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“Great hostel & community”
Review of Luna Sonrisa

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Luna Sonrisa
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Our hostel, Luna Sonrisa (the smiling moon), is super lovely. We decided to pay $60 USD for a private room with a private bathroom (they didn’t have any private matrimomials with shared bathroom left, and their doubles were upstairs from the shared bathroom which would have been a pain, so we decided to deal with the extra cost).

The hostel is great – 2 nice common sitting areas, free wifi as well as a computer for use, a really nice common kitchen with a beautiful large tiled table for food prep and eating in the middle, and a lovely breakfast included with delicious marmalades. Our bedroom was super comfortable and quiet even though the window looked out on the street, and the bathroom was lovely and clean. The only quirk was that our shower head was large so the spray literally filled the entire shower stall – there was no way to duck out of the water to shampoo or soap!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OurEpicAdventur... A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 54 of 172 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2013

Really great hostel. Beautiful tall ceilings with lots of sun. The "Real Coffee" was false advertising. Just as weak as every other hostel. Definite tourist vibe because even the people working there don't speak very good Spanish but they are all very sweet and helpful.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
Thank Traveler08u9787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

This delightful hostel in a remodeled old house has a distinct personality, and welcomes you like a friend. The staff were very prompt in responding to emails, and very welcoming when I eventually arrived after my bus from Mendoza had been delayed at the border. A filling breakfast is served family style in a downstairs room, like in a farmhouse. The staff were extraordinarily helpful in providing information about the area, and where to visit (and where not to).

The decoration trends towards the basic, and - just like in any home - maintaining privacy requires some discretion; several of the rooms open onto the common area, so you have to keep curtains closed and be prepared to deal with noise during the day. But this is more than compensated for by the warmth of the hostel as a whole.

The location is excellent, within easy walking distance of several good restaurants and museums, and only a short walk (or trip on the ascensor) to the terminus of the metro.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

This hostel has character and is genuinely one of my absolute favourites after 5 months in South America. The little things calmly make a big difference: cute dorm with no bunks, split level instead so no movement from above/below; electricity socket and reading light next to every dorm bed; hooks and lockers for your stuff; clean everywhere; toilet paper always replenished; soap available everywhere you would have it at home; kitchen available to cook; strong wifi; little sunny patio downstairs; helpful staff; a staffed communal breakfast with two types of fruit in a pleasant well-stocked kitchen; free tea and coffee all day... I could go on! You might walk past this place - blue building on the left as you walk uphill on Templeman, just before the church, with a tiny Luna Sonrisa sign.

When I was there it was a mix of ages and nationalities and was very quiet at night, but of course that is transient. It IS quite a walk uphill and it's true there's no view, but just step outside the door and the view is delightful. No flyers but there are guidebooks available. Nearly stayed somewhere else that talked more about recycling efforts, but I'm glad I stayed here instead. Showers mostly warm and strong, just two showers for a number of rooms but it didn't seem to be a problem. Janak should open a franchise in La Paz, it needs hostels like this!!

Room Tip: There's only one dorm, with 5 beds.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Travelbug9791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

We chose to book this hostel after reading excellent reviews online and it did not disappoint. We had comfortable, clean beds. The hostel felt like a home, with and lounge and had a fully stocked kitchen, so we were able to cook there one night. Good breakfast with homemade jam/jelly and good coffee. You eat breakfast communally with other people in the hostel, so it is a great way to meet the other travelers and form connections. The staff was friendly and genuine, giving us their honest opinion about where to eat and what to do, helping us to even arrange an outing (we did not know what we wanted to do on our last day and the owner helped us to arrange a horse trip last minute, which I would highly recommend to anyone).

Room Tip: We stayed in the five-person room and were relieved to know that the beds were single beds and not b...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

The room was basic, no mirror and window and door opened onto the main communal area. Everyone who passed by stared into room. The whole building was noisy, thin walls and floors mean you can hear people talking constantly. We had headaches the whole time we were there. Also toilets only had frosted glass so you could see people using toilets, no privacy again. Breakfast was nothing special, bread, bit of cheese and jam. Previous 2 places we stayed had far superior breakfasts. Laundry cost was a joke. The kitchen, although small was clean and we cooked in it.There is no outdoor space and from walking around the area we saw a lot of hostels with a balcony or roof terrace. The photos on trip advisor seem to be of the upstairs apartment- not of the actual hostel or rooms.

Room Tip: Wouldn't reccomend the twin or doubles with shared bathrooms- no privacy and constant noise from...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GAMlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luna_Sonrisa, Owner at Luna Sonrisa, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

I am sorry you were disappointed with your stay at Luna Sonrisa. Given that you stayed with us for four nights, I am surprised that rather than voice your concerns to us you decided to “suffer in silence”. Had we known you were not satisfied we would have offered you a different room, or helped you find alternative accommodation somewhere more suited to your needs. I would, however, take issue with a number of your specific points. First of all the house is incredibly solidly built. Far from being thin, the walls are two-foot thick solid Wood and Adobe. Secondly, writing that you can see people using toilets is disingenuous at best. Thirdly, we only began offering a laundry service when the local laundrette closed down, so that our guests don’t have to walk half way across town to get their clothes washed. If you had chosen to take your clothes downtown, you would have paid exactly the same amount. Fourthly, the kitchen is five metres by four metres, which, for a hostel of our size can hardly be described as small. Fifthly, we do have an outside area and sixthly, although there are some photos of the apartment on tripadvisor, there are plenty of photos of the actual hostel. You booked through our website so you would have seen a fuller range of photos of the hostel there.

Finally a piece of general advice for anyone reading this (from my point of view as a hostel owner): if there is something about the hostel with which you are unhappy then please let us know at the time. Most of the time we will be able to resolve the issue straight away, and if not, at least we will be aware of the problem. We are more than happy to take constructive criticism if it means we can provide a better service in the future. At the end of the day, our main aim is to make sure our guests enjoy their stay with us and make the most of their time in Valparaíso.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

I spent three nights at Luna Sonrisa. I give LS high marks for its location, its friendly and helpful staff, and its excellent breakfast that included delicious breads, rolls, cheese, fresh fruit, and some of the best coffee I have enjoyed in Chile.

But I was disappointed in my private, single room/shared bathroom that I occupied which came with little more than a bed. A room with an area no larger than 2x4 meters, there was merely a small side table, lamp, and folding chair. A clothing hook and a small shelf was attached to one wall. There was no closet or chest of drawers to store one’s belongings so, just like staying in the dorm, I had to live out of my suitcase during my stay. With nearly no amenities in the private rooms, I would advise saving your money and staying in a dorm room if you stay at Luna Sonrisa.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luna_Sonrisa, Owner at Luna Sonrisa, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Thank you for your comments and for your kind words in general about the hostel, our staff and our breakfast. However, with regard to what you say about your room, I would point out that you did book our "small" single and that we do have larger private rooms with more amenities.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luna Sonrisa

Address: Templeman 833 | Cerro Alegre, Valparaiso 2370951, Chile
Location: Chile > Valparaiso Region > Valparaiso
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 192 Specialty Lodging in Valparaiso
Number of rooms: 24

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