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“Awful service, lovely view”

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Chill House Backpackers Hostel
Ranked #107 of 179 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Medellin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Awful service, lovely view”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

It's in a beautiful location, on the gorgeous, chocolate-box Plaza Fernando de Madrid. However...the staff were surly and uninterested, content to hang out with their mates and the 'cool' travellers they had befriended. I stayed in a huge dorm - so to some extent, you know what you're going to get - but still, it annoyed me that when some visitors arrived in the middle of the night, the hostel worker just turned on the light in our room to let those people arrive, unpack, shower etc. Also, when they didn't have room for me the following night, they referred me to a nearby 'sister' hostel (the name escapes me), whereby the two totally disinterested dudes on reception claimed the hotel was full - basically because I was a male, travelling alone, over 30, when the place is swarming with 20-something Latinas....You do the Math!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank JamesSteerforth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 1 night in a private room as the partner hostel we had booked didn't have space (we missed our flight day before). Staff were friendly enough, the 1st woman particularly. Paid 75,000 for a private room with en suite. Sheets come complete with hair from top & bottom, en suite is a wet room but not as a design feature. No toilet seat. Noisy, crowded, kitchen looked filthy & I'm glad I didn't have to use the other bathroom. Great location, but places in getsemani are much better & its really not as scary as people make out unless you're rolling around drunk at 3am. Villa Colonial in particular if you're looking for a double/triple private room for cheaper (with a loo seat & towels included!)

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jimmyd2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cartagena hotels

Hue
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Don't stay here. Just don't. The location is fantastic, they've got that going for them - right in the heart of the old town, in a beautiful neighborhood, so you don't have to mess around with the "up and coming" Getsemani area. However, that is all this place has going for it.

Remember when you were 15 and your friend's mom and dad went away? That's this place. They've left the kids in control.

Just a few highlights: The mattresses are too small for the (barely-held-together-with-cardboard) bed frames. The sheets, inexplicably, are too small for the mattresses. The beds are crammed into tiny little rooms. The AC is not at your control, rather the control of the staff.

The kitchen is a mess. The shower is a pipe sticking out of the wall (cold water only... claro) and if you pay for the en suite room - get this - every other bugger in the hostel gets to swoon through your room and take a dump in your nice toilet that you've paid all those extra pesos for! (Got to say I'm not bitter about that, as we didn't pay for the en suite)

At any given moment, in the same room, there's the TV on, backpackers playing guitar...badly, and the staff blasting out early 2000's reggae. Ever listened to Shaggy's 'Angel' five times in a row at 1am? I have.

Just don't stay here. The location is not worth it.

Room Tip: There's another hostel around the corner. You know it. Just keep on walkin'.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank SampleSter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Stayed here for ten days. Staff were very friendly and knew everyones name which is always impressive. The free lemonade and coffee was a great plus,specially when one wakes up and after walking around in the Cartagena heat. I would recommend this as a "chilled out" hostel. The location is in the middle of the colonial city.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Haarby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Absolutely beautiful location in the heart of the Old Town and to the best of my knowledge, the only Hostel in that area. I will say that the staff (not management) and housekeeping crew were very helpful and sweet. If you are into partying, you may really enjoy this place, as the staff is young, and fun to hang out with. Other than that, it was all very unimpressive. Beds and dorms were small, uncomfortable, and really old. Bathroom (one for the entire Hostel) was gross and unkempt.
I would stay here again for the location and nothing more, but the hostel is one of the lowest standards I have stayed at.
(I also had jewelry stolen from the safe which sits at the front desk and is only accessible by management. My fault for taking something of value, but what a racket.)

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank cezannegraue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slovenia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

This hostel is located in a lovely plaza in the old centre of the city and has 4 rooms, 2 big dorms, 1 small dorm and one private room. The community area could be maybe a little bit larger, but as there are never a lot of people at the same time there it's ok. Lovely balcony overlooking the plaza, a small patio in the back, kitchen, AC in rooms. It could use one bathroom more, but I never had to wait more than 5 minutes.
Absolutely amazing stuff!!!! I was in 2 other hostels in Cartagena and I had rather a bad experience, but here it was excellent.
Nice atmosphere

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HNina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2012 via mobile

When we first walked into The Chill House, we were offered cold lemonade and a smile. The owner personally greeted us and explained that his hostel was supposed to feel more like home than hostel. 
Although the staff are friendly and the vibe is chill enough, the owner was not what he initially seemed. After waking up the following morning, he approached us and told us we had to pay 15,000 COP more than initially agreed upon, and if we refused, we would have to leave immediately. 
His body language became aggressive, and when my girlfriend protested in a respectable and fair way, he briskly strode toward her with a menacing look in his eyes and his right arm raised.
Although he managed to get a hold of himself (after I stepped between him and my gf) it was clear that we had no intention of staying. 
To be fair, the staff were decent and the house keeper was adorable. But the place was below mediocre. The kitchen always seemed to be missing a few plates and pots/pans. And the owner was an aggressive liar. 
All in all, worst hostel we've ever been to. 

  • Stayed April 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank DanielTal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chill House Backpackers Hostel

Property: Chill House Backpackers Hostel
Address: Calle de la Tablada # 7 - 12 | Plaza Fernando de Madrd, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Hotel Style:
Ranked #107 of 179 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
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