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“Amazing!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Utopia Eco Hotel

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Utopia Eco Hotel
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
90 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I recently stayed at Uptopia Eco Lodge and had an amazing time. John and Pam are fantastic and made our stay incredibly comfortable. We did the chocolate making course, booked our cave and Semuc Champey tour through them, and took a tube ride from Semuc Champey to Utopia. My husband is not vegetarian but loved the food. I could not say anything bad about this place! The staff went above and beyond to meet our requests.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Nicole J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

Our favorite place to stay in all of Guatemala. We went on the cacao and Semuc Champey tours and both were wonderful. All the staff made us feel right at home and we're very accommodating when we wanted to extend our stay. -Luke

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ibsluke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

We had three rooms in total over three nights.

It was anything but luxurious but the view and atmosphere were great. The owner lets the place down with simple things:

- no fire extinguishers to be seen anywhere
- no matches in the rooms - you have to go out and chase a box down if you want light
- towels cost extra - bring your own
- water costs! they charge to fill your own drink bottle. the only drinking water on premises is chargeable. The only time I seen this during two weeks in Guatemala
- some beds were missing sheets - only had fitted where others had both
- no blankets - take a sleeping bag
- food was only vegetarian. it was ok

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mitch G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

Out of all of Central America this would be in my top 2 places to stay. The staff is incredible and the owner and his sister are awesome people. Very easy to sit on their swinging bar seats, have a coffee or a beer, and just shoot the breeze with them. They are very informative about the area around them and have some crazy tales to tell about their past experiences. The vegetarian food is awesome, great veggie burgers.

The rooms are simple as you would expect form a bamboo like house but comfy none-the-less. The beautiful view of the hills and the organic coco plants just add to the list of things I loved about this place. Its a very short distance to Semuc and Utopia will set up guided tours with a fun staff. On the way back you can jump off the bridge and tube back to the hostel. I will say, this was cold, tiring, occasionally painful, and long, but was an adventure in itself. A few river beers helped with the cold.

If I went back to Guatemala I would make sure I visited here again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Egg7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

THOSE ON SPECIFIC DIETS should think twice or plan ahead - while it's all vegetarian food they offer, beware if you are lactose/gluten intolerant (we are both). There is no menu - you get what you are given. So we had to ask them to take things out/put things in the food, which they were totally nice enough to do for us, to the best of their ingredients.

Definitely a beautiful spot - hard not to be. A modern building and the most expensive cabins are nice, but NO HOT WATER for the rest of the guests unfortunately. We slept around - in the dorm and in 2 other of their room options. All more than sufficient. No power in the rooms so you use candles which is actually really nice.

Wifi is pretty on and off - actually off >50% of the time, so don't come here with any urgent work to do or contact to be made, as we had tried and thus failed miserably... But awesome friendly helpful staff who did their best to accommodate us with our specific requests! Definitely big ups on the staff, they were cool.

But... I don't see where they get off calling themselves an eco hostel...? There is absolutely nothing 'eco' about this place... The activities they offer are pretty awesome and lots of fun - they will definitely help you get the most out of the area - but this place is in no way an eco hostel, doing something to positively benefit the surrounding environment... Bit of an advertising green-wash there.

Regardless of any of my complaining I would still recommend checking it out and spending a night or two. It's a wonderful place to wake up and start your day.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Batphone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John h, Owner at Utopia Eco Hotel, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
There are many things that make a place Eco friendly. We do several of them but perhaps you didn't notice.
1 thing that we have worked very hard on is to take care of the river. We have made certain that non of the sewer / black water from Utopia enters the river we have put a very good system in place to handle this,
2 we also recycle all bottles and aluminum cans.
3 We have planted ground cover to prevent run off / soil errosion into the river.
4 We do not use any bug sprays or harmful chemicals on the property
5 we only use biodegradable soaps and cleaning products
6 many of the gray water lines have been routed to water other plants and trees on the property so as to not waste the water since its all taken from a spring on the property NOT from the river.
7 We are also working all the time towards growing as much of our own food as possible. At this time we have planted several hundred, cocoa trees, orange trees, coconut trees, banana and plantain trees, coffee plants, Mango, avocado, papaya, onions tomatoes and other herbs.
So we may not fit into your vision of a ECO property but as I said there are many many things we are doing that people just don't see.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2014

I've probably stayed in close to 50 hostels at this point, and Utopia is one of the nicer ones I've been to. The facilities are beautiful and perfect for taking in all that Semuc and it's surrounding area has to offer. They have a wide of rooms available for all budgets and travel preferences. They also offer very offerdable tours and great meals to fuel you on your excursions.

My friends and I were on a budget and chose to stay in the hammocks. It was a fantastic experience for all of us. We all slept great in the very comfy and well hung hammocks. The open air room offers great views to admire while you rock to sleep. We found it extemely relaxing and got some much needed rest after a nonstop week of backpacking leading up to our stay. The hostel is located right on the river and has a very calming energy.

The food is fantastic! As a vegetarian, I often struggle to find well balanced meals in Latin America. Utopia literally was a vegetarian utopia for me. They serve fantastic meals all day and have a selection of delcious snacks available throughout the day. It is also resonably priced, even though they don't have to be. The hostels in the area are all very isolated and could charge whatever they want being that they are your only option for food. Utopia is serving great quality, filling meals at an extremely affordable price.

I would highly reccomend staying here during your time at Semuc. Most people come in for the minimum number of nights they need to see Semuc and then leave quickly, but I suggest staying an extra night or two. This was hands down the most relaxing and rejuvinating stop on our trip. Give yourself time to unwind at Utopia and really enjoy the beauty of the area. You will not regret it!

Room Tip: Don't fear the hammocks.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 2DollaGin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haifa, Israel
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed in Utopia for two nights, The place is special and has a beautiful view from the rooms. The stuff that peakes you up from Lanquin is irresponsible- they droped our suitcases during the ride and they almost droped a gass baloon that was sent with us to the hotel, this could be very dangerous! The hotel is far from Lanquin so you must buy all your food and drink over there (the prices are quite expensive and the food is not always satisfying). You pay for everything when you checkout and in our case the bill was full of mistakes so note that it might help you to write down everything you order.The place is suitable for couples since it is very quite and beautiful.

Room Tip: The cabins are very nice but the other rooms are not good
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sharon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John h, Owner at Utopia Eco Hotel, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us.
We are 11 km from Lanquin 35-40 min drive and only 2.5 km or 10-12 min drive from semuc champey. If a person is wanting to spend time in Lanquin I guess this could be a problem but very few people that come out to this area are wanting to spend time in Lanquin since there is nothing there. 99.9% of all people that visit this area are coming here for the pools and cave of Semuc champey and we are very close to that. If you stay in Lanquin you have a 45 min ride each way to the pool of Semuc. To me that would be a BIG deal since most of our guests take the tour 1 day and then either ride or walk back to the pools each day after that to just relax and enjoy the place. So as always the choice is yours you can do the rough trip from lanquin once and stay with us and then relax and enjoy hearing the Cahabon river or you can stay in laquin where there is a lot of other noise's and enjoy the rough trip to and from Semuc several times a day.
As for our food being pricey you should look around we are very cheap compared to other places out here. We are cheaper then most places even in Lanquin so please do some homework before you post information that is incorrect.
Hope the rest of your vacation went well
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Utopia Eco Hotel

Property: 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 #3 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Lanquin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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