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“Wouldnt stay again”
Review of Chaltunha Hostel

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Chaltunha Hostel
Ranked #8 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Reviewed January 30, 2014

I would write very positive words about the owner,and the view from the therrace.
But in general i didnt like the place at all,i think it was the most unusual place that i have stayed.
Why? Well if you stay here you will know why......
This is not a hostel.There is no common area,no kitchen to use.So if you dont like to go across the lake and pay always for the boat transportation,you will have to buy food from their restaurant.
You cant even drink your own beer on the therrace,because you didnt buy it from them.
The accomodation is in cottages on wooden piles.When you sleep if someone turns in his bed all the house is moving,its bit unstable.There is no glass windows on the walls,only nets so the flyes cant get in,so when you sleep (or trying to) you hear the speaking from the next door.One night it was rainy so all night you hear the rain from the room which is made from i think truck tarps/plastic so no sound proof isolation.There is only 2 bathrooms and showers outside which are common for few cottages each with 3-5 beds. i wake up in 5 am to ask the neighbor to shut down the music that he played loud since 5AM! There is many dogs and roosters that you can hear all night again because "there is no normal windows"
Wi-Fi available only at the resaturant area,not in the sleeping place which is 100m away.At night its very dark,once i felt down because of this on the path which is heading to the cottages. Its cheap place to stay but its not wort the money if you dont have proper sleep. i feel like sleeping in "camp"

Room Tip: All are same,you will feel as sleeping outside
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Antonio R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChaltunhaHostel, Owner at Chaltunha Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2014

After reading this review. I can only say this didn't like our hostel. Sorry for the inconvenience. We now have a hostel on Flores Island for guests who don't like to be close to nature. Thanks for your response. Sorry once again.

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Reviews (170)
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70 - 76 of 170 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2014

We stayed on the hostel on San Miguel island, just across from Flores and it was completely worth the boat ride. The owner Neil is incredibly considerate and friendly and anticiplated out every need. We swam in the pool and enjoyed the stunning lake views. The food is great and a delicious breakfast is included too! It can get cold at night so bring a jumper and if you're a light sleeper you might want ear plugs for the many morning roosters.
We had a wonderful time and a great to Neil and his lovely family. Such good value, I would definitely go back!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank alexis f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

Nice hotel in a building with cachet. owner is really cool and heloful. No food available on site but rooms comes with breakfast voucher for a cafe place. breakfasts are excellent. Nice location in the wonderful city of Flores. I'd recommend to my friends & family.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank vfiset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

I contemplated over a month on whether or not I should write this review because of my experience here. After consulting it with my friend who also stayed here, we came to the conclusion that people that are looking for a hostel in Flores should read about our experience here.

During my trip throughout Guatemala, I stayed at 6 different hostels. This experience was by far the worst.

First, I will write about some good things this hostel offered.
The view was very nice, we could see the entire island of Flores.
They had a pool, which was okay, but in an area like this, a much more natural experience of swimming on the lake was available.
That was about it.

Now I will get into the things that I did not like about this hostel.
First: Getting to the actual hostel. The email never stated that there are TWO Chaltunha hostels, one in Flores and other in San Miguel. It mentioned that there is a pick up point that we needed to get to, but didn't specify which one I signed up for, leading to massive confusion for my party and another party that were also going to stay in Chaltunha. We had to wait around at the Flores location with all our bags for about 30 minutes just to wait for the owner to come take us to the location in San Miguel.
Second: The hostel did not have a decent lounge area. Most hostels have an area where travelers can sit down to read a book or just sit around and have a drink or have a conversation. This hostel had an hammock area which was basically a little block of concrete where there were bunch of hammocks hung next to one another away from the view and everything else. There was a bar, but the bar was small and the area around the bar was very small. Also, the furniture that were available around the bar were extremely uncomfortable.
Third: I booked 3 nights of stay here, but due to unforeseen events, could only stay for 2. So I emailed the owner 24 hour in advance that I would not be able to come in on the day that I reserved for, and that I would come in the day later. When I arrived, the owner had no idea that I was going to do so, and when it was time to pay (we have to pay UP FRONT) he said that he was being a "nice guy" only charging me and my brother for 2 nights.
Fourth: The price. When my brother and I booked the room, we booked for a private room for us, roughly about $10-12 per night per person (roughly Q80-100 per person). When we got there, the price of our private room was hiked up to Q530 for 2 nights. WHAT?!
Fifth: This hostel is located in the island of San Miguel, which has no restaurants. So the only way to eat on this island was through this hostel. However, when my brother and I walked to the bar area to possibly order some food, no one was around to take our orders. I mean we sat there for about 20 minutes and NO ONE came by to see if we needed anything. We had to walk all the way down to the river, catch a boat to Flores, then stop at a restaurant to eat something.
Sixth: On the confirmation email that we receive, the owner states that "Do not purchase any trip ticket to Tikal by the people that are trying to sell you tickets on the bus ride to the hostel, you can purchase tickets when you arrive to the hostel." I understood and refused to buy any ticket from the people that were trying to sell us tickets. However, I got to the hostel (in Flores) and the front desk man said "We worked with these guys, it's okay to buy from them." So I did. Later, I find out that I paid way more than I should have and that those guys DID NOT offer the trips that the hostel usually offer. I was furious at the front desk man about this and confronted him about it and his words were "I said we WORKED with them, not WORK with them." I could not believe it.
Seventh: This was what put me over the edge. My brother and I booked a sunrise tour to Tikal ruins from our hostel. The hostel owner was supposed to meet my brother and I along with a couple at 3am to take us to where we would be picked up by the tour guide. HE NEVER CAME. We waited until 3:20am for him, knocked on doors, but he never showed up. So we ended up walking down to the river, somehow catching a boat ride to Flores that early in the morning, and wandered around the streets and luckily, when we stopped a random van to see where we needed to go, that van was actually looking for my brother and I to pick up and take to Tikal. My brother and I got to the ruins on time, but the couple (who booked their tour through Chaltunha), did not make it in time and had to wait until 4:30am to leave and they missed the sunrise. The worst part was that the owner NEVER apologized to me. He had many opportunities to do so, but he never said one word about it.
Eighth: On the final day of our stay, we needed to catch a bus back to Guatemala City, but we weren't sure where we were going to be picked up. Before I left Chaltunha in San Miguel, I talked to the front desk man where we needed to go to get picked up. He said that he would actually be working a shift in the Flores location later that afternoon, and that I can stop by there later (which he said was closer to the pick up spot), so that he can give me detailed directions. When I got to the Flores, location, he was nowhere to be found. I asked the front desk lady there where he was, she couldn't speak any English. I was able to communicate with her through someone else, but the hostel had no way of communicating with someone who spoke English. I was so furious at this point and I eventually asked her to call the San Miguel location so that I could speak to the front desk man there and find out where I needed to go to get picked up. They never picked up the phone, not even on 3 different tries.

I'm sure not experiences are the same and I can see that a lot of people had great time here, but I needed to get this off my chest and let the owner know that such treatment of their guests will not go unnoticed and unspoken of.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Brian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChaltunhaHostel, Owner at Chaltunha Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2014

First and foremost I want to apologise to this guest for having an unpleasant stay with us. This review doesn't reflect the service we give at Chaltunha Hostel. I can go on an give a very detailed response on our experience we had with this guest but it will be very long. What I will say concerning the room rate. Is that when anyone book online they will get a email stating the deposit paid and the balance due on arrival. I show all my guests the balance due on arrival. So this should be a surprise when you arrive. This guest choose to chance their reservation within the 48hrs period. I didn't charge the night he decided to eliminate from the reservation. This is why I said I was being nice. That's all .

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Reviewed January 21, 2014 via mobile

Hostel houses on the hill of st Miguel with the view to Flores, 4-5beds and shared facilities for 8$US per person..breakfast from 30Q and lunch from 50Q.. during january can be cold at night, too less facilities if all houses are full..clean rooms and beds but too less blankets..just round the corner you can reach with steep path lake side where boaths are driving to Flores for 5Q.

Stayed: January 2014
Thank Aglaja A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

This hostel is in a beautiful location with amazing views. It is a short, and super easy boat ride from the main island of Flores. At first this concerned me, and I thought maybe it would be better to be on the main island, but once we got to flores and took the easy short boat ride, it was clearly worth staying at Chaltunha in San Miguel. The grounds are gorgeous and views of Flores are amazing. Neil the owner will help with anything. He set up our entire tour of Tikal and helped with any other question we had.

Overall, I would recommend this hostel to anybody. Great place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 657Bcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Review is for the original hostel in San Miguel. I did not visit the new one located in downtown Flores, which had just opened in Nov. 2013. Chaltunha is located a very short boat ride across the lake from Flores (easier to get to from the Flores airport than I thought it would be), and Neil (the owner) met me when I arrived off the boat later in the evening for a one night stay. He was very welcoming, we talked for a while, and was very helpful lining up a transfer to Tikal the next day and suggesting things to do there. The rooms here are screened-in elevated cabin/bungalow type things on wooded property which are quite basic but were comfortable for a night, and quite large. Beds were alright. If you're sensitive to sound, animals nearby or the neighbors may bother you, as there are only screens, but the noise went away during the night. The view is great and the property is cool too. Breakfast in the morning was also good. As long as you are comfortable with the screened cabin style, this is a great place and you will feel very welcome, and Neil will go out of his way to look after you.

Room Tip: All are the same I believe
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Brian1420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chaltunha Hostel

Address: San Miguel, Flores 17001, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Peten Department > Flores
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Price Range: $10 - $24 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chaltunha Hostel is a family operated hostel in Flores, Guatemala. Born with the idea of share our little paradise with all the travelers who will enjoy the outdoors and rural lodgings.Built in 2005, Chaltunha Hostel offers a diversity of accommodations bungalow type. Each on elevated floorboards with well-ventilated canvas roofs, and full screens. You can enjoy peaceful relaxation on your private sheltered porch, while viewing the undisturbed tropical forest. Comfortable beds with clean linens, pillows, towels and blankets will assure a good night’s rest after a fun-filled adventurous day. ... more   less 
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