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“Great place to chilax hostel!!”
Review of Hostel Mamallena

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Hostel Mamallena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 7, 2012

After one night at another hotel, my boyfriend and I walked around to find the most economic accomodation since we are long-term travellers on a very tight budget. When we dropped into Mamallena, we were so impressed with the friendly staff and layout and ambience of this hostel that we decided to stay even though it was only slightly more expensive than the cheapest hotels in the area. We thought it was definately worth it for the added relaxation and enjoyment during our stay. The staff and owner, Stuart, are extremely friendly, knowledgable and helpful. Room and bathroom are clean, light and fairly spacious. The hostel in in a great location, is clean and modern with a very chilled atmosphere, and an added bonus are pancakes and coffee for breakfast. Thanks guys!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lucy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 3, 2012

Visiting Cartagena, stay at Mamallena, free coffee in the mornings & pancakes...its clean & the staff are very helpful with information of what to do and see.... it is very close to the sights of the fortress & the old town, San Diego..which both are worth visiting... also the night scene is right at the front door.. easy to get to & you will met the fellow companions you caught up with in Panama City if you had stayed at the Mamallena there.....it has a kitchen for you to use as well, laundry service if you need, but I did find the laundry just down the road cheaper..

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BugzyOverbsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Stayed in this hostel in September 2012 for 3 nights. The hostel itself was under renovation, gonna be nice when ready. BUT the owner was truly bored and rude to people. He tried to be sarcastic, without succes, just making himself looking old, humorless, boed man... He was not helping guests, we didn't even bother to ask for help, when heard how he replied to others.. Sarcasm doen not work, if U don't know how to use it... He was rude to his staff, shouting at them in public, if U have something to say, say it privately to them.. The breakfast was NOT easy to get, many quests skipped because they never figured out how to get it... Maybe that was the purpose of it... We are not only one who felt the negative attitude of the owner, especially unhappy to the way he treated his own staff...

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Wheppalaa-traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2012

Well, apparently we must have had a run in or something! I don´t remember it, but........ Sorry you felt that way, can´t please everyone as we all know. I´m not sure how I changed so much in between your review and so many of the others though. Not sure how breakfast is hard to get either, you walk to the kitchen, either in the bar or near the guest kitchen, find the staff member and ask "may I have my breakfast please". She will then cook it for you and hand it to you. you can then say "thank you" and eat it. If for some reason she´s not in the kitchen you can ask at reception. Admittedly we do have one day a week when she does get to have a day off and we do ask that you then cook your pancakes yourself. Sorry about that. Also sorry if this sounds like sarcasm.......... Thanks for the review though.

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Reviewed November 20, 2012

I try to leave strictly factual reviews so that other travelers can decide for themselves whether a specific place fits their needs (something I like to see in others' reviews when I'm looking around for a place to stay). So here it goes.

We booked a private room about 2 months ahead. Seemed like a decent deal at 55,000 pesos per night with ensuite bathroom. No A/C, but generally rooms with A/C run 70,000 and up in town. We had asked for a quieter room as I'm a light sleeper. We arrived around 8pm as we had advised the hostel in advance. The staff was really nice, but gave us the last private room available (#5), which was very stuffy (at least 10 degrees hotter than the balmy temperature outside), came with a tiny bathroom and faced the courtyard where everyone in the hostel hangs out (past 1 am on Saturday - I had to ask the staff on site when they were going to tell people to stop playing music and partying in the courtyard at 1am as we had a 15 hour travel day and wanted to get some rest by that point). The fans were ok, but didn't do that much since it's hard to get any ventilation in the room with the only openings facing the courtyard (especially if you're trying to close the only window to drown out the noise in order to get sleep at night or in the morning). On top of it, all the rooms on one side are ligned along an alley which plays very loud music with some serious bass until wee hours in the night.

Generally, Mamallena has a nice vibe, great staff, clean rooms, free computers with internet, WiFi, books, bar/restaurant, and is located in the prime part of Getsemani neighborhood where all the action is, a 5 minute walk from the old city. So all the basics of a great hostel are there. But in my opinion the layout is poor as the hangout area is basically the passage way between the rooms on the ground floor and the rooms don't have any soundproofing or ventilation.

It wasn't the right fit for us given our needs, so we moved to a local guesthouse nearby the next day where we had a private room with a strong fan and a huge bathroom for 50,000 pesos. No backpacker atmosphere, but we sacrificed that for the ability to sleep.

Bottom line is that if your primary goal is to party and you are a deep sleeper who can pass out under any type of conditions (heat, noise, bass, etc), you will probably really enjoy the atmosphere and service. But if you're looking for a private room because you want privacy and quiet and the ability to choose when you'd like to party, this is probably not a good fit for you. Overall, just really wish we were warned over email when we reserving the room that there is no such thing as a quiet room at this hostel to save us time looking for a new place.

Room Tip: Private rooms on the left-hand side are quieter because they don't face the alley with loud bass...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank smartcooki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Well, you do make some good points, especially the good ones! Thats part of our attraction, that we do have good service, good facitlities and a good place to hang out. There are very few hostels in cartagena where you will get what we prrovide for the price that we charge, along with an open air patio. Most of our guests say thats the best part of the hostel. We´ve never hidden the fact that the rooms come off the patio either, if you check our photos you´ll actually see that. We do try to keep the noise down and it´s not like theri was a roaring party going. It was a few people talking quietly and playing some music on their laptop. We do ask people to respect others and keep the noise down but that can bedifficult. It all depends on the other travellers as much as us. We also feel that Saturday is a bit different than days during the week and most people know and accept that. We let people stay a little longer in the courtyard. We feel everyone is adults and we don´t need to act like their mother pushing rules and regulations. Guests themselves are allowed to ask other guests to lower the volume if they can´t sleep.

Unfortunately the hostel is what it is. We can´t change the layout as it´s already built!!! At least our privates have bathrooms, and how much time do people spend in them anyway? It´s Cartagena and the rooms are hot, because it´s Cartagena. We can´t change that either. There is no alley on the back of your room, but there is a house back there with a low income family. Again, thats Cartagena.

I´m glad that you enjoyed some parts of our stay, but I do apologise for what you felt was bad. Unfortunately when you get all that we offer you do have to make allowances for things like a little bit of noise. Please remmebr it wasn´t a huge party and it wasn´t a bunch of drunk people either. just people chatting queitly and playing some music.

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Reviewed November 15, 2012

We stayed there for a few nights until we realized the next door hotel (Marlin) was cheaper and quieter.
You find the common area just when you open the door of your room, so we had this kind of backpacker people that just travel to sit and drink all the day.
Until 00:45 they don't stop the music (the one the hotel plays) and they don't ask for silence until that time, so you guess at what time you are able to sleep.

The room was just ok, very basic, but very expensive in my opinion.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ialvarez26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2012

I must apologise. I am so sorry that we put you out so much that you could only stay a few nights, instead of more. I understand the hardship, and how hard it was to find a place thats actually cheaper than us. I´m not sure how it was the Marlin though, as I know for a fact that it is more expensive than us. But luckily it doesn´t have that pesky open air courtyard that annoyed you so much. I also apologise on behalf of your fellow guests. I will now instruct my staff to only accept real backpackers, not just the ones who want to sit and drink. But that might be discrimination so I´m not sure how that will go. Let me look into it for you. We usually do get a good mix of people though, so you must have had a real bad crowd when you were here.

I will also speak to my staff as well. The night shift guy is usually much stricter than me, and often has everyone out of the courtyard around 12am. My instructions to him are that people may stay there if they are talking quietly, if they are loud then they have to move inside. The music is also usually turned off at around 11pm, and is never turned up to a high volume anyway. I am actually sorry(seriously!) that this wasn´t followed when you were here. It may have been a Friday or Saturday when we do let things go a bit longer. Being the weekend I´m sure most people can understand and accept that. I would also sugest that next time you have a problem like this that you come and let the staff and management know. It´s easier to do something about it when you make a complaint in person, rather than over the internet where no one knows who you are.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

I chose to move over to Mamallena after a night at Media Luna Hostel. While I could have stayed on at MLH, I was happy to move over. The crowd is very different accross the street. Most were into serious travelling and rich experiences rather than the younger partying crowd. The rooms are spacious enough. The dorm rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Free pancakes are available for breakfast but they were not made. We were just given the batter to make our own. My stay coincided with a city centre wide water outage. The hostel did not get a water supply during the one and half day without water. That means no water to wash, flush toilet, cook, etc.
That said, I did not hear of any other hostel supplying guests with water either. However, I think that if money is charged for a room, it is the responsibility of the establishment to supply at least some water to keep the place reasonably hygienic.

Room Tip: The dorm room without windows stay cooler during the day.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank WorldWanderer88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casa762, Owner at Hostel Mamallena, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Hey,thanks for the positive comments, they´re much appreciated. I do have to make a couple of points though. Breakfast actually is cooked for you, it´s just one day a week when it isn´t. Thats a change from our hostels in Panama where guests cook their own breakfast every day. We do also have a limited menu of other items for purchase, along with frozen juices and milkshakes.

As you said the water shortage was over a fair part of Cartagena. We did our best and we do have a water tank for a limited number of showers. We also had as many containers of water spread around the hostel for use for flushing toilets, a quick wash and for cooking. The problem is that i guess afetr the nearly 2 days of water shortage it ran out. We did have a good effort of refuilling them in the big storm that happened that afternoon though!! And a number of people took the opportunity to get under the drain ´pipes for a natural shower!

Hope you can come back for a visit sometime.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed in private rooms here for 5 nights. Rooms are basic but clean. Good beds and pillows! Breakfast is free and tasty as is coffee and use if computers. There is a great value bar on site. The kitchen is well equipped but small. Courtyard can be noisy but staff are pretty on to it with tips and encouragement on where to go out after midnight!
Staff are the best I have come across in colombia so far. Friendly, efficient, helpful with fantastic English. All tours/tickets are good value. We mentioned we were heading to mompos next and the receptionist instantly was able to sort out a bus ticket at the normal price and then change the date later on when our plans changed! Thanks again for that. Stuart's book on Cartagena should probably be the official guide book! Would 100 percent stay again.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Kayljay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel Mamallena

Address: Calle Media Luna, Cartagena, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 205 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range: $11 - $47 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
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