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“Great Common Areas, Nice Staff, Awful Rooms” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Walaba Hostel & Beach Houses

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Walaba Hostel & Beach Houses
Punta Uva | Puerto Viejo, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 1451-2050, Costa Rica   |  
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Calgary, Alberta
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Great Common Areas, Nice Staff, Awful Rooms”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I would have given this hostel a great rating if the rooms hadn’t been dirty and mouldy and my mosquito net hadn’t had so many holes I needed to personally cover the holes with borrowed duct tape (see photo). The rooms are poorly built with no screens on the windows so the lizards and creepies are happy to roam, which I don’t mind but I do mind them in my bed with me, so a functioning mosquito net is all I ask for the price of a mouldy room with no washroom. I thought the asking price for such was outrageous.

The common areas, however, were lovely and clean as a whistle. Nice accoutrements in the kitchen, clean washrooms/showers and nice staff. Punta Uva is lovely and there isn’t much in the way of budget accommodation, but I hope Walaba’s owners do something about the insects, dust and mould in the rooms. Especially the attic room, I was shown but did not take (there were numerous dead bugs sitting inside the mosquito net on a cruddy old mattress on the floor). Ew.

Room Tip: Check your mosquito net and bed carefully.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
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74 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San José, San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

We just wanted to thank you guys for everything! Our stay in Punta Uva was perfect. And a huge thank you to Vincent for helping us catch our bus in San Jose-- we would have been so lost without you!!! We wish you the best of luck with the new puppy. Thank you again!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heredia, Costa Rica
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

I'd love to say wonderful things about this place as I really liked the service provided by Vincent and his wife, unfortunately this time we encountered more inconveniences than enjoyment which ended up screwing up our trip.

I stayed at the "Walaviña" which is advertised as a nice private room for 1 person or a couple, the place is OK but not as I expected. Mosquitos are a very severe problem for this place since it's not fully sealed to avoid mosquitos or dengue to get into the room. The beds have "Mosquito Nets" but still the place attracs tons of bugs which are a pain.

The place needs severe fixes when it comes to water, they work with a turbin that makes the water come and go. If there's no light for whatever reason they run out of water as well, this actually happened to me one of the days I stayed. When the water came back I decided to take a shower but the water of the shower was coming BROWN so I decided to pass on that one! ! ! :S They said that they have worked to have that fixed but the goverment have not set clear water for them to use apparently and they are obviously not willing to take money out of their pocket to provide clean water for the guests or have this fixed.

One the room they had 2 bottled water. One was for brushing your teeth but not drinking as it said on the label, but the second one didn't have any message on it so we assume it was clean. We drank of that water and used it to cook as we expected that paying over a $100 they could at least include one bottle of clean water. Well it wasn't and we got sick for an entire day throwing up and with diarreah. Apparenty we were not the only ones as other couple and group of Ticos got sick as well. One of them was taken to the hospital with a severe intoxication. It was awful and we stayed sick for an entire day. Actually the only day that was a sunny day becuase it rained a lot.

The place was not very clean and overall I don't know how they have permission to work as a hostel. I sincerely consider that they should provide more according to what you've paid. Don't waste your money here, pay a little more and find a decent place. This placed ruined our experience in playa Uva and Puerto Viejo and definitely will not go back there.

Room Tip: Don't come here... That's my advise. There are better Hostels in the area such as "Rock...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Walaba is amazing. The hostel is run by honest people who want you to enjoy your time in Punta Uva. Punta Uva is very close to Puerto Viejo. The hostel offers bikes or you can take the bus into Puerto Viejo easily. Punta Uva is definitely a quieter and more intimate location than Puerto Viejo.

Vincent, who works at Walaba, was of great help to me. I had a very stressful situation to deal with and Vincent was very accommodating and helpful. I am greatly appreciative of his help, as well as the rest of the Walaba staff. It is a wonderful hostel and I would recommend it to any of my friends going into the area. I, in my rush in traveling, forgot a DSLR lens and Vincent informed me before I could even contact him regarding it. Therefore, it just proves that it is a great and safe hostel.

There are howler monkey and sloths nearby. On my way biking into Puerto Viejo, I just saw a sloth sitting on a tree. Thank you Walaba for a great experience.

Room Tip: One of the buildings has its own personal hammock and laundry line. The kitchen is right downstairs.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

As someone who is not one for hostels and usually dreads the thought of staying in them, even I would highly recommend choosing Walaba Hostel if staying in Puerto Viejo. The hostel staff were very friendly and welcoming and were great at offering us advice on anything and everything during our stay. The rooms/kitchens/bathrooms themselves were very sort of 'jungle-chic', perfect for embracing the experience in Puerto Viejo.

Room Tip: We had the room for 4 next to the kitchen on the ground floor- quick trip to the bathroom and kitche...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Helsinki, Finland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

If you are looking for a relaxing place, close to nature, with vibrant atmosphere, friendly people, and one of the most beautiful beaches 1 minute down the road, then this is a place for you. I stayed in Walaba for two nights in a private-type accommodation with own kitchen, bathroom, and even a hammock at the little porch. It was definitely a great value for my money. The staff was always there to help out either with a organizing a snorkeling trip, finding a bus to San Jose, or whatever else one would need. They provide tasty organic breakfasts for little extra, but it's for sure worth the extra bucks. Location is perfect, close to an amazing beach, a restaurant across the street, supermarket 500m down the road, and Puerto Viejo with its nightlife is 20minutes bike ride/10USD cab ride away. Walaba offers bikes for rent, which is pretty handy if you want to go outside Punta Uva and not to pay the cab fare. Definitely would be staying here again when I visit Costa Rica again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Diemen, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in Walaba Hostel for 3 nights. The dorms are fine and all have mosquito nets. One Night in a dorm costs 10 dollars, which is a good price in costa rica. The hostel has a kitchen and provides breakfast (not included though). They rent bikes for a decent price, so you can easily discover surrounding beaches and enjoy the beautiful nature (I've seen monkeys, sloths, snake on the way to the beach!). The nearest supermarket is a 500m walk. The closest beach 100m. The staff is very friendly and helpful and is full of tips. If you look for a calm an quit place to stay, this is a great option. It feels like you are sleeping in the jungle because the walls are open (great experience is the shower, also like you are outside hihi!). The only thing you should be careful with, are the monkeys. Sometimes they come at night and steal food in the Kitchen. In the fridge everything is fine, but whatever you keep outside, may disappear (I lost my bread and chips and rice haha!). The bus to San Jose stops in front of the hostel, that's very nice. If you want to go our for a night in Puerto Viejo (free moijitos on Thursdays ladies night) you have to take a cab that will cost 10 dollars...bit expensive but if you share the ride its fine. The hostel offers tours as well and has nice restaurants around the corner (great seafood!)
If you have any questions, let me know!

Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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 Walaba Hostel & Beach Houses

Address: Punta Uva | Puerto Viejo, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 1451-2050, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 67 Specialty lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Walaba is a charming property located between the jungle and the beach in the South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Our houses Caribbean style, are perfect for people who enjoy the tranquility of nature and love life. Our regular visitors in the area include monkeys, sloths, hummingbirds, toucans and many other species of birds, frogs, lizards along with other critters and creatures that mother nature has offered Costa Rica. We are located 5km from down town Puerto Viejo on your way to Manzanillo. There are buses during the day that will drop you off directly outside the hostel or you can get a taxi from Puerto Viejo. Punta Uva is quite and relaxed with restaurants, markets and bars with a local touch. Walaba Hostel & Beach Houses is a short 2 minute walk from Punta Uva beach; one of the most beautiful and well known beaches in Costa Rica and the world. Playa Punta Uva is surrounded by exotic vegetation and wildlife with pristine crystal blue waters. Protected by a rock cave it’s a perfect beach to swim, snorkel/dive, kayak or just relax and enjoy a book or the company of old and new friends. For those travellers who may want to veer from the typical budget hostel or party environment and feel the real magic of the Caribbean Coast, our multi lingual staff can guide you in any direction you want to travel. We offer: Free Wifi, kitchen, beds with mosquito nets, hot water showers, dining room & hammocks, open air terrace and BBQ, parking, bicycle and snorkel rental, tour desk and shuttle service all set in a Tropical Rainforest Garden. "Walaba Hostel – Your Caribbean Vibe Mixed With The Costa Rican Pura Vida." ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Walaba Hostel & Beach Houses Costa Rica/Limon

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