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“Great Place and very helpfl staff!”
Review of Castle Tam Hostel

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Castle Tam Hostel
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I stayed in Castle Tam on two sperate occasions whilst passing through San Jose and each time the staff were really helpful(especially Jonathan the manager) and the atmosphere very friendly and lively. Its situated in a really nice neighbourhood and an easy ten minute bus ride from the centre. The breakfast is in a cafe and when i was leaving very early for the airport the next morning before the cafe was open, they gave me eggs. Such a bargain. Great hostel!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Caroline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 - 61 of 105 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2013

Amazingly organized, clean, very friendly, very nice neighborhood! The staff is amazing and ALLWAYS want to help you with anything! Defenetely will stay there again! A very nice surprise in Costa Rica!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank joanaPuertoEsco p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

This is my first review I write and I am simply writing it, because I read one review about this place which is just awfully wrong and doesn't do this place justice.

Castle Tam is a no-nonsense, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of place. I stayed here for three months and I suppose you have to have been here longer to appreciate the changes in management that Johnathan and his staff have implemented.

I read in some other reviews that alcohol is not allowed to be stored in the fridges. This is for good reason. After four you are allowed to store your alcohol for use during the evening hours (which most of the time is the time we use alcohol right?). I guess people don't realize it doesn't look very accomodating to have drunk guests in your hostel at noon. Furthermore, this rule allows ALL guests to store and preserve their FOOD with room to spare without having to worry about the douches taking up the whole fridge with their alcohol.

Is it the cleanest place in the world? No it is not. And if you are a long term guest, for nine bucks a night, it doesn't have to be. But it sure is clean enough!

What I am amazed about is the service that Jonathan and his staff provided. All one needed to do is ask and they would get it done for you. I guess that a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of the staff having to be able to read minds...
The staff takes you out on a Reggae night or to a worldcup football match of Costa Rica, I regarded them more as my friends than as the staff of the Hostel where I was staying at.

The beds are good, value is fantastic, cleanliness is acceptable, location is fantastic and the rooms (as soon as they get the ghost of a former guest out of mine) are comfortable

People need to have realistic expectations and simply need to understand the rules. So yes, your beer will be confiscated and with good reason.

Some of the stoves are malfunctioning, you might encounter the occasional Gecko in your room and yes there is occasional pot smoking during off-hours by one or two of the staff members (yes Kate and others, I will exempt you from earlier generalizations), but this place is an awesome place to stay if you are simply able to relate to the fact that: Yes! We are in Costa Rica where everything malfunctions and where life is not taken as seriously as anywhere else! As soon as you are able to accept this simple fact, you will love Castle Tam!

Leonard Bleeker

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Leonard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Checked in with some friends so we reserved one dorm bed and one private. Went into the dorm that appeared as if a bomb went off, luckily there are 5 beds in the private so I stayed with them. Went to store because there is decent size but dirty kitchen. Went to store beers in fridge, in which there are 3 of, all labeled with warnings to not store drinks and if you do what is left will be confiscated by staff in the morning. Asked the staff about it and he responded " beer doesn't spoil so it doesn't need to be in there." apparently he is unaware that in a tropical climate it has a chance to get warm. I wish I were making this up. Also there is very little around and the staff doesn't appear to care wether you are here or not. Door knob on private is falling off.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank LouBass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonathan W, Owner at Castle Tam Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2013

There is a policy regarding storing beer in the refrigerators at certain times. It was put in place because many guests were complaining they could not store their food in the refrigerators because of so many alcoholic beverages taking up room. Food storage supersedes alcohol storage. Alcohol can be stored between the hours of 4pm and 9am. The person leaving this review left out the fact that I talked to him about an hour after him coming to me and I told him he could put his beer in the refrigerator if he wanted to. Regarding the "bomb" that went off in the dorm, there are backpack sized lockers available for anyone staying in the dorm. They are available but I cannot make people use them. My dorm is 8 beds which is smaller than some of the 12, 14, even 20 bed dorms I have encountered at other hostels. If I was to force people to use the lockers then people would be complaining about how management would not let them sleep with their bags nearby. You can't please everyone.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

My two friends and I needed a place to stay very last minute in San Jose and Castle Tam welcomed us with open arms. The rooms were reasonably priced, clean, comfortably sized and quiet. At night there was only a little traffic audible and at times the room can be chilly so I would advice requesting more blankets. In the morning you will be greeted by your host and offered a warm meal to start your day (upon request which keeps things fresh).

The hosts and guests were all very amiable. If we had any questions, concerns or inquiries they were ready to answer any questions with a smile. Internet access was readily available but I rarely needed to look up directions or transportation because that info was readily available in the common room or front desk.

The Hostel is near many attractions or is easily accessible by bus or taxi. Crossing streets are always a little tricky in San Jose but nothing is too far a walk if you're alert. The neighborhood felt pretty safe but for piece of mind there is an in-out locked gate.

My friends and I would love to come back if we ever cross into San Jose again. We would certainly recommend the stay.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Kyra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Jonathan has given that extra effort to raise this hostel to another level in hostelries. On my first day he personally escorted me to nearby food stores and restaurants. He helped me and other guests with a multitude of questions and concerns. His long term residents are also an invaluable source of valuable travel information. The entire environment here encourages mutual information sharing. The hostel is also very clean and well maintained. I always felt safe and secure here, which is something for me,as a solo female traveller is a high priority.this will always be my home away from home.not to mention the close proximity to buses and the centre of San Jose.
Thank you again

Room Tip: Reserve ahead, there are many walk-ins here because of Castle Tams high reputation. Don't be di...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Rose B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Castle Tam is located in San Pedro, a great little area to relax after lots of travel around Costa Rica, run errands or enjoy the University district. You can simply take a short bus from the center of San Jose to San Pedro and then walk (or catch a cab, if you'd prefer) to the hostel. The hostel has an adorable British theme, which gives it a unique and memorable impression. There are two kitchens, a patio/garden, living room with large television, and other outdoor sitting areas with hammocks. Wifi is accessible in all parts of the hostel and there are computers available for your use as well.

I stayed in a private room while I was there. The bed was large and fairly comfortable. The rooms do look a bit run down and I couldn't help but think the whole place could use a bit of paint and some new sheets for all the beds (the place has a great layout and theme, why not keep it up to date?). I slept well the night but light sleepers might be bothered by some of street noise (ear plugs!). I was impressed by how large and well stocked the kitchens were. Overall, I felt like the hostel was a good choice for budget travelers. The staff was very pleasant and helpful.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MaryClark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Tam Hostel

Address: 100 metros oeste Escuela de la Roosevelt | San Pedro, San Pedro 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Pedro
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 14 Specialty Lodging in San Pedro
Price Range: $16 - $26 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We're in the heart of lively, upscale San Pedro, only 300 meters from the University of Costa Rica and the student nightlife of Calle de la Amargura. Our hostel is 10 minutes by bus from downtown San Jose and walking distance from San Pedro Mall, three supermarkets and many restaurants! We have two full kitchens and plenty of fridge space for your food. Hang out with fellow travelers in the courtyard, or watch students pass by on the outside terrace. San Pedro is a safe neighborhood in San Jose, so we enjoy taking our guests out for movie nights, skating, city walks and pub crawls on Calle de la Amargura. We have regular BBQs, hot water in every bathroom and free WiFi throughout the building. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Castle Tam Hostel Costa Rica/San Pedro

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