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“More of a budget hotel than hostel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Carmen

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Hostal Carmen
0784 Ingavi Street | 0784 Ingavi Street, Corner Ramon Rojas, Tarija, Bolivia   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“More of a budget hotel than hostel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed in Tarija just before Christmas. It is worth noting this is probably not a good time to visit, particularly if you are wanting to visit the vineyards in the area, as they all seemed to have closed early for Christmas.

We spent two nights at Hostal Carmen, which is more of a budget hotel than a hostel. We arrived early morning after travelling by overnight bus from Sucre. We were unable to check in and the person at reception spoke no English & my limited Spanish was not getting us anywhere. He did call his manager who spoke English & advised us we could leave our bags and check in later in the day. Nothing was open in Tarija before 9am/10am and there is little to do in Tarija before cafes opened.

The hostal provides a buffet breakfast, which was OK. They advise they have pancakes & other hot food available, but nothing was available when we ate. Given other reviews commenting about this, I suspect they no longer provide hot food, but have not removed their sign.

The room was fine - small double bed & a single bed with a private bathroom. Hot water was available throughout the day and was hot (often not the case in Bolivia!). Free wi-fi connection is available & throughout the hostel with a good connection.

The hostel is located a short walk from the centre of Tarija. There are no cooking facilities, so you do need to eat out. We tried to find some places away from the main square, but they were all closed, so you'll most likely eat around the square.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
HostalCarmen, Gerente at Hostal Carmen, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Google Translation
De antemano un cordial saludo. Revisando los comentarios de nuestros clientes en tripadvisor nos agradó encontramos con el suyo.
Las opiniones de nuestros clientes son muy importantes para nosotros, tanto para conocer nuestras virtudes y nuestras deficiencias y de ese modo mejorar nuestro servicios.
Gracias por su preferencia, esperamos poder contar con su visita pronto. Desde ya le hacemos saber que lo estaremos esperando con los brazos abiertos.
Que tenga un excelente día y un feliz resto de jornada.
Saludos Chapacos
Patricia Vaca Guzmán
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    4
    9
    3
    1
    0
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4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Moorea, French Polynesia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

The hostel is more like a hotel and located close to the city center. The room was well appointed and the mattress very good (room 212). My room had only a window on the atrium side which eliminated the traffic noise, but not the noise from people coming back drunk on the second night.
Staff was friendly and breakfast very good. Hot showers were really hot any time of the day and WiFi was one of the best connections I had in Bolivia.

Room Tip: I read the commentary concerning the bad mattress. Room 212 had a very good one
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

So you are a backpacker but for once you want to feel pampered. Instead of staying in the Lonely Planet recommended place, you cross the street and asks how much. And it is not so much more, considering the big breakfast, private bathroom, TV and free wifi. So you stay. Apart from some pushing to contract wine tours, the people at the Carmen are nice, and the place feels and looks like a hotel, not a hostel. Stayed three days in July 2012.

Room Tip: Go to the upper floor, there you have a small living room and nice rooms which are cheaper, so it is...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Chicago
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Came upon the hotel by accident. We actually meant to stay across the street based on Lonely Planet... but very glad the other one was full. Hostal Carmen has super friendly staff that wouldn't be out of place at a high-end hotel. I woke up a bit late for breakfast, but they were ever so accommodating. When we asked for directions to wineries, they gave us detailed descriptions of where to go...and where not to go, and how to get there. We stayed in hotels across multiple price ranges in Bolivia (from inexpensive to pricey). By far the best value was the Carmen.

  • 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
    • 5 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.
Boca Raton
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We moved here after spending an overpriced night at Hostal Granny. We had a room with a very small kitchenette with no kitchenware - the hotel had no problems giving us minimum utensils which worked out OK. The rooms are dated but clean enough, although the mattress definitely needs renewing! Breakfast was very hit and miss, where maybe eggs and pancakes were available one day and not the next, yoghurt may be available, and papaya / bananas weren't always out either. Then it wasn't always on time! The view from the terrace was great and overall the staff were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

After reading the existing reviews, I thought I was safe with this choice, but that turned out not to be the case. I was supposed to stay 5 nights and only managed one. I had asked for a room on a high floor, but wasn't given one, because apparently the ones that were left weren't in good condition. It was suggested that I had a choice between a dark room or a room on the first floor. I took that one. I ended up in a dingy little room crowded with a double and a single bed (I was staying by myself), directly above the street and facing the windows of the Rosario across the street. Since the large window didn't have a veil, I had a choice of ending up in semi-darkness or saying good-bye to my privacy. With that came the noise. The numerous trucks and motorbikes passing directly below me made the windows rattle constantly. Then, the hotel is structured as a covered patio, with the breakfast area and the reception down below. I was treated to the constant noise of chairs dragging on the tile floor, plus the owner family, all of whom seem to hang out on the premises all day, constantly yelling and calling out to each other from one end of the place to the other. Also, I can't say that the young man who checked me in was particularly friendly, more from lack of training than anything else. The property of the bedding was questionable. The bathroom was functional, except that I couldn't get any hot water for my shower. The remote for the miniature TV was broken. The only thing acceptable was the buffet breakfast, well stocked with a variety of choices.
All in all, for the price, you can do better than this.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012 via mobile

granted, we arrived at tarija at high season right before crismes and taeija isn't cheap to begin with.
still, 80 bol per person after discount is a lot for muchilleros like us but everything was full so we stayed two nights

a side the price the hostel is very much the level of en hotel so if you have the budget its great with big rooms all with privet bathrooms, great buffet breakfast and nice staff. they have wifi.

the rooms on the thired floor are the cheapest and we got a room for four for just the two of us. luckly they put phones in all rooms so you dont have to get down the bazillion steps if you neex somthing and theres also common sun room with sofas on that floor. the wifi is a little slow up there but good enough for whatsup.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hostal Carmen

Address: 0784 Ingavi Street | 0784 Ingavi Street, Corner Ramon Rojas, Tarija, Bolivia
Location: Bolivia > Tarija Department > Tarija
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Tarija
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostal Carmen*** is located in the traditional district of Tarija, Barrio El Molino, a few blocks from the main square of the city. It has 30 rooms spread over 4 floors with single, double, suite, semi suite, double, triple and family. We also have additional services VTB! Incoming tourism in Tarija, inbound tour operating company. VTB! Is a pioneer in Tarija, with over 18 years of experience providing quality service with professionalism and managed by its owners, creators and discoverers of several tourist circuits. ... more   less 
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