hostel review: casa seibel, quetzaltenango

45 GTQ per night, three person dorm with shared bathroom, 20th June 2014

110 GTQ per night, double with shared bathroom, 21st - 25th June 2014

Vibe: A recent addition to Xela's hostel scene, Seibel is sure to become the favourite for many a traveller. Opened only three months ago by an American-Guatemalan couple, this 100 year old property provides a spacious, homely and welcoming place to lay your head.

Location: Situated smack-bang in the centre of Xela, a few minutes from the main square, market and mini-buses to Minerva Terminal (around 2Q per person). For those interested in a day-trip to Fuentes Georginas (excellent hot springs), the local bus departs 2 minutes walk away next to the petrol station.

Best thing: As foodies, having a very large and fully operational kitchen with luxuries such as a blender, garlic press, oven, coffee machine and pans which still retain their Tefal coating, made us very happy. However, the best thing about Seibel is the uniqueness of the property and its furnishings.

A large period property with ample inside and outside space, the owners have thankfully retained a lot of the original décor whilst tastefully converting rooms: wooden floors, old Singer sewing machines, religious iconography, vintage wardrobes, a beautiful tuned piano and little pieces of history scattered throughout. It's a real treat to stay somewhere like this.

Worst thing: During the rainy season, Xela, and therefore the house can get quite chilly, however with an abundance of fluffy blankets provided, you're unlikely to stay cold tucked up in bed.

Value for money: Excellent whether you're in a dorm or a double.

We've stayed in a lot of hostels on our travels and this is definitely one of our favourites.

Recommended for: We really hope that Seibel isn't discovered by the noisy crowd in search of a party. This place is perfectly suited to couples or solo travellers who are happy to socialise around the dining table with a cerveza, share travelling tales and enjoy a good home-cooked meal.

Top tips: The smaller bathroom gives off better hot water than the other. Deals are available for long-term stays, so if you plan on studying Spanish in Xela, it's definitely worth enquiring.

Also, ask the owners about volunteering opportunities in Xela via Entremundos.

Rating: 9

Amenities: Wi-fi (extremely quick), hot showers (the one at the back is better), excellent kitchen, outside space, satellite TV, dining room, piano and the property is fully cleaned every day.  


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