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“Fun place”

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Casa Kiwi Hostel Medellin
Ranked #44 of 235 Specialty Lodging in Medellin
Reviewed December 19, 2013

I had a good time at Casa Kiwi, in fact we stayed an extra week because we kept meeting cool people and just couldnt leave... The vibe was definitely one of a party hostel, but it is big and awesome and has a pool and cool upper patio and hammocks and a little bar. There was also a band that played one night, and they have a cool movie room...it can get loud but I slept well in one of the dorms with a little balcony. Their front patio is really cool to chill and meet people too, it is usually jumping on the weekend. It is located in a nice area, pretty little creek nearby and restaurants... The blonde girl at the front desk was really great to us, and the guys at the bar were awesome too. Thanks for a great stay!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ciudadesgemelas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 - 113 of 290 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2013

Good location near all the bars and restaurants but a bit of walk all uphill from the metro station and bigger supermarket. Lots of onsite information about local tours, spanish lessons etc. Dorm was ok though didn´t smell too great and the lockers were falling apart and were ridiculously loud to open and close waking up the whole dorm! The washing ladies may try and con you into spending more money to wash your clothes. The music was a little bit loud during the day and early evening and then too quiet when we actually wanted to party! Good tv room, bit like a home cinema but with a smaller screen. Kitchen facilities are good. Massive issues trying to get on the Escobar tour as it got booked up so quickly, had to book through another hostel. Excursion to the football was way overpriced but good fun!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank SarahNiemiec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Stayed 10 days because we loved Medellin so much, but struggled to really like this place.
Good points:
In a really nice part of El Poblado, great bars, restaurants etc.
free pool table
Few different areas to sit, roof etc (forget the pool it's a bathtub, never saw anyone in it)
Decent kitchen (although often in high demand..)
Probably good socially if you're travelling alone or 18..

Less good:
Pretty expensive for what it is..60,000 for a damp double room, no bathroom, with a broken glass window (that we were told to climb in through when we accidentally locked the key inside)
Not enough bathrooms! Always having to wait..
The cleaning staff work really hard to keep the place clean, but as there's so many people the bathrooms are often pretty rank
Noisy, music from reception is blaring until late and then people talking early. Had to ask a big group of kids to shut up after coming in at 4am and talking about taking coke in ways you don't want to know..
Found the staff to be really mixed, some were friendly, some grumpy bordering rude, but generally made to feel you you were an inconvenience to their socialising, looking on fb, email etc. often had to go back and ask the same q again. Simply didn't feel they were running a business or service..e.g no coffee regularly, had to ask cleaning staff if something went missing from the kitchen, missed paragliding twice as they didn't tell us we could go despite being sat about 10m away...
Also whole place seems to leak when it rains, which is every day..
Also note it's a really long trek from the metro, eg 20-30 mins uphill on the way home

So overall, Medellin was one or the best cities I've been to, just shame we had to stay here, avoid unless you really want to party.

Room Tip: If you the got the cash stay in the newer bit. Looked a lot nicer. Dorms looked rough for the price...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jesswiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

Much better hostels in Medellin than this place. Crap, slow Internet, crap showers wirh intermittent hot/cold water, no breakfast included and yet it's MORE expensive than everywhere else. Which brings me to the incessantly loud music which makes you feel like you are being tortured in Guantanamo Bay. Do yourself a favour and stay in one of the many better hostels in Medellin

  • Stayed: October 2013
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3  Thank Brennansj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

If you're not the youngest traveller and value a quite and clean place, don't go here. I read and heared good stories about this populair hostel but they are probably talking about the hostel a long time ago. It started by entering the dormroom, shown by a staffmember. I immediately smelled a weird kinda of air. It was from a dirty room and obviously from joints and the staff just ignored it! Ironicly they write about not using drugs on their website. I couldn't sleep of the loud streetnoise and the people chatting in the downstairs area. A lot of young partypeople. I had a very shaky bunkbed and scared it would break. There are 2 lockers per person so that's good. Even as the wifi through the whole building. Bathrooms are small, dirty and no hooks to hang your stuff and I had cold water.
Staff is not interested and if you asked for tours they only want to sell their own. In my opinion the dorms are Overprized. paid 24.000 instead of 20.000 like the website says.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank flipflopfiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

I suggest taking the time to read this to make a fully informed decision on Casa Kiwi. Let me make one thing clear, I do not write such reviews lightly, but the detail below is from both my personal experience AND backed up by feedback from friends and other guests who were there during my stay. Would seem from some reviews that others have had similar experiences to what I endured too.

I would also highlight I took the time to write a personal letter to the owner about my experiences at his hostel (the first hostel I have ever encounter such experiences by the way). But, despite allowing a few months there has been no recognition, no responsibility or apology for what took place. In summary, if the proverbial hits the fan you are on your own, he just does not care. I guess why should he? The money is obviously still rolling in.

MY RECOMMENDATION
Book yourself into one of the nice newer hostels up around the corner from Casa Kiwi, you will get better/new facilities, ventilation in your rooms, great experience with staff ( did pop in and also spoke on the phone), and should you still wish to socialised at Casa Kiwi you can still walk the 50m's around the corner any time to do so. This will make sure you are at least not shackled to the place and the ridiculously over inflated egos of the male staff who feel they own the place, treat patrons with disdain and use intimidation tactics including verbal and physical threats to get what they want and stop any comeback – seriously, you’re in Colombia with male staff threatening you whilst their mates are around you looking on… what are you going to do? Such a great way to make you feel like a guest hmm?. In my case it was a money scam at the bar, and oh isn’t that convenient, no cameras in the place, not even one overlooking the bar at a minimum to catch these boys out in their extortion/gangster games.

Honestly, SAVE YOURSELVES THE POTENTIAL STRESS AND STAY SOMEWHERE ELSE. There are plenty of other hostels with better quality facilities and everything. It was only friends and some people I met there that made the hostel enjoyable in any form given all the bollocks going on. We were all there for the same reason too, the perpetuated reputation from long ago of it being the ‘coolest’. Well, to be honest the sense I had of the place is the owner has been riding high on this reputation for too long, has his little cash cow churning the numbers through giving him the good life and has slowly drifted his attention away to finally just not caring (reminds me of certain governments before the big bust…). Well that reputation, much like the premises and staff are starting to run thin, just like the paint on the walls (‘recently renovated?... please, more like a band aid job).

Compared to all the other hostels I’ve stayed in or been to throughout Colombia (Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Santa Marta..) it is not in the same league. Yes, it may not be the worse place, but the things is you can definitely do better :)

Some detail to finish up, specifically in relation to staff, premises/facilities, and location

1. STAFF
To sum it up, the male staff members have massively inflated egos, have their local friends always around and act like they are some sort of ‘God Fathers’ to the tourist hoard to whom we must pay homage and kiss their hands. Seriously guys? Get over yourselves and stop your school boy bullying antics. It doesn’t make you tough, it just proves your shallow and cowards.

Couple of examples:
- waiting at the desk right in front of them, yet they continue to ignore you and talk to their local mates, or continue to watch Youtube clips on the computer until you literally have to interrupt them to get some assistance. Even then you are treated as though you’re a complete inconvenience and they’re doing you a favour by even recognising you. To be clear as well, it is definitely a male issue. Lots of ‘machismo’ as my friend put it.
- Asking for help talking to a taxi driver on booking times and literally had a hand thrown up in my face and told dismissively to go speak to him myself (real cool, you know I don’t speak Spanish)
- AGGRESSION AND VERBAL/PHYSICAL THREATS – yes, you read that right, and this was experienced alongside a money scam tactic some of the male staff seem to be pulling (no doubt the aggression and threats are to try and intimidate people into not doing anything but hey, with NO SECURITY CAMERAS TO CAPTURE ANYTHING what are you meant to do when you have local Colombian guys threatening you both verbally and physically with their mates all hanging around in the premises..!?!?!?. In essence, I had laid down the exact money on the bar in front of the staff member who served me and was watching, the next thing I know when I turn around to leave I’m pulled up immediately by him before even taking my second step, hey presto the moneys gone and I’m being accused of not paying (his immediate response: “..did you put the money in my hand? No..”) . The money scam itself is not my biggest issue here either, it was the immediate aggression and threats, finger pointing, shouting, swearing, pacing behind the bar, and almost coming around the bar to get physical…?!?! What, are we in the playground?! There was NO ATTEMPT at being civil, it was just straight up madness. SERIOUSLY, BE AWARE, BE CAREFUL!!!

2. FACILITIES/PREMISE – it definitely has a ‘run down’ feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, it is not hell and I have stayed in worse around Africa, but compared to the quality of other hostels I've experienced throughout Colombia you can tell it is starting to be left behind.
- Rooms: I experienced and heard a lot of complaints about ventilation whilst there. Indeed I was talking to a girl during breakfast my first morning about trying to change to one of the upstairs rooms and out of the ‘dungeon’ but was told me best to stay, because she had just done the same thing the other day and the upstairs rooms were worse (!).
- Kitchen: not the best compared to others, but would be ok if it was cleaned, there is also only one fridge for the whole hostel which was absolutely rammed with food/bags, we never saw it cleaned out once, and I’m guessing most of it was from old guests since it was smelly with food in bags going into liquidated form.
- Social/Main areas – these are ok, albeit rather dark. It does have a few good hammocks on the second floor which are quite good. Internet was fine whilst I was there as well, sometimes quite slow but to be expected every now and then
- ‘Pool’ area/roof top – there is a great looking little plunge pool on the roof which at face value seemed rather cool, and was a bit of a selling point for me… up until I was informed on my second night by a friend she had caught a local using it as a bath tub and washing themselves naked in it, don't know how often that one is cleaned... If you decide to just chill out on the roof area and skip the ‘pool’, make sure you bring some mosquito spray as you are quite exposed up there and will get a few nips, not a bad spot though if you want a bit of quiet from the downstairs areas

3. LOCATION – it is in a good location, a great spot, but as I said, there are other ones only around the corner, and on a more open/brighter street, with newer facilities at comparable prices.

I had originally booked into one of the new hostels around the corner from Casa Kiwi (Casa Kiwi is tucked away on an overgrown corner of the lower road). But, ended up changing because of the ‘reputation’ this place had for it’s sociability. Had I known about all the other trouble that was to come with it though I would not have changed my booking. Yourself? Yes, you may find you have a great time, mine was not all doom and gloom and not every staff member is like those I describe above, but unfortunately many are, and what I experienced is completely unacceptable. I'm sorry but verbal and physical threats are NOT a small issue to be brushed aside like the owner has after I went to the trouble to inform him. I’m over 6ft tall, decent build, confident in myself and stood up to these guys as best possible in a very cordial way, (had I reacted to their physical threats more sternly or swore back who knows what would have happened to me in the end!), that said heaven knows how many other people not of my size or confidence have been completely intimidated and ripped off in the past by these guys and not said anything…

As such, I DO NOT recommend Casa Kiwi.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a window.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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9  Thank Anthony H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I stayed at Casa Kiwi for 5 days in January and had an amazing New Year's there! This hostel just has some good energy, it is very chilled out and you meet all types of people from all over the world. Stayed in a dorm the first night and then switched over to a private room, the room was clean, with a great bathroom and an awesome balcony. The common areas are very open and the roof terrace is great to catch some sun and watch the mountains, or even take a dip in the pool. I have no complaints about this place... by far one of my best hosteling experiences, would definitely go back there.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank sharitosala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Kiwi Hostel Medellin

Address: Carrera 36 7 10, Medellin 050021, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Antioquia Department > Medellin
Hotel Style:
Ranked #44 of 235 Specialty Lodging in Medellin
Price Range: $13 - $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
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