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“Decent place, decent price, bad smell” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel Hakuna Matata

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Hostel Hakuna Matata
Main Street, Cahuita 70403, Costa Rica (Formerly Hostel Shangri La)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Cahuita
British Columbia, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Decent place, decent price, bad smell”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

This is a nice hostel run by very friendly, helpful people. It has fairly clean rooms and bathrooms, and has a decent kitchen. Also good location. I would not stay here again however, only because it constantly smelled like dog crap in the common area. I like dogs as much as anyone and I'm not very fussy, but no one wants that smell while they are eating a meal.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    13
    3
    6
    0
    1
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Families
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9
6
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Exeter, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

We had a double room with a private bathroom. There is a lovely chilled out feeling about this hostel, the room is very clean, the shower is hot and the fan keeps the room cool in the night. The swimming pool is small but immaculately clean and the hammocks around the hostel are great for chilling in! The only thing is that you should be a dog person to stay here as they do have quite a few wandering around!

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.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

The hostel was overall quite good, clean rooms and bathrooms and a nice pool. Good price for what you get. The only problems were that the rooms did not lock and only had very small lockers. The kitchen was quite dirty and was under stocked, which really turned me off.

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2015

Stayed 2 nights in a double without bathroom for 30 dollars. Room and bathroom are clean. There is free coffee and wifi (instable). The whole place needs a bit of maintenance. Especially the kitchen could use some good cleaning and could do with some new pots, pans, plates etc. For so many guests there are only 2 pits to cook on. Overall I found the room comfy with enough space, a good matrass and a fan. But I would not go to this place again. The room is really too expensive. In other places you spend only 20 dollar for a room like that. The staff is between friendly and not friendly. For example. To people that want to smoke they say you have to do it outside the property on the streets. But the owner herself smokes and she smokes next to the kitchen and communal area. Another example; there are a lot of dogs on the property. One of the guests gave the dog some food and the owner was very temperamentful about it. Bring your earplugs because of noise. The windows have no glass but mosquito curtains. Also the rooms are very light at night because they switch on the outside lights and because you don't have good curtains. "Luckily" they have rooms without windows. Hakuna Matata is close to the national park

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2015

Nice, basic rooms. The bathrooms are clean although the showers are only hot if only one of the thee showers is being used. The people who run it are very sweet and helpful should you need it. They are constantly working to improve the hostel bit by bit. There's table football, a small book collection, free coffee all day and a very good small pool and decent wifi in the main common area and sometimes in the rooms. At night there are frogs and toads hopping about which is cool, you're right beside the bus station which is super useful and very close to a bunch of bars and restaurants. The only thing that bothered me here was that the kitchen is dirty and there are several hostel dogs (one being almost the size of a St Bernard) that smell pretty bad. It did a huge poo outside our room which stank to high heaven! It shouldn't be allowed to go in the hostel grounds.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015

The hostel is still under construction. But the bathrooms and rooms are clean. We stayed in a private shared bath. The room is spacious and basic. It could use a few things, like a garbage can or table but otherwise it was fine

The kitchen is ok. As is the pool. It is also right next door to the bus station.

I hope that when the construction is done all the stuff that needs repaired is fixed (i.e. The shower heads, toaster, etc)

Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2014

I had read a couple of negative feedbacks before visiting this hostel and I admit I was a bit "scared" of what I would find. I think it is important to disprove them though.

The hostel is indeed in the middle of total renewal, as explained by the owners.
The swimming pool was unfortunately yet to be finished, but the owners explained that an issue occurred when installing it and they were fixing it.
Besides a bit of understandable noise due to the workers, the location is lovely: there are many trees inhabited by local fauna and even a sloth.

I understand that improving takes time and work, but the owners were so kind and friendly to me that the renovations were a minimum problem during my stay.
The owners offered me fresh drinks and, as the bar is not complete yet, they cooked a delicious dinner especially for me.

They may be shy sometimes because they don't speak fluent English nor Spanish yet, but they have workers and partners that speak both languages in case of important matters.

The owners were also very patient with me and helped me understand how the mechanism for the hot showers work, they changed my linen everyday and even gave me new cotton sheets when I told them I was allergic to syntetic materials.

They helped me organize my trip and tried to do everything in their power to make me feel comfortable in spite of the renewals.

I hope they are finished soon: the hostel has a lot of potentiality.

Room Tip: The rooms with toilet are of course the most comfortable but I can assure the public toilets are ver...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel Hakuna Matata

Address: Main Street, Cahuita 70403, Costa Rica (Formerly Hostel Shangri La)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Cahuita
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Cahuita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hakuna Matata Hostel is a lovely accommodation choice for travelers. Situated 20 meters away from the bus stop and surrounded by tall mango trees which give it a jungle-like vibe, it's a go-to experience for visitors of Cahuita. It's also located 3 minutes walk away from the national park and the beach and it has some food store right next to it. The hostel offers bed dorms and single rooms, a shared kitchen where you can cook your own meals, free WiFi, a beautiful swimming pool and a very nice common area with fun games like kicker or darts. As a side note, you will also be able to see wildlife here as the trees above the hostel are often frequented by monkeys and sloths. Come here to relax and meet adventurous travelers like you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Hakuna Matata Costa Rica/Cahuita

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