously, if you're traveling to a destination that is in the middle of sprawling mountains and not much else in a third-world country, deal with it and enjoy the company of the diverse people and the beautiful gifts that a place like Zephyr has to offer.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled solo
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Thank write817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2011

If you're traveling through Guatemala, Lanquin - and more specific Zephyr Lodge is the place where you wanna spend some nights before continuing to Guate City or Flores/Tikal. Laid back, friendly, great food, excellent views and Brava Extra. Maybe the best lodge in Guate?
Bring cash - you'll need them when you check out.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank saxosammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2011

We stayed at one of their Cabanas (of which there are two), on a hill with panorama view to both sides. The Cabanas were cheap (100 Quetzal/night), but did not include private bathrooms. The public baths and toilets were clean and the view from the baths are spectacular with open views to the valley.

The staff is helpful, although a bit lazy on concept of time (or constantly hungover I am not sure), so things can sometime take quite a while (like getting breakfast, coffee etc.), but the food is good and they are friendly. They also organize trips to Semuc Champey, bat caves and other stuff, and will pack you a lunch.

The atmosphere while we were there were "party and drinks" every night, with loud music (the Cabanas were quite a a bit away so noise was not a problem when we went to bed, but I could imagine it could be in the main building where the private rooms and the dorms are, close to the bar and music) and backpacker friendly.

I would strongly recommend anyone to stay here, whether they want to relax or have drinks or whatever.

Beware that it's difficult to get cash in Lanquin, and hotels (including Zephyr) does not take credit cards, so bring cash. Zephyr will keep a tap open for everything you consume while you are there that you pay upon departure, which is very nice, but means you should have cash ready when leaving or you screwed :)

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank barelyadraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2010

This was by far the best hostel we ever stayed in in our trips!
The rooms and dorms are very simple, clean and comfortable but what makes this place so great is:

- The view from the lodge is amazing. it's sitting on a hill and you can see the forest and mountains.
-The atmosphere is great. You get to meet a lot of other backpackers and can simply chill in one of the hammocks during the day and have drinks at the bar in the evening.
-They also have the best pizzas and (hot) showers in Guatemala which we found was very surprising because, you know, it's in the middle of nowhere.
- Very friendly and fun staff.
- And it was very good value :)

Just be aware that it is in the jungle and you might come across some wild life.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hinanit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2010

We stayed at zephyr to visit semuc champey as everybody does.
We did not actually et to chemuc till after three days because we loved hanging out so much.
The place has beautiful views. Thy have very reasonably priced cabins with fantastic views overlooking the canyon. Even the dorms have nice views! The lofts in the dorm have queen sized beds (almost, but big enough for two).
The food in this place is fantastic! Lots of veggie options and very good wood over pizzas
The staff, julie and dieter work hard, are super friendly and make sure the place is lively during the evenings.

Thanks to all the zephyr lodge staff for a great stay!

Kind regards, Daan & jessie

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank daanvanderelsken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2010

I visited Lanquin/Semuc Champey with friends in November 2010 and was originally going to stay at El Retiro, the other popular hostel in town that was recommended by friends. However, I saw a ton of great reviews for the new place in town Zephyr and also heard good feedback about it from other travelers in Antigua. So we decided to head there instead.

We were very glad we did. The facilities are only a bit over a year old. The dorms were nice and comfortable beds. The showers have a great view - though I hope they will fix the shower heads so that they don't just spray water in all different directions (makes it hard to actually wash anything, especially if you're short like me).

The best food on the menu is definitely the brick over pizza for dinner. Most of the breakfast dishes are good. Try the breakfast shake. Yum.

The tours and buses to other destinations are reasonably priced and the staff operating both the hostel and the tours are all friendly and great.

I definitely recommend the cave and the pools tour of Semuc Champey, which is what most people come here for. But don't forget to bring shoes that can get wet, but are secured to your feet at the ankles (not flop flops). I wish someone told me about this beforehand!

I would recommend Zephyr to all my friends. If you're looking for a great backpacking experience, don't hesitate to stay here. (Try to make a reservation in busy season - the place was booked the second night we were there).

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank smartcooki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zephyr River Lodge

Address: Barrio Equipulas, Lanquin 16011, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Alta Verapaz Department > Lanquin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Lanquin
Price Range: $12 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Zephyr Hotel Lanquin

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