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Casa de la Chicheria
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Reviews (45)
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Reviewed March 29, 2013

Nice, quiet, great location, great service, nice people, super clean... Is not a party hostel so you can actually rest, the staff makes you feel that you're at home, so far is my favorite Colombian hostel !

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank mmegunl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights in February 2013. Apparently the budget accommodation in Cartagena is generally pretty poor and this is one of the best of a bad bunch. For Cartagena it's probably quite a good option, but compared to hostels in other parts of Colombia it's overpriced and not very good, which is why we moved on after only two nights.

The positives are the air conditioning in the bedrooms - it's essential in that climate - and the location in the old town. The pool is OK to cool down in, but it's tiny. On the downside, the bunks in the dorm are piled three high, there is only one shared bathroom for men and one for women so you sometimes have to wait, and there were quite a lot of ants and other insects wandering all over the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Choccy90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

We really enjoyed our time at Chicheria. It can be hard to figure out the room configurations when using booking websites so here's the deal: you can stay in a mixed-gender dorm, a private room without its own bathroom (i.e., you share the hall bath with people staying in the dorm), or a private room with private bathroom. There are only three rooms in the entire place, so it has a very small, intimate feel to it.

The staff are very friendly and Miriam, who was on duty during the day, speaks good English so this was a good place to stay as our first stop in Colombia, given that we don't speak much Spanish. Chicheria feels very safe. Because so few people stay here, the staff lets you in just by recognizing your face -- the door is always kept locked. There isn't a safe in the room, or other secure area to store your valuables, so we had to resort to hiding things in different spots in our room or carrying it with us, but the place is so small that there really isn't much danger of a break-in. Anyone coming in off the street would be seen by the staff or other guests.

There is a small pool of the same type that most of the typical Cartagena houses have -- it used to be a cistern. It was very pleasant to swim there, since it's in the middle of an open air courtyard. My husband actually gave me my first snorkeling lesson here. Signs say the pool closes at 6pm, so there's no danger of people being loud late into the night. In general, this hostel prioritizes peace and quiet for its guests. If people were talking in the common areas late at night, staff would ask them to keep voices down. This is not a party hostel, so it is perfect for budget travelers in their 30s, like us. While we were there, a couple probably in their 50s was staying in the private-bath room and seemed quite content. It seems like a hostel appropriate for all ages. Chicheria is located on one of the quietest blocks in the walled city, so you can go out and have your fun, then come back and get a good night's sleep. You'll be located a bit away from the hustle and bustle, but almost anyplace in the walled city can still be reached in a 5- or 10-minute walk. Getsemani is a bit further away (15 min).

Chicheria has a clean and well-maintained kitchen, where the sink has hot water, so even though food is not provided, you can make your own. There is a grocery store around the corner.

We stayed in the private room that doesn't have a bathroom, and our bed was two twin beds pushed together -- so unfortunately it really wasn't comfortable. My husband and I either had to cram onto one bed, or sleep completely separately. I suppose they keep this configuration for the case of two same-gender friends traveling together, but for us it was unfortunate. But the mattresses themselves were comfortable, and the air conditioning worked well. We only had housekeeping on the first day out of 5 days we stayed, so that was a bit odd.

The only other downside was the bathrooms. For up to a dozen people, they have a total of two toilets and two showers. I have never stayed in another hostel that didn't have multiple stalls or small rooms in the bathroom. Chicheria has a men's bathroom and a women's bathroom, but in either case you can't even use the toilet if someone else is taking a shower, because of the way it's configured. It turned out to be less of a hassle than I expected, but for example when we were getting ready for a wedding we were attending, we ended up running late because other people were in the showers at the time we wanted to start getting ready. Women commonly use the men's shower if the women's is occupied. Putting some mirrors in the guest rooms would help because then at least people wouldn't need to use the bathroom for doing make-up and hair.

Chicheria seems expensive by U.S. standards for what it is, but the bottom line is that hotels in the old city of Cartagena are all very expensive. This is among the cheapest you will find, and based on reviews we read and conversations with friends, a good value for the money.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BostonTraveler79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Was slightly hesitant to stay in a hostel, as usually stick to hotels. It was a really good choice and enhanced my stay in Cartagena as I met so many really interesting travelers. Clean, cheap, safe and a good location. I stayed in the dorm but they do have a couple of private rooms.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
Thank fishgirl20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Cartagena is hot, really hot. So, if you're a budget traveller, you'll appreciate the a/c in the hostel's 9-bed (plus loft) dorm. You'll also appreciate the friendly English-speaking staff, which are willing to go above and beyond to find information for you on Cartagena and other spots in Colombia.

The small pool -- perfect for a quick dip or sitting with your feet hanging in -- is a nice feature. As are the two hammocks situated next to a small goldfish pond. Further, wifi is fast and available throughout the majority of hostel.

Dorm beds are made up daily by the excellent housekeeper, which is a nice touch. Overall, the hostel is kept very clean. I do think that they could do a better job, though, of keeping the men's bathroom clean, particularly the shower/toilet area. Water, sand and dirt tend to pool in the area in front of the toilet and next to the shower, so it can be pretty nasty for the person who has to use the toilet after a couple showers have been taken. Also, while the women's bathroom features a nice rainforest-style shower head in a glass enclosure, the men's shower is a bit more basic. Some gender parity would be good.

Location is excellent -- a few steps from the city wall, which makes for a nice place to watch the sun go down. It's also in a much safer, quieter and more beautiful area of the city than where the majority of the budget hostels/hotels are located on Media Luna.

The hostel advertises itself as a 'boutique hostel' -- in reality, I think it's just a solid hostel. If the bathrooms were kept a bit cleaner, towels were provided without asking, and perhaps a small breakfast was added to the deal, this would be a five-star hostel indeed.

Room Tip: Dorm beds are of the three-story variety. They seem quite stable, but if you're nervous about sleeping that high, you might want to confirm that you can have a lower bed upon making your reservation.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank travelwiz13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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