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“Worst hostel in Colombia”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Green Saman

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The Green Saman
Ranked #42 of 93 Cali B&B and Inns
1 review
“Worst hostel in Colombia”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

My boyfriend and I were excited to stay in this hostel after having read the reviews online but we were far from excited when we arrived there.

Firstly the hostel is in the middle of a residential neighborhood and non of the taxi drivers know how to find it. We experienced 2 journeys where the taxi drivers got lost and brought us through some really dodgy areas only to charge us and drop us back to where we started.

We went for a short walk on our first day there, just down the road from the hostel and we were stopped by a local lady in a jeep who told us it was too dangerous to walk around there and insisted that we take a lift with her or call a taxi. We had checked with the girl on reception before we left the hostel who had failed to tell us any of this.

But back to the hostel itself. We were thrown into an old, musty room (it smelt awful) and charged 90000 (we booked on hostelworld). Other than smelling it was small and the plaster was coming off the walls all over. There was a massive gap in the wall between the bathroom and outside and the door between the bathroom and bedroom didnt close. When we asked the guy on reception if we could change rooms he said it was no problem but he had to check with the manager first, who was asleep on the couch in the common room (first alarm bell). We were told we had to wait until after check out- 12pm. 12pm came and went and no one came near us. I went back to reception to check. I was met by the manager who said 'Oh yeah that guy made a mistake, there are no other rooms'.

We were forced to stay for 2 nights because everywhere else was booked up, there are very few hostels in Cali. During our time there we experienced rude, slow staff, a cockroache in our bed, a loud alarm going off outside our room every night, ridiculously high rates, no assistance or information. I could go on all day but won't bore you.

Basically don't stay here. We were misled by the reviews because the hostel was taken over a few months ago by new guys. It was originally ran by a Scottish guy who apparently did a really good job. I can only imagine that this place will get worse and worse in the care of its present owners.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nomadhobo86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rodrigo E, Owner at The Green Saman, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Emma and Michael:

I believe that your review is not fair as it only shows bad things about a hostel that I want to clarify and I can assure you it is not the worst Hostel in Colombia.

1. The room you booked was the one you were put on as a BUDGET PRIVATE ROOM that costed 90.000 because you booked on the bussiest time of the year for Cali during the carnival at the end of the year.

2. As soon as you told us about the smell (the sewer system of the house was damaged that day) we contacted a company to try to fix it and we blocked the places on the bathroom were the smell was coming from. Because of this we gave you a 22% discount and we told you that you were free to find other place without charging you a No Show or anything.

3. About the owner sleeping on the couch this happened because the owner decide to give his bed to a guest and sleep anywhere so a customer could have a bed (the owner does not live in Cali but on another Colombian City). On the second day they arranged a temporary room for the owners.

4. I do not believe that you experienced the worst time of your life as the staff tried to please you by putting the football match you wanted and you were given the same treatment as the rest of the guests.

5. About the change of rooms it was a mistake that we could not fix as the person that originally told you that you could change room checked the availabity wrong and offered you a room that was already occupied by another guest. For this I am really sorry but since the place was packed we couldnt do anything else.

I dont want to go to every aspect written but I think this answers to most of the topics written.

Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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    3
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Families
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3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

This place has a lot of potential. As I understand it the owners have just taken over and are getting the place in order. However they have a ways to go. They area is very quiet and relaxing but a taxi is needed to go just about anywhere. The staff is wonderful and most speak English. In the future I will consider staying here again, but right now there are probably better values in Cali. I feel this place will soon be better.

Room Tip: I did not stay in the dorm rooms but they seem to be already renovated and are probably the best val...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chuck H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

This 4-star hotel/mini-resort with hostel prices turned out to be so good that we spent five nights there instead of originally planned two. Staff was very helpful and took us to some nice places to listen and dance salsa, reggaetón and other latin america music. Afterparty at the pool was really something. Nevertheless dorm was quiet enough for a good night sleep.

Even though there were quite many travelers at the weekend it wasn't hard to find a tranquil place. The hardest decision was to choose between the pool or hammock in the garden under the mango tree. Those free mangos were THE best we had ever tasted. It's a pity that avocados weren't ripe yet.

There was all day long free coffee and free breakfast included fresh fruits and some cereals. Reasonably priced meals were tasty and vegetarian option was always available.

Neighborhood must be one of the safest in Cali. Every night there was a night watch and he together with Venus The Friendly Dog made us feel very secure all the time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank penajakeke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Had the best couple of days at this hostel!! Its beautiful, the pool is fantastic and the beds are comfy and as a traveller it ticked more boxes than a lot of hostels for that price :) The staff were fantastic, helped us when we had taxi trouble, showed us the salsa and other night life in person and directed us to markets etc. The breakfast was simple but tasty fruit which was welcomed after drinking in the Salsa central of Colombia till the early hours! One thing I would say is people come here to socialise, party and laugh...a lot, so don't stay here if you're looking for a quite night...go out and dance :)

Room Tip: The dorms are great!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennyfish27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
128 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2012

This place seemed like a dream come true - beautiful old finca, gourmet, yoga, pool...the reality was a place that has grand aspirations but lacks the attention to detail. Our room had wires hanging out of sockets and only 1 of the 6 lights worked. A massive jacuzzi was unexpected but didn't work, and looked like it hadn't for some time. The gourmet restaurant featured dishes like baked trout that had been smothered in a hot berry yoghurt sauce and a hot fruit salad - not good, just weird. And the drinks prices were surprising - the owner wanted $10,000 ($6) for a glass of wine, double what you'd pay in a restaurant in a major city like Medellin - luckily we negotiated down because of a certain incident. Perhaps the owner is trying to recoup the costs of a business that isn't doing too well, perhaps he should stop drinking all the profits. I also didn't appreciate all the racism towards the english (the owner is scottish), unfortunately it's just typical behaviour of someone whose heart isn't in the job.

Room Tip: The double room is massive but needs quite a lot of work, and has no doors on the french windows so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fraser M, Owner at The Green Saman, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Guests stayed for one day, enjoyed the food enough to have lunch AND then come back for dinner, one of them drank about two and half bottles of good imported Argentinean wine, had cocktails and then refused to pay for it all!

The claim about racial abuse is absolutely ridiculous.

We offer budget accomodation within a beautiful setting, and well priced food and drinks with service that 99% of guests leave happy with.

We do ask guests to remember it is a hostel with good facilities but not a 5 star hotel.
(To clarify, we don´t claim to have a "gourmet" restaurant or offer yoga.)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

Perfect hideaway from the grimy city. Great place to meet people - really good restaurant and bar. Pool and sun loungers were bliss. Loved playing with the kitten! Definitely recommended.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CharingX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

Good services, clean, pool, sauna real good quality/price. One of the best place I went. Owners are very flendy; speak French, English and of course Spanish

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sergio231971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Green Saman

Property: The Green Saman
Address: Carrera 3 Oeste 11-49, Cali, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Valle del Cauca Department > Cali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 93 B&Bs / Inns in Cali
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Green Saman - Colombian Gastronomic Sanctuary, Backpacker's Paradise, Yoga, Music and Cultural Centre. Cali's newest hostel, opened in October 2011, is located within a beautiful garden in the safe neighbourhood of Bellavista in the hills of the city of Cali. Although just a few minutes from the city centre and the bus terminal, our relaxing location is also the base for hikes to the mountains and the many forms of extreme sports available here in the Valle de Cauca. As backpackers or former backpackers ourselves we think we have everything here you would want from a hostel with our location and service making us one of the best hostels in South America. We will let you judge for yourself though, we can offer you; activities and extreme sports organized every say of the week (paragliding, horse riding, rafting, kite surfing, kite buggy, bungee jumping etc), swimming pool and outdoor bar, sauna, Turkish bath, a former Michelin star chef running our kitchen, free gourmet breakfast, terrace bar, indoor cafe, big screen sports, a beautiful garden setting (where we grow our own food to cook for you), hand-built brand new beds, HOT showers, en-suite rooms with Jacuzzi, free yoga, free salsa classes. And if there is anything you want not listed above, let us know and we will organize it for you. The Green Saman is bringing about a revolution in the South America backpacking experience, come and join us. ... more   less 
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