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“Owner that cares, stunning location, and more.”
Review of Utopia Eco Hotel

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Utopia Eco Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Simply put, we loved this place.
The owner, John, has created peaceful hostel 3 km from Semuc Champey using wide open architectural spaces, comfy beds, good food (prepped in their own kitchen by John's mom and served family style), and excellent guided tours. Important in this remote location was the transportation (coming in from Tikal and leaving to Lake Atitlan) that John arranged for us.
The place has a good vibe...a very good option for "peaceful adventurers".
We would go back and stay here without a second thought.

Room Tip: "Private nooks" are basic rooms just off the main dorm and are a good choice and price poi...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jeff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 - 325 of 423 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

we were in semuc champey in february.. and have to say this was one of the most memorable stays of our trip. Firstly we calculated wrong and got to semuc only at 2 am at night since we were driving. But when we got there (desperate to find the hotel since you can barely see in the dark) john was a savior. he was so worried that we had not reached there in time. he just showed us to the room.. helped us with luggage.... and even though middle of the night wanted to know if we were up for activities... he asked us to sleep in and not worry about anything .. breakfast will be available and he even offered to just wake us up when needed. the tour was organized and prepped in the morning. the high light of our trip. go with francsico. The most important thing was he helped us get out of the place when we got stuck. It rained and our car could not get out. he towed us all the way to lanquin and had so many of his staff laying the gravel for us to get out. he and pam really make u feel at home and the food was so yummy. i would recommed this place to anyone.......if you go please give them a hug from us.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank png_travelalways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Utopia was a renewal for me. I will be back. The people that run it are down to earth, fun, interested in your enjoyment and ensure you're having a good time without being remotely intrusive - and they're a pleasure to sit in the swing at the bar just talk.

The property is gorgeous. Just breathtakingly beautiful with plenty of creature comforts. I stayed in a river cabin - private shower and bath in the space- and hearing the sound of the river every night, putting me to sleep and waking to it, was just what I needed at this point in my trip. The entire place was clean and well appointed (relative to the fact that you're in the jungle and a 8 hr drive from Antigua).

The food isn't great - it's not terrible, but not enough whole grains and fruit for me to feel as cleansed from a health perspective as I was getting on every other level in this amazing space. I think that is more a matter of timing (the nearest town is 3 hrs away, so visits are every few weeks). That said, a move to fresh corn tortillas and brown rice would be a great addition while working within the considerable constraints geography provides; I can't imagine that most wouldn't pay for those upgrades in a 5-10q up charge. That said, smoothies with fresh frozen fruit were readily available and that was a great daily supplement.

Aside from that one point, the place is warm (even when it's cold out) and that comes from the top down by management. It's a place to make friends, be alone, sit under a tree and watch the river, ride the river, hike to hilltops for views you only read about, anything you want can be found.

Room Tip: I had cabin 3, a private path leads you to a smooth rock on the river with a 300 yr old tree to lean...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Sundaymarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

I stayed at Utopia for 2 nights with two friends in Dec 2012. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. The view is beautiful, the nooks were cute and pretty comfy, the food was good, and the people were awesome. We also did a cave tour and a tour of Semuc Champey with Virgilio, who was great and very fun-loving. The main reason that I chose Utopia was because I wanted somewhere that was quiet at night and I wasn't really sold on any of the other places in the Lanquin/Semuc area based on their reviews. I am certain that we made the best decision in staying at Utopia.

My few minor complaints are these: the showers could have been a little cleaner, it was pretty cold at night when we were there and an extra blanket would have gone a long way (I mentioned this to John and he seemed receptive), we had to walk down the rather steep and muddy driveway when we got there (from what I gather, this isn't common and they were apologetic, plus Virgilio helped with our bags) and the power is not on at night (which I totally understand).

If you are looking for somewhere to stay that is beautiful, comfortable, right on the river, has good food and great company - stay here. You won't regret it. This was by far our favorite experience of our 1.5 week trip through Guatemala.

Room Tip: hammocks and dorm beds are in open air, nooks have a locking door and are private. choose what fits...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jess D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Guatemela was my 27th country and can honestly say Utopia was by far the best place i have ever stayed. I would go back in a heartbeat and wished i could have stayed longer.
1. the location was breath taking, absolutely stunning. we were picked up in Lanquin and brought to the hotel in the back of a truck. It was a very interesting experience arriving to Utopia, the views from the drive was incredible. As soon as we got off the truck we felt instanly welcomed by the friendly accomodating staff.
2. The staff were amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! John was very knowledgeable of getting to and from anywhere in Guatemala and helped us out quite a lot for the next stage in our travels after leaving Utopia. The food was to die for! with very large portions of food which is great when you've come back from a long day of caving or visiting the semuc champey.
3. the tours to semuc champey and caves were a great experience. I was worried about the caves (small spaces and not so confident with swimming) but the guide made me feel safer as he was incredible to follow around in the dark with a candle.
you can rent tubes for 10Q to tube down the river as many times as you want.
4. The private nook was cozy with clean sheets. A little loud at night as it is right over the bar but its really not an issue, when you've been out all day in the sun you'll fall asleep instantly or stay up and drink with the other awesome travelers.
A big thank you to John and the staff for contributing to such a great experience ( :
5. the atmopshere of Utopia was unlike anywhere else i've ever stayed.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CanadAimee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

When we arrived it was dark and we were quite tired after a long ride on many bumpy roads (the one from Lanquin to the Utopia was the last in a row), but as we were there we already know that it was absolutely worth it! We got a warm welcome from John and Pam (the whole staff is really nice and helpful) and got served a good dinner, which is served as a group dinner on the terrace which makes it easy to get in contact with other guests. There is a relaxed and familiar atmosphere which makes you feel kind of home from the first moment on. I stayed in one of the private nooks with a really comfortable bed (the second night I had ants in my bed, but what can you do when being in the jungle...). The next morning we could enjoy the amazing view from the terrace and the beautiful surrounding area.... I wish I could have stayed a little longer to enjoy this little paradise!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Birte_Hamburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We've stayed for 3 nights at utopia. It was a long and bumpy road from antigua to lanquin. But finally we found paradise! The staff is very friendly, all is clean and spotless! The food was amazing, and i love pam's (selfmade) chocolate!

We made the tour to semuc champey. It wasn't that easy as they told us, but it was ok.

The lunchbox was too small for it's price (jugo/small quesadilla, brownie and small chips - all for q25). Next to the entry of semuc champey is a small comedor, i think the food is cheaper and better than the lunchbox!

The other meals were very tasty and good! You can get more if you like.

They have a waterrefill for q2/bottle, great service! The bar is cheap aswell.

The days in utopia were amazing and unforgettable! Thx guys!!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Danielamoser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Utopia Eco Hotel

Address: Utopia St. by the River, Lanquin 16011, Guatemala
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Alta Verapaz Department > Lanquin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Lanquin
Price Range: $3 - $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Utopia Eco Hotel unique tropical accommodation & eco farm set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical gardens secluded from the hustle and bustle and some of the greatest adventures to be had in Guatemala.Whether you are looking for a hotel, hostel or camping or are just passing through and want to spend a few nights vacation on the hidden gem of Semuc Champey, Utopia Eco Hotel is where you will be able to do as much or as little as you like. Situated on the Rio Cahabon, You will find our established Cabanas nestled in amongst exotic flora and fauna providing unique lodge accommodation in Semuc Champey.At Utopia Eco Hotel we offer a wide range of activities; hiking, bird watching, river tubing, caving, Chocolate making classes, Semuc Champey tours, or why not just relax in one of our many hammocks located on the river shore? Everything is within your reach when you stay at Utopia! psThere are NO ATM Machines in Lanquin or the Sumec Champey area & no Credit Cards are accepted anywhere at this time. Note: here at Utopia Eco Hotel we do accept Pay Pal & USD but only bills in good condition. such as no torn or marked banknotes. Our Exchange rate is 7.5. We can also accept credit cards now but only when the internet is working good. ... more   less 

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