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“Very good choice to stay in Panama City!”
Review of Hostal Mamallena

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Hostal Mamallena
Certificate of Excellence
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very good choice to stay in Panama City!”
Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

Very nice hostel! Friendly staff and a very nice common area! Very easy to meet a lit of good people. Attractions are in walking distance. It's also very easy to reach Albrook by bus (Bus terminal & shopping mall).

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Thanks, we´re glad you enjoyed yourself. We are pretty centrally located, as long as you don´t mind a bit of a walk or a taxi or bus ride. But then you have to do that no matter which hostel you´re in. Hope we can see you again one day.
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486 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

This hostel is really in an awful neighbourhood and not close to the main tourist sights of Panama.
Their dorm room has 12 beds and people are coming in and out at all hours. They cancelled my booking after a friend had confirmed my reservation 2 days beforehand so the only option the left me with was leave or sleep on the floor!
The women at reception are quite friendly. The men were a bit arrogant and borderline rude.
A positive is he bed mattresses are very comfortable - if you get a bed!
Breakfast - wouldn't even bother. The froege only cools things but isn't cold.
The have a dog and cat. The cat will jump on top of your bed.
They can make bookings for San Blas Islands for you. However their web site said you can't sail into San Blas. They said it was illegal. Whilst I was on the Islands I saw countless sailing shops amongst the island. So the information they provided was wrong. Their price list for San Blas is also outdated and you may get a shock if you're a couple once you arrive at the Islands as you'll be asked to pay more.
They also recommend Franklins Island. Franklin and am his staff and rude and money hungry. I am sure there are far better places.
I'd only stay here if you haven't researched better options. I wouldn't go back here.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank binvinnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
It´s always interesting reviews like this, it´s kinda like they have to find something to complain about, lucky it´s not too bad about ourselves! I am sorry the reservation was cancelled, but I am also sure there was a reason. Were you very late to arrive? If you´re more than around 4 hours past your arrival time without notice we will start to wonder if you´re coming and if people are waiting for beds we have to decide if we give it to them or wait. While some people don´t agree, the location isn´t that bad. it´s more what you´re used to and want. If you want to walk out the door and be in some high priced cafe/bar/restaurant then head to Casco Viejo. If you´re after a local area, with access to backpacker cheap shops, bars and restaurants, basically in the middle of the city then come to us.

Breakfast is unlimited pancakes, eat them if you want, it´s free. Most people love that feature(you know, the free one), The cat, sorry about that, but it´s a cat. The dog, was that a compaint, that we have a dog? Again, most people love the animals, it makes them feel at home again, missing the pets they left behind. That far outweigh the problems.

I can also see you son´t know much about San Blas and how it works. I will explain for everyone. Private sailing charters(where you rent a boat with a captain) are illegal in San Blas. Thats a fact, no matter what you saw. The fact that there are sailboats in San Blas does not mean that it´s not illegal! There are plenty of private sailors living there on their boats. I am sorry that you were confused. We do recommend Franklins, they are one of the most poular islands down there and every hostel in Panama City recommends them. Money hungry and rude? Hey, welcome to San Blas. It´s a third world county down there. Prices were wrong? Not according to when we spoke to all the owners and checked our prices. You got ripped off? Maybe, watch out next time. As it says at the front of our San Blas book, we do not own these islands, we do not own the transport to get you there, we do not make money by sending you to these islands. The book is there for your informatation, you decide where you want to go and we will make the booking for you(free.......). You have access to the internet at the hostel(free), you can use it to check on these places if you want, theres also usually people that have come back from San Blas to talk to as well.

So I´m glad the mattresses were good, I guess you got a bed after all, and that some of the staff were fine, sorry about the rest. Sorry about those people in the dorm coming in and out, next time you´re here we will suggest that they keep their movements to a minimum, and preferably before 9pm and after 8am. Or you could get a private room...........
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Sao Paulo, SP
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I was not very confident that Mamallena would be a good choice, but it was Ok at the end of the day. The atmosphere in the hostel is quite nice and staff members are friendly spanish/english speakers. The location is just Ok - neighborhood does not seem to be the safest place in the world and I would not recommend a night walk. On the other hand, it is close to the hot areas in the city. Facilities are ok was well - Room A/C only works from 9 PM to 8 AM, but room was clean and comfortable. There are no rooms with private bathroom, but for 30 bucks night for a couple, I think it's fair enough. I would't recommend it for a family trip, but for single backpackers or young couples, Mamallena is a great deal.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Felipe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, General Manager at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you for your comments about our hostel. Just to let you know our neighbourhood is very safe, to the point where I (female in her 20s) feel safe walking to and from the local shops and to and from my apartment close by, at night time. We are situated conveniently between the “hot areas” as you call them, of Casco Viejo and El Cangrejo, each being a 5-10 minute taxi ride, or 30 min (max) walk away. Our A/C only works between these times as these are the times most people will want it on. We do not have it running 24 hours a day as that would be extremely expensive, not to mention environmentally harmful, however if you would like you’re A/C in a private running all day we can switch it on for you all day for $5 per day. Thanks again for your comments and I hope we will see you again.
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Alexandria, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aggienmmi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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Additional Information about Hostal Mamallena

Property: 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 107 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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