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Hotel Backpackers & Restaurant
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22 - 27 of 50 reviews
Reviewed 8 February 2013

Before you decide to sign off on the cheapest hostel in your Lonely Planet guide, shop around. I spent two nights in this dump, and I would advise other travelers to avoid staying here (the restaurant is different).

When I booked into my room, I was told that I need to pay for my sheets and pillows. Really?! Who does that? 30Q is still the cheapest that I've paid for room and board in Guatemala, but you get what you pay for.

Picture a military style bunker for the dorms. There are 18 beds, but only 12 lockers. Do the math.

In addition, the showers and toilets are inside the dorm room, but the hinges don't work on some of the doors. I was glad I was only pissing when I realized the door was halfway open behind me.

The lockers are lackluster. I think there are maybe only a handful that have working hinges that allow you to lock your valuables. My friend wasn't so lucky. A thief was able to slip off her lock and took her laptop, iPod and nearly $100 USD.

If you do sleep here, be prepared to stay up until at least 1 a.m. if you're a light sleeper. The bar plays music at loud volume levels until that time. The dorm room is probably 100 feet away, but I can still hear everything from my bed. You can also hear any conversation from the privates connected to the dorm.

As for the beds, I've stayed in hostels that had just as uncomfortable mattresses as this hostel; however, they at least made an effort to clean the beds and make sure they're in good condition. When I arrived, I tried to find the mattress that had the least holes and were the least covered in bugs or dirt or whatever ... I don't think I saw a single cleaning person in the dorms in the entire 48 hours I've been here.

Another cleaning problem was with the restaurant portion (my only negative complaint about the restaurant). I know that brown stain that ended up on my shoe after I used the restroom wasn't dirt. I was pretty grossed out having to wipe my shoe off on the floor before finishing the job with a wet paper towel.

Finally, the place nickels and dimes you for just about everything. Water refills cost Q3 for bottles, Q8 for 1.5 liters. Small coffees cost Q5. Breakfast starts at Q25. It was decent, but it's not anything spectacular. There are street food vendors who sell better quality food for cheaper.

I will say that the wi-fi (best I've had in Central America) and view is amazing at this hostel. But you don't need to stay here to enjoy that. Just eat lunch or come to do your work during the day. Find another hostel to stay at in Rio Dulce.

Room Tip: I agree with what someone else posted. Just stay at a different hostel. You've been warned.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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Thank LifeofaBackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2012

i have heard it suggested that this place would benefit from the attentions of a cleaner, a carpenter and a painter; personally, i would suggest an arsonist.
the bunkhouse in which i spent two miserable nights is not adequately screened so insect life proliferates within and i don't think anybody has made a serious effort to clean it since it was constructed. there is a row of cupboards along one wall but the absence of hinges, padlock attachments and, in some cases doors, makes them quite redundant as lockers. toilets and shower cubicles occupy another wall. aside from flimsy, ill-fitting doors nothing separates the goings-on within from the dormitory without; it is neither pleasant nor necessary to become intimately acquainted with the state of health of one's roommate's digestive systems and the contents of the toilet paper receptacles, unemptied during my stay, adds a certain perfume to the air. the mattresses were sub-standard, and, the icing on the cake, one has to pay extra for sheets and a pillow!
bicycle parking is off site in a separate compound further along the road, nowhere undercover to lock it securely but there a was a watchy-man.
breakfast in the restaurant was quite edible though the coffee left a lot to be desired and the view from the dock is good. watch out for the bat falcons that frequent the bridge.

Room Tip: choose a room in a different hotel.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank t0ssp0t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2012

the bed wasn't comfortable, but the room was okay.
although it was under the bridge it wasn't noisy at night.
the place it self is nice, and there are few nice places to sit. a nice place to go into the river.
the location is very not comfortable.
and the WI-FI access wasn't good
we paid 120 Q for couple with private bathroom & shower.

Room Tip: make sure the room is not close to the reception area
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dar D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We visited Rio Dulce, Guatemala for the day only. This restaurant has excellent customer service. The servers are very attentive and courteous.
The menu is extensive and the prices are reasonable.
We ordered:
- Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, rice and veggies
- Fried Shrimp with Coconut Crust and a mango sauce on the side, Veggies and Fries
- Mojarra Frita (Medium Size) with rice and veggies
- Res Frita (Steak) with Fries and Veggies
- Margaritas
- Limonada con Fresca - refreshing blended non-alcoholic drink! My favorite!
- Food came with fresh hand-made corn tortillas - yum!

The food was excellent! The shrimp served were large Jumbo ones! Yummy!
The fish was crispy and fresh.
Portions are large. We are pretty happy and satiated with our lunch.

The bathrooms are clean, with working plumbing! :-)

The money you spend here also helps Casa Guatemala (Orphanage). This is a great lunch spot for the day trip we made. It definitely made the long boat trip from Belize to Guatemala a great one.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank tiglao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2012

We stayed here recently on a trip through Central America. Location is great. We liked the quiet of not being right in the centre of town but still able to walk the short distance accross the bridge if we needed to. Staff friendly and helpful. Helped us with tickets for the boat trip to Livingston and told us about other sights nearby. Nice areas for relaxing. Room comfortable and clean. We ate at the restaurant a few times. Probably the best food we had during our trip.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank James255
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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