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“good atmosphere but...”

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El Viajero Cartagena Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Definitely a social hostel, many people to meet, the staff is fun. Good location in the historic center.
The aircon in dorms is very enjoyable.
But they put very loud music all day long in the one and only common area, none of the 3 wifis works properly, and the kitchen is very bad, under-equipped and very unconvenient.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank nicotch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2013

We reserved 2 rooms via hostelbookers and hostelworld and i confirmed with them directly via email, but they only had 1 room available when we got there so we had to stay somewhere else. when i tried to get a refund on our deposits, they lied to the websites and said we decided to stay somewhere else on our own. unbelievable! no integrity. the hostel itself was pretty cool actually but you should book with caution... you might not have a room when you get there.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
1  Thank Momo3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We paid a whopping 150,000pesos per night for a private room with a/c. The private rooms were in a building a few doors down which wasn't ideal but not a major issue. We were looking for an a/c private room and it seemed like a good bet despite the high price tag.

The only a/c areas are the rooms, the common areas are outdoors, and the lobby is a sweat box but has a lot of fans.

Like the title says I don't usually write average reviews about hostel, because all I expect is a bed and a good common room. What turned me off is when we checked in, the check in guy who spoke okay (but sorta rough) english (had glasses), demanded we pay enterly upfront. We actually booked the room 3 days in advance and paid a deposit to the hostel in Medellin so you'd think they would take us seriously. However the insisted on upfront payment right from the start.

I asked them if we could drop our bags and then go to the ATM they reluctantly agreed after saying "you don't have any money?" We just got off a flight and travel with little cash when we know there are ATM's around. When he showed us our room the safe needed to be reset, but of course he instructed us to go to the ATM and he'd fix the safe on our return (great just leaving our passports and electronics in the room unlocked).

I never complain about hostel staff, they usually actually become friends. However there are a couple bad apples among them. A couple of okay guys as well, but the guy in glasses needs a lesson in basic human contact.

The common rooms were not air conditioned so we didn't really feel like hanging out there. The lobby was just humid with a lot of fans, and the rest of the "common" area is just sitting on the steps outside the room. It felt like hanging out in front of a cheap sleazy motel. The facilities themselves are fine though. Rooms clean, a/c cold, decent sheets.

So I wouldn't consider it a negative review, but of the 5 places we stayed in Colombia this is the only place I wouldn't return to unless there was no room in any other a/c hostel.

The breakfast was crap, cereal, milk and crappy orange juice, i'm travelling to a country full of good fruits and you serve sunny d for breakfast? Don't even bother serving juice.

The wifi in the other building (only used it in our room) was very strong, fast and easy to connect to.

I wouldn't return.

Room Tip: Double check where your room is. Main building or other.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank HotelsRboring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

El Viajero is kind of like an upscale hostel. Fun, party atmosphere with loads of beer and a decent spread of breakfast on hand. Very fast wifi was also nice and several PCs to use. The common area in the main building was definitely used with oodles of people hanging out and getting their vibe on. So if you like quiet, request a room in the other building a half block down the street. It's very nice and quiet.

A couple notes: the service is pretty bad. Especially for a hostel. They have some strange reservation rules where you can book online for one price but if you just walk in the door you pay DOUBLE. Also, their private bedrooms still have shared bathrooms, although those private bedrooms are nice with AC, a nice firm bed and my room was clean. They also have a security guard come in at night and just hang out there. So security is good.

If they could get their customer service and reso stuff sorted, I'd give them 4 stars. If they had a private room with private bathroom, I'd be fine with their prices.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank dynoghetti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
  • 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.
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.
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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 199 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range: $16 - $86 (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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