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“Best hostel in South America.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hostal Acuarela

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Hostal Acuarela
Certificate of Excellence
Valparaiso, Chile
1 review
“Best hostel in South America.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2014

'Best hostel in South America' might seem like a big statement, but we really felt that to be the vase for Hostal Acuarela. We arrived here wanting to stay for 2 nights, and one week later and we still don't know when we will leave. The location of the hostel is ideal, as it is situated in one of the most colourful and interesting neighbourhoods of Valparaiso, and it is also walking distance from the city centre. The rooms, from dorm to private, are big, bright and extremely clean for a hostel. The bathrooms and kitchen are also immaculately clean, and cooking here is actually enjoyable, rather than the usual hostel-kitchen experience. The free breakfast is perfect, with fruit, breads, cheeses, cereals and hot drinks all available until 11AM. However the overall importance of this hostel is the atmosphere made by the building itself, but also by the staff. From a roof-top terrace, to a iron spiral stair-case and cozy living room, to the great advice and recommendations from the staff and the home-made beer, this hostel has really benefited from the recent change in management.

Even if we were to return to Valparaiso with twice the budget, we would still choose Hostal Acuarela.

Room Tip: The rooms are universally great, so any room is a good room!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank THOMAS M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    76
    34
    9
    3
    4
See reviews for
6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Staff is helpfull, the hostel is clean and well-situated. Breakfast included and they offer me the first one (I arrived at 9 am first day !). Wifi is very nice, as the kitchen, the dormroom and bathroom !

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Guillaume R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

We have just stayed here for three nights and loved the place. The guy working there said that it was under new management, as of just a week ago. I wasn't quite surely the set up - there seemed to be three of them running it (perhaps they have bought the place together) -but all the guys were really friendly and there was always somebody around if you had a question etc.

We stayed in the dorm as we're trying to save a bit of money. The beds were very comfortable and the ensuite to the dorm was clean and the shower had hot water.

The communal area was lovely, there was a really homely atmosphere. There's a great kitchen, living area and dining area, all open plan but with some divisions of wooden beams between them. The hostel was quite quiet when we were there but I think with more people it would've very easy to socialise in that space. The living room also has a real log fire, which was handy given it is now winter.

The hostel is really well situated in an arty neighbourhood and the owners gave some great suggestions of things to do or places to eat. The wifi also worked really well throughout the hostel.

The breakfast was simple but good. Really nice bread and proper butter and jam with some cold meat and cheese, along with tea and coffee.

For the price we think this is an excellent option, but I think if we returning on a larger budget we would still go here, but opt for one of their double rooms, as there was just such a lovely atmosphere and it was such a nice location.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

This is great if you want the real Valparaiso experience. I stayed there and fell in love with the city and the hostel.
Really laid back, you feel like you live there.
You get an idea of the culture and meet the locals. Friends of the owner (artists and homeowners) came by and chatted to me and gave me good advice about where to go and what to do.

If you want the real experience and character choose acuarela. But if you want the cleanest and most functional hostel I'm sure it could beaten in that regard.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Thefamiliarsband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights in October 2012. We stayed in a 5 bed dorm, but as we are a group of 4 we had the whole place to ourselves. The beds were warm and comfortable, although oen of our group felt the duvet was a bit smelly and hadn't been washed in a while!

The strange thing about this hostel is that you are essentially left on your own the whole time. There is one guy who runs the place, thankfully he was there when we arrived otherwise the doors are locked and you're not able to get in. We were the only guests there, he went out for a few hours. During that time a few other travellers knocked at the door, leaving only us to answer it! We explained the guy had popped out and they could wait inside. An hour later he still wasn't back and we had to go out, so we had to ask the other travellers to leave! Very strange, almost like staying in a self catering apartment rather than a hostel.

In the morning the breakfast is left out for the guests - bread, fruit and tea/coffee. On the first morning this was fine as it was only us 4 staying there. On the second morning the hostel had more people staying. This meant that when we got up, the plates/cups etc had all been used by other guests.... and of course being a hostel with no staff meant that everything was dirty!

In my opinion the whole kitchen and lounge area needed a good clean. There were cups and empty beer cans lying around both days.

The good thing was the freedom being left on your own gave us. Nobody to bother us about checkout times, no having to wait for the kitchen etc. As I said before, it was nice being left to ourselves, but at the same time quite strange to not really have anyone working in the hostel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Beckiboo1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

Looking for something a bit smaller and quieter than the widely publicised hostels, we found Hostel Acuarela in a charming Valparaiso neighbourhood.

Upon entering the hostel, we knew it would be perfect for us. There is a small communal area with computer to access the internet, a dining area and a country kitchen with granite benchtops and a handy dishdrainer in the cupboard above the double sink. There is also fast, free wifi.

A tight wrought iron spiral staircase leads upstairs to a couple of double rooms (with shared bathroom) a twin bunk room and a dorm. At the top of the stairs is a big window offering lovely views of the bay. On a third level is a small rooftop terrace which, when there isn’t a haze over the city, provides a nice space to contemplate the beautiful, hilly city.

In our double room we had a very comfortable bed with new and good quality sheets and bedding (although the pillows were very thin). Make sure you bring a padlock to lock your bedroom door.

The water in the shower wasn’t super hot, but plenty warm enough and the bathroom was clean.

Breakfast is included, although this was a prepare-it-yourself affair with just wholemeal bread, coffee and sometimes fruit. The coffee, though instant, was so delicious we bought some in a local supermarket for the rest of our travels.

Hostel Acuarela is situated in a bohemian neighbourhood and is in a good place to explore the city by foot (and the famous ascensores!). It is a tranquil, comfortable place and is run by the friendly and unassuming Ivan.

When we arrived at the bus station, we took a tourist van (with Roditour who also gave us a free map) which offered a transport service to our hostel for $4000 pesos. At the entrance to the terminal we asked a taxi how much and that would have been $5000 pesos. A much cheaper way to do it is to take a local bus to Plazuela San Luis on Cerro Alegre for $300 pesos per person. From the Plazuela you walk about 2 blocks down Templeman to the hostel. We only did this trip in reverse to the bus station, but you can catch the 612 bus from Avenida Argentina or the 607 from behind the central market on Calle Yungay (I think). Both places are only a couple of blocks from the bus station.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank alittlecameo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chillan, Chile
Level Contributor
4 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

The staffs were very nice but the hostel was kind of old and noisy. It was written that the price includes a breakfast (from 8.30 to 10.30am) but at 9.30 am, nobody was awake because they went out the night before... That means no breakfast finaly...

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank marie l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal Acuarela

Property: Hostal Acuarela
Address: Templeman 862, Valparaiso 2370834, Chile
Location: Chile > Valparaiso Region > Valparaiso
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 176 Specialty Lodging in Valparaiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hostal Acuarela 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located in the heart of Cerro Alegre, a World Heritage site, in a pleasant environment friendly and cheerful. We have double rooms $ Us37 and Us15 $ per person sharing. Includes breakfast, use of lounge with cable TV, Computer, Wifi. Terrace with sea view. ... more   less 
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