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“Fun if You're Young & Single, Not Great for Families”
Review of Hostal Mamallena

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Hostal Mamallena
Certificate of Excellence
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fun if You're Young & Single, Not Great for Families”
Reviewed March 19, 2014

We booked a double room for our family of 4 ahead of time via email but were disappointed to arrive and find it was the only room that didn't have A/C (even though the website lists that all the rooms have AC). Panama is very hot and humid; you NEED AC. So we had to sleep with the window open and got bit up by mosquitos (luckily we didn't get dengue - it's an epidemic here at the moment).

On the website, they advertise a free pancake breakfast, but you have to actually make the pancakes yourself. This didn't really bother me, except that while we were there it was so busy we couldn't even get close to the stove to cook our pancakes. Basically I had to wait in line and get pushy to make breakfast for my kids. It was nice that the coffee was free though, but again, you had to stand guard over the pot as it brewed or 5 people would walk in and empty it in 30 seconds while your back was turned.

There is a nice big TV in the living room with an extensive library of movies. The few times that we found the couches not full of people sleeping there (not sure why they didn't go to the dorms?) or lounging there browsing their smartphones, we actually were able to put on a movie. No AC in the living room area, though there is a nice breeze.

The hostal has quite a few nice hangout areas and we met some great people where were also staying there. We actually liked most of the people working except for one girl who worked during the day - didn't get her name, but she never cracked a smile.

The neighborhood - though central - is not very close to anything. Everyone said we could walk to the water but it is a pretty long hot 6 blocks through a blah area. With kids it was too far to walk - by the time we got to the water they were really tired and we had to come back.

We actually sortof got kicked out - we originally paid for 2 nights and had planned on staying longer - but were informed at 11am that our room was booked for other guests. We asked if they could accomodate us in another room and were told no. So we had to cancel our plans for the whole day and in a panic call other hostels until we found one that would take families and had an open private room. We've never experienced that in any hostel before, but like I mentioned before, this hostel is very very busy which for us was a big down side (the bathrooms always seemed to be occupied).

We were actually really happy when we moved to Hostal Amador Familiar - tons of private rooms, all had AC, the kitchen was huge and never busy, the breakfast and coffee were prepared for us, and there was a playground right next door for the kids to play. Also a much quieter residential area.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the double room buy the kitchen and front desk - that's the one with no AC!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DillyDesigner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
I do apologise about you guys not being placed in a room with Ac, unfortunately the only room that could accommodate you doesn't have AC. It is our policy that we obviously tell you that when making the reservation but unfortunately that didn't happen, I have spoken to the staff about that. I am also sorry that you had to leave earlier than you planned, but glad that even with the things you didn't like you still wanted to stay! As you said we can get pretty busy and we take reservations for a set number of nights. If you haven't informed us on check in that you would like to extend then we assume that you are leaving on the date that you have stated. that said, the staff are also instructed to ask on check in if you are leaving on the date that you have specified. I apologise that that didn't happen.

For the other things that you have mentioned, such as the lounge area and the cooking of breakfast, I do have to say that we are a hostel and our main market is the people that you said would have a good time with us. Our lounge area is for people to enjoy as they like so we do try not to regulate how they enjoy it. We kinda leave it up to the guests to self regulate themselves and others. Breakfast is difficult, we provide it for free and I think most people are happy to get all they can eat pancakes and don't mind cooking it themselves. It can become a bit of a free for all i guess, but again its about self regulation. We provide the settings and make sure people don't go too far, but our guests are also adults and expected to know how to behave.

Again, I do apologise for the room and I will try to make sure it doesn't happen again. I'm gald you enjoyed the stay overall.
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481 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014

Good location, extremly friendly, helpful staff, good tv room and lots of places to use wifi + free internet of communal computers. Lots of nice places to sit and hang out. Near a very good supermarket and ability to cook for yourself which was nice. Dorm rooms looked really nice, unfortunalty we booked a private room with shared shower, only one shower worked, room had no window and was impossible to be in when the air conditioning wasnt on and the sheets didnt fit the bed! Also it was a double bed room not a twin which we didnt realise so if looking for a twin beware of that! However, we would recommend it as a place to stay but IN A DORM!

Room Tip: Pick a dorm
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HMaudP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I've stayed in many hostels around the world including the Hostal Mamallena in Boquete and unfortunately the Hostal Mamellena in Panama City ranks towards the bottom.

Our room was very small - not much bigger than the very worn out mattress that was sitting on the floor. We were grateful it had AC until we discovered the AC doesn't come on until 9 PM. We'd been traveling all day and really wanted to crash for a few hours, but the room was too hot and the mattress sagged too much. When the AC came on at 9 PM, the room cooled down but then we couldn't turn the AC off - the switch was broken :-(

The showers and toilets were average - there was always one free when I needed one and they were reasonably clean.

While the location seems central, it was 3-5+ km from all the places we wanted to visit.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Martin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
We must be doing pretty bad to be rated near the bottom of most of the world!! I do apologise though, its not our intention to be like that. I am pretty sure we don't have a mattress on the floor though, and if it was I am also sure it wouldn't sag! We do advertise that we only have AC from 9pm, and the size of the rooms has been mentioned various times here on TA. The Ac shouldn't be broken, but a broken switch on an AC is difficult to fix. I will look into it though. I will look into the problems and make sure they are fixed.
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Bocas Town, Panama
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 1, 2014

We stayed here the first night we landed in panama city. Richard checked us in and we went straight to bed after 18 hours of travel. He was very helpful to recommend us to the Miraflores locks and casco viejo as the next days activities.
The next day we walked from mamallena to casco viejo on the beautiful waterfront walk. There is a fantastic ceviche fish market between the hostel and casco viejo where we ended up eating everyday we were in panama city.
The staff and volunteers at mamallena were so helpful at recommending activities on a budget and the guests that we met were simply lovely. If you are looking for a laid back hostel with a cool location, definitely stay at mamallenas.
Ps choco loves pio pio.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VancouveriteVaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
To be fair, Choco loves anything that involves food, any food except his own that is! Good to hear that you enjoyed yourself and the staff are living up to expectations, thats always great to hear. Come back anytime, Choco is getting hungry.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slovakia
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014

To be honest, when I first came to Mamallena in Panama City, I did not like it. I just could not understand what was so cool about it. But I kept coming back because of Edgardo who works there - so helpful, always smiling, easy to talk to ... and also because of some guests staying there, such as Heider. We really had a blast chatting every day. The hostel itself is like any other hostel pretty much, the wifi is good, it can get a bit loud at night and I didn't like air con at night as sometimes it got too cold. But thumbs up for the little blender so I could make my smoothies (I do not eat pancakes included in the hostel price as I am raw vegan, so had to prepare my own meals).

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Crazysexyfuntraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 26, 2014

I ve been in hostel Mamallena last september and I can only say was wonderful. All people who work there were brilliant, gave me all instructions how to get where I wanted and really pleasure to met them. Once again I highly recommend this hostel because people who work there do their job very well and without them you would not be so sure. Thanks again to make my travel so nice. Love you all.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank feranda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostal Mamallena, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Thanks for that, its always nice to get praise for the staff in what can sometimes be a bit of a thankless job. This makes them feel that much more appreciated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

Excellent hostel for all kinds of crowds. Clean dorms with large bunkbeds and good ventilation at night.
Helpful staff who can help you planning your boattrip to Colombia via the San Blas islands (I can really recommend skipper Sebastian and his ship Cortos 2).
Nice, free breakfast with pancakes.
The garden lounge is a great hangout area to meet other travellers.

Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Giant J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 105 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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