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Casa Viena
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Reviews (149)
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59 - 64 of 149 reviews
Reviewed January 20, 2012

We had been warned by friends who had already stayed here a few months ago to avoid it - unfortunatly due to Cartagena hostels all being fully booked up the weekend that we arrived we had no choice but to book in for one night.

As it was mentioned in the Lonely Planet for being a good place to enquire about sailboats to Panama we thought 1 night wouldnt be too bad...oh it was.

The hostel is dark, dingy, and horrible. The kitchen is accessed via steps which are better described as a ladder and its disgusting. We were in the 8 bed dorm at the front of the building, every single one of the tiny lockers by each bed was broken, this meant you needed to use to even smaller lockers behind reception which are passport sized - not big enough for a netbook laptop though so this had to be left with the girl at reception whilst we went out...

The staff smile alot but do not do much else. When I enquired about the sailboats to panama she just pointed to a whiteboard with boat names on it and said "you pick one, we book it" and no other advice available.

We also needed to book a bus to Santa Marta for the next day (which the hostel advertised on its notice boards that it provided as a service) but the girl at reception wasn't that bothered in getting it booked for us and kept picking up the phone, dialing the wrong number, laughing, and saying she would sort it out later.

There is also no communal areas to sit in apart from one sofa right by the entrance or a horrible dark room with some cushions in where the guy on night shift sleeps.

All in all a horrible experience, even though we were pre-warned. We have been travelling S.America for 7 months and have stayed in some bad hostels but this was definatly the worst.

Shame on you Lonely Planet for recommending this place!

P.S If you do end up staying here for any reason or if you need sailboat advise for panama go to the cafe right next door to the hostel. Its a blue building called Gato Negro (also in the Lonely Planet) - the lady their does very cheap good breakfast and knows all about the boats going to panama, this is where we booked our boat from.

Room Tip: Don't stay here!
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lucybest1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2011

We've been staying for about five nights at this hostel in Cartagena during the month of October 2011. At first I had nothing to complain, the receptionist was very helpful in booking the room and everything. However, the room is not so clean (perhaps because it is an old house), were a single room with shared bath. Always have the presence of people to keep baths clean. Because the presence of animals, the sofas in the living room are not as clean. The kitchen is okay. However, inside my backpack had more than $ 500 in cash and when we left the hostel directly to the airport was when I realized I was missing $ 200 in my backpack. I can not say nothing because I was on the way to Panama and we did not want to lose more money on airline tickets, but surely we do not return to this hostel if we return to Cartagena.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Simonest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

I wasn't very excited about this hostel when we checked in; it's tiny, and the rooms are completely packed, with no room to even walk to the door once you bring any luggage in. After one night, we asked to switch to a bigger room; they said maybe, they'd have to see if anyone checked out, so we left to walk around Cartagena. When we came back, our stuff was all over the lobby; apparently, our room had been booked for that night, and they simply neglected to tell us before we left for the day that there might not be room for us at all that night. We got very angry, asking why they hadn't warned us about this possibility when we had asked about switching rooms. They were completely unapologetic as we tried to organize our things (we had unpacked a bit the night before, so our stuff was loose all over the lobby). There was not one redeeming quality in this hostel: tiny, uncomfortable, hot, no helpful staff, gross kitchen. Don't stay here, even though it's in the lonely planet. There are much better hostels within a block or two of this place.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Hadley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

The good-useful hostel if you are looking for boats going to San Blas in Panama, the owner apparently does excellent organizing for this sort of thing.
We arrived from a cruise and got a double room without a bathroom upstairs with a balcony. Nice at first as we could people watch on our private first floor balcony.
At night time though things turned into custard, the already hot room turned into a super stuffy sauna, even with both fans going. I could barely sleep and had to have a shower at 6 am.

So we decided to move to another hostel, only to find that when we got our stuff out of the safety deposit lockers behind reception, that we were missing 200 us dollars. I noticed that the padlock was put on the wrong way around when I opened it. Of course noone admitted to doing it, but it was pretty stink.

For 40,000 pesos not good value at all. Got a room in another hostel for 45000 with ac and private bathroom.

Room Tip: Dorm with ac, there is one on the ground floor, avoid first floor rooms at all cost as it is HOT
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sleepybackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

We moved to Casa Viena after a night at Hostal Baluarte, which was far more comfortable but also more expensive. Like a lot of Cartagena hostels, they aren't really interested in taking reservations. For 19,000COP per person you can't expect much, and the tiny room with two twin beds and fan was fine for the night. The two shared bathrooms were adequate. Like it says in the Lonely Planet review, it's much cooler temperature-wise in Casa Viena than in other accomodations. The accomodations are a 3, but the staff makes Casa Viena a 4.

We found the staff to be very helpful. It probably helped that we both speak Spanish. We left luggage with them for three days without any problems, asked lots of questions that they patiently answered, and booked a bus through them from Casa Viena to La Casa de Felipe in Taganga (42,000COP) (Note: it took over six hours on the little MarSol bus to get there because of all the stops in Barranquilla and Santa Marta! On our way back to Cartagena we went to the Santa Marta bus terminal and got a big comfortable air-conditioned Brasilia bus back to Cartagena for 20,000COP, and it took less time, closer to 4-1/2 hours).

There were a lot of police in Getsemani, where the hostel is, and inside the walls of the old city, so walking in the area at night is fine. There are lots of places to eat just outside the door and a couple of markets on the street. If you don't like Casa Viena, there are plenty of options on the surrounding streets.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank MintLemonade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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