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“Budget bliss” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel El Cactus

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Hostel El Cactus
10 metros Sur de Casa Coba, Samara centro, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Budget bliss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

El Cactus is a pretty, clean, spacious and affordable hostel one block from the beach in Sámara, one of the coolest towns in Costa Rica. I think I paid $18 for a dorm room, and I loved the place — I made friends with all the guests and all the staff and was never short of good company after that. Owned by operated by a friendly Frenchman named Pierre who goes by Piero, with the redoubtable Jordy providing front-office assistance, El Cactus is a sure thing, centrally located and ideally priced.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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14 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2015

We loved staying at this friendly and well run hostel and added more nights there as a consequence.
The owner and staff are all really helpful and generally there is a nice vibe to the place.
We had a double with private bathroom which was large, clean and comfortable. The fan was fine as the room wasn't stuffy with the windows (with nets over) allowing the breeze through. The room was cleaned regularly and thoroughly by the staff every day.
We don't often use hostel kitchens as they either don't have enough utensils or they aren't that clean but we cooked quite a few times here. The kitchen like the rest of the hostel was kept really clean so a pleasure to use.
The garden is nicely done with space to sit in sun or shade and the pool was perfect for cooling off in after a day at the beach.
WiFi and the hostel computer were both good.
Samara is a great little town and we would have loved to have stayed even longer if time had permitted.

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

My wife and I stayed here over new years for a week plus both in the dorm and in a private with shared bathroom. The hostal building, garden, kitchen, bathrooms and beds were of a much better quality than most that we have stayed in over months of travelling in central and south america. The small pool is wonderful - don't underestimate it. Piero is friendly and helpful and runs this place in an organized and welcoming manner. Staff including Jordi and Hilda were great - all were happily ready to assist with the smallest request. Free coffee, central location, strong wifi, hot showers all made staying here a pleasure. Rooms include shelving and lockable storage lockers. Even enjoyed watching a howler monkey in a tree at the side of the property while we were having breakfast one morning. We will definately stay here again. Highly recommended whether in dorm or in a private. Not a party hostel.

Room Tip: In the dorm top bunks # 6 & 8 receive good fan coverage - otherwise it can get hot in some lower...
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern, Switzerland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

We stayed 8 days in the hostel El Cactus and would definitively go again.

The whole hostel is very well-maintained and clean. It has a nice garden where you can eat, relax in the whirlpool or simply spend some time in the hammocks. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it was cleaned every morning by the friendly staff. The hostel provides an internet station, but WiFi worked perfectly fine in the living room, and even in our room on the ground floor. El Cactus is a quite place but very close to the beach and the center of Sàmara (2 minutes walk).

We stayed in the room with a private bathroom. The room and bath were very clean and the bed was comfortable. And thanks to the fan it was not too hot during night.

Piero and his staff were very friendly and helpful...it was a pleasure to meet them all.
We can only recommend to stay in the Hostel El Cactus.

Room Tip: Room No.2 has WiFi
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel El Cactus

Address: 10 metros Sur de Casa Coba, Samara centro, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your best option in Sámara !El Cactus is a high-quality hostel with comfortable amenities that still fits a modest budget !Located right in the center of Sámara and its village set on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, El Cactus is the perfect place for travelers who want to experience Sámara´s laid-back, friendly atmosphere up-close. Within 100 meters of the hostel you can find: THE beach, several groceries, lots of restaurants and cheap local “sodas”, banks with ATMs, bars and nightclubs, as well as surfboard, bike and car rentals... ... more   less 
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