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Old 01-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
 
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Default Hostels - Online List vs. LP Guide List

This is my situation, I get into Guatemala City at 4:40pm local time on Thursday this week, so I have about an hour before dark, I'd like to get settled in there before dark since I've never been there before or really gone backpacking. I can just picture myself wandering around lost at night. I'm kind of confused at the moment, I have LP's Central America book and almost none of the hostels they list come up when you search the TravelPunk engine. So I don't know what I should do, try to find a cheap one out of my LP book and try to make it there or book one online.

The search engine isn't making alot of sense for me at the moment, for Guatemala City, they have the low price for a shared room at $14usd and low price for a private room at $13.50usd, doesn't make alot of sense to me .

I just want to make sure I'm not fucked on my first day. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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it looks like most of the hostels listed on the website have free airport pickup so you shouldn't have to worry about wandering around lost if you don't want to. most of the places listed in LP seem to be cheap hotels...if that's what you are looking for they're good but if you want an actual hostel you'll probably want to book online.

the price quotes for a private room are probably for a double private based on two people travelling together. if you book a double private for yourself you still have to pay for both beds.

when i was in guate last year i stayed at xamanek inn. it was nice and clean but not a party hostels by any means. the location was really good though. i also spent a night at the holiday inn courtesy of taca, thanks to a layer of fog that grounded my flight!
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'm more of a ratings/rankings and review guy when it comes to flights and accommodations. I would rather have real time rankings and reviews from current and recent travelers (worldwide) than to trust anything in print written by one or a couple of writers.

There's a saying that goes, "if it's in print, it's old information."

Even when it comes to Lonely Planets guidebooks, can you really trust the information?

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #4
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I feel like Lonely Planet gets paid for listing hostels on there... their lists are SO incomplete and never the cheapest or best quality. I say go with the TPunk list - I always book mine through here. Sometimes I search online for reviews of certain hostels and come back through Tpunk and book.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:27 AM   #5
 
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thank you very much tpunk and pinknic, that was very informative and I will take note of it
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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personally I've always mistrusted LP, but the times that I took the leap of faith, I've been pleasantly surprised. It even makes me wonder if LP is actually written by just some backpacker who stayed at random places and took notes.

I mistrust sites like hostels.com even more. The only decent hostel site is hostelz.com I think, but overall the LP is pretty reliable in far-away places that has no reliable online listings - small towns in China, cities in Syria...
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:05 PM   #7
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I've always had pretty good results with Hostelworld.com (sorry Tony I go with what I know).

Then again I've found sweet places with GoMio.com and other "indepedent" sites (no booking fees either!).

LP is still good for maps, general ideas. Prices are usually outta date by the time you get it (plus once they realize they're in there I bet they raise their rates!) but I still like the format.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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I use hostelworld.com for ratings and that is it. I have had two bad experiences booking through them and will never again. I booked a hostel in Cologne, Germany and one in Heidelberg and both times they said the reservation was canceled by someone (incinuating I canceled my own reservation) despite the fact I never received an email (nor did I cancel my reservation). I shoew up with all my confirmation emails printed out and everything - didn't matter. It worked out in Heidelberg because I was able to get a room anyway (but didn't get my damn booking fee back) but in Cologne, they sent me packing, and I'd just flown over 8 hours then hopped the train to Cologne from Frankfurt, it was 10am on a Friday and there I was with a heavy ass pack wandering around until I could find a hostel with rooms available.

Assholes.
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