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“Friendliest Hostel Ever”
Review of Hostal Mamallena

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Hostal Mamallena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This hostel is pretty standard as far as hostels go. Everything you expect and more is there: free wi-fi, free breakfast, tons of movies on the television, standard beds, even a pool. The vibe is pretty standard too I think, its super chill and laid back. The people here, both the staff and other travelers were really great. I was travelling alone and there was never a night that I was by myself, I always had someone offering to include me in their dinner plans or go to a bar. This is a great base from which to see Panama City.

The only drawback is the location. The neighborhood is not dangerous at all but it is also not clean or nice. Its just a very trashy, kind of run down piece of the city. It is also at least a 20 minute walk from anything of interest. Though everything you need to get by, such as restaurants, convenience stores, banks, bus stops, etc is within a 3 minute walk from the hostel door.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank aggienmmi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 - 244 of 492 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

First and foremost, this hostel is by far the best family/welcoming vibe hostel in Panama City.

From a basics standpoint. They have 24 hrs security and front desk who will welcome you at any hour of the day no matter what time you show up. I got to the hostel at 4am after 24hrs of traveling and they where up waiting for me with my bed made, AMAZING. In addition to that they have super fast wifi if you have your own computer or a couple of free use computers if you don't have your own. There is an awesome common areas with couches, hammocks and a great living rooms zone with a flat screen tv where try play movies every night.

Most importantly, the attentiveness and genuinely caring attitude of the managers particularly Kat, Kat is one of the co managers of the hostel and it's clear that because of her this hostel feels as welcoming and as family orientated a it is. The first morning after my 24hrs of traveling I was very tired and looking for help when Kat came up and assisted with everything. She helped without asking and showed a true hospitality spirit. She helped with directions, restaurants, my sailboat/tour booking and was the most pleasant, very rare these days.

If your looking for a clean comfortable place to stay and to be treated like family, this is the place for you, period.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank Ian-ii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Thank you so much for your review, we are so glad you enjoyed your stay and felt well looked after while in our care! We have done our job!

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Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here a couple of nights in a double room which was clean & big enough. No a/c but fans in the room. Good position in the city - everywhere was easy to get to & the room was a good price. Met lots of great people here & it has a lovely atmosphere. Used their transport from the airport - well worth it as our flight was late & they organised 2 other people to share the cost with us. Will stay here again on our way back through Panama as we head down through S America.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank KeirW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Hi there,

Thank you so much for your review, you must have stayed in Room 1, our only room without A/C at the moment! We hope we will see you again, so we can put you in one of our A/C rooms!

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

Mamallena Panama City is your quintessential middle of the road hostel. Tons of backpackers, communal washrooms up the waz, and a seriously transient vibe.

I'm still trying to figure out the draw of opening a hostel in this neighbourhood. Next time we're in Panama City (which we were pleasantly surprised by, and will revisit) we'll definitely look for a place in Casco Viejo.

We booked a private room that was decently clean and Mamallena provides towels, but privates with en suite washrooms aren't an option.

The hostel has both a kitchen and aboveground pool, but neither are particularly appealing. The open air wifi area/bar is a nice place to park yourself in front of a fan to work in the heat of the day.

Like several folks, the reason we stayed at Mamallena was because they booked our passage sailing from the San Blas Islands to Cartagena, Colombia. It's definitely a worthy adventure, but the quality of your trip is completely dependent on your captain. We sailed on the Corto II with captain Sebastian. While we recommend the trip, we DO NOT recommend sailing with Sebastian.

You can read more about our high seas hijinks at pasturebraised.com/san_blas_panama/

Room Tip: Ask for the location of your private room. No privates have en sutie bathrooms, and the ones downsta...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank PastureBraised
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Hi, thank you for your review. Our hostel is located in the Perejil neighbourhood of Panama, a safe and friendly area with local shops, mini supermarkets, pharmacies, cafes, bakeries, bars, restaurants and internet cafes less than a minute’s walk from our door, all of which you will find things at much lower prices than in the touristy Casco Viejo area. If you want to go to any of the tourist areas they are within easy reach by walking or taxi, as we are conveniently located smack bang between Casco Viejo and El Cangrejo.
Our kitchen is often one of the things guests like best, as it is well stocked with anything you need to cook anything! Our pool is only a month or so old, and great to cool off in when the heat of the city gets too much. A pity you didnt like it.
At the moment we have no privates with ensuite, but we are considering changing the layout of the hostel to include these within the next year.
I am sorry your time was not affected by the helpfulness of our staff, one of which spent a considerable amount of time helping you, and I am surprised you have given us such a low rating, considering the glowing email about our hostel that you sent us soon after your arrival in Caragena.
As for the trip to Cartagena, we apologise for this, and the Captain has been spoken to, but we do not employ the captains and what happens on the boats is completely out of our control, which is why we ask for honest reviews so people can make their mind up about a boat before they book it.
Im sorry that you did not have a better time and I hope you are enjoying the rest of your trip.
Mamallena

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

Centrally located. Basic grocery stores (mini super) a block away. Well equipped kitchen. Free pancakes and coffee is a nice bonus. Comfortable bunks but the frames are WAY to squeeky. Nice helpful staff and alot of info about things to do and see. Nice social areas to hang out in and meet people. The many showers and toilets were very clean. Coin operated laundry appliances.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Garapatoso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Hey, thanks for your review. We are glad you enjoyed your stay! We are currently installing better brackets between the walls and our dorm beds to minimise any squeaking. Hope to see you again!

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Reviewed March 17, 2013

stayed for 3 days, in 2013/01 and the hostel is good.
safe for travelers, clean, bathrooms clean, beds ok.
very hot country and they only turn on the AC 21 pm.
a bad neighborhood, not dangerous but very ugly.
there is no bar on the hotel, cheap beer but only a refrigerator.
i would stay again.
seems fr party, the lunas castle is better..

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Phillipe_Burglin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Hi there, thanks for your review. The reason we only turn our A/C on at 9pm is that most people are not in the rooms before then, and we cannot have the A/C running all day as that would be pretty expensive, not to mention harmful to the environment. If anyone would like their A/C on for the day we can do so at an extra cost of $5, but we try not to encourage it (for above environmental reasons). You are right, our neighbourhood is not dangerous at all, but it does have a problem, much like the rest of Panama, with waste disposal, and so at times it can be quite messy, although we do do our best to ensure the area around the hostel is tidy, we cannot control the rest of our neighbours waste. We're working on it though! It’s a pity you only stayed in January, because in February we launched cocktail nights, so guests could party in the hostel, as if it was a bar! We have a well stocked fridge at reception with beer, sodas, wine, water, juice and milk, among other things. We are glad you enjoyed your stay, and if you partied in Lunas Castle I hope you enjoyed coming back to our quiet hostel for your sleep afterwards!!

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

Did not stay here but booked San Blas through Mamallena and it was very good!! We showed up getting off of the overnight bus from Bocas Del Toro And they were able to get us in a 4x4 to san blas at 5:30am and it all worked out very good and was well organized...would recommend!!

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank byronbcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your review, we have a wealth of experience in organising trips to San Blas and I'm so glad this was put to good use for you. I hope you enjoyed your trip and we may see you again sometime!

Mamallena

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Additional Information about Hostal Mamallena

Address: Casa 7-62 Calle Primera | Perejil, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 108 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Price Range: $13 - $26 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mamallena Backpackers Panama City
Hostal Mamallena Panama/Panama City

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