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.

“Pleasant surprise at the end of a rough San Blas crossing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel Mamallena

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Save
You added Hostel Mamallena to your Saves list
Hostel Mamallena
Calle Media Luna, Cartagena, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
San Francisco, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Pleasant surprise at the end of a rough San Blas crossing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were deposited at Mamallena Cartagena after Captain Sebastian of the Corto II cut our time in the San Blas islands short (read more about our high seas hijinks at pasturebraised.com/san_blas_panama/).

Our original Cartagena plan was to spend three nights at Hotel Puertas de Cartagena for a little post-sailing R&R. But when Sebastian dropped six of us at the docks at 8am Sunday morning with nothing more than a suggestion to cab to Mamallena (we'd booked the trip through Mamallena Panama City) plans changed.

Mamallena Cartagena was a really pleasant surprise. It's a pretty small hostel with a festively grafted courtyard, and large, wonderfully dark and cool bar/restaurant (they're totally cool with you using it while not patronizing the bar).

We ended up juggling our reservation to stay at Mamallena both before and after a night at Hotel Puertas de Cartagena. It was too good a value to pass up.

Rooms are large and clean if not brimming with personality. The staff is polite—the owner, Stuart, is the most friendly of the crew.

The neighborhood has a great energized up-and-coming vibe. There are lots of cheap and cheerful jeugo and lunch options on the block, and be sure to have a roof-top drink around the corner at Malagana Cafe.

Room Tip: Rooms toward the front are nosier, but have far stronger wifi.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
I apologise again for the bad trip on the boat, I really do think that was out of character for the captain. We do always try to be honest in our dealings with the boats and if this was a common problem then we would have told you. I am glad you made it to us to us at the hostel though! Sounds like it was a good enough pace to recover :) You´re right about the rooms, they do need that something extra to jazz them up, but they are perfectly servicable and I´m sure better than most hostels. If anyone has any suggestions le us know.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

272 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    123
    82
    47
    15
    5
See reviews for
3
94
55
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

This great hostel provides comfortable beds and spacious private rooms, but if you need a place to rest in silence then don't come here. It's located in the perfect location for drinking and late night snacks (just outside there are three bars, a taco place, pizza joint and a small stall for empinadas)

They also have a pet dog and cat who can keep you company as you recover from the night before.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
We actually like to think we´re in the middle, a fun place but not too noisy nor too much of a party, That said, it does all depend on the people that are here at the time, and our courtyard is close to the rooms. We do try to control the noise but on weekends most people want a party and we do try to accomdate everyone. I am glad you enjoyed the stay though.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

This is a decent hostel with a good vibe. Staff on the front desk are nice enough but certainly don't go out of their way to help you like at Marmallena Panama. We paid $55000 per night for a private room with shared bathroom. Shared bathroom was ok but probably not cleaned as consistently throughout the day for the number of people using it. If you are looking for a private room consider the shared bathroom rooms as they are closer to the back of the hostel and further from the bar and noise. Still pack your earplugs though because quiet time starts at 1am and even after, the noise from the bar and the slamming bathroom door are quite loud. Not unbearable though. The kitchen was well-equipped but it didn't have a culture of cleaning up so we often had to wash up before we could use anything and like many hostel kitchens, it isn't made for a lot of people. The location was great. Close to everything and we always felt safe walking everywhere.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
We do try with the staff, honest!! And they are usually pretty friendly as you said, one thing here is that they have more work to do meeting certain government requirements, which means that they don´t always have the time to dovote themselves to the customers as in Panama. That said, we´re in Latin America and it´s very hard to find people like back home! It can get slightly noisy here, but we do try to control it later at night, so poeple can have a combination of sleep and a party. That always depends on the people that are here as well though. The kitchen is a problem, it is small but it´s also all we had to work with. We´ve done the best we with what we had and I think it comes out OK. We try to get people to clean up but it doesn´t always work. The staff in our restaurant are now in charge of cleaning it so it should be better now. Glad you enjoyed yourself in general though.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I stayed in Cartagena for about a week in 3 different hostels in all and Mamallena was by far my favorite!! It is very resonably priced and each dorm room has an attached bathroom in the room which is a nice bonus. There´s a great courtyard inside that´s nice to hang out in and stong wifi (a big plus in my book!) What really stands out about the place however is the owner. My friend and I had reservations to stay here after a trip out to Parque Nacional Tayrona. Something went wrong with our reservations and we ended up booking a private double instead of two dorm beds. Rather than charging us the room we had accidentally booked the owner came moved us to two free dorm beds AND gave us a discount for the downpayment we had already made on the more expensive room. I was literally blown away, after four straight months of traveling I´ve never heard of a nicer hostel owner!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I stayed a whole 3 weeks at Mamallena's in Cartagena... They have everything I look for in a hostel:
They are located stumbling distance from the main party hostel in Cartagena, so you can get crazy at the party hostel yet sleep in a relatively quite dorm when you are ready for bed.
A convenient restaurant and bar attached to the hostel.
Fast wifi 4-5 MB up/down.
Location close to ATMs & Grocery stores.
Meet friendly locals to practice your Spanish with.
Also I totally recommend you buy coconuts for breakfast at the fruit store a block away.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We have stayed at Hostel Mamallena in Panama City and Boquete, and now Cartagena. They are all nice, but this is probably our favorite. There is a nice space for socializing that is actually right outside the rooms. Nevertheless, noise was not a problem. Stuart welcomed our dogs, and they made many friends with the guests and staff. We like most anyplace that has a resident cat and dog. The hostel is located in an area with a lot of reasonably priced restaurants and bars, and is walking distance to Centro. We will undoubtedly be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for 7 nights and had no complaints. Nice clean, comfortable room....lots of outside space for socializing ...reasonably priced cold beers and soft drinks ...there was also a bar/ restaurant attached which sold good burgers among other things.
Stuart the owner was very hands on and always there to sort out any problems...we also stayed at his other Mamallena hostel in Panama and had no complaints there either although we did prefer the rooms in the Cartegena hostel.
Basically I agree with everything the previous reviewer,Tehmani J , said...we stayed there at the same time.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hostel Mamallena? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hostel Mamallena

Address: Calle Media Luna, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 90 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelWorld, Priceline, Booking.com and HostelBookers so you can book your Hostel Mamallena reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hostel Mamallena, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.