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42 - 47 of 105 reviews
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Where do I start? The overall impression of this place is that it is pretty much abandoned and has a life of its own. The staff is "robotic" if not arrogant and unwelcoming, and none of the other guests I have met likes either the owner/manager, or the rest of the staff. As I arrived, I was given a series of rules (which, so that no mistake is ever made, are also written about in every single corner of the hostel). When stating the rules, the staff just kept repeating "we just tell everybody". The place is dirty. Ie the bathrooms could do with a decent scrub, and the whole place should be dusted and mopped. The dorm is decent in terms of beds, but it is dirty too. The kitchen is dirty, the common areas dusty/dirty too. The staff is snappy - I was snapped at as I was "late" for breakfast, which is from 8 to 10, and I only arrived at 9:50. I was told that I had been seen running about all morning, and had no excuse for that. Trouble is, I did have a good excuse. The dodgiest part, however, is the prices. I spent a night there in a double bedroom which costed me and my friend 8 dollars each (16 in total). The dorm costs 10 per person. When I went again, the double bedroom was already busy, so I stayed in the dorm and agreed that my friend and I would be moved to the double bedroom the day after, and we were told it would cost 16 dollars total. When we went down to check into the double bedroom, the price had suddenly become 26. We explained we had been told the price was 16, but the manager said he decides the prices - who knows how. We just left, and checked into a much nicer hostel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank taffani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

The hostel was clean and well-run, and the layout is oriented very well to encourage hostel guests to hang out together. If you don't speak Spanish, this is a great place to be. the employees even answer the phone in english. The neighborhood is safe and proximity to downtown and bus stops is great. Two things on the negative side: the customer service was a little more than "chill" and came off as a bit off-putting. Not to say anyone there is lazy, but rather they should put more importance on making their guests feel welcome. Secondly a word from experience: you'll be a lot happier there if you smoke (we came out of the hostel smelling of cigarettes).

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank TrekConmigo
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 January 3, 2014

I thank this person for their remarks and would like to address the negatives. First off, there are designated smoking areas and if someone does not want to be around the smokers, there are other places they can spend time. In accordance with Costa Rican Law smoking inside the public areas and the rooms is strongly enforced. Regarding the other complaint. We do not believe that staff are necessarily supposed to be "hanging out" with guests. Guests are permitted to sit with the staff in the area that we usually hang out in but we like to keep a separation that allows us to do our job better. During my first months as the owner of the hostel I became far too chummy with my guests which made doing my job a little more difficult. It is a lot easier to tell someone they need to clean up their dishes when you were not at the bar with them the night before. There are signs posted that inform guests where the staff are and anyone who needs anything is helped promptly. Once again, I thank this person for his candid remarks but wish he or she would have said something while still here so we would have had an opportunity to address his or her concerns immediately.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

A decent hostel where you have great internet access and the basic services you need. I received great service as well as an excellent price for what I needed. It is near the Universidad de Costa Rica and next to a great bus route to get quickly to the National Archives as well as downtown San José. For those working at the Archives, I would recommend this hostel.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank bob b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

good place for teenagers who enjoy drinking bear and watch tv BUT horrible if you don't. the lazy staff is just inappropiate : they don't speak spanish, and the breakfast is anything but good. what else...bed hurts, dirty place with typico " cucaracha " in the kitchen for breakfast...they call it a castle, i call it a jail.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mimiao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was our first time in Costa Rica, My boyfriend and I booked a room at Castle Tam for the night we flew in because it was the cheapest place we could find. I was very happily surprised when I walked through the front gates! There is art painted onto the walls, maps of Costa Rica, a map of down town, some flags, Its was so colourful!

Firstly the hostel its self is full of character! Anything you need is there, the kitchens are fully stoked with pots and pans and utensils, you can keep your food in the fridges or in your own little cubby hole in the kitchen, which is great for long stays because you save a whole lot of money cooking your own food. There is a lovely little living room with a T.v and couches, coffee every morning, a cute little court yard with a big beautiful tree and a little grass area, tables and chairs, perfect for eating breakfast on a sunny day :)

That isn't even the best part though,the real charm to Castle Tam is the staff.
From the second we got in they we're very welcoming and helpful, the owner John is a wonderful american man who helped us with everything we need. From getting us towels and giving us directions to actually taking us places, He showed us market and the grocery store and took us out of town to see some great sights and gave us lots of history lessons.
The rest of the staff is fantastic a swell, they are lots of fun and super cool. We spent a lot of time bugging the staff who are in the garage on they're down time (its like the staff room) they made us feel really included.

All and all I could go on forever, we are here for a month and got a great rate, the prices are perfect for young travellers or budget travellers. No it does not look like a 4 star hotel and no you wont get room service and yes there are dust in some corners and the traffic can be loud in the morning and the people can be loud at night but in my opinion you get so much more than what you pay for.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank HopelessWanderer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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