We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Cosy yoga hostel”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in San Marcos La Laguna
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Mahadevi Ashram and Kaivalya Yoga School
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Cosy yoga hostel”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

I booked into Kaivalya for the 1-month hatha yoga course and it certainly changed my life. It was a really cute rustic hostel with great views over the lake. Yes there were some creepy crawlies and dogs barking at night, but no different to any of the other places in town that I have stayed. To me it really felt like home, a safe place with a family atmosphere, movie nights, nice kitchen and cool garden (hummingbirds yay!) I met some friends I will have for life there. Also the yoga and meditation course is amazing!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jese F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    47
    9
    3
    1
    1
See reviews for
Families
0
12
34
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Anchorage, Alaska
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

I really wanted to like Kaivalya Yoga House. I planned on staying for several weeks but I could barely make it through 4 nights. I planned way in advance to stay here, take yoga classes and meditate. Due to the accommodation and surroundings, it was not possible. There were dogs barking constantly each night, right behind the hostel, there was no relief from this loud barking. Yes, dogs are a fact of life in Guatemala and I am an absolute animal lover but barking in the property next door all night long does not provide for a peaceful environment which is what is advertised. When the dogs were not barking, loud music would blare from a nearby speaker at very odd hours, such as 6 am.

Also, the hostel was not clean. The only soap available was very small shards of bar soap in the bathroom, I did bring my own hand soap as washing hands is so important. The toilet had a cloth string hanging from the tank to flush with, this string was saturated with water from the tank, pretty disgusting. The kitchen also had very little soap to clean with, just a small puddle of dirty dish soap. I could not cook there. From my upstairs room, I could look through the cracks in the floor and view the room below me. A very large spider shared my room with me (no mosquito nets over the beds to keep bugs out)

I am very familiar with rustic conditions and with the cheap price charged for Kaivalya, I didn't expect anything fancy, but I also did not expect a place that would not allow me to sleep or have basic cleanliness. The beds were not comfortable and I suffered many bug bites during my stay there.

We went out of our way to bring things the owners requested from us, special items they could not get in Guatemala. We were happy to do it, however, they were not willing to refund any prepaid money when we decided to leave. They require a large up front payment which no other hostel requires. There is a reason for that, it is because I was not the first to leave early due to the dogs and the conditions there. I was becoming very irritable from lack of sleep. Those who prepaid told me they felt trapped because they had paid in advance for their stay and didn't want to lose their money. For me, it was worth the loss to have a good night's sleep and to not have to stay there.

Guatemala is a wonderful country and I traveled to many places during my 6 week stay. I have many recommendations but I cannot recommend Kaivalya due to the poor conditions there. I also find it interesting that every review here is written by a person who has only reviewed one place, Kaivalya. It looks like the reviews are staged by the owners.

I am sorry to say this would not be a place I would ever consider staying. I would have gladly stayed down the street and taken yoga and meditation classes from them as I think they may have some good offerings but their unwillingness to refund my money and that of my companions (there were 3 of us and we all had the same opinion) did not make me want to throw good money after bad. Do yourself a favor, spend a little bit more and enjoy your time at the lake in a more peaceful environment.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ak_gypsy949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arpi-and-Arjuna, Inhaber at Mahadevi Ashram and Kaivalya Yoga School, responded to this review, December 22, 2012
Dear C.,

We are really sorry you had such a bad time at our place. We did have a feeling Kaivalya is not for you as we realize that with certain age people have different needs which is why we sent you and your friends a personal email beforehand to prevent any unrealistic expectations. We even talked to you on the phone so you know that we are running a budget place with simple conditions. Coming to the cheapest place in town and expecting western standards is just not working anywhere.

Guatemala is a third world country and San Marcos is a poor village in its beautiful countryside that naturally comes with some noise from the local community. Ubiquitous dogs are a reality here, but you have been here during a particularly noisy period as there were fresh puppies next door and the church was inaugurated with lots of loud musical celebration - for one night as we might add. The flushing string was a temporary solution that has long been replaced by now.

Deposits are common and necessary as we are overwhelmed with people asking to stay. If bookings are then canceled without any notice it is common practice (and published in our terms on the website) that deposits are forfeited. No hotel would refund if guests are suddenly moving out.

Lago Atitlan and San Marcos are among the most beautiful spots in the entire world and we offer accommodation for a mere $7 here. Yes, there are for sure better places around - for a different price and target group. The fact that people are extending their stay, coming back here, sleep in tents and hammocks in the garden just because they want to stay here even if we don`t have a bed for them at the moment, is enough to show that as always everything is a question of personal opinion and expectation.

Kaivalya is more of a yoga school than a hostel and we are really sorry you didn`t even try our (free) classes and give a chance to the rare knowledge we are offering and from which so many are benefiting which is reflected in the other reviews. We would never fake a review, that would be against our beliefs and nature.

Many blessings on your way,
Arpi and Arjuna
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leadville, Colorado ,USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Kaivyala is truly an amazing place full of beautiful energy and people!. The yoga course far surpassed my expectations, the room was cozy, and the view spectacular all this and it was even affordable. My only warning... Be careful you may never want to leave this wonderful jungle sanctuary.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Christy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Having started the third year of this trip, i have nowhere felt so at home and comfortable as here.
Arpi and Arjuna are the most heartwarming, loving, patient and welcoming people that don't have any bad concepts in their dictionnary.
Apart from these inspiring souls it is located just around the corner from the main square in san marcos, a 3 minute walk which gives you the most amazing view on the lake and a beautifull and peacefull feel. I stayed and moved around in san marcos for 6 weeks and i can assure anyone that this is the best place to stay. Not only because of the energy, the yoga classes and the beautifull evening chants but also because it is simply the best price in town for its location, view and facilities.
I normaly don't take the effort to write reviews so pleace take my word and enjoy this beautifull, little, secret garden of inspiration and peacefullness!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 21, 2012

I stayed here for a week or two, enjoyed it immensely. Offers the necessities for an awesomely cheap price. A great 5-7$ Hostel. Best part was Arjuna and Arpi's willingness to help and lend assistance. Thanks Guys

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank CyrusSteel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I came to Kaivalya quite by accident, planned on staying a couple days, and ended up staying for weeks! After the warmest and most sincere welcome i have ever received, the lovely Arpi and Arjuna toured me around the place. Hidden inside the greenest plants growing wild everywhere, and accented by sweet pixie-paintings and bolts of fabric in the brightest colors, the hostel and the rooms within are clearly put together by loving hands. I settled into one of the peaceful private rooms, with a priceless view and beautiful art on the walls - amazing for the more than reasonable price i was paying! Any small requests were met immediately (extra blanket, new candle, etc).
The vegetarian kitchen is exceedingly well-equipped, and the bathroom is spacious and always clean.
My weeks spent here participating in the thoughtfully arranged yoga program fed my starving brain with a feast of new ideas, principles, and practices - I have come away with a stronger sense of awareness and an always-present consciousness of the world around me.
What an incredible place - how a home turns into a journey for the mind.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala
1 review
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Kaivalya is a wonderful place to stay! The environment is beautiful and lush, with stunning view of Lake Atitilan. The rooms are simple, but very clean and quite inexpensive for what you get. The owners, Arjuna and Arpi, are wonderful souls, full of service and love, and will help with any arrangements you might need. They maintain a sacred environment, free from meat products or intoxicants. The yoga classes are some of the most authentic, deep, and comprehensive that I've taken anywhere (and I'm a yoga teacher)!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lincoln B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near San Marcos La Laguna
3.4 mi away
Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve
Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature...
#3 of 6 in Santa Cruz La Laguna
495 reviews
2.1 mi away
La Casa del Mundo Hotel
La Casa del Mundo Hotel
#1 of 1 in Jaibalito
665 reviews
1.1 mi away
Lomas de Tzununa
Lomas de Tzununa
#4 of 6 in Santa Cruz La Laguna
300 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.5 mi away
Hotel IslaVerde
Hotel IslaVerde
#6 of 6 in Santa Cruz La Laguna
254 reviews
4.2 mi away
Eco Hotel MayAchik
Eco Hotel MayAchik
#1 of 3 in San Juan la Laguna
73 reviews
3.2 mi away
Mikaso Hotel Resto
Mikaso Hotel Resto
#3 of 11 in San Pedro La Laguna
291 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mahadevi Ashram and Kaivalya Yoga School? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mahadevi Ashram and Kaivalya Yoga School

Property: Mahadevi Ashram and Kaivalya Yoga School
Address: Calle principal, San Marcos La Laguna 07016, Guatemala (Formerly Kaivalya Yoga School and Hostel)
Location: Guatemala > Western Highlands > Solola Department > Lake Atitlan > San Marcos La Laguna
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Specialty Lodging in San Marcos La Laguna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Important! Kindly note that as from July 2015 we've moved to the newly build enchanting and peaceful Mahadevi Ashram in Tzununa (3km from San Marcos). We are happy and humbled to welcome dedicated and curious practitioners into this Sacred Space created with Love and Selfless Service in order to provide a truly inspiring and conducive environment for a deep dive into your Heart. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mahadevi Ashram And Kaivalya Yoga School Guatemala/San Marcos La Laguna

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing