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“Bring your own mosquito net: owner doesn't care about your health”

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Hospedaje Tipico El Retiro
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bring your own mosquito net: owner doesn't care about your health”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

The place is very pretty right by a river with lots of flora around you. The tours are very nice, and while priced a bit above local prices, our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. The rooms are simple and very lacking. We paid for hot water and a private bathroom. The bathroom is totally open to the outside, which invites a ton of mosquitos. I have at least 30 bites on my legs alone.it would have been better to have netting or at least the possibility of closing the bathroom door. It didn't have a latch or doorknob installed, and always stayed open at least 2 inches besides the huge space below it, which gave the Mosquitos full access to feast on you at night. We asked for a fan because of the heat and because they keep Mosquitos away. The owner did nothing, not even an apology or alternative. My boyfriend and I never stay in 5-star hotels and can be very happy with the minimum, but there aren't even hooks in the bathroom to hang your towel. Not being able to close the bathroom door meant it wasn't very "private". The food is very good and reasonably priced, but a fan or mosquito nets are necessary. The hot water is warm, but warm enough I would say, and if I were picky on anything it would be hot water.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alycia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
elmer00, Manager at Hospedaje Tipico El Retiro, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
We are very sorry you didn’t enjoy your stay with us. We truly do our best to make sure everyone enjoys their stay, so we were disappointed to read your complaints. I’d like to address your complaints individually:
We are currently buying and putting mosquito nets into each room. This won’t be a problem in the coming weeks.
The rooms are, indeed, simple... but the word “lacking” is a bit much. We adore the rustic-ness of our cabanas and we feel that it matches the tranquil feel of our laid-back, jungle location. I have absolutely no idea what bathroom you describe in your review as each of our bathrooms, I can assure you, have a door that fully closes with a latch (usually more than one latch, in fact!) Again, I am not sure which bathroom you are speaking of because all of the bathrooms have hooks and towel racks.
Lastly, we will soon have fans available for each room ... this is a very new complaint to us as, usually, the nights get pretty chilly.
We wish that next time you are unsatisfied you would ask to speak with the manager. We are certain that the person you spoke with was not the owner if you are claiming there was “no apology or alternative” as that is not the way we do business. We are sorry you were not fully satisfied with your stay and we wish you luck with the rest of your trip.
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436 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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2013

I was reading the rewiew before how somebody was complaning about this place before. I think that when you are traveling you have a budget. Obviously that person wanted everything for nothing.

We stayed in a private cabbana and yes, we had a mosquito nest and the bathrooms were close enaugh. The all campside is amazing, full of flowers, wery quiet, only you hear the river and the birds. The restaurant is just beside the river and the candelllight dinner is for everybody at 7:30 bufe stile with a variety of dishes soo you get a chance to talk to other people, just like a big family.

They organize everything: transfers, shuttles, tours.
So, bottom line they are reliable, helpfull, friendly,... the whole place just like our room was clean and very importantly nothing has dissappierd from the room

I loved that place and would reccoment it for sure
I

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Boszi_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

My biggest compliant is there are no mosquito nets, I was bitten alive despite burning coil and an electric plug thing. They need mosquito nets....they are in the jungle, next to a river and the shacks are above the grass!

The room was rustic, as expected but they have tried to maximise revenue by putting a nook above the private rooms. A guy rocked up late and woke us up climbing into the nook above as the whole building shakes, we also awoke when he went to toilet in the night and climbed down. Earplugs can block out the music from the bar and the walking above you but not a building that rocks!

The toilet block was 75m from our room, so a bit of a trek in the night and the showers cold despite the electric shower device.

When you are there you are a captive audience and the prices reflect that with beer 20 compared with 6 to 10 outside the complex. Tours and shuttles are also c15% higher than other operators in town.

A lady that worked there was less than helpful when we ran out of local currency and asked if we could book a shuttle with dollars. Which was a shame as we spent a decent amount of Quetzals with them and was the reason we needed to pay in dollars.

Some positives to finish on, the food is very good there. They do a big meal every night for a set price. The setting is lovely next to a river.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tomtay007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
elmer00, Manager at Hospedaje Tipico El Retiro, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
First of all, we are very sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. We truly do our best to make everyone’s stay as enjoyable as possible. I’d like to address your complaints specifically:
We are currently in the process of buying mosquito nets and equipping each bed with them. This will no longer be a problem in the next few weeks.
The nooks above the private rooms have nothing to do with maximizing revenue -- as you will see on our website we offer 4 room options that increase in price: dorm room, semi-private room, private cabana, and private room with bathroom. The semi-private rooms are priced JUST BARELY above the dorm (only 5Q, which is less than $1), but VERY much lower (50Q lower) than the private room. This is because we realize they are not 100% private but they absolutely do allow you to escape from sharing a room with 11 other people.
We are sorry that you think the bathrooms were too far away from the rooms, we have never had that complaint before. In fact, we pride ourselves on the openness of our property and people tend to love the fact that it is not crowded or too small.
We are also sorry that you think our prices are too high. It is general knowledge that a beer at a bar costs more than buying a beer at the supermarket. With this, we cannot argue. However, it is a fact that our drink and food prices are significantly cheaper than the other hostels in Lanquin. As for our tours and shuttles, we charge you the price that it costs us for transport and entrance fees, and then we add 15Q-20Q for the guide. Our guides are local people who make it their job to be tour guides -- they are not trying to rip you off or take your money, they are working for their living and, yes, we pay them accordingly. If someone in town is offering you a cheaper price, that is because they are willing to take home less money for themselves. For our shuttles, we work only with trusted, safe drivers who care about getting our guests to where they need to be. They will not drop you on the side of the road in Antigua or Flores as many agencies will, they will escort you directly to your hostel or wherever it may be that you are headed. For that, I personally think it is worth the few extra quetzales our shuttles may cost.
We are sorry that a member of our staff was not as helpful as you would have liked when it came to the currency issue. We get frustrated ourselves as there is no ATM in town and it is difficult to always be able to provide correct change for each guest. We do our best, but we do offer for you to pay with a credit card at our hostel, which is a rare service for many parts of Guatemala.
We are very happy that you enjoyed our food as we really enjoy cooking differently-themed buffets for our guests every night. I am sorry everything was not up to your standards. Next time, if you are unhappy, I wish you would have asked to speak to a manager and allowed us to alleviate the problems before you had left. I wish you luck on the rest of your trip.
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East of England
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

This place is brilliant! The staff are awesome and very friendly, the food is great, they have loads of trips you can do - I particularly recommend tubing down the river on a sunny afternoon, very relaxing and fun. I also recommend using the sauna, it's built out of bottles for windows which are totally cool, and it's heated by fire wood so you can stay in there for ages, then jump in the river, then get back in the sauna which heats for hours! The rooms are lovely, try and get one with a hammock outside and watch the world go by! all in all, a wonderful stay, recommended to couples, single back packers and group - 5 stars!!!

Room Tip: If you want privacy, choose a double room on it's own further away from the shower blocks, it...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kc140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

I have wonderful memories of El Retiro Lodge. The lodge is like a little village of wooden cabins (cabañas) with verandas, overlooking the river from the hillside. It's idyllic. The cabañas are on stilts on the grass and are interconnected by pathways that take you to the reception area, hammock space, bathrooms and restaurant. The place really takes you into nature and so is full of surprises: I woke up to find a donkey grazing below my veranda one morning. There are hammocks everywhere which makes the atmosphere very laid back. There are also open areas to enjoy the sunshine with beautiful flowers by the riverside. It's a very comfortable place ot stay and although I was sharing a room, it never felt like a hostel.

It's a tranquil place to be but you will never get bored because they host so many activities. The tours are amazing. I went into the caves with Josue as the guide and it was magical: exploring the underground pools lit by only candlelight. An unforgettable experience. Then there are more adrenaline fuelled activities like bridge-jumping, zip-wiring, white-water rafting and tubing (well, that's quite peaceful really: drifting down the river in a big innertube).

The food is fantastic, and the nightly vegetarian dinners make it a really sociable place to stay. You sign up for the evening meal and help yourself to a freshly made buffet at dinner time. In the morning they serve fruit salads and crépes with banana and nutella (dangerously good). I put on a few pounds here!

It's just a short way from Semuc Champey, one of the most stunning places I've ever been. It's well worth the steep climb up to the mirador when you go there: the view took my breath away. Bathing in the turquoise rock pools surrounded by the lush jungle in this steep valley makes you feel like you are in some kind of tropical fairytale. Amazing.

This area of Guatemala is a bit off the beaten-track, but well worth the de-tour. I would recommend staying for 3 or more nights and making the most of a good rest between the odd adventure or tour in this little haven.

It's all set up to be eco friendly, with composting toilets so as not to pollute the river (they are really clean) and built with materials that have minimal impact on the environment. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice long hot shower though (although you may not need it ... it's pretty hot out there).

Have fun!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Gabi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

I've stayed 2 times there, 2 years between them. The place just got better! The rooms are great, showers and toilets are good and clean. The staff if really fun and friendly and they employ local people, which is good. This place has the best tours I ever took! I mean anywhere in the world so I highly recommend. The restaurant serves really tasty food. But you can also go eat in the village, since it's right there close by.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JONNA039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

Great place to stay, hang out, eat and ask for traveler's services in town. The employees are people from the town and villages around working all the servicing areas, very nice to interact with all of them. I just have good memories from all the staff. Also important is the location of the facilities, very big area with bungalos apart from each other and a very nice and clean river at the bottom. They have great facilities and services for meals and great bar atmosphere. For tour, transportation, other activities they will help you out so you enjoy your time there. It is in a walking distance from the town plaza, mercado, health clinic, soccer field, and many shops; if you prefer there are plenty of tuc tuc taxis.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gabriel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hospedaje Tipico El Retiro

Property: Hospedaje Tipico El Retiro
Address: Salida a Cahabon, Lanquin, Guatemala (Formerly El Retiro Finca & Lodge)
Location: Guatemala > Alta Verapaz Department > Lanquin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Lanquin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a locally owned business (yes it matters in a third world country) with a nice restaurant with food for vegetarians and meat eaters, usually buffet style dinners, we focus on helping the comunity as much as we can. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Retiro Finca And Lodge
El Retiro Finca Hotel Lanquin

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