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“Rude staff, loud, and dirty”

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El Viajero Cartagena Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Not only is it more expensive than EVERY other hostel I've stayed at in Colombia, it's also dirty, poorly equipped (the shared shower is essentially a converted closet), and sports a staff that are rude and not at all interested in even smiling at you, much less helping. As I sit here writing this review, they are blasting Wiz Khalifa so loud that people outside on the street are dancing to it. I like Wiz Khalifa too, but not 24/7. The internet hasn't worked for most of my stay, the rooms are dark and dirty, and they don't even change the sheets for you....they make you do it!! All this for the bargain price of 30,000/night for a 10 bed dorm (10,000 more than any other hostel I've stayed at in Colombia). NOT RECOMMENDED!!

Room Tip: If you want a good room, stay at Makako Chillout Hostel...it's right around the corner
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank davidburt08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 4, 2012

After our first choice was overbook we were referred to El Viajero. We checked in and the place seemed nice enough. However, upon getting settled we discovered the the WiFi was inoperable. It wasn't fixed for two days, making it impossible to work and plan the rest of our travel. The AC was too cold in our first room and too warm in the second one we had to move to. On our second night the price was increased due to the season even without working WiFi. The place is clean enough and if you like hanging with Europeans this is the place. Breakfast was lacking. Bowls of cold cereal and coffee was generally the only offerering. No fruit, but bread if you were willing to wait for them to go buy it. Not much of a sink for laundry and the drying rack was small, hence overcrowded with wet clothing. The rooms are large, but there is no seating in the room other than your bed. And in the common area there were a few benches and folding chairs, but not enough to handle the crowds that gathered each night. The place is well-located within the walled city and okay if you have no other choice.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Scott H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

- The hostel has extremely unhappy and unhelpful staff that are ridiculously rude and unreliable. Especially one of the guys at the front desk, he needs a serious attitude adjustment. He walks around and acts like he's too good for everyone staying there.
- The internet didn't work the entire time I was there (5 days - I had foolishly prepaid for my entire stay), and there was no attempt to try and fix it either. The wonderful staff simply said "your computer must be broken".
- There is no bar or restaurant there either which is a bit of a drag.
- Showers were often filthy with hair clogging the drains and dirty floors.
- When I first arrived, there happened to be a group of about 10 local Colombian girls who weren't more than 16 years old (despite the hostel policy of only allowing people 18+), who all tried cramming in the room I was already sharing with others. They arrived at 2am and proceeded to disrupt the entire room by continuously talking, opening and closing the door, and turning the lights on and off. They then left the room at around 3am, only to return again at 5.30am and do the same thing all over again.
- Breakfast was cereal with (often warm) milk, untoasted stale bread and sugary juice.
The only saving grace was the location which was convenient and had a couple of good grocery stores near by.
- Smoke often comes into the rooms from people smoking in the courtyard which is pretty gross, but what can you do.
- Definitely stay somewhere else and you'll enjoy Cartagena a heck of a lot more.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lazy_day_sa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

El Viajero has some things going for it: clean, good location, comfortable rooms. BUT, I would not recommend staying there (unless your room is in the annex, which I didn't see) -- you will not be able to sleep. People party in the echo-y courtyard (where all the rooms are) until midnight, and even when they move into the bar area after midnight, it is still extremely noisy because there is no door between the bar and the courtyard and people continue to hang out in the courtyard to smoke, so noise continues to bounce around the courtyard well after midnight. My husband and I -- despite having a private room, being exhausted, wearing earplugs, putting pillows over our heads, turning on a white noise machine, and getting out of bed numerous times to try and talk to the staff about the situation -- couldn't get to sleep until well after 3am. The stupid thing is, if they just put a good, thick door between the bar and courtyard, and asked the staff to make sure no one is out in the courtyard shouting after hours, there wouldn't really be a problem.

Just as bad was the attitude of the staff the next day. The nice person at the counter when we checked in had promised a room in the annex for our second night, but the two staffers at the counter the next morning told us that there were no rooms available in the annex. When we told them about the noise and that there was no way we could sleep in the main hostel for another night without losing our minds, they were totally unsympathetic and hostile. We left promptly and ended up finding a room around the corner at Chill House, which was cheaper, friendlier, and much quieter.

If you want to party all night, great. Make no mistake, this IS a party hostel. But if you want to sleep at all, don't stay at El Viajero unless you're in the annex.

Room Tip: Avoid the main part of the hostel unless you don't care about sleep.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank daisysmama1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed in El Viajero as they advertised AC in the dorms which was necessary to escape the heat of Cartagena. However, it was set ridiculously high and I spent each night freezing with 3 layers on! The breakfast was pretty poor and the staff were very dismissive, like they had something better to do than help their customers. We had food stolen from our fridge (not the hostels fault, I know) but one of our friends had money stolen from a PIN locked safe in his room and was certain it was a member of staff as they were the only ones able to access them via a universal key.
On the positive side, the bathrooms and showers were clean and with hot water and the wifi was good.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravellingBurgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We only stayed one night on the way back through Cartagena and the location is very good - near some great restaurants (La Cevicheria and Juan del Mar) and taxis pass right in front if you need one. It is easy to walk around the old town from here. We stayed in a private room in the annex, had a fan but no AC - was a little bit warm. The Annex is right down the street from the main hostel and it is a quiet place, good wifi, has it's own breakfast set up (coffee, tea, juice, cereal/milk, bread and delicious cake) so you didn't have to go to the main hostel part and although only two bathrooms (one with shower), they were never crowded. Pretty good price and I would recommend the annex instead of the main hostel, although we just went in to take a peek around.

Room Tip: I recommend the Annex!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank CN711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

The breakfast at this hostel was amazing: bread rolls (with jam and butter), cakes, tea and coffee, crackers, cereal and juice. The hostel itself is pretty good too: rooms not too cramped and with good air conditioning. Very clean and high pressure showers. The downsides to this hostel are that there isn't much of a social area, and no BYO alcohol allowed. Overall a great hostel and near a good supermarket.

Room Tip: Apparently the annexe rooms across the road are better, although I didn't see them.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank LifeinHD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Viajero Cartagena Hostel

Address: Calle 7 Infantes 9-45, Cartagena 130018, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 248 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range: $19 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Conveniently located inside the famous Cartagena's old walled city and only a few blocks away from the well known Fernandez de La Madrid Square and from the main attractions of Cartagena de Indias. Surrounded of Museums, Squares, Artisan, Bars, Coffee Shops, Restaurants and it’s nightlife! We offer you the best service in the best location. We are the only hostel in Cartagena with breakfast included in the rate and the only one with air conditioning in all the rooms. In a Spanish colonial house style, just as all the old walled city, we have everything you need: shared and private rooms, kitchen, common areas with TV & DVD, internet area and free WI-FI all day. ... more   less 
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